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$ Rate per minute but POST-PROD ONLY

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Pat Tremblay$ Rate per minute but POST-PROD ONLY
by on Mar 28, 2011 at 9:38:38 pm

Hi,

Been wondering how much individuals/prod companies charge in general when they are asked to do the post-production only.

I've seen posts mentioning rates, but only per finished minute, which are, if these numbers are not outdated, going from 1500$ to 3500$.

Knowing that often if not mostly, the money goes into the production cost itself, has anyone an idea what percentage of the rate that department should be evaluated for? (digitizing, motion graphics, titling, subtitles (if needed), editing, music, rendering, etc).

Thanks!

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Cory PetkovsekRe: $ Rate per minute but POST-PROD ONLY
by on Mar 29, 2011 at 3:38:34 am

My guess is that you haven't done any hired post production work and you are wondering what to charge?

You list several items (digitizing, motion graphics, titling, subtitles (if needed), editing, music, rendering), but are you familiar with how long it will take you to do any of those items? Figure that out, then base it off an hourly rate. Then you'll have a fee proportionately based on the amount of work. Then adjust it per project within client expectations; no one wants to pay you hourly to learn.

A per finished minute rate is meaningless. Watch 5 minutes of TV and you might see a couple of static shots and simple edits, or you might see 200 shots of motion graphics, heavily color manipulated imagery, 3d work, music, sound design and more.

Cory

--
Cory Petkovsek
Corporate Video


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Pat TremblayRe: $ Rate per minute but POST-PROD ONLY
by on Mar 29, 2011 at 4:18:08 am

Hi!

Thanks for the reply.

Actually I've done a bunch of those already, but I've been wondering if I'm actually charging "standard industry prices" since I never went through the ~system~ and always based myself on what time it takes me. Thing is, I believe I'm rather fast and efficient, leaving me with less than I should if charging on an hourly rate... Or sometimes actually even wondering if I'm asking for too much and fearing I could loose future contracts with other companies who are more "aware" of the business.

"A per finished minute rate is meaningless" I hear you loud and clear and totally get the picture on this one. I guess I was trying to ask for a price range.

So, on a "typical" corporate video(I know it's vague, but something akin to let's say 2 camera interviews, picture and archive footage inserts, motion graphic intro and transitions, creds, other titling and music (composed, not library), all with no explicit "wild" action-style stuff, just sober & simple) what approximate price one could charge from cheapest to most expensive?

If this is still too abstract, and I can easily understand why, maybe you could tell me approximately what percentage of the whole production budget is spent on a once again, classic/average vid for post prod... I.E. if they tell me they are spend X amount on the prod budget, I could have a better idea of what could be charged proportionally in that dept.

Thanks once more!

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Scott CarnegieRe: $ Rate per minute but POST-PROD ONLY
by on Mar 29, 2011 at 2:12:30 pm

$350/day for the editor $150/day for the edit suite.

This is what I charge for corporate clients. The edit suite is a custom-built Avid Media Composer.

http://www.MediaCircus.TV
Media Production Services
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


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Chris TompkinsRe: $ Rate per minute but POST-PROD ONLY
by on Mar 29, 2011 at 4:03:14 pm

Typical edit suites pricing can run $100-$400 and hour with operator.
Or $1000 flat day rate.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Pat TremblayRe: $ Rate per minute but POST-PROD ONLY
by on Mar 29, 2011 at 4:23:58 pm

Good to now. But I'm wondering what people consider "editing suites" these days. When everything can hold into one computer... Or are we talking about the same thing, but on a software level?

I'm under the impression though, that these numbers don't necessarily include the motion graphics and music compositions fees, am I wrong?

Thanks!!!

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Chris TompkinsRe: $ Rate per minute but POST-PROD ONLY
by on Mar 29, 2011 at 4:48:18 pm

We do everything on one box here. So, ya that price included the grfx work.

That does not include the music trax. We use several music libraries and pay a needle drop fee per track used and bill the client as such.

It does not include; Voice talent, custom music score, sound design (other then basic good editing).

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Cory PetkovsekRe: $ Rate per minute but POST-PROD ONLY
by on Mar 29, 2011 at 8:21:33 pm

>> 2 camera interviews, picture and archive footage inserts
That's like 1-2 hours of editing.

>> motion graphic intro and transitions
What does this mean? You click on a plugin/effect and add it, or you model and render some crazy 3d motion graphics, or somewhere in between. $0 to $4000+

>> creds, other titling
Basic text or motion graphics text? I'd probably do some nice animated text in AE, so a few hours for it.

>> music (composed, not library)
I don't compose music, so I'd quote from a composer.

"Standard Industry Prices" don't really exist. Only market prices do. They are localized. They are also dependent upon a huge variety of factors including talent/portfolio, name and equipment depending on what service is being provided. A good rule of thumb is to price according to the value to the client.

As a producer, I don't charge clients hourly rates. We spec out a job and I quote them that. It is based on an hourly rate, but has all resources, effort and padding built in and is tailored to my local market and that specific client. If I'm hired to shoot only, I'll charge a day rate. As a motion graphics artist working for another producer or client, I might charge an hourly or day rate. Basically when I can scope out the project they get a fixed price; if they don't know what they want or they want me to experiment, they get an hourly/daily price.

There are no proportions, everything is specific to each individual project. I don't know what a "classic/average" video is, as every job is different, on average. One average corporate job might mean a couple hours of shooting and a hundred hours of post. Another average corporate job might mean a whole day of shooting and no post, or no shooting and a few hours of post. I've done all of those and more.

Cory

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Cory Petkovsek
Corporate Video


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Pat TremblayRe: $ Rate per minute but POST-PROD ONLY
by on Mar 29, 2011 at 8:47:10 pm

Thanks for your insight Cory!

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Mark SuszkoRe: $ Rate per minute but POST-PROD ONLY
by on Mar 29, 2011 at 10:08:09 pm

He's got it right: every job is a custom job,even rote ones all have little differences, this is not something you can commoditize like buying reams of copy paper.

The real variable of importance is the TIME spent, regardless of the specific functions. What amount of TIME needs to be invested to produce the desired quality level? If a quick typed-in and centered title is enough, that may take two minutes. To make something nice with animation efects, 2-d or 3-d CGI, now you may need rendering time, it could eat up an hour or even a day, depending how complex it is.
This is why everybody bills using a day rate, based on an hourly rate. The day rate is the buffet: you can get all you can eat of any technical and artistic discipline: graphics, color correction, sound effects, music, visual effects, compositing, encoding and compression, authoring, etc. in the proportions the assignment demands, for one basic hourly/day rate.

The big trick is, knowing how long the different kinds of work take, and this comes with experience. I'm going to be faster at some things then another guy, but slower than a different one. The particular demands of the job and the budget of the client drive the choices I make in the edit suite; I'm picking the methods and techniques that get me the best result for the least amount of time put in. After doing this enough, I can look over a project and make a pretty good guess at how many hours I need for capture/loading into the system, for doing a first pass for basic cuts and dissolves, for making lower thirds and adding some stock music tracks. The hours times the established rate equals an *estimate* of what it costs the client.

A red-hot rock-star editor with a hot rig could maybe do a certain job in fewer hours, but he charges more per hour, because he's worth it. A less-capable or less fancily-equipped editor could tackle the same job and maybe take five hours longer, but not charge as much per hour. They could end up costing the same. Will they look absolutely identical? Probably not, except in very broad ways. Really, it comes down to a result, and the question of is that result good enough, for the amount of money available to achieve it. That's what the client is looking for. So you make an estimate saying "I can deliver these specific items of performance, meet these technical standards, and I think the time I need to execute this is about x hours at z rate, with y amount of "fudge factor," plus or minus, for the unexpected... Is that aceptable to you?"


Our shop used a rule of thumb per-finished-minute rate back in the eighties, for one specific kind of bare-bones job, but any resemblance to that rate today would be total coincidence and NOT something you would want to base a buisness decision on. There are just way too many variables now in equipment, software, and talent level, to make a meaningful comparison.


Finally, do you know what your day rate is? Really? Have you taken everything possible into account? There are a lot of great posts about calculating day rate in the archives, it is worth it to browse them for additional insight. Keyword serach "day rate".


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Pat TremblayRe: $ Rate per minute but POST-PROD ONLY
by on Apr 1, 2011 at 8:56:59 pm

Great points, all of that makes sense. There alot of "DEPENDS", but there's no other real way to calculate. I do see that.

And I thank for the lengthy reply!

I tried to answer back for a few days but I couldn't log in for some reason... Better late than never!

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grinner hesterRe: $ Rate per minute but POST-PROD ONLY
by on Apr 3, 2011 at 5:58:15 pm

Because each minute can vary so much with effects, compositing, sound design, animation, ect., biller per finished minute died out in the 80s. Hourly rates for post houses vary from 600 to as little as 100 per hour depending on market, overhead, speed, and capabilities.



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Bill DavisRe: $ Rate per minute but POST-PROD ONLY
by on Apr 3, 2011 at 7:22:54 pm

Just to amplify the whole mess ...

Understand that metrics like cost "per finished minute" are best as AFTER THE FACT checks and balances.

It gives a producer a sense of whether they're working efficiently or are getting sloppy at controlling costs.

If you FLIP the metric around and try to make it PREDICTIVE - you're making a HUGE mistake, in my estimation.

This thinking is based on my first year in college where I decided (wrongly) that I was going to be a music major. I sat in my very first class and the instructor had us diagram an early composition by Palestrina. He pointed out such musical conventions as "leading tones" "Picardy fifths" and other bits of the common language of classical music breakdown and study. Sitting in that class, it struck me that no composer worth the name sits down and composes by saying to him or herself - "I think I'll insert a leading tone here" - They sit and assess SOUNDS. They strive for pleasing combinations of notes and chords and melody lines. They do not ANALYZE - but rather CREATE. Analysis comes AFTER the creation.

If you wish to create great videos, DO THAT. Create them. But understand that in that act of CREATION, there's NOTHING more destructive than trying to impose an arbitrary analysis in advance upon your work.

Yes, budgets matter. And you can't run a business or make a living without paying attention to them.

But they are NOT EVER to be confused with the actual task of creating work. One restricts, the other MUST be allowed to reign free.

When you're tempted to sit and do line item, budget, or yes PFM analysis - understand that you're in a DIFFERENT PLACE than the place where you make your videos. And none of the metrics will matter if you don't school yourself to do the REAL work of creation.

More than that, if you FOCUS on the metrics, you risk ROBBING yourself of the time to learn the real arts of creation.

It's a tough balance, because both are critical.

But I think THIS is important. Some people will inevitably turn out to be a bean counters who pretend to be creative. And some people will be creatives who pretend to be bean counters. BOTH are typical life paths. But I know WHICH I am called to be. And so I struggle with the beans mightily to serve my passion for creation.

It's who I am. And I try not to forget that, nor to be too harsh on myself (or others) in the face of that reality.

FWIW.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Conner


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Mike CohenRe: $ Rate per minute but POST-PROD ONLY
by on Apr 10, 2011 at 4:22:50 pm

Depends upon how your business operates.
We charge by the project. Sometimes if asked for an hourly rate we will suggest a flat fee. Usually we are asked for a price without any qualifier.
Know the scope before setting a price. And your rate is for the talent more than the gear.
Mike Cohen

Medical Education / Multimedia Producer


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Rich RubaschRe: $ Rate per minute but POST-PROD ONLY
by on May 2, 2011 at 1:20:21 am

All this being said, I still think that after several years cranking out every kind of video you should be able to look at the scope of a project and make a reasonable comparison to what it might take in a cost-per-finished-minute calculation. This would be based on length of video, kind of footage, demands of graphics compositing.

I do it all the time and we are darn close. The only thing no one mentioned as a variable, and the most important one, is what client you are working for. Some love what we do and we can predict that what we do right out of the gate will be great. Others take us round and round until we interpret what they wanted to see all along but had a hard time describing.

Those clients we add in considerable pad.

So we can calculate, based on type of post project, amount/type of graphics and client we are working with, quite accurately, how much a given project will cost per finished minute.

And, just to hone this ability even further, we calculate cost per finished minute after every project to see how we did.

Numbers are everything.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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John BaumchenRe: $ Rate per minute but POST-PROD ONLY
by on Jun 23, 2011 at 9:52:27 pm

I used to charge $95/hour, (in 2003). Didn't matter if it was shooting, writing, editing......it was $95/hr


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Jonathon BevanRe: $ Rate per minute but POST-PROD ONLY
by on Aug 7, 2014 at 6:09:35 pm

We have a video production calaculator http://www.evideobiz.com/quote.html that may answer some of your questions :)


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