BUSINESS AND MARKETING: Business and Marketing Forum Business and Marketing Articles

Billng per finished minute

COW Forums : Business & Marketing

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Vedran Mehic
Billng per finished minute
on Aug 16, 2010 at 11:56:13 am

Hi guys,
could someone please help me with this:
I should do freelance video editing for some tv show, and costumer asks what will be the price "per finished minute of final editing"...
I should get raw camera material, music and intro-outro of the show.
Now i'm new at freelancing, and i would like to know what is usual price for "billng per finished minute", for this kind of work?

Thanx, and sorry for bad english :)


Return to posts index

Mark Suszko
Re: Billng per finished minute
on Aug 16, 2010 at 12:53:22 pm

Per finished minute is a bad way to estimate for billing. Bill hourly or by the day, and estimate the number of hours the job will take.

Per-minute rates are usually a guess, and can be either too low to recover your costs, or so high they scare customers away. Rarely are they right on target, in my experience, and usually that is by chance. Per finished minute was easier to compute back in the 1980's when the equipment and technology was very limited. Today, there are just too many factors to influence costs and time. An editing suite that cost a half million dollars in the 1980's is today bested by a PC that costs 5 grand, running sub-$1,000 software.

So the client still insists on a figure? Well, figure your true costs, establish an hourly rate, estimate the hours this job will take, take that figure, add a markup, now you can divide that figure to get a per minute figure. But still you can't compare that to another guy's per-minute figure, because you cannot know if he figured the same features and hours into the project as you. Did he figure in the color correction needed? Or the motion stabilizing of the bad hand-held shots? Or the work to massage and tweak the audio? How much and what kind of graphics will he put into the program, versus you?

No, you're safest bet in my opinion is not to play the per minute figure game, but to do a very detailed description of all the work you will do, and the estimated hours that takes, and your rate.


Return to posts index

Patrick Ortman
Re: Billng per finished minute
on Aug 16, 2010 at 7:28:58 pm

I agree, and it's tough when clients have been trained on a "per minute" basis. I think it's easier to estimate on a per minute basis when you have a very straightforward project (talking heads, interview footage, and some b-roll), but once you step into a more vague (creative?) world, my experience is you get beat up on the per minute rate. What's worse is clients- even the best- almost always need changes. A per minute of finished work rate kills you, then.

We moved away from quoting that way over the past two years. We lost one existing client (who really was bleeding us dry, so good riddance) and probably a few other opportunities because of that decision. But, all for the best. Now we estimate like Mark suggests: per-hour, with a detailed description. Sometimes we'll give a per-project estimate but we make it very clear exactly what's included in that estimate (number of revisions, etc).

Another thing a lot of guys starting out forget to factor in: overhead. Yes, you may own your edit bay and software, but you're supposed to look at that equipment as an investment that pays for itself, otherwise you may find yourself unable to pay for the future upgrades you'll need. Either build this into your main hourly rate or make sure you have line items for equipment rentals and overhead/admin. I learned this the hard way many years ago.

---------------------
http://www.patrickortman.com
Web and Video Design


Return to posts index


Mark Suszko
Re: Billng per finished minute
on Aug 16, 2010 at 7:32:46 pm

Yes, the per finished minute thing is a lame way to try and commoditize what we do. It is an abstraction created by accounting types who think what we do is equatable to ordering reams of copy paper or pallets of offcie chairs and desks or standard offcie PCs.


Return to posts index

Mike Cohen
Re: Billng per finished minute
on Aug 16, 2010 at 9:22:36 pm

If you want a per minute cost, figure out the ACTUAL costs to create a video s X minutes, then divide the ACTUAL cost by the minutes and you have your per minute cost - if the client REALLY REALLY wants a per minute cost, then give them that number and say it is only applicable to THIS project.

But if the client did not ask for a per minute cost, then give them a per video cost with line items if need be.

Saying $XYZ per minute is like saying XYZ hours of editing per finished minute - that too has to be based upon the actual amount of work.

Mike Cohen


Return to posts index

walter biscardi
Re: Billng per finished minute
on Aug 16, 2010 at 9:35:20 pm

When a client asks me that my response is $1,000 to $100,000 and up depending on the complexity of the project.

That gets their attention.

Then we can usually start a dialogue on the particulars of their project.

From that, I can give them a good rough estimate of the cost for their project.

In other words, there is no "price per minute" that is a one size fits all. Every job is unique and it has to be billed according to the amount of time, personnel and equipment required to complete the job.

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


Return to posts index


Todd Terry
Re: Billng per finished minute
on Aug 16, 2010 at 10:43:50 pm

Like Walter, I'll only give a very wide range... especially if someone asks such an uneducated question early on... then it becomes our job to educate them.

We do mostly broadcast commercials, so we invariably get the "How much does a commercial cost?" question.

My typical smartass (although accurate) answer is "How long is a road? It just depends on where you want to go, and what kind of scenery you'd like along the way."

While we don't do per minute pricing, we will show customer past long-form stuff and say "That came out to $1000 a minute," or "That one came out to about $9000 a minute." But, like others here have said, giving upfront per-minute pricing is almost never a good idea.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



Return to posts index

Chris Blair
Re: Billng per finished minute
on Aug 18, 2010 at 1:36:43 am

Todd Terry: We do mostly broadcast commercials, so we invariably get the "How much does a commercial cost?" question.

My typical smartass (although accurate) answer is "How long is a road? It just depends on where you want to go, and what kind of scenery you'd like along the way."


That's classic! I think I'll steal that one!

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com
Read our blog http://www.videomi.com/blog


Return to posts index

Bruce Wittman
Re: Billng per finished minute
on Apr 1, 2013 at 1:45:26 pm

I really like your "How long is a road" answer. In a more serious vein, I ask my potential clients "how much does a house cost?" Bring me a blueprint and I can give you a price OR tell me how much house the bank says you can buy and I will tell how much video production you can purchase. Either way, you will get what you paid for.

When pressed for a per hour price, I usually say between $1000 and $5000 a finished minute. That usually begins the dialogue necessary to created a reasonable and fair budget for a video.

As a final thought, I don't come down on my prices just to get a job. Clients who want to low ball you and your rates in return for "future" business are not the clients you ever want.

Bruce Wittman
Executive Producer

Eagle Video Productions, Inc.
2201 Woodnell Drive
Raleigh, NC 27603-5240

Website: http://www.eaglevideo.com
Email: bruce@eaglevideo.com

pho: 919-779-7891
cel: 919-818-5556


Return to posts index


grinner hester
Re: Billng per finished minute
on Aug 27, 2010 at 10:04:34 pm

just giggle like you think they are kidding and state your hourly rate.



Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]