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Rates for shooting a commercial

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Trey EcklesRates for shooting a commercial
by on Oct 19, 2010 at 3:52:54 pm

What would you guys charge to shoot a 5, 10, 15, or 30 commercial for local businesses. I am shooting with a dslr. It is just me and I plan on shooting in natural light plus 1 or 2 led lights.

How much would you charge to shot a 30 to 60 company profile?

Thanks.


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Todd TerryRe: Rates for shooting a commercial
by on Oct 19, 2010 at 4:14:35 pm

There is no easy answer for that, other than "how long does it take" x "your hourly rate" + "any expenses."

We're often asked "How much does a commercial cost?" and my smartass 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."

We have set hourly rates for writing, shooting, editing, meetings, and everything else. A spot that takes half a day to shoot will cost less than one that takes three days of shooting. Same for editing. Is there travel involved? Do they want to shoot 35mm film or HD? Does anything explode or fly? Do they insist on James Earl Jones for the voiceover? There are countless factors.

However, your question was "What would you guys charge..."

Local commercials I direct and we produce typically fall within the $5K to $15K range. Something from $9K-$12K is common for us.

T2

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



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John DavidsonRe: Rates for shooting a commercial
by on Oct 19, 2010 at 4:18:06 pm

Sort of a loaded question. Are you insured? Do you have lots of overhead? The costs of doing business often drive the cost of production. Are you in a large city or small? Market size also factors in. Have you done this for 10 years and know what caveats to avoid? Music libraries will cost money. Easy answer - 10k. Medium answer - 30k. Hard answer - 2k. DSLR's are used all over broadcast nowadays, so just because your camera didn't cost 30k doesn't mean you can't charge a premium price.

The quality of your storytelling and your clients ability to pay will define what you cost.


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grinner hesterRe: Rates for shooting a commercial
by on Oct 19, 2010 at 4:57:12 pm

Just stick to your usual day rate. This way, you are covered if they make a bigger production out of it than needed. Same for post. It's ok to quote a flat bid, just round up for revisions before ya quote it. Today, these quickies don't have to cost the client more than a few grand.



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Trey EcklesRe: ates for shooting a commercial
by on Oct 19, 2010 at 5:58:48 pm

Thanks. I was looking at turnhere.com. I will be shooting commercials similar to that. Do you guys think this company pricing is to low?



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Todd TerryRe: Rates for shooting a commercial
by on Oct 19, 2010 at 6:29:40 pm

Well, those are not what I'd really call polished commercials. They are ehh-not-too-bad web videos, stick-the-business-owner-on-camera and shoot-a-little-B-roll-and-slap-it-together videos.

It's sort of comparing apples and oranges when you ask the "What would you charge?" question. Yeah, we charge at least ten to twenty times as much as they do. Is our product ten or twenty times better? Well, yes, I think so. But not everyone or every client needs high-end slick production, especially if it's not destined for broadcast.

Still... I have no idea how they do it for that money. Even a super down-n-dirty no-lighting no-scripting no-story bad web video one would think would cost more than $400 (which would seem to be what their minimum basically is, based on their six-month contract).

T2

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



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Todd TerryRe: Rates for shooting a commercial
by on Oct 19, 2010 at 6:44:39 pm

On further examination of that website, LOVE this part from their "tips for a successfull shoot" section for clients....

First, they say....

"Lighting is critical to the quality of your video..."

Immediately followed by...

"TurnHere filmmakers shoot using all natural lighting."

With the addendum...

"If you own a restaurant or a bar think about how you can temporarily improve lighting."

Nice that they are asking clients to be their own directors of photography.
Will they ask them to edit next, too? Hahah. Hmmm, that may not be funny. More like sad.

T2

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



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Mark LandmanRe: ates for shooting a commercial
by on Oct 19, 2010 at 6:54:42 pm

If I'm not mistaken. turnhere.com pays a whopping $200 to shoot, edit and upload a spot within 24 hours. I wouldn't go within 2 light-years of them.

Mark Landman
PM Productions
Champaign, IL


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grinner hesterRe: ates for shooting a commercial
by on Oct 21, 2010 at 2:20:22 pm

well yeah but that is hardly the model you want to follow, right?



