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Roughly how much for something like this, per minute

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Eric Chamberlain
Roughly how much for something like this, per minute
on Oct 28, 2008 at 3:59:12 am

I have been asked to bid on some upcoming projects which look like this:

http://ovationsolutions.com/freetrial/

and other interactive presentations
to be produced in AE. Asked for is a rate/minute. I have done similar work with this company using Flash, but that was with a specific budget that came out to about $800/per minute, slightly less. Also, the Flash work didn't have links or different sections assembled in Encore or whatever else. This project will come with story boards and music, in other words, I will not produce those. I am in Southwest US, but the clients are nationwide.

If you could give some estimates, and any other thoughts, based on your experience I would very much appreciate that.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Roughly how much for something like this, per minute
on Oct 28, 2008 at 6:53:52 pm

I wouldn't bid it on a per-finished-minute basis. I would figure the number of days times day rate and set that as the estimate, with some margin up or down depending on your confidence. That comes with a list of assumptions about what the deliverables are, how many steps of review and approval there are, the deadlines, and when you get the raw mateials from them. It would also involve a progress payment plan where the job is bid in thirds, one up front at booking, one at first full draft version, one at final approval.

If they want to divide all that out to get a per-minute figure, they're welcome, but that's nonsense for comparison purposes. Every job like this is too custom to pin things down that fine. There will be unexpected contingencies and changes, and some things might be tried, tbhen changed or abandoned in the process. You can't commoditize a creative process with accurate metrics. Two guys that complete in the same number of hours, one may look awesome, one may not, what are you going to measure?

I think it was Laurie Andersaon that said to an interviewer:
"Talking about music is like dancing about architecture"

I think per-finished-minute bidding on video work is like per-pound billing for house painting.





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Eric Chamberlain
Re: Roughly how much for something like this, per minute
on Oct 28, 2008 at 8:39:46 pm

Thanks for the insight, I appreciate it. I have the same view, and that's how the last project worked. I did something similar, but in Flash, for around 800/minute. That's just how the math worked out, it was about 40 hours of work for $3200. Anyway I'm wondering if that sounds about right or is that low? I've seen mentioned rates of "1500 to 3500 per minute" for other motion graphics work, but I don't know if that would also apply to corporate videos and interactive demonstrations.
Anyway, thanks again.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Roughly how much for something like this, per minute
on Oct 28, 2008 at 8:55:28 pm

You unknowingly touched on one of my hot-buttons with the question. Back in the 80's we used to throw around a loose rule of thumb figure for all productions quoted to customers as a thousand per finished minute. Back in those days, (when puppies were the oldest animal) the equation had much fewer variables: it assumed shooting for a day in beta SP with a nice 3-chip camera, editing linear on one-inch for a day with very basic Chyron graphics and some needle-drop music, final output to one-inch master and some VHS dubs.

Nowadays, you could offer the same K/hr rate, but you're using much more powerful gear at a fraction of the relative cost, and either you're generating way more product in the same time frame (because the NLE lets you try more creative things, non-destructively) or slacking for a good portion of the two days because the editing goes so much faster. The work could be done at any quality level along a sliding scale from handycam and imovie to FCP in HD, and look better than the stuff we made in 3/4 and betacam back then.

I just can't see coupling a fixed rate to all those variables. I think it only worked out more or less "right" for our shop in the 80's by pure coincidence.

In the case of your Flash job, I don't know much at all about Flash, but if it's anything like 3d animation work, or building interactive DVD's, a good deal of time is killed in just rendering things out. But the actual hard brain work is in setting everything up in the project that leads up to the pushing of the render button. Do you charge more for the time spent on that, and less for sitting watching progress bars go by in the render phase? Or is it all one rate, and everything works out in the end? The gear is tied up either way, and by extension, so are you.


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Eric Chamberlain
Re: Roughly how much for something like this, per minute
on Oct 28, 2008 at 9:36:08 pm

Well, in Flash you can just animate things on a timeline, very similar to AE in that respect. Compared to AE and something like Cinema 4D or other 3D app, you just publish a Flash file when you're ready, it's not the same as rendering it out which, for me in C4D, might take up to 4 or 5 days for some projects. Flash doesn't really work that way, so the issue is strictly about the animation work, and not rendering. Flash publishes in just a few seconds, in the projects I have worked on.
That's a great question, about whether I should charge for the time my computer is rendering and I can't do anything else. I do have a backup laptop, I could work on that. I've never been hired to produce anything with C4D so I'm not sure about how to handle that. I suppose I would just use my laptop for other work, although I don't prefer that because of the screen size/resolution.
I have asked this client for more details, then I will send a proper quote for the work.


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George Socka
Re: Roughly how much for something like this, per minute
on Oct 31, 2008 at 1:15:27 am

curious why they want AE.

George Socka
BeachDigital
http://www.beachdigital.com


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Eric Chamberlain
Re: Roughly how much for something like this, per minute
on Oct 31, 2008 at 1:09:06 am

You mean instead of just using Flash? Who knows, it may require work that requires AE effects or something else.



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David Richter
Re: Roughly how much for something like this, per minute
on Nov 7, 2008 at 6:07:53 am

I have heard this soooo often. How much to charge per minute for video, Flash, 3D and so on. But as said so well earlier in this post there are just way too much variables in todays feature driven applications. So its always best to charge by the hour to get something done. For instance a 1 minute video with just interview clips will be much easier and faster then a heavy animation piece. Hourly fees also help to keep your client honest and less likely to add unnecessary changes.

David
Richter Studios
http://www.richterstudios.com
Video Production Services | Interactive CD-DVD | Presentation Design


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Steve Kownacki
Re: Roughly how much for something like this, per minute
on Nov 20, 2008 at 2:25:39 pm

What always scares me about this type of work is the exorbitant cost in re-work or changes for even the most simple text. They find a typo or they change the copy on one of those screens and it may be 2-3 hours of work to fix it. So keeping that in mind for project design is important. Let them know when the review and established change time is done and what becomes change orders and additional billings.

Steve



Jump to the FFP Website



View Steve Kownacki's profile on LinkedIn




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Mark Suszko
Re: Roughly how much for something like this, per minute
on Nov 20, 2008 at 5:55:21 pm

When I archive a "done" project, I always try to save off various versions without music, flattened graphics, supers, etc, to make it easier to change some of those things later if needed, without re-doing everything from scratch. Some things like multilayer comps may stil have to be rebuilt and re-rendered, but luckily I have rarely had that kind of problem with my clients. Thank God for SDI lossless transfers!

But I try to make it clear to customers; in the case of a mix-up or typo that I make, I eat the cost to fix it, but if they supplied me the stuff wrong or misspelled, that's on them, and they have to pay in cash or time for a fix.


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Saj Adibs
Re: Roughly how much for something like this, per minute
on Jan 2, 2013 at 1:07:02 am

I think the hourly rate is a good idea. A flat rate can always be easier to explain to the client, but often times you will end up going over because of variety of reason like excessive changes. For basic video production, I've seen a rule of $1000 per minute but it can't be the rule of thumb for everything.

Chicago Video production | Chicago video marketing | New Slate Films
Check out http://www.newslatefilms.com for cinematic marketing



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