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estimate pricing for corp video

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duffbeer911
estimate pricing for corp video
on Aug 19, 2005 at 4:54:35 am


Hi guys,
Normally I make 30sec TVCs....but I've been asked to quote on cutting a corporate video. I have no idea how much to quote, or even where to start with pricing. I know I need more info to get a better estimate, but some help here would be good before I make the call.

All I know so far is that they had a camera guy shooting for 5 days. P.S. It is a company that makes stone benchtops. I'm guessing the fotoage is pretty basic. Probably miniDV with no lighting or anything.

Where would you guys start - like if it was simply cutting together say a 10minute video, no special effects, maybe some simple titles.....are we talking AU$1000....AU$10,000. Like I have no idea.

I know the usual....work out an hourly rate and just charge them how long it will take....but this my first corp. I need a ballpark figure to work from.

Any help at all would be great....how much do you guys charge etc etc etc.

Cheers for the help



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Evolution
Re: estimate pricing for corp video
on Aug 19, 2005 at 2:30:43 pm

If the client isn't pushing the issue of overall price then you shouldn't either. Give them your hourly rate and keep track.
If you need a ballpark figure then get alot more info from the client as to content, length, use. Another big factor is their involvement. We have plenty of projects that take twice as long to complete because of the clients involvement.
Overall, aim high if you can, and if you end up low and working for $15 an hour you can chalk it up to experience gained.



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Charlie King
Re: estimate pricing for corp video
on Aug 19, 2005 at 3:08:46 pm

I answered in the business forum.

Charlie


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Mark Suszko
Re: estimate pricing for corp video
on Aug 19, 2005 at 3:20:59 pm

What's not clear in your post is are you only editing this, or are you going to in fact be the producer/writer/graphics/foley/music guy as well? Big difference there, mate. One assumes all the other organizational legwork has been done and approved, the other puts all that stuff on your plate, and you need to charge appropriately.

Is there in fact a script?

One of the typical horrendously painful assignments I get is stuff where people don't understand the process for making a successful production, they start by going out and randomly spraying the place with a camcorder, then drop that in my lap and ask me to make something out of it. No script, no outline, no brief on exactly what we're trying to communicate, what ideas and feelings we're supposed to create in an audience's mind, what indeed the audience *is*. This is especially true of "training" and "marketing" videos. Some clients have no idea how much advance work is supposed to go into making one of these, it's not just "shoot what happens in front of the camera and cut out the dull bits". They think TV is magic: you push a button and there it is.

Anyhow, if that sort of extra work is involved, do not under any circumstances offer a flat fee. Hourly rates for sure, bill three times: one up-front for the prep work, one at first rough cut, final at approved dub master.
Stipulate the number of "free" re-edits or changes, or the thing will never be done.


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duffbeer911
Re: estimate pricing for corp video
on Aug 20, 2005 at 1:04:11 am


ok, so if a client rang you up and said....

"I've got 2 hours of vision that my uncle shot for us. We want a ten minute video. About half will be the CEO talking to camera ,the other half will be shots of the showroom and the building process. The audio on the tape is fine, can you add some royalty free music. I'll send you a rough script but choice of shots is up to you. Can we have 3 DVD's with an option to purchase more. Can you give us an estimate of the cost?"

so....where would you go from there? $500...$10,000......$1,000,000.....

I don't know how many hours it will take me...because I haven't done one before. And I am happy to put more hours into it considering it is a learning experience.


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Mark Suszko
Re: estimate pricing for corp video
on Aug 20, 2005 at 1:46:22 pm

This is very much like a number of projects I work on monthly. If there are no suprises lurking, a straightforward execution in a news-like style is a one-day job, which you could bill at day rate. It would be a workmanlike effort, with a smattering of graphics work, music from a needle-drop library or generated via Sonicfire, garage band, or similar. If you just wanted to burn a DVD using a stand-alone machine like the panasonics, hourly rate for doing three copies one after the other. This is me, knowing my gear, knowing what I can do, and accepting the premise that the source material is complete, adequate, and not needing a lot of repair work or work-arounds. That's the biggest 'if".

