Galin, Your estimated rate



Your estimated rate should take into account:

Estimated production hours based on a 10-hour workday (1-hour setup, 8-hours work, 1-hour breakdown.) You also want to take into account how much traveling you may be required to do. If it exceeds 20 miles a day, you should look at charging for mileage. Don’t forget to take into account the equipment you’ll be bringing. The gear you use has to pay for itself so that $50 Cville mentioned is actually split between you and the gear. So if you are going to take pay, you get $25 and hour and the gear gets $25 an hour. I say that because whether you are a freelancer or have a company, the company has to be paid too. Now you can also charge ‘half day’ rates based on a 6-hour time period (1-hour setup, 4-hour work period, 1-hour breakdown.)

Estimated post-production hours based on an 8 hour day. Again you the editor must be paid and your equipment/software usage costs must be paid as well. It still costs you money to use editing gear whether you own it or not so you’ll again be splitting your fee between yourself and your gear.

Now the tough part is figuring out a fair price to cover your time and expenses without being greedy and pricing yourself out of the gig. One thing you have to get a grip on is production costs money, but your clients generally have no clue about that. They know to make a Hollywood production costs big bucks, but most figure all you need is an ‘Uncle Bob’ special digital camera and expect huge production values for next to nothing.

To get a good idea of a baseline rate to charge, go to your state gov website and look up base wages under television/film/video production. That will give you the going rate in your state and you can base your calculations on that. When setting your pricing, don’t go with arbitrary numbers. Figure out exactly how much it costs you to operate and adjust your estimates accordingly.

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