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Help with quote for sports video project

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Jason Williams
Help with quote for sports video project
on Mar 19, 2009 at 4:02:46 pm

I'm trying to come up with a quote for a local football team who is looking for someone to tape and edit a full season's home games...

I've done a handful of personal highlight tapes where the kids have sent me their tapes, but this'll be my first stab at a project like this, and I want to both make sure I don't come in at a ridiculous price, while not shortchanging myself either.

The project would include filming at 5 games and combining my footage with the coaches game tape footage for a final highlight at the end of the season.

I'm assuming 3 hours per game.. travel time & game time plus edit time for the final project.

I don't mind coming in a little low since this would be my biggest project to date and it would be nice to add to the resume...

Thanks very much for any thoughts....



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David Roth Weiss
Re: Help with quote for sports video project
on Mar 19, 2009 at 5:53:41 pm

Jason,

Whenever budgeting in this business you must try your very best to avoid breaking things down into units of time that are 1) too small; 2) impossible to calculate for the job at hand, 3) require assumptions on your part that are based on unknowns; or 4) that will cost you if things run over. The reason I say this is because, as most of us know, almost every job has unknowns, and almost every job will run over, so we who have done this stuff for years know from the start where the pitfalls lay before we begin, and we do our best to dispense with as many as we can from the get go.

So, do your self a favor right off the bat and stop calculating your time in terms of hours. You need to establish "a day rate," and you should base your budgetary decisions for this job on the number of days the job requires, not the number of hours. Keeping track of hours is a job unto itself, and creating a budget based on hours in a job that spans multiple days and weeks is like trying to count hen's teeth or pixie dust. If you want to break things down onto half days and full days that's okay too, but the minute you start to go deeper than that, is when you start to become a professional time cop rather than a professional videographer.

As an example, on game day, rather than getting caught-up in the minutia of travel time, setup time, and guessing the number of hours it'll take to finish the game, it's better to call it "one day."

And, the same is true when budgeting for editing. If you have a client coming over for three hours of editing, charge by the hour, but if you're working on a bigger project, like this one, and you get caught-up in keeping track of hours, you will go nuts. Do yourself a favor and allot a full day of editing per game (or more) and be done with it.

Does this make sense?

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Jason Williams
Re: Help with quote for sports video project
on Mar 19, 2009 at 6:29:50 pm

Great. Thanks for the advice. That would certainly seem to take a lot of headaches out of the equation, while still being easy to explain to the client...

I hesitate to ask, but what might be a low to average half day rate? I realize a number of factors would go into figuring this out, but like I mentioned... a fairly new to the game videographer with respectable, but far from top of the line equipment... ?

Thanks again



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David Roth Weiss
Re: Help with quote for sports video project
on Mar 19, 2009 at 8:15:27 pm

[Jason Williams] "That would certainly seem to take a lot of headaches out of the equation, while still being easy to explain to the client... "

In fact, I think you will find that it's easier for both of you. Micro-managing makes everyone crazy, and clients who insist on doing it to save money only give themselves and everyone else headaches.

[Jason Williams] "I hesitate to ask, but what might be a low to average half day rate?"

Always a tough call Jason, because of the variables involved, location being chief among them. However, as someone not yet established, I would say that a nice round number for you would be $500 for a full day (limit 10 hours) and $350 for a half day (limit 5 hours). Notice that the half day rate encourages them to hire you for a full day, meanwhile, it doesn't penalize you for accepting the half day. That is crucial. If they question that, it's simple, you have to make sure they know that a half day gig really eats up the entire day. Everyone knows it, and everyone fights it, so be prepared and insist upon it. Let them know that most production personnel won't even do half days, that you're only doing it to accommodate them, because you you like them so much.


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Terry Mikkelsen
Re: Help with quote for sports video project
on Mar 20, 2009 at 3:51:16 pm

Your rate may also adjust to the current team performance. If they are a highly ranked team, you can command more money. However, a poor team is also going to have a poor budget.

If the whole thing seems like pie-in-the-sky to them, see if they are open to sponsorships. I am blessed enough to have some great sportscasters, who can provide vocal endorsement for the "internet radio" listeners while still having "lower third" placements for the highlight videos and DVDs.

hhs-indians.com

Tech-T Productions
http://www.technical-t.com


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Bill Dewald
Re: Help with quote for sports video project
on Mar 19, 2009 at 11:41:59 pm

Don't forget the little things like mileage, dubs, render time for DVD authors and web posts, etc.

And weather-proofing for that inevitable rain/snow game.


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Trey Gregory
Re: Help with quote for sports video project
on Mar 20, 2009 at 3:32:19 pm

There have already been some very useful suggestions for the production! So I'll just throw out a quick suggestion for the post-production.

For our large projects, we charge by the day for post, but we always include an hourly rate for client changes to the final product. With something like a football game, there may not be ANY changes, but it's helpful if you inform the client ahead of time that changes to the final product are not free. (Note: I am talking about taste changes here, not fixes, those you should always do for free)

And I want to echo Bill's notes. Don't forget to add in blank media, tapestock, mileage, etc. These things can add up and will cut into your profits.

Good luck! Hope the deal closes!

Trey Gregory
ECG Productions - Atlanta
HD Production and Post
http://www.ecgprod.com


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Jason Williams
Re: Help with quote for sports video project
on Mar 20, 2009 at 5:19:26 pm

Fantastic.

Thanks to everybody... definitely gave me something to work with.

Lots of trial and error with those first little projects. It'll be nice to have a little bit more in mind when I try to take on some of these bigger projects.

Thanks again.



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Maxwell Federman
Re: Help with quote for sports video project
on Mar 21, 2009 at 7:18:50 am

Another helpful tool is researching rates for comparable services in your local market, especially if your potential clients will be shopping around. Rates vary widely around the country and even within cities. Sometimes even smaller markets can be saturated with video production companies, particularly near college towns. Understanding how your competition is getting things done and improving upon it in one or more ways is the key to making it work.

Another noteworthy element of sports video is that when you show up at a game with a pro camera, other people there will likely be interested in getting their hands on copies of the game (especially after a big win, or if word spreads of the quality of your material). A business model that accounts for this is by offering the client multiple copies of the finished product upfront; allowing them to share the cost of production with other players, coaches, parents, etc. and the goal of this is to monetize a value for each individual copy, allowing you to offer copies to additional people at the same cost to the initial client. Of course this is not possible in every (most?) situation. Even with a good relationship with a client; there is an undefined art to tactfully approaching the subject and it would certainly vary on a case-to-case basis.

An additional concept to consider is offering individual players edited highlight reels at the end of the season. If you save the program (aka sequence, timeline, etc depending on what you edit on) you use to export the media that goes into each deliverable, you can have the clients provide you a cut list of the clips they want to use as highlights based on their in and out times on the counter display of their bluray or dvd player... and this time-saving step allows you to offer reasonable prices when it's as simple as pulling sub-clips, assembling them, and adding music, put a key-framed arrow on an individual player for a few seconds for identification on wide shots, and creating an intro-outro sequence with the player's contact info.

I hope some of this info is helpful to someone; I wish I hadn't had to figure it all out the hard way!



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