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Storyboard cost

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Scott Whitney
Storyboard cost
on Jul 31, 2008 at 8:29:16 pm

Hello all,

We received an inquiry to prepare a proposal to produce some national PSA's. We were requested to include storyboard costs as well in the budget. I've made the necessary calls around town (Central Florida market) to check on pricing. These spots although shot in HD will be fairly simple, nothing too complex. The best price I've encountered so far runs about $500/day, usually getting around 15 B&W frames done in the day. Does that sound fair? If not, what would you expect to be fair for a 60 second ad? We'd be producing three of them.

Thank you,
Scott



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Mark Suszko
Re: Storyboard cost
on Aug 5, 2008 at 7:04:02 pm

That's roughly $30 for each drawing. Sounds okay to me, but you can always find it cheaper in a place like Florida, particularly near Orlando, that's heavy on under-employed artists and related craftspersons.

My question would be: are these hand-drawn, are they simple cartoon sketches, photoshopped semi-comps, or are they highly customized pre-vis, using shots of the actual sets and locations and products, keyed to specific camera directions, lines of script, illustrating specific camera moves, with the scenes framed and composed using specific lens widths and etc.? Done in Sketch-up, Poser, or one of the custom, purpose-designed storyboarding software programs? Is it accurate enough that a director could use it for a blueprint to place his dolly track and light grids? Then $33 sounds cheap indeed. For stick figures with little detail in a generic background... maybe not so much...


$33 per shot could be a little over, or way under, depending on what level of completeness and accuracy you are getting per frame. In any case, artists have expenses and add-on costs they need to build into their rates, so I don't think it is ever going to be as cheap as you "think" it should. The issue should be how much use you're getting out of each frame drawn or rendered. Will they save you money by accurately showing and predicting all the angles and setups? Will they save the client money by showing exactly what they will be paying for, helping them avoid costly re-dos later?

But "cheap" is relative; if it lands you a million-dollar account, it's probably DIRT cheap, right?


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Scott Whitney
Re: Storyboard cost
on Aug 6, 2008 at 6:40:03 pm

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your reply. I see this as pretty basic, black & white hand drawn sketches but still professionally done so that we can see how the spot progresses from shot to shot..keeping true naturally to composition and axis lines. $33 a sketch would sound pretty cheap if it incorporated some of the qualities that you mentioned.

I'm never looking for what's cheapest, basically what's most fair and what will serve our production and the client in the best manner. Not having done much storyboarding work or pricing out those services before, I just wanted to get a sense of what this forum thought might be average.

Thank you,
Scott

Scott Whitney
Bright Circle, Inc.
"We put the Idea in Media"
swhitney@brightcircleinc.com


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