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How much time to produce quality broadcast project by the minute today...

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David Andrews
How much time to produce quality broadcast project by the minute today...
on Apr 24, 2009 at 2:57:05 pm

I need some information. Several years ago there was information that was useful regarding the amount of time it took per finished minute to produce a broadcast quality production. I believe it was $1,500 per minute. Also, the amount of time per minute to do it (round figure ). Working at a University with many people not familiar with all of the nuances of production needed to put a high quality program together means I am constantly trying to explain just what it takes. Today of course we would need to throw in compositing, DVD authoring and complicated encoding and delivery. Are there any such figures and stats that could be helpful to explain to people.... who .... Just need a video done...what it take to do a finished minute. I could really use it especially from a source that has some validity to it.



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grinner hester
Re: How much time to produce quality broadcast project by the minute today...
on Apr 24, 2009 at 9:22:29 pm

naaa. How long it takes or how much it takes to make a finished minute totally depends on the minute being finished. If it's a long cut, man that can be doen in a minute. If it's an effects intensive wiz banger it can easily take weeks. The how much per finished minute thing is old school thinking that came from linear suites and flat beds. It in no way applies to how video is created today.
If you keep it simple with an hourly rate, that finished minute can revolve around budget.



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Mark Suszko
Re: How much time to produce quality broadcast project by the minute today...
on Apr 25, 2009 at 12:19:54 am

Right on Grinner, preach it! And to put it in car terms, what's the difference between a Maybach and a Kia? They both get you across town in heavy traffic about the same speed. The difference is all in the details, and each job is a custom job.

I had a boss in the eighties that threw around a rule-of-thumb figure of a grand per finished minute, with general success, but over the years I've come to believe that the reason it was a relatively close estimate *for us* was that the underlying criteria it was based on were EXCEPTIONALLY NARROW. I.e. it would not apply equally to anybody else's work product but our own, and that, only within strict limitations of time, manpower, certain equipment used and an average of one day's editing figured in.

That was in the days where everybody shot with umatic or betaSP, mastered to one-inch in an A-B roll linear edit suite, with limited graphics and special effects, and not a lot of added-value things like foley or audio sweetening, just Chyron VP2 CG text and DeWolfe needle-drop music, (using real needles and turntables!) done and out to VHS dubs...

Today, you have so much more power available at a fraction of the relative cost of those eighties rigs, it's not even funny. But the fact of NLE usage is, the extra power and flexibility can make you work faster, but just as often, you wind up not much faster than a linear edit, because you spend the extra available time trying a lot of variations and alternatives you'd never have time to entertain under deadlines in the bad old linear tape days. Overall then, you're not much faster, but objectively better. And that's worth charging for.

And that's why if you say a thousand-per-finished minute today, or NAy hard figure of that sort, unless you add all the tiny legal double-talk at the bottom of the screen that says exactly what you do and don't do for that amount, your kilobuck-minute figure will wind up being over or under the real amount.

Neither of thsoe is good, you are either leaving money on the table under-charging, or possibly pricing yourself out of business. A hard number rule like you propose ignores a lot of the key factors in cost and commoditizes something that should not, cannot accurately be commoditized, IMO.

When the minutes don't add up as you predicted, because every job has unique nuances, the client will start to think your'e a liar or incompetent.

Rules of thumb like this become a Chinese Finger Puzzle; don't do it.


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David Andrews
Re: How much time to produce quality broadcast project by the minute today...
on Apr 25, 2009 at 1:48:20 am

You are all very right. I have been producer, director, Photographer, editor, compositor, music producer, I do voiceovers and on camera talent, heck I can sing and dance too..really. I could go on and on... After expaining what is it we really do... some people actually look at me like I am nuts. and do not beleive it. In additon to all the creative work I have to be some kind of wizard fixing my own computers. The real sad truth is that we spend a majority of our time just trying to keep computers from crashing. and when they are working I have very little time to create what I would want. It is a nightmare trying to explain to my purchasing department and IT department why we need it and what we use it for..geez,it is all gotten out of hand . How is it the medical field doesn't have the same problem? I can assure you, I have pulled off a few miracles around here through the years. I do love what I do but I have to admit it..it gets extremely frustrating trying to explain to people we are not utube. This has been compounded by shooting in Hi Def, I think I created my own monster here to be honest with you..what was I thinking ..I tell my student workers if they don't seperate the quality of thier work to be better they will be replaced. Thanks for letting me vent. Here is to all of you out there who have been in this industry who spend endless hours away from your families because you believe in doing it the right way no matter what. You are all amazing people.



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