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Cory PetkovsekRe: Rates for shooting a commercial
by on Oct 19, 2010 at 8:48:12 pm
Last Edited By Cory Petkovsek on Nov 5, 2014 at 11:30:21 am

Sales principle: Price based upon value to the client.

When you say 30 second commercials, some people here (like me) think broadcast; which is where Todd's prices come in to play. What you are really talking about are low production value web video. Those are $500-1000 for equipment/crew/production/post. You can make them cheaper once you develop infrastructure, but that's not a market I recommend.

Cory

--
Corporate Video


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Cory PetkovsekRe: Rates for shooting a commercial
by on Oct 19, 2010 at 9:21:15 pm
Last Edited By Cory Petkovsek on Nov 5, 2014 at 11:30:30 am

$500-1000 to start depending on what they want to show.

--
Corporate Video


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Mark SuszkoRe: Rates for shooting a commercial
by on Oct 19, 2010 at 9:42:28 pm

I love step three of the workflow process as described on their web site: "Your video is magically created".


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Todd TerryRe: Rates for shooting a commercial
by on Oct 19, 2010 at 10:41:13 pm

[Mark Suszko] ""Your video is magically created"."

Duh!... THAT's the step I've been missing!

T2

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



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Steve KownackiRe: Rates for shooting a commercial
by on Oct 19, 2010 at 11:24:11 pm

I applied that principle on a calculus test years ago. I had the correct answer but was only given 1/2 credit for not showing the work. Suppose the value might be the same here.

Steve






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Bill DavisRe: Rates for shooting a commercial
by on Oct 21, 2010 at 3:48:32 am

As someone who once upon a time owned an advertising agency...

That question was actually NEVER in question by ANYONE in the traditional advertising model.

The agency would have been on retainer. That retainer was important so the agency could devote the time and resources necessary to get to know the FULL STORY of the business being advertised. From that relationship, the short list of product or service attributes would be developed that would benefit from being exposed to an advertising audience. After the creative ideas were fleshed out - a MEDIA buy would be established based on established expected norms of the effect of reach and frequency numbers on driving results from that Media Buy. From THAT budget a percentage would be allocated for creative work.

THAT's where we'd finally know what the BUDGET for the spot would be.

Along the way one would typically work with a lot of colleagues that one could learn bits and pieces from.

Today, that established model has been trashed. Nowadays people want to put "commercials" on the "web" and are quite content to commission work with absolutely NO REGARD to what, if any, financial results are expected to be driven by doing the work.

In this system, it's a TOTAL crapshoot. You can spend $500, $5000, or $15,000 and make ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE in the effectiveness of placing your work "on the web."

It's intuitive that better work, SHOULD attract more eyeballs and therefore drive better results. But in the world of the web - the advertising model is so rudimentary and the competition is so exponentially high
(once upon a time it was 3 major TV networks and maybe 100 radio markets nationwide.. Now it's 300 MILLION web sites.) that I'd say that 95% of the people doing video for the web today have virtually NO idea of what they're doing. They're distracted by SEO and page views and the latest buzzword flashing lights, and don't have the slightest concept of qualitative effectiveness of whatever their pages are serving or how to improve the same. I say that because I keep seeing ads looking for EMPLOYEES expected to have expertise in Web, in Video, in Interface design, in Animation, in SEO, and FCP and FLASH and web metrics ALL IN ONE PERSON - when in fact, any IDIOT with a brain understands that it's the equivalent to asking someone to be an expert DOCTOR, LAWYER, INDIAN CHIEF, and Sous Chef in ONE employee.

The point is that even good creative AND production work has been devalued toward the vanishing point in today's culture.

You want to fight that - have fun. But from my perspective of having worked in the old system and now watching the new firms that CLAIM to have expertise in the NEW MEDIA space, I've got to tell you that I spend most of my time LAUGHING at what passes for the advertising and marketing business today.

Ask for the moon. Why not. Then just PRAY that the weaknesses of the people you end up working with aren't so GLARING that it destroys the work you're trying to do.

Because quality takes broad experience. And the market is NOT training for that.

We're raising a SWISS CHEESE workforce. Glaring holes in expertise because EVERYONE's willing to skip the boring stuff and just concentrate on the shiny bells and whistles. And companies don't have the staff to help each other fill in their gaps.

Maybe it will change some day. But don't hold your breath.



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