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Million $$... or a bit Less?

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Nikos Mamalos
Million $$... or a bit Less?
on Jan 13, 2011 at 10:26:46 am

Dear Colleagues how much do you think would be a fair charge to a company, (a exceptional restaurant) to pay for the following video:

To give some production specs:
* Shot in full HD
* 3 flights to location were required
* a total of 7 days shooting
* The music was assigned to a professional composer
* Extensive editing and reshooting following 3 phases of preview and requests for changes from the client.
The video is o be projected in monitors in a Casino facility in Las Vegas USA. And also uploaded in the web
Best regards
Happy filming 2011!


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Paul Trunkfield
Re: Million $$... or a bit Less?
on Jan 13, 2011 at 10:52:39 am

My opinion - i would charge 7 days of yours and crews daily rate for shooting, add in the cost of all travel (flights, taxi, vehicle hire etc), the composers fee, your editing fee for the hours spent editing and any extra time for reshooting and changes.

Did you agree to a fee with the client beforehand? I don't think it matters much whether it will be projected in a casino in las vagas or a kebab shop in London, you charge accordingly to your own companies rates and what you agreed with the client when you submitted your quote.



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Juha Leminen
Re: Million $$... or a bit Less?
on Jan 13, 2011 at 10:54:02 am

Nice Work Nicos ! ! !

Good edits and well planned out , I have no idea how much you can make with that, ask what you think its worth .

Greetings

J.

p.s. so how much you made , i bet you will not say

------------------------------------------------

? need extra manpower in

-keying / bluescreen compositing
-rotoscoping
-tracking Film into 3D
-Adding 3D elements to shots

then send some electric current to

juha@3delectronicdreams.com

http://www.3delectronicdreams.com


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Cory Petkovsek
Re: Million $$... or a bit Less?
on Jan 13, 2011 at 11:16:56 am

If you've already shot it, why are you asking us for the price? You should have budgeted it out before starting the project, even if it's for a friend so you could ensure what you are delivering is in the ballpark and you can get 50% up front to cover expenses.

Does "Full HD" really mean your DLSR? Not quite HD. Not that the client or their clients would notice. However Casinos in Las Vegas have quality stuff. If what is being projected on either side of this video is true HD, it may be noticeably not-HD to lay people.

What does 7 days of shooting mean? You wandering around with a camera? You directing a 5 man crew in and out of studio space? or ?

You should have figured your expenses, time and resources to get a budget, summed it up, then reviewed that against what the client would probably be expecting to pay for it which is probably 5-7k ish. If your budget was grossly over the client's valuation of the product, then you'd be in a bad situation if "7 days of shooting" and "extensive editing and reshooting following 3 phases of preview" meant a lot.

The client doesn't care if you spent 10 hours or 1000 hours of your time. If you blew 1000 hours and come back with a $50k invoice they'll laugh and kick you out. They only care about a quality deliverable at a great price.

However since you probably shot it without a budget, you probably weren't concerned with the final price as long as it paid you. In which case you should charge what is inline with the client's expectations based on the value of the product. Probably 5-7k with 1-2k of that going to the composer; but I'd have to base it on a budget.

Cory

--
Cory Petkovsek
Corporate Video


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Nikos Mamalos
Re: Million $$... or a bit Less?
on Jan 13, 2011 at 12:29:50 pm

I am afraid I have not put it right, I wanted to know the communities opinion without preoccupying you with the price I charged them.
It just happens Greece to be under crisis and have to consider working internationally…. I don’t know the figures…!
Yes I had a detailed budget discussed and agreed with them and also got paid on time having an excellent collaboration.
The budget included,
Boat man-fuels
Diver/camera man
Camera man
2nd Cameraman
Scuba equipment
Composer
Mixing/mastering studio
Graphic designer
Flights cost
Equipment rental…. Etc… etc…
I charged around 8k euro. I am happy with this taking into account the Greek Market. I would love to know what cinematographers around the world would charge for a similar project.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Million $$... or a bit Less?
on Jan 13, 2011 at 1:49:35 pm

$8K Euro would be somewhere around $10.5K USA. Not knowing what your real expenses are and your cost of living makes it hard to evaluate. It that amount includes expenses and crew costs as I know them locally to me, that might even be a money loser. If one assumed 14 working days including shooting, editing, travel time, that would be $750 USA per day. That might cover the cost of just the camera operator and gear and nothing else such as travel, rentals, composer, scuba person with camera, graphics.

Of course if your cost of living is very low and the travel, rentals, crew were inexpensive, it would be comfortable.



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grinner hester
Re: Million $$... or a bit Less?
on Jan 13, 2011 at 4:04:24 pm

20 grand.
That's just multiplying day rates and adding expenses.



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Mark Suszko
Re: Million $$... or a bit Less?
on Jan 13, 2011 at 5:59:11 pm

That looked very nice, and while it took some time to make it's point, did it well.

