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Average cost of shooting + editing dance recital

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Robert ObergAverage cost of shooting + editing dance recital
by on Nov 4, 2014 at 7:14:12 pm

I have been doing wedding filmmaking for some years. Our work is editing heavy and I already have figured out rates for that - including hourly rates, cost of doing business, etc. Recently I was contacted by a children's dance school and they asked me for a quote on shooting and editing a recital. The project, from my side, is very simple (compared to my wedding business). They are asking to shoot two recitals (1.5 hours each) with 3 cameras, a DVD menu, and round of revisions.

They will handle distribution, the rights for the music, etc.

I know editing (syncing and doing a multi cam) won't take much more than a day (probably less). The DVD authoring will be fast as well. I really would like to know if anyone has some experience on similar jobs, and what is the average charged for it. As they are handling distribution and selling of the DVDs they may recover their expenses, but I don't want to go way overhead with my quote.

Any help is appreciated. Thank you!

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Mark SuszkoRe: Average cost of shooting + editing dance recital
by on Nov 5, 2014 at 5:00:22 pm

If they are doing their sales and collections for you, get all your money up front. Seriously. At the very least, get all your expenses up front. Alternately, have a clause that you don't roll tape unless and until they show they have x number of pre-orders confirmed.

I suggest you budget to shoot a dress rehearsal or two on top of the full performance. It's extra editing insurance, offering the ability to place cameras where they could never go on show day, and gives you more practice on the cameras for the actual show.

Have you addressed the question of the rights to the music? Getting clearances is a major effort and expense.

After all that, if you know your hours to be spent, it should be as simple as hours times your already-established rate. Don't focus on what some arbitrary "average" is for the cost - make it pay your costs, plus the markup you're happy with. If you budgeted right and fairly, anybody that undercuts you could only deliver an inferior product anyway.

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Robert ObergRe: Average cost of shooting + editing dance recital
by on Nov 8, 2014 at 7:53:55 pm

Thank you for your advice. I have mentioned about music rights to them, hoping to hear back to see what they decide on it. Since I am not handling distribution - and I will not be using this online for my own portfolio, then I believe it's more of an issue that the dance school will have to deal with.

I appreciate the feedback!

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Mark SuszkoRe: Average cost of shooting + editing dance recital
by on Nov 8, 2014 at 8:29:33 pm

Don't ever assume you're safe from suits regarding music rights. It may be improbable, but it's a non-zero probability, and if there's a chance, think about what you stand to lose.

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