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medical videography

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greg ouellettemedical videography
by on Oct 30, 2010 at 11:13:42 am

a friend of mine, a Dr. who owns a radiation therapy center asked me to produce a patient introduction video for his clinic. he didnt want a huge buget. he wrote the script .
to be honest with everyone, i have yet to formally seek out clients as a business but am beginning that process now. so i went to his clinic and produced this video. ahead of the curve, i quoted him $1,200. it is 6 minutes long. i have no idea what to charge for this sort of thing going forward, and i ask this because i am thinking about specializing in this kind of thing for independently owned clinics. my medical background makes me very comfortable around the clinic and equipment.
so, if you would be so gracious as to let me know what you would charge for this kind of thing that would be so much appreciated. it was shot on an HVX200 and he provided the 'talent'. sorry about the long winded intro, but i am also interested in thoughts on the idea of specializing in this kind of vidoegraphy. i did this alone and in 6 hours of shooting plus a few pickups. here is the link, you will also get a primer of what to expect if you ever need radiation therapy (i hope you do not).

then enter password : drkosvideo

if you find this inappropriate i apologize, but it would be endlessly helpful. i will not make a habit of this kind of thing.

greg ouellette
bend, oregon

i dont see a 'new member intro' area, so just a short background.
if there is more information needed please ask.
i have spent 15 years in radiation oncology (radiation for cancer) as a radiation therapist and then in physics/dose calculation. always felt i should be doing something more creative and less science oriented. so i have been self educating in video/film production. have learned the basics of all aspects of production and immersed in many shooting enviros (high altitude mountaineering to a weddings).

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Cory PetkovsekRe: medical videography
by on Oct 30, 2010 at 9:29:56 pm

Sales principle: Charge according to the value to the client.

You must also consider the local and if applicable, global market. Finally the quality of your work, which is tied up in the value to the client.

You already have rates on your video production website. Why charge medical clients any differently than non-medical clients? Your work is essentially the same. If $1200 for the effort works for you, is fair for the market, and is within the client's expectations, and the client likes your work, you have a winner.

However refer to the sales principle above. Depending on how good you are at marketing and sales, a medical client may very well pay a premium for your service over the price of a general video company because of your specialization in the medical community.

Look in any phone book and you're likely to see a full page spread, "Mother's legal services" with a picture of a mom and daughter. A few pages later you'll see "Father's legal services" with a picture of dad and son.... and they have the same phone number.

Then the last point is quality. I hope you are continually seeking how to improve the quality of your work; I am even though I feel our production quality is at a professional level. If this video represents your current caliber of work, then over the next several months of productions your output should greatly improve until it reaches a professional level. On this video I would look at how you could improve typography, white balance and color temperature, and audio. Oh and your copyright designation ;).


Cory Petkovsek
Corporate Video

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Mike CohenRe: medical videography
by on Oct 31, 2010 at 9:27:30 pm

Overall, nice job. Patients generally need to see the basic facts, which you have presented nicely. Doctors have told me that some patients want to see everything, some just want the bullet points. The physician using the video should know his or her customer.

Doing a good patient education video has more to do with a good script and getting the right visuals vs an expertise in the medical field. You seem to have both of these accounted for so that's great.

As for pricing, I will reiterate the responses to this commonly seen thread on this forum - charge what is appropriate for the job, for your business and for your market.

For the Job

Asking "how much to charge" is like asking "how much is a car, a house, a boat or a pizza." In other words, define your scope.

For your Business
Are you working out of your basement with a full time job and this is a money-making hobby or are you a small business owner with a facility, equipment, payroll and employees? Your overhead will also partially define how you charge for your services.

For your Market

How much competition is there? And how does the competition compare to you? And what do you offer that others do not. Your expertise in radiation oncology will only really help with other radiation oncology videos. But a general knowledge and comfort level with medical things may give you an edge. It gives me an edge!

Also, what will the market bear? You might not find this out immediately.

Good luck.

Mike Cohen

Medical Education / Multimedia Producer

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greg ouelletteRe: medical videography
by on Nov 1, 2010 at 7:37:35 am

thanks for the replies. i knew posting that was likely to get what you have answered, i have spent a lot of time on forums. was hoping that with this video it is fairly straightforward to deconstruct it and consider the production value and give it a ballpark valuation based on that. breaking it down on a per hour invested would obviously be the simplest answer, but as we all know, with some areas of production there is added value due to that persons experience in a niche. i just dont know how to value that.
let me rephrase and see if this would make sense to ask:
a potential client shows you this video and says 'i would like something very similar to this with my script. about what would you charge me to do it in my clinic, me supplying 'talent' and script?
either way, i very much appreciate both of your input.

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Jason JenkinsRe: medical videography
by on Nov 1, 2010 at 6:35:40 pm

I can't tell you what you should charge, but I would charge about $4k for something like this.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

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Mike CohenRe: medical videography
by on Nov 1, 2010 at 10:26:20 pm


I will reiterate, what you charge is not black and white. It is what is appropriate for your business.

$1200 sounds a bit low for 6 hours of shooting and some editing.

Is this your primary job, or are you gainfully employed doing something else?

