“We use to spend millions


“We use to spend millions on those linear suites and can spend 5 figures
on a top notch edit suite today. Same with production.”


I did a still/video aerial shoot of a carrier group once. Not including flight planning, prep time and flight briefing the gig took about two hours. One of the dignitaries that went on the flight asked me about how much it cost to do that and without blinking I said, “$20 million.” Now my end didn’t cost anywhere near that (I wish!), but when you calculate everything it took to get all those ships and aircraft all working in concert for two hours, plus what it took to get the film crew out there, that’s actually a low-ball estimate.

The point of that is; Ammy’s think that all it takes is a camera to make ‘videos’. They are dead wrong. When a client pays for a production be it a one or multi-person crew ‘all that money’ goes to pay for everything that makes it possible for that crew to shoot and finish their project. Like you said, ‘one job can pay for a camera’. Year before last, one job paid for my company’s complete upgrade to HD. My client still paid only a ‘fraction’ of what it would have cost from a bigger outfit (though now I’m getting ‘lowballed’ by $10mil a year outfits.)

What the client pays for is the pro’s expertise and time. You want your production to be ‘high quality’? Be prepared to pay for it. You’re also right in that with today’s gear, in the hands of an expert a quality production shouldn’t cost anywhere near what it used to. But you are not getting ‘quality’ for $300 -$500! That is unless the producer’s a friend of yours and he/she cuts you a quid pro quo deal.

One thing I love but would never let a client see is the feeling of satisfaction when someone comes to me and desperately wants me to ‘polish’ their $300 turd into a ‘quality production’.

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