Urgent! How much to charge for my services?

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    • #85216

      I know this is an overly asked question, but I legitimately don’t know how to price certain things, such as for services offered for a SHORT film.

      I just started a company and currently am working part time. I am being realistic with my salary for my new business. I’m going with 26K/year. That’s with the salary and overhead costs factored in, including taxes. And I’m doing about 30% profit margin. This all gives me a number for how much I should charge per hour which is good and well, HOWEVER, i feel like this method I used seems to only make me appear to be doing a normal desk job and not necessarily accurate for the type of work I’ll be doing for film-wise, such as the labor on set AND the usage of my equipment.

      I want to know where are people getting the idea to charge $75-125/hr for shooting/filming and $75-100 for editing. How did most of you come to these numbers?? How do I come up with the $$/hour based off of my 26K salary??

      More important to note: I have a client who wants to shoot a short film and I have no earthly idea what to be charging. I will be shooting with my own camera, lenses, and steadicam. I will also be having a hand in editing, color correction, and sound editing.

    • #211953

      Hi Daydream,

           Have you tried Videomaker's rate calculator?  Follow the link below.



    • #211971

      Daydream,  You really need to detemine a day rate for your services. Your rate depends on your level of experience.  Your salary of $26,000 boils down to about $13/hour if you work 5 days a week 50 weeks a year. 


      The rate calculator mcrockett has posted above is a good starting point


      You need to see what others in your area are charging. Then compare yourself to them in terms of experience and skills.


      For shooting, are you just the camera person? Many camera ops charge $500-$800 per day for themselves without equipment. With camera they run from about $750 to $1,200. 


      Again look at what others are charging in your geographic area, then determine your level of experience and skills.


      Greg Ball

      Miami Video Production Company | Miami to Orlando Florida


    • #211972
      StanDan Pro

      Another approach is to determine how much you WANT to make as an annual salary and then reverse engineer your hourly wage.  For instance, if you want to make $100k in a year you divide that by 1,760 (the number of working hours in a year) which gives you a base hourly rate of $57/hr.  But since nobody is productive 100% of the time you then need to calculate in the ratio of non-productivity (or billiable hours).  Most people are productive about 1/3 of the time … so multiply $57 by 3 and you have what you time is worth per hour (roughly $171/hr)


      Base target = $100k

      Divided by working hours = 1760

      base hourly wage = $57

      times productivity vs nonproductivity multiple = 3

      what you time is really worth = $171/hr


      Keep in mind that if you don't know what your time is worth, you can't expect the world to know it either … and they will usually try to widdle it down to the lowest number possible.  This isn't wrong … it's just how to run a profitable business.






      How to produce and profit from 30 second commercials in 30 days

    • #212082
      Amber Vira

      There is no specific figure to say. Pricing for service depends on loction to location. I would recommend to google photography fee on your desired location. Doing so you will get clear idea what other people are charging. If prices are not mentioned on webpages, then you can raise a query as a customer and then you will know how much they are charging. This help to defeat your competition and raises chances of getting projects.

    • #212083

      Hourly charging is just not suitable for what most of us do – day or half day makes so much more sense. Occasionally I have a client with me, but prefer not to, mainly because when they are with you it takes longer, they want to try something or alter something, and very often you press that one button that triggers a render, just when you didn't want to, and the clients don't understand why they are paying for doing nothing. Whenever you quote for any artistic process, it's a guesstimate, based on the last similar project you did. So I always give them a basic price, but put a limit of up to X hours, which could be exceeded if the client requests time intensive extra work. 


      when you work for yourself, you have to accept that some jobs will not make much money, while others are good earners and can subsidise the other ones, balancing out hopefully to what you want. You will also make mistakes, and have to go back and redo work – this, if you are working hourly is very unproductive. I've never found any of the calculators or even other people's pricing that useful to me. It's good for guides, but the pricing just has to be reasonable. When a client goes white and says "how much!" as a statement not a question, the next question is what can you do to bring the price down. I always offer to remove certain components – like animations or complex graphics, explaining that these are very time intensive, so removing them will save them money – but usually they want to keep these bits – often they then get the idea of why it costs. With one regular client, the job involves writing a lot of new code for each project that enables his clients to download the material online, and I always send him the new code as an email for reference and backup. It is essentially comma separated variables, but because the client can see the work, the price is justified. 


      You cannot expect clients to understand the inner workings, so avoiding hours works so much better.  I sometimes do a price per job too, where I set a price for the entire thing, and the amount of time I take is irelevant. Some clients can't deal with open ended price structures, because they may find it runs away.


      Camera people do seem to get and maintain a sensible daily rate, and for editing I can't manage more than around £180-£240. Around here that's about the ceiling. 

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