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How much to charge

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Mathew WolfeHow much to charge
by on Mar 7, 2008 at 8:37:37 pm


I'm just starting to get into freelance video work. I wanted to know how much I should charge for realtor video series. They want two days of productions work with 10-12 interviews a day. They then will be edited into 2 minute web videos. I really don't know how much I should charge for this. I would be doing the shooting and the editing. They want to know the soup to nuts price for each video. Can anyone please help me.

Thank you very much

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Greg BallRe: How much to charge
by on Mar 7, 2008 at 10:00:46 pm

Figure out what your shooting rate is for a day or half day depending on how you want to work.
We don't offer half-day rates as it's pretty tough to find that second half day shoot on the same day. How long will it take to shoot these 1 day? 2?

Then figure out what your hourly editing rate is. Determine how long it will take you to edit each video, include time for changes by the client. Then determine your Web compression rates. Add it all up and you're good to go. Don't forget to get a deposit before you start, and
get them to sign a contract with your estimate and what you'll be delivering to them

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Ryan HamiltonRe: How much to charge
by on Mar 7, 2008 at 10:38:34 pm

Does no one want to offer concrete suggestions and information. I think what would be really helpful for people and juniors wanting to learn about rates would be if the members with experience who have done several jobs would say " this is an example of what I did for x amount and it took x hours " A beginner can then say, ok, I'm not as experienced and my quality isn't as good ( perhaps they feel their skills are better ) in which case they can say based on this knowledge I feel charging 75$ an hour is fair.

As a rookie, basing rates on your overhead, expenses and desired salary don't really help if you have no idea whether or not your way below or way above other people in the field.

All that said. I charge $700/day $400/half day for photography
$50/hour for web design/motion/graphic design.

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Mathew WolfeRe: How much to charge
by on Mar 7, 2008 at 11:14:42 pm

Thank you very much for the helps guys!

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Greg BallRe: How much to charge
by on Mar 7, 2008 at 11:47:00 pm

It depends on experience, location, equipment, etc. It's better for someone to call around in their local area to get what other folks similar to you would charge.

Nobody can tell you how to price your services. That's up to you to figure out based on your individual needs.

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Nick GriffinRe: How much to charge
by on Mar 8, 2008 at 3:44:00 pm

A pro shooter, one who would bring with him or her a professional camera, tripod, basic lighting kit (at the least enough to do decent 3-4 point lighting), bounce card, maybe a backdrop and enough grip equipment to make it all work would, in a major market, charge $1,500 to $2,000 /day. This may or may not include a sound guy, or the shooter may opt to do simple sound (ie.- lav mic for talking head) him/herself. Depending on skill and experience this could easily go up.

Those of us who do accept half days charge accordingly 70 - 80% of a day rate just because there really is no such thing as two half days.

A pro editor using something along the lines of a low-end Avid, FCP, Media 100, Premiere Pro and so on with a playback deck and a REAL monitor (not just a window on a computer monitor) will charge $75 to $200 hr. or more. Again, this depends on skill and experience.

All of the above presumes Standard Definition but, from what I'm seeing, upgrading to HD doesn't have too much of an effect on what you can charge. For video destined for the web there is virtually no reason to bother with HD. (This year. In 2010 that may have completely changed.)

Other tips for someone just starting out:

-PRACTICE and EXPERIMENT getting good 3 point lighting and practice getting attractive shots. Being very wide and very close is generally only useful if you're trying for a documentary look or wanting to make your subjects look bad. (More on this below.)

-PRACTICE proper mic placement and setting and managing levels.

-SCOUT where you'll be working for backgrounds you can use and ESPECIALLY for audio ambience. Make your client aware that you need silence and that they can't have someone hammering in the next room or mowing the lawn right outside the window. (Trust me, this sort of thing happens all the time.)

-I almost always ask for a conference room as far away from other activity as possible. A conference room versus a normal office also allows for enough distance to keep the subject 6 or more feet from the background AND the camera 10 or more feet in front of the subject. This allows you to zoom in enough that the subject's features are flattened by the telephoto effect and the background can go soft. Kind of the opposite of the wide and close set-up discussed above.

And one last piece of advice. If you're just starting out don't over-promise, keep your charges reasonable, and be prepared to eat additional edit time to get the best product possible, Oh... and did I mention to PRACTICE before you show up on a paying job.

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