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Greg Ball
Advice needed
on May 24, 2012 at 5:46:21 pm

Hi All

I'm working on a quote for a large project, and wanted to pick your brains on some numbers

We would be shooting 8 hours of someone teaching in front of a Green Screen. In editing, we would insert graphics that reinforce what he's teaching on the chromakey background.

We would break these down into 5 minute episodes. So for 8 hours, we would have about 96 five minute videos that we would compress for web use.

How may hours do you think it would take to edit 96 clips with minimal graphics? Any thoughts on how you would approach this?

Thanks so much for your help.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Advice needed
on May 24, 2012 at 6:10:20 pm

The sanest thing to do is live-switch everything, with graphics pre-prepared, then you only have very light editing to chop the thing into segments.

Second-sanest thing is, capture everything direct into the NLE from the camera(s) and IMO, cut the pieces first, then add the chromakeys last. You don't want to render anything that's not going to be in the final programs.


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Greg Ball
Re: Advice needed
on May 24, 2012 at 6:40:01 pm

Thanks Mark,

This would be a 1-camera shoot, and we wouldn't have the graphics ahead of time. So unfortunately it would be done the old fashioned way, Capture to cards, edit later. Edit all video clips then add the chroma key backgrounds and graphics. How much time would you estimate for this?



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Mark Suszko
Re: Advice needed
on May 24, 2012 at 10:19:10 pm

96 five-minute takes, assuming single takes and no do-overs in recording, bill day rate for the eight hours. Scrupulously log each shot as you record. Lock the iris once and leave it for the day. Use a hardwired mic and a decent sound man.

Log and rough cut one segment, if audio is perfect: 15 minutes. I base this on a formula that served me in the linear VHS tape editing days; for something this simple, adding dissolves on the ends and a title super, takes between 2x and 3x the final run time of the segment in editing time. This is just covering simple edits like a blown word or a cough, from a second take that follows it immediately, things like that. Yes, a person could edit this faster. I could edit a really simple one of these in about 1.5 times the final ruin length, but it wouldnt show much craft or care, just a basic $7 haircut.... But to keep up that pace over nearly 100 segments without breaks is asking for trouble.

Apply the chromakey, add an uncomplicated background, and one simple premade graphic, assuming the graphic is perfect already and the green is perfectly lit and all takes are consistently lit, so once you get the first one tweaked, you can just drag and drop the settings on the rest: 5-10 minutes.

Render: unknown, I've seen anywhere from from 5 minutes to 90 minutes, very dependent on settings and hardware. For estimate purposes, figure you batch render them all at once at the end, 10 minutes each.

You can do the math from there, in terms of hours. Add in human factors: breaks, lunches, etc.

Add a markup of about five percent in terms of hours, in anticipation of tech problems/delays.

That's a conservative guess, I think. Bill full day day rate, round-up half-days to full days.


Now, if this lecture guy is actually doing one 8-hour lecture, not 96 five-minute ones, throw my estimate away. Playing and listening to the lecture while deciding on the cuts and graphics is a different process with a differnt tempo. ALso, any audio "sweetening" or repair is going to jack upthe rates a lot, as is reformatting graphics that are not already perfect. And if you are expecting the editor to *build* each graphic on the fly, based on the speaker's words, triple the estimate at least.


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Greg Ball
Re: Advice needed
on May 25, 2012 at 12:55:23 am

Thanks much Mark.



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Mike Smith
Re: Advice needed
on May 28, 2012 at 8:58:32 am

Whatever you think, and double it, add a contingency, and consider the client relationship: how much time and input do you think he or she is going to want?

Perhaps an approach to consider would be to go onto a per-hour rate, and give a time estimate spelling out all of your assumptions, with the rider that if those assumptions don't hold then the time and cost needs might change.

If you give an all-in fixed fee on an open-ended, unclear job spec then trouble may be ahead.


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