An 'authored' DVD, something made with iDVD to have a little nicer menu on the front and chapter points, adds a day billed at day rate.

Since there's no way to tell just how much graphics work you will require, and how fancy you want to author the DVD, I'm at the limit of what I can recommend to you without seeing the materials. I could imagine though, adding a lot more eye candy and fancier graphics than a few lower thirds and some full-frame still titles, especially if it's advertising/marketing type stuff, where you want a slick look. That could add a day, maybe two.



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Nick B
Re: estimate pricing for corp video
on Aug 20, 2005 at 10:43:08 pm

I doubt you could do the edit in a day if the camera guy has 5 days worth of material, it will proberly take a day to digitise the footage.

My guestimate would be to quote for a week of editing, so charge at least what the camera guy got, or charge your normal high pro weekly rate.

Ask the client what they had budgeted for editing and what the total budget for the project is apply the 1/3rd rule, ie 1/3rd production fee 1/3rd shoot, 1/3rd post production.

The client must have a budget before anything happens i would refuse any corporate work were the client did not have a proper budget worked out before work started, they would not do work in their chosen field if their clints didnt agree budgets .


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Mark Suszko
Re: estimate pricing for corp video
on Aug 21, 2005 at 12:28:54 am


Nick, sorry you misunderstood, I was responding to Duffbeer's later hypotheical question, I thought that was obvious because my answer came immediately after his question, which was:


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
"ok, so if a client rang you up and said....
"I've got 2 HOURS of vision that my uncle shot for us. We want a ten minute video. About half will be the CEO talking to camera ,the other half will be shots of the showroom and the building process. The audio on the tape is fine, can you add some royalty free music. I'll send you a rough script but choice of shots is up to you. Can we have 3 DVD's with an option to purchase more. Can you give us an estimate of the cost?"
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

To which I answered "a day", for a workmanlike, news-like edit. If you read my post closely you will notice more qualifiers in my statement. I do *this* kind of job (2 hours of basic stuff collapsed into a few minutes that make some sort of sense) on a weekly basis, have been editing for 19 years plus now, and yes, I can do that kind of job in a day. it won't be really fancy, it will be "acceptible", the client will express that they are pleased with it, even if I don't like it.

It will be about as good as the footage and audio that was supplied. Not Emmy quality perhaps, but something that will do the job. Assuming the footage was watched and logged by him before starting the edit, a guy who can't select out 10 good minutes from 2 hours of raw stuff in 8 hours is, well... I'll say inefficient. ;-) I have made good PSA/commercials with 4 hours and no more script than a stick figure drawing on a bar napkin, and I have worked with professional producers that spent a month of prep and logging, and agonizing over boards and a REAL SCRIPT before they even walked into the edit bay. The amount of preparation and autonomy/decision making ability you are given make all the difference in these situations.

I think Coppola and Murch on Apocalypse Now, despite their genius, must have been the most inefficient team ever: in his book Murch explains that they were lucky to make and KEEP only ONE cut PER DAY. One splice decision! He had good excuses: multiple camera shots for one. They had to screen all the camera rolls for each shot, synch them up, make a decision, make the splice, watch the take, gauge the effect, then either change, keep, or modify the decision. Then they watched it in context with all the previous cuts, and again the next day afer the following cut, they might go back and revise it again... Bozhe Moi! In government and corporate work, you just don't get that kind of luxury. You have to move ahead and be efficient.

You're right that I can't cut five days worth of footage in a day, but that's not what we were talking about at the moment.

Here's the thing; the better prepared you are and the better prepared the project is, the faster everything can go. You bring me an uncomplicated script with time codes for the best takes all pre-selected, little or no image correction to be done, I don't care how many days shooting it was, soon as the footage is loaded I can slap those takes into a rough assembly as fast as I can type in the code numbers or drag the clips across a bin into the timeline. The skeleton of the video is there, we then flesh it out.

