What should I charge?

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    • #95055

      Hello! I was recently asked to edit a video for a non profit organization to promote one of their international internship. They asked me to estimate how much I would charge for the whole project.

      The video will be approximately 20 minutes and will feature 8 interviews. I will be given all the visual for the interview. I don’t think there will be any complex editing, probably cropping, adding texts, minor coloration, etc. Also, I will have to add subtitles in english and french since the original audio will be in spanish.

      I’m a student and I only did 30 seconds commercials for small businesses. It’s the first time I do a 20 minutes video and I know non profit organization don’t have huge budgets. I have no idea how much to charge for this video. I need to send them the answer by Wednesday, July 19.

      Thank you in advance!

    • #215846

      20 minutes running time – so without the subtitles maybe what? a days editing, if things are not too complex, the subtitles thing concerns me if I were doing it. Who is translating? Is the translation supplied as a script? 20 minutes of interview with subtitles – typed a line at a time, then manipulated would probably take me a couple of days.

      So – probably three genuine days work. How much do you work for? Where you are sets the scale too – Here in the UK, this would mean £660 plus VAT for the 3 days – but I’d want the translation quantity and amount very clearly itemised so that if the quantity of dialogue means unexpected subtitle work,I can increase the price to cater for it.

      If you are a student – one train of thought says that if you are inexperienced and a bit green, you should charge less than an experienced person – BUT – it will take you longer than me I suspect, so it’s down to what you feel your time is worth. Many organisations will deliberately use students, expecting a cheap price (but always an excellent product). I doubt both are possible. Do NOT do it for silly money – even if you want the experience it’s exploitation – It’s a far more skilled jo than working in McDonalds – so use McDonalds as a price guide – what would they pay for you to serve fries for the same time? This is your minimum ‘worth’ – pitch between this and my rate. If they want you – they will pay, if they baulk at the price, did they really want you or just the job doing cheaply? When I started off – I charged what I thought was fair money – not cheap but not expensive, but I gave them extras for free. I expect the job to take two days, and it’s £X – but if it stretches to 3 days, I won’t charge any extra – or I’d offer them a full price deal with a 25% discount on future jobs within a year. Make sure that any music charges are detailed too, and they understand why they have to pay them. If there is music involved, offer them the option to deal direct with PRS, or your countries licensing agency, or you can add this to your invoice to save them the trouble – that sounds helpful too. They will usually get you to do it, and you can inflate the cost a little to cover your time and effort. Offer them a special price for transfers – if they want the product on different formats – then if this takes you an hour – charge them!

    • #215848

      Your “job” has more red flags flying around it than Disney World! Do not, under any circumstances, agree to do this work for a firm fee. There are far to many variables to do this successfully: editing material you didn’t shoot and have never seen before; the French and English translation subtitles; cleaning up the audio; color correction if necessary. The list goes on and on. Keep in mind that a 20 minute finished piece might require only four or five hours to complete or could take a week or more; it all depends on how much tinkering you have to do to make it look good and you can’t predict that.

      Far better to estimate how long you think this will take — as Paulears suggests, perhaps two or three working days — make it absolutely clear that this is an estimate only, that it may take longer or less — and give them your per-hour charge. If I were a student with a bit of experience I would charge at least $25 per hour. Where I live that would be only $10 an hour over minimum wage and as an experienced student I believe I’m worth more than minimum. An experienced free lance professional editor here can make $75 to $100 an hour or more, to put this in perspective.

      The fact that this is a non-profit company is irrelevant, unless you want to do the job for charity. Non-profits pay their administrative and public relations costs just like any other business. You might choose to do your work pro bono because you believe in the work the non-profit is doing, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that because it’s non-profit the organization can’t pay for work done.

      Part of being, or becoming, a professional is being willing to turn down a job that doesn’t meet your requirements. If this non-profit chooses not to meet your terms walk away from it, knowing that you’ve taken the first step on the road toward professionalism.

      Good luck.

    • #216294

      thanks for such a nice suggestion

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