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Rates for a Commercial

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Kenneth HahnRates for a Commercial
by on Dec 15, 2005 at 7:09:50 am

Looking for some info. My partner and I have been shooting/editing weddings and some corporate events. We have now been asked to possibly shoot a commercial for a local restaurant/music establishment. It is still early in the negotiation stage, so I don't have much info other than it would be a 30 second spot, showing the restaurant and some of the bands playing, guests, that type of thing. Venturing into new territory like this, I would love some feedback on what the going rate to shoot and esit an event like this might be.

Thanks for the Help.


It's Not Just A Video,
It's A Production

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Mark SuszkoRe: Rates for a Commercial
by on Dec 15, 2005 at 4:31:57 pm

A book's worth of great stuff has been posted on this topic here and in the other forums, you might want to do a search on them.

There is no set rate for making a commercial. I believe the right way to go about it is to start with a creative treatment and script; using those as a guide to plan the shoot, figure a rate for the shooting, then calculate all true obvious and hidden expenses to arrive at a sensible rate for the edit. Then it's rate x time spent + profit margin + expenses = fee. You make adjustments to be somewhere in the middle of the range your competition charges, or if you're good enough and demand is high, you charge whatever the market will bear. I have worked on award-wining 50-dollar spots, and I have seen real junk produced for thousands.

I see a lot of local cable spots like the one you describe, and most of them look horrible because they were done on too low of a budget and they cut corners on good lighting & composition,
(especially deadly on food product shots for local eateries)
really atrocious audio, and derivative, uncreative editing with cheesy graphics and music.

Not to mention the script was inept and not done using a proper process. I'm not saying yours will necessarily make all the same mistakes, but these are things to watch out for. To do it right, it costs what it costs.

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Kenneth HahnRe: Rates for a Commercial
by on Dec 15, 2005 at 8:24:15 pm

Thanks Mark.
I will also do a search. You provided some valuable information that I was also thinking about, to avoid traps and have a bad production.


It's Not Just A Video,
It's A Production

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Mike CohenRe: Rates for a Commercial
by on Dec 15, 2005 at 9:47:44 pm

when I did an internship for a local cable advertising department, I think they charged $250 for a 30 sec spot - hence you get what you pay for which is most local commercials

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Charlie KingRe: Rates for a Commercial
by on Dec 16, 2005 at 4:23:04 pm

My biggest client, for several years was Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Their annual budget was over $35 million. The TV ad campaigns usually ran around $750,000 to $1 million for approximately 4-9 Ads. I also had a client that would come to ma and give me a script and ask if we could do it for under $200.

The only real message here is when asked how much a 30 sec spot costs, reply how much is a grey suit?


ProductionKing Video Services
Unmarked Door Productions
Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel
Las Vegas, Nevada

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mickavidRe: Rates for a Commercial
by on Jan 9, 2006 at 6:41:25 am

do they want:

30 seconds of Star Wars?


30 seconds of Mr. Rogers?

do the math.....

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