I was just wondering if there is anywhere I can ask to get ideas of prices to quote for a DVD. Basically someone wants me to make an interactive training DVD for their company, theyll give me the footage and I have to make the menus that it goes in. If I say it will take 1 week to do, what kind of amount is reasonable do you think?
The glib answer is to multiply your hourly rate. But I just ran into a project where the client and I miscommunicated about the scope of the DVD part of a big editing job, with the result that I spent about twice as long on the DVD authoring than he had any intention of paying. So I have just "gotten religion" about becoming more businesslike.
Obviously, the amount of time that it takes to author a DVD can range from a few minutes to many hours (days/weeks), and for all but the simplest project, it can be hard to predict how much time it SHOULD take. Even deciding on (or designing) a button can take anywhere from no time at all to lots of time.
I assume that most of you simply give an hourly rate, and get some guidance from the client as to how many hours they can afford. Is that true?
Having said that, I'd be curious as to some benchmarks for how long it takes to author a typical DVD, say with five menus, one language, all basic graphics provided, and what clients are used to paying.
Also, I would appreciate some feedback on a related topic:
I am about to venture onto some more-sophisticated authoring. I'm willing to spend my own time to learn before I start applying it to paying jobs, but inevitably the first project on which I use this new knowledge will take longer than it should. Typically, I don't charge for this extra time, or for the additional software I've acquired -- it's just been a cost of staying competitive with the rest of you folks. But I'm beginning to wonder about this. After all, when a computer programmer works on something new, does he discount his time just because it's taking him longer than if he had already done it? When a client stretches you, do you charge him for every hour you spend?