I think you’re under valui


I think you’re under valuing your work, especially if, as you say, you’ve been around the process for 25 years.

The most troublesome aspect of your post is the statement “As istypical, the client doesn’t really know what they want.” This sends up all sorts of red flags. I’d sure make certain that at the very least you and the client agree on a scenario and shot list before you begin shooting.

Our day rate for a single camera shoot is $750; half day at $400. Or $250 for setup, tear down and two hours shooting and $80-100 per hour after that, depending on the nature of the shoot. If we have to add an audio tech to the shoot, which we often do, we charge $160 per hour to cover our charges, his hourly rate and the rental of his audio gear. Add a grip, gaffer or script person and we bump that up anywhere from $50-75 per hour more.

Like Earl, we charge $50 per hour for consultation, $75 an hour if we’re creating a script for approval or working up storyboards.

Equipment rentals and material costs are billed at actual cost plus 20%, which covers time spent in arranging for the rental and picking up and returning at completion of shoot.

Editing is at $75 per hour, and I wouldn’t go a nickle below that. I think you’re underestimating the amount of time it will take to put this project together, too. You’re going to have several hours of recordings to deal and probably multiple takes, with which will require both video and audio editing, plus the addition of titles and subtitles and music. Finally, you’re going to have to create DVD menus and artwork and burn to disc.

The approach that our company takes to post production costs is to give the client an estimate for editing, with the clear understanding that the actual time could be as much as 25-50% more, even more if the client begins making major changes. Not uncommonly we’ll estimate a figure — lets say 8 hours at $75/hour: $600. The client will say “O.K., but not more than $1000. Let us know when you reach $600 and we’ll see where we go from there.”

The only thing we have in life to sell is our time and expertise. Don’t give it up cheap.

Good luck with your project.



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