If this is your primary job, then $1200 will barely keep your lights on.

If this is a paid hobby, then charge what you need to to pay for your gear and earn a fair wage for your living requirements.

Mike Cohen

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greg ouelletteRe: medical videography
by on Nov 2, 2010 at 12:04:31 am

thank you so much for taking the time to respond. i have been honing my skills for several years and working toward a niche to offer sustainability in a possible new career away from health care. it seems my background and understanding of the technical and social aspects of health care may be what allows me to carve something out. no doubt many would question the sanity of leaving a very well paying and reliable profession, especially at this time. truth is i have been traveling as an independent in radiation oncology for about 1/2 of the 15 years or so i have been in it. this video was a first test run with a physician i have worked with. we both suspected this was likely a $4-5k effort, especially if a few things were polished up a bit more. i would have preferred to have done the voiceover as an interview to have the option to cut that in for higher production value. i would include that in the $4-5k. originally the goal was to offer a cost effective solution for those wanting a customized video of their practice. since then i have seen the light in going for the higher end market with a higher end product. i am certain i can quickly grow into that. i will not ramble on any longer, just will say that i would have made it a bit more elaborate for the $4-5k range, which i will. with that said, i also believe in not over-producing this kind of thing, especially if it is primarily targeting the elderly. lots of motion and fancy sound effects can detract from that audience as a generic whole.
again, your input and $$ valuation is appreciated

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Mike CohenRe: medical videography
by on Nov 2, 2010 at 12:47:07 am

[greg ouellette] " i also believe in not over-producing this kind of thing,"

Absolutely. But the higher price you mention need not = over producing. It is to provide a living wage to you and to provide a professional service at a competitive rate.

Look forward to seeing your future work.

Mike Cohen

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Martin CurtisRe: medical videography
by on Nov 1, 2010 at 11:56:47 pm

Looks good, though you can always spot non-actors :-)

The sound recorded in the doctor's office was a bit echoey

FWIW, I work for government and my boss charges my services (me + camera(s) + 2 wireless mics + FCP + DVD duplicator) out at A$200 per finished minute. I only work for internal business units and the videos are destined for patients. I know that "per finished minute" isn't always an acceptable metric in this game, but it works for us. The $200 pfm (compared to about ~$1500 pfm the local professionals charge for multiple shooters, lights, sound guy etc for a truly polished product) is basically to scare people away from using us if they don't have a plan, a goal and some funding but designed to be low enough that the truly committed ones can afford to do it. Occasionally the money gets me new toys.

We instruct people that they are to supply the script after it has been approved by the funder, arrange for actors (and pay if necessary) organise locations (though we can help with generic locations). And bring the lunch.

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Martin CurtisRe: medical videography
by on Nov 2, 2010 at 4:24:23 am

2 things just came to mind: I thought some background music would be nice under the VO, and it might be nice for it to be captioned. Putting it on YouTube makes captioning easier, but you still have to make the timed text file.

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greg ouelletteRe: medical videography
by on Nov 2, 2010 at 4:44:56 am

hey martin. i have background music playing, i must have it too low for computer speakers. i did this with middle of the road sony monitor headphones and paid close attention to it. maybe i should not use speakers for eval of background music.
noted on captioning. would you deliver two versions: w/ and w/o? captioning or just put it out to client?
thank you for your time.
also, yes, the rooms were echoy. the exam room bit was crammed into the schedule. i will insist in allowing time to hang blankets next time or bring two lavs. i did it with the same shotgun mic as the vo, but that was done in a bedroom with carpet facing cushioning. i am also planning on learning more on microphones for interior work.

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greg ouelletteRe: medical videography
by on Nov 2, 2010 at 4:46:10 pm

hi again martin. that may have been a little confusing. i was wearing headphones during the music level adj. i meant maybe i SHOULD use external speakers instead. or. i could just tell everyone to wear quality headphones when they watch it!:)

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Martin CurtisRe: medical videography
by on Nov 3, 2010 at 9:32:43 am

[greg ouellette] "i have background music playing, i must have it too low for computer speakers."
I was listening to it through a horrible Dell PC mono speaker, so it's not surprising I missed it.

[greg ouellette] "noted on captioning. would you deliver two versions: w/ and w/o? captioning or just put it out to client?"

It depends how it's being delivered. Since you have web delivery, all you need is a video file and a caption file. Use a player that has the capability of delivering captions at the click of a button. See YouTube for details. At the moment, the easy way out is via a Flash Player front end, but I believe Timed Text is making inroads into HTML5 territory.

[greg ouellette] " i am also planning on learning more on microphones for interior work."
You and me both. I shot a doctor reading a piece to camera in a small room on-site and the audio was horribly echoey, even with a lav. Fortunately, so was the delivery so we scrapped that piece entirely and are heading back to the drawing board (if she's reading this, she's a lovely lady but not everyone is cut out to deliver lines convincingly to camera).

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Mark SuszkoRe: medical videography
by on Nov 4, 2010 at 1:42:36 pm

Youtube now applies captioning to your uploaded video themselves, free, automatically. How, I don't know, but there it is.

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