The two-hour hypothetical footage he mentioned probably has 30 minutes of bad takes of the CEO before he hit his stride, (based on my experience) so if we know his good stuff was all all in the last three takes, we can skip ahead and just digitize those and fix the breaks to clean him up. Grabbing b-roll can be done quickly by scrubbing thru the files or consulting a log sheet to get you in the neighborhood. Then it's graphics and sound tweaking, etc left to do.

It takes longer to finesse and trim the final ins and outs, add L-cuts for audio, cutaways and b-roll and title screens, but that is *real* editing work, theoretically the aesthetic and "craft" decisions are most of what we're being paid to bring to the work, not so much just butt-splicing all the good takes together with star wipes between them (Simpson's reference). Indeed, microsoft I think it was, last year was offering some software that would automatically ingest a consumer home movie, make cuts based on scene detection info and completely assemble a "music video", cut "to the beat" hands-off.

Of course you know what the output looked like.;-)


Clients have no idea about most of or any of this, they just put money in and expect a product out.
That is why your answer to "how much" has to be a whole bunch of questions. Otherwise you give them "exactly what they asked for, but not what they wanted".

I had to re-learn this lesson myself this week: an inexperienced client came in with low expectations/ demands but a short deadline, and a poor understanding of the results the approach would give. They had no time for frills like a script, teleprompter, stopping the presentation to change up screen shots on a single-cam shoot, video is magic, don't you know: push a button and there it is... They reallty thought making a video was just "taping what happens in front of a camera and removing any mistakes". I said ok, you want it cheap and rough, here you go, enjoy... it was not enjoyed. Now we're re-doing the work from scratch in a more methodical way, the right way.

You have to understand, really understand, the client's expectations, what level of product they want and can pay for (often 2 different things). You are just as bad a producer/editor if you over-perform as if you under-perform, if the overly-glossy work costs them way too much time/money.



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Rich Rubasch
Hey Mark...1 Day for a DVD?
on Aug 23, 2005 at 1:37:42 am

You talked about being efficient, but a day to author a 10 minute video with a simple menu with a play all button shouldn't take an entire day. I can build these in a couple hours and if I have the spare G4 I can build it and burn it while I am doing something else.

Other than that I think you were pretty realistic with your estimate, but I would have padded it more for a new unknown client.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media


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Mark Suszko
Re: Hey Mark...1 Day for a DVD?
on Aug 23, 2005 at 1:56:01 am

Hey, Rich, I was being conservative on the "authoring" issue, because I was taking in such things as designing and executing the external printing of the disc and packaging, picking out stills or other graphic info and adding animations to the buttons and menus, you know, all the glitz of something you'd rent from Blockbuster. Not to mention, fully testing the resulting DVDs for compatibility, playability, links all work as designed, etc. I assumed the client expected one-stop shopping for all that.

And also I had to add an hour or two to learn how to use idvd or the more advanced Apple DVD pro authoring system, since I haven't used it yet;-)

It wouldn't have been a full day's work, strictly speaking, perhaps, but if it's going to keep you from doing a full day for someone else, (and it would have) you might as well bill a full day, so you don't rush the job and screw it up. Best result for client, most honest return on your time as the editor.

If it turned out so simple and fast and perfect as to leave the whole afternoon free, I *might* consider a rebate on the quote, but I've never seen a job *that* perfect. Something always comes up at the last minute; you always wind up calling home to say you'll just be another 30 minutes and then heading home, etc. And then you find out the dub has been running for an hour with a missing audio channel, or the timeline has stopped on a system hiccup during play-out, you suddenly catch a typo, or some such nonsense...(sigh).

So, I did like Trek's Mister Scott, and made the estimate conservative, so I could continue my reputation as a miracle worker.;-)



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