Actually, the piece you did is a model for how to explain and negotiate a rate with the client. Your piece shows in detail every step that went from fish in the sea to meal on the plate. If you can make the client understand the same kinds of steps you have to do to make this kind of project, then whatever price you want to charge him is going to seem much more reasonable as a reflection of the work involved. Civilians generally think that gear and time cost nothing and that the price you charge is all pure profit, maybe an obscene profit. You have to help them distinguish between your profit and the expenses that any other competitor would also have to pay for, and then they won't just walk away from your estimate. Well, they might, I guess, if they can't afford it. But if it is an accurate estimate, you really CAN'T deliver it for much less and still make a reasonable profit for the time spent. That's also good to know, so that you don't end up losing money on the deal.

Eight sounds low. An ad agency in the states would not blink at charging over fifty thousand US for that. They might get an argument from the client and need to show receipts, though.

"Καλή τύχη, φίλε»


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Rich Rubasch
Re: Million $$... or a bit Less?
on Jan 14, 2011 at 3:17:32 am

This looked like a Vimeo stream with all the bumping and stuttering. But I think the client got a half price deal on this one. I agree, $10,000 sounds like cost to me, break even at best. Don't think you could sustain a viable business for long with this model.

But the footage was pretty good....didn't get a real sense for the editing with the bumpy stream.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Nikos Mamalos
Re: Million $$... or a bit Less?
on Jan 14, 2011 at 7:45:06 am

I want to thank everyone for the time they have taken to reply to my post! I took a good idea. As I said 8k was a good deal for me not only due to Greek Market but also because that was my first attempt to make a corporate film (I had done shortfilms and animations, these do not make a corporate portfolio really!)Yes this could have been a money looser, but closely was not. Though Rich Rubasch is right on questioning the viability of my business. Generally, I am one of those that believe that a job must be paid what is worth (and in the past paid for this belief!). If read backwards it would sound like "you only get for what you pay for..." This is not easily applied to a business that requires artistic effort.
I hope in the next project I will be more fair to myself.
I must say again I enjoyed a wonderful collaboration with the client.
Also this forum post was very educational for me...Never underestimate the kindness of strangers!!!
Happy filming for 2011!
Καλή τύχη σε όλους!
Good luck to all!


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Mark Raudonis
Re: Million $$... or a bit Less?
on Jan 14, 2011 at 8:47:30 am

Whatever you charged.... watching your video made me hungry!

Nice job.


Mark



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Craig Seeman
Re: Million $$... or a bit Less?
on Jan 14, 2011 at 12:56:39 pm

[Nikos Mamalos] "Rich Rubasch is right on questioning the viability of my business."
[Nikos Mamalos] "I hope in the next project I will be more fair to myself."

But not with this client or any recommendations they might make.

[Nikos Mamalos] "I had done shortfilms and animations, these do not make a corporate portfolio really!"

Many starving artists have great portfolios.

One must weigh the portfolio vs paying the bills. Word of mouth is your best marketing tool. Repeat clients are the greatest source of easy income since they require less marketing effort. You might have a good portfolio piece but you've made your marketing much more difficult.

This client will likely expect a similar price in the future. Basically you've set up an unsustainable relationship.

Word of mouth will likely mean any recommended business will expect a similar price which means the recommendations will be unsustainable.

Basically undercharging is the business equivalent of hanging an albatross around your business's neck. There's nothing wrong with doing a portfolio piece. One can find any number of worthy not for profits to do that for. In those cases, your work will get seen by donors who, additionally, are in sympathy with the good deed you've done. These will likely be new customers willing to pay a fair price as they are the "patrons" to the cause and they become bonded with your sympathy to the cause that you both support.

Additionally, by undercharging, not only have you set up an unprofitable relationship with the business and any recommended clients they might bring to you, you've set up price expectations that other production companies will be expected to meet. This is a big contributor to the downward price spiral going on in this business.



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Patrick Ortman
Re: Million $$... or a bit Less?
on Jan 18, 2011 at 3:54:02 pm

Craig Said >>
Basically undercharging is the business equivalent of hanging an albatross around your business's neck.<<

So very true. And those birds BITE.

While I'm all for giving clients the best price possible for a project, it does neither the client or prodco any good to not charge enough to cover expenses and make a decent profit on a job, because the prodco will go out of business.

Also, if you are the director on a job, and your hard costs for this job came to $8K, for instance, and you charged the client $10K, you did NOT just make a $2K profit. Remember to pay yourself. I only bring this up because I used to make this mistake a lot. Otherwise, you may as well work at McDonald's.

Finally, while I do appreciate the folks who are very day rate oriented, I hope that you guys are including the planning and administrative costs of doing a project like this in your day rate, somehow. Projects like this one are absolutely not run-and-gun, I'd probably spend a week or so in prepro on a gig like this, and that's time you should be paid for.

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


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Vince Becquiot
Re: Million $$... or a bit Less?
on Jan 18, 2011 at 6:18:01 pm

Aside from a great video, I gotta say, that music is definitely stuck in my head...

Yes, they go a great deal.

Vince Becquiot

Kaptis Studios
San Francisco - Bay Area


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