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How much would you charge for these videos

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Paul Powers
How much would you charge for these videos
on Nov 19, 2011 at 2:58:53 am

Thanks in advance for your time.

My business partner and I have been in the video production business for 2 years but seem to have trouble making accurate bids. When we talk to clients they continually say things such as, "You are very economical." We interpret this as, "You underbid".

I know Central Oregon will not garner the same price as Boston or LA, but I would appreciate your input and any help you can give.

The following three videos were filmed about 3 hours away from our office at two locations. Altogether, once we reached location, the videos probably took 6-7 hours to film including interviews, and b roll and visiting with the client etc..

Here they are:





What would you charge ?


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Craig Seeman
Re: How much would you charge for these videos
on Nov 19, 2011 at 5:35:10 pm

[Paul Powers] "What would you charge ?"

Enough to sustain my business and my lifestyle within the cost of living of a given market.
After two years you should have a business plan, know your expenses, know how to budget for future expenses, pay yourselves.
I'd recommend budgeting based on 20-25 hours paid work a week to allow for all the unpaid work you may need to do around marketing, training, maintenance.

Your business model and time invested determines pricing more so than what a video looks like as look as the client feels the look meets their needs.

If you haven't done the business basics and are first asking about pricing, you're destined to fail or, at least flail.

You don't mention anything about crew, gear, rentals, insurance, post production time, equipment for that, etc.

Assuming 6 plus hours of travel (roundtrip) and up to 7 hours of shooting, that's 13 hours of your time.
So all the editing and FX was done in camera while shooting?

If you searched this forum with the word "charge" you'd probably find our answer . . . or maybe understand the problem with the question.



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Paul Powers
Re: How much would you charge for these videos
on Nov 19, 2011 at 6:01:43 pm

Thank you so much for the advice. We do have a very nice spreadsheet that we plug numbers into when we bid, but we only bid for our time/ materials/ overhead etc.... not taking into account unpaid work.... that's step 1. Thanks....


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Steve Martin
Re: How much would you charge for these videos
on Nov 19, 2011 at 7:35:57 pm

Time, materials and mileage are "variable" expenses. That is, the costs associated with the specific job or project. But don't forget about fixed expenses that you have regardless of the projects you do - your equipment for example. Even if it's paid for, you'll eventually have to replace it when it either wears out or you need to upgrade to remain competitive. Amortize the cost of your gear over it's useful life to determine your costs.

Another way of determining how to bill clients for use of your gear is to find out what it would cost you to rent the gear for the project in your market area.

Good luck!

Production is fun - but lets not forget: Nobody ever died on the video table!


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Craig Seeman
Re: How much would you charge for these videos
on Nov 19, 2011 at 7:59:52 pm

[Paul Powers] "not taking into account unpaid work.... that's step 1"

Yes, all that work either needs to be done by you or you end up having to hire someone to do it so either way it's an expense. After all time is at least part of what you sell since it's a finite commodity in a day.

As Steve notes all the fixed expenses are part of the business too. That's rent or mortgage on the space along with all utilities as well including webpage hosting and internet service. Even if you and your partner are running home offices, all your home expenses have to be part of what you need to cover.

Also as Steve note, a good portion of your gear must be replaced over time whether it's new computers, new cameras to remain competitive, software upgrades.

Basically ALL your business and ALL your personal expenses for both you and your partner must be factored in.
http://freelanceswitch.com/rates/

Once you know all the costs for both you and your partner then you'd decide what kind of profit you can make in your market relative to your skills and your competition.

What I consider the most important rule is that all your expenses must be covered in order to survive.


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Paul Powers
Re: How much would you charge for these videos
on Nov 19, 2011 at 10:00:34 pm

Thank you everyone for your responses.

Looks like I asked the wrong question... it's not how much would you charge for these videos, but what are the principles behind charging?

Thank you Craig for all your help. I went to freelanceswitch.com and am working on the calculator. I have also been meditating on "Enough to sustain my business and my lifestyle within the cost of living of a given market."

Steve, I like the idea of determining the rental price and amortizing the gear over it's lifetime.

You both have helped me with a paradigm shift.

Thank you sincerely,

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation...." Don't be one of them.


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Chris Tompkins
Re: How much would you charge for these videos
on Nov 19, 2011 at 11:38:31 pm

The videos look good...


My guestimate for costs would be:


1 day shoot, 2 person crew, lights, audio - $1200-$1500
Mileage - .52/mi.
Editing - $2500-$3000

FWIW - YMMV

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Paul Powers
Re: How much would you charge for these videos
on Nov 20, 2011 at 12:42:32 am

Yup, we underbid it. That gives me a good standard against which to measure. Thanks Chris.

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation...." Don't be one of them.


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: How much would you charge for these videos
on Nov 20, 2011 at 1:40:06 am

Many years ago I had a graphic design instructor who still did freelance work at what most Of us considered a premium. That instructor considered it a bargain. After much harassment, he gave us a long formula that took into account about a dozen factors and a final factor he called markup. It was a multiplier that ran from 1/2 to 10 or more. He said some work you do for fun and you gave the client a discount so you get the job, but most people got between 2-5. The numbers made up an hourly that varied for everyone and changed from job to job or client to client. It was his system and I've made my own changes to it so I charge $10 an hour and up depending on the gig. I don't quote less than 20 hours for a job unless I want to do it for fun and then I just get reimbursed and sometimes for free. Some think it odd to make paying clients make up the difference, but they will use my work to make money so why can't I? Also, the free gigs are for fun projects which, hopefully, improve everyone in some way.

Point is: don't give it away. There are dozens of reasons people buy things and price is only one. Unless you plan to be the discount guy all the time, charge more for your work. If you value your work, so will others.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Paul Powers
Re: How much would you charge for these videos
on Nov 22, 2011 at 4:59:01 pm

Thanks to all.

Jonathan, I have heard that several times while I have been dealing with this issue.

"Point is: don't give it away. There are dozens of reasons people buy things and price is only one. Unless you plan to be the discount guy all the time, charge more for your work. If you value your work, so will others."

Guess I have to overcome the fear that others won't be able or willing to pay what the project is worth. Immeasurable thanks to all, I think that this is really going to help our business.

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation...." Don't be one of them.


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: How much would you charge for these videos
on Nov 22, 2011 at 5:38:46 pm

And the main reason I stress that lesson is because it was one of the hardest to learn at first! We're all trying to teach you based on our own years of mistakes! ;)

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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