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Do people sell source files?

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James NannenDo people sell source files?
by on Mar 24, 2010 at 1:39:11 am

I work freelance, and have yet to have someone ask for a my source files. I just want to know this information now, so I am prepared in the future.

People often seem to get weird about the source file themselves. I have encountered this multiple times of people getting weird about about a simple Photoshop file all the way to a complex Flash file. I understand that people want to protect their art, concepts, methods on creating things, and of course want to be payed for any modifications so they want to keep it under lock and key.

So when someone asks me to send them the source file, should I charge them extra for it? I understand it is most likely a case by case basis, but is this practice normal at all? I need a basic idea of where to start.

I work with everything. Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Cinema 4D. What are the normal rates for these files?

I can easily see someone requesting a Photoshop file from me and without thinking twice just sending it off, but a 40 Hour Plus after Effects or Flash animation, I would want to be payed for it.

Once again I know that each file format might be different along with how many hours you spend on it. But I need a general idea what to do and what to charge. What things should I charge for, what should I not charge for? Any ideas, examples and stories would be greatly appreciated. As many people as possible, please respond, so I can get a better idea of what to do.


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walter biscardiRe: Do people sell source files?
by on Mar 24, 2010 at 2:06:16 am

I took an idea from a friend of mine.

Metadata files are not included in the standard rate because this is the service you are being paid to do. If they want the source files it's an extra $150/hour or $1,000 minimum to have the files.

This applies to Final Cut Pro, Color, Motion, After Effects and a few more applications. Photoshop files I generally turn over for most clients.

Others handle it differently but this is what we do. We also automatically archive all the projects just in case the clients need them again in the future.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

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Emre Tufekci S.O.A.Re: Do people sell source files?
by on Mar 24, 2010 at 12:53:07 pm

Hi Walter,

I am trying to understand your pricing structure. How do you calculate the hourly rate for project files? On hours you worked to create the files or time it takes to re-wrap them for delivery or something else?

I ask because our project files (as we state in our contracts) are our intelectual property and we have billed upto 60K to turn over to the clients. It is in direct relation to the complexity of the said project.

Do you have (similar to) a rate card you charge for project files or just go case by case as we do?

Emre Tufekci
http://www.productionpit.com



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walter biscardiRe: Do people sell source files?
by on Mar 24, 2010 at 2:00:29 pm

[Emre Tufekci S.O.A.] "I am trying to understand your pricing structure. How do you calculate the hourly rate for project files? On hours you worked to create the files or time it takes to re-wrap them for delivery or something else?"

It's the hourly rate to create the project, plus another $150/hour on top of that.

So for very easy math, let's say the rate for video editing is $100/hour and it takes me 80 hours to cut a project. $8,000

If the client wants the project file associated with that edit, they now get charged $250/hour. The original rate plus and additional $150/hour. $20,000.

If it's a very short project and only takes an hour or so, then the $1,000 minimum would kick in instead of the additional $150/hour.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

Blog Twitter Facebook


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Emre Tufekci S.O.A.Re: Do people sell source files?
by on Mar 24, 2010 at 2:58:28 pm

Got it thanks, I like the formula.

Emre Tufekci
http://www.productionpit.com



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