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Charge for rendering time?

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Jessica RobbinsCharge for rendering time?
by on Apr 22, 2009 at 4:42:33 pm


Do you have any advice on charging or partially billing for rendering or encoding time for a project? Do you build it into the project cost, or add a technology fee? Do you charge at all?

What methods do you have or suggestions- any advice appreciated!
Jessica robbins

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Matt SepetaRe: Charge for rendering time?
by on Apr 22, 2009 at 5:04:35 pm

Hmmm I have always wondered that myself... I guess there are a few considerations-

-It is wear/tear on your system
-Power consumption
-Memory usage
-Time that your computer is busy and you can not work on it.

Good Day

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Mark SuszkoRe: Charge for rendering time?
by on Apr 22, 2009 at 5:05:13 pm

My opinion is, if it ties up the machine so it can't be working on another moneymaking project, you should be charging *something*, even if it's only half-rate. If you have to stay nearby and tend the thing or be ready to jump in if if it hangs, well then it should probably be closer to your fully-manned editing rate since you are stuck there with it and can't edit anything else.

You have the choice of breaking that cost out separately on the billing or just adding it to the overall hourly rate.

If it is a specific line item, expect to get called on it every once in a while. Render time is a fluid thing, it changes depending on how up to date the equipment is, how complex the job is, etc. but I think a lot of people would tend to over-simplify that and use render time as a loose way to measure how powerful your rig is. Even if that's not fair. A grinder will attack the set rate at that point and complain that you're over-charging because your gear isn't up to snuff and "takes too long".

I think I would keep a separate account of the render time and just add it to the manned editing time, prorated, and any renders under an hour, I would write off.

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Trey GregoryRe: Charge for rendering time?
by on Apr 22, 2009 at 7:51:03 pm

I completely agree with Mark, if it ties up a critical machine, you should charge for render time.

In terms of Media Compression, we charge for it as well. If it's a small compression job, we'll usually roll it into the edit charge, otherwise it's an hourly charge. We've had our fair share of projects that are ONLY media compression.

RE: Listing a line item with a discounted rate for renders.
I wouldn't recommend that. I used to do that when I was freelancing, and it leads to a lot of questions from the client. They don't need to know how long it takes to render, all they need to know is how long it takes you to make it. They are paying for the final product, the process is your business.*

*Unless you are charging the client on a running basis and have not worked out a price before starting the project....but that is a topic for a different thread.

Trey Gregory
ECG Productions - Atlanta
HD Production and Post

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walter biscardiRe: Charge for rendering time?
by on Apr 22, 2009 at 8:21:10 pm

[Jessica Robbins] "What methods do you have or suggestions- any advice appreciated!"

1/2 the standard hourly rate. So if you charge $100/hour for your work, then you charge $50/hour while the machine is rendering. This is only for overnight rendering in our shop.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

Read my Blog!


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Rich RubaschRe: Charge for rendering time?
by on Apr 23, 2009 at 12:17:56 am

We are $175 for non-linear editing and charge $80 per hour for encoding or rendering. But we don't always add a rendering charge and if we render overnight we might only charge a 2 hour fee. We actually don't pay for utilities in our current space so it is just to pay for wear and tear.

We have a 1/4 hour minimum as well so if it takes me 8 minutes to encode a DVD I don't charge them a minimum 1/2 hour, or worse a full hour. It comes to $20.

And if we do $9000 worth of editing and post services, you can bet I won't be charging them for a couple hours of rendering!

Mileage varies.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media

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grinner hesterRe: Charge for rendering time?
by on Apr 23, 2009 at 1:43:08 am

I charge for nothing but time. Doesn't matter oif I'm producing, shooting, editing, or rendering.
I clock in when I start working and I clock out when I stop. Keeps is very simple.

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Mike CohenRe: Charge for rendering time?
by on Apr 23, 2009 at 3:48:50 am

Our business model and pricing reflects a finished product. We break it down by estimated hours if a client wants it, but editing = editing. Most clients have better things to do than nitpick details of what you spend your time doing. They want their video.

Digitizing and rendering are part of editing these days. It used to take 30 minutes to layoff a 30 minute video to VHS. Now it may take 4 hours to render and author a DVD. But if you are charging enough that you make a profit after all the work is said and done, as long as you stay in the scope of the project, you don't need to get too hung up on editing vs rendering vs digitizing vs troubleshooting. It is what it is - a video for a set price.

If your shop works precisely by the hour then you will have to figure that out.


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grinner hesterRe: Charge for rendering time?
by on Apr 23, 2009 at 4:36:31 pm

I have always found it entertaining when a client requests a different rate for digitizing, encoding, rendering, whatever. It totally makes me wanna say, well how much should I charge when I'm turned around listening to you talk about your boss, wife and dog for an hour?
Surely counseling is twice the rate.
I found it to not be that cost effective for them as I stopped what I was doing in the session to log my 7 minutes of capture time and subtract it from the edit time, adding the render time and recalculating pee breaks. Much easier to write down we started at 9 and he split at 5.
Life aint gonna be complicated. Grown ups just create complication to appear more important than kids.

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Rich RubaschRe: Charge for rendering time?
by on Apr 24, 2009 at 2:21:29 am our facility we have three editors/compositors and we have 5 editing.grahics machines. It might take 20 minutes to encode a clip, so I can choose to be running that task in the background while I am uploading clips in the other room. Today I was digitizing 30 minute logged tapes (had 6 of them), I was building a BluRay disk on another machine and I was doing DVCAM to DVCAM clones on two decks. I billed $125 per hour for the uploading time (90% of which I wasn't even there, which is why I don't believe my hourly rate is just one amount) and the encoding for the BluRay was actually a background task so I was able to prepare an estimate and discuss an upcoming project with a new client. I also contacted a film transfer house to discuss rates and they want to use us for DVD Duplication.

So, no, I didn;t not bill my normal hourly rate for any of these tasks, but because I was doing three or four tasks at the same time I ended up billing full editing rate card over three or four projects. Not that's FULL service!

So, no. I don't and probably never will have just one rate.

But when I am sitting and's gonna be $175 per hour even if you are telling me about your family's weekend outing!

Our rates are posted on our site, including duplication.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media

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Jeremy PinckertRe: Charge for rendering time?
by on Nov 12, 2010 at 10:12:12 pm

I have a couple questions:
What do you charge for a Blu-ray DVD author (just first play) plus 3 copies? I am new to BluRay.

What about XD Cam offload and price of media?

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