Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › To Buy or Rent? That’s a good question…. › That’s totaly true !!! And it
That's totaly true !!! And it's getting even worse day by day, now clients want 4K projets for less than 1 000 euros per day, it's insane ! And they find people who are ready to give them that for that amount …
I take my personnal exemple. I'm a french based Director and DP, I have my own production company . With my rent, food, phone bill, internet bill, my total expend for a year are 36 000 euros. But you have to take into account taxes here in France that are just enormous, so enormous that to get my 36 000 euros, my salary will cost in total to my company 96 000 euros, this is insane ! (and this is why I want to move from France, I'll be glad to ear how much 36 000 euros salary cost in other countries..)
So I have to get 96 000 euros just for me. Because there's not a lot of work, I'm guessing I will work 120 days a year, so I have to make 96 000 euros in 120 days, wich means my rate per day is 800 euros.
So, for a basic video (1 to 4 minutes) I will have to work 3 days (preparation, shooting and post-production) wich will cost to the client 2 400 euros (wich is already above their budget…) and then I will have to take into account the music (from a licensing from The Music Bed), transportation and food (yeah at least client could pay my food when I work, it's the minimum no) so let's say 150 euros for the music, 200 euros for transportation and 100 euros for 3 days lunchs.
So it's a total of 2 850 euros VAT and that's without the gear if you want to rent it, so if you also need to put the cost of renting gear over that, you will never get clients in today's economy, it's impossible, people want less than 3 000 euros budget here for 3 days shooting (oh and of course I'm alone here, don't even think to bring a crew now….)
This is why owning gear is better than renting, of course you could say that I could work more than 120 days, I wish I could but it's not possible, there's not enough demand, and I'm getting pretty well compared to my fellows collegues that struggles to get 800 to 1200 euros per months….
Remember, in 2014, people want "Shot on Alexa/Red Epic/Sony F55 projects for less than 3 000 euros and even less" it's today's economy..it's sad…but It's what it is, so you are perfectly right when you say that renting cut off on our margin.
And of course, final piece of cake, when you own your equipment, don't even try to charge it to your client, remember the goal is to get the maximum for your personnal fees.
If for example you buy an Red Epic or a F55, you won't have to change it for the next decade, let's bet serious here, you really think that in 3 or 4 years people will be able to watch 4K at home ? Let me rephrase it, do you really think that people will be able to watch 16 BITS 4K at home ? All of our monitors can only show 10 bit depth, that's why bit depth is more important than resolution, it's better to work on a HD image with 16 bits depth than 4K with only 8 bits, so if you buy a red epic or a f55, you will have a futurproof camera because they are 4K or above and most of all they give a 16 bit image.