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Need advice on a price quote

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Joe BigorniaNeed advice on a price quote
by on Dec 18, 2011 at 5:04:07 am

I am doing a seminar video that was filmed from 2 different cameras for a 2 day seminar. So I have about 10 hours of footage and the client wants all the important messages from each of the speakers, so I would have to edit each speaker and highlight all the important areas. The client wants to have the video with special intros with after effects in the beginning and also a couple within the videos. So I am assuming it will be about 4-5 DVD's and I would have to lightscribe it or print it and do the DVD covers. He wants about 50 sets. I was hoping someone can give me a price range that I can give...I have done many other types of services but this is a bigger project. Please let me know even a rough price so I can get back to my client. Thank you

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Nick GriffinRe: Need advice on a price quote
by on Dec 18, 2011 at 3:31:28 pm

Maybe it's how Joe has described the job, or maybe (more likely) this is a complex job with way too many unknowns for a binding estimate. Not the least of the unknowns is the client's knowledge of the process and what his/her exact expectation is. Does the final involve 5 minutes of gems from each speaker or twenty 2 minute clips from each? ("4-5 DVDs" makes it seem like the later.) Am I correct to assume that someone else has already handled the shoot? Have you seen the raw footage to verify that it's decent? Is there a starting point for the AE, disk and cover art or are you starting from zero?

Assuming that this is indeed a very complex and not nailed-down task giving an up-front price could easily turn into a nightmare, an ugly fight or both. So how can you get the job, protect yourself and hopefully develop a long-term relationship with your client?

I would be upfront and say that, due to the nature of the project, you would like to proceed on a day rate basis for at least the first week. Propose that you will work with him or her to first organize the material and nail down what's to be included in the final, that you will get as far into a rough cut as possible, and begin the graphics work.

Present this as a safe way to work for both of you. By the end of the week you both should be able to see how the project will progress going forward, and then likely be able to give an estimate for its completion. Make the deal that if he or she isn't happy with the progress they are free to take the project elsewhere with the hardest part -- