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How Much should i be charging? Details inside.

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Neil Goodman
How Much should i be charging? Details inside.
on Oct 28, 2012 at 3:29:05 am

Im working with a photgrapher who does high end fashion stuff, for a few pretty big fashion companies, think ed hardy,ecko, etc.

They are now hiring him todo those cinemagraph gifs that popped up last year and ill be doing all post in after effects 5.5

i just tought myself how to do these and its basically just alot of subtractive masking, although the first one tried, the loop was 43 frames long, and needed 4 diffrent masks and as you already know, thats alot of tediuos frame by frame masking.

Me being somewhat new to After Effects, especially new to charging for freelance work with it, i dont know where to start with pricing. Any help or insight would be awesome. These companies have decent budgets and i dont want to short myself, but im also pretty humble in my AE work so i know i cant exactly charge the same price as someone with tons and tons of exp.

Neil Goodman: Editor of New Media Production - NBC/Universal

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Tom Masters
Re: How Much should i be charging? Details inside.
on Oct 28, 2012 at 6:23:21 pm

Since you probably are not sure how much time you will spend on this, due to the execution, your skill level, and the type of client, I would strongly recommend charging an hourly rate, or day rate, rather than a project rate. This way, no one gets screwed.

Be clear before you begin about your rate and estimated time it will take you.
If it takes you beyond what you estimate, be prepared to eat this cost.
Get this discussion in emails, not voice.

If you are NBC/Uni you are probably in LA or NYC.
Rates for AE artists in these markets roughly range from $25/hr for very junior, to $100/hr for master. (but at $100/hr you are probably adding app skills like CG, advanced tracking, maybe flame, smoke etc.) You sound like you might be on the lower end of this scale.

Other factors:
Is it your gear, or the clients gear.
What is the turnaround. Tighter deadline, the rate goes up.

Rules of thumb:
Charge what you can get. Without losing the work, or pissing anyone off. Sometimes this is trickier than doing the job itself.
If you don't hear a grumble or a haggle about your price, you probably didn't shoot high enough.
If you do this right, your client, and you should BOTH be happy, not just one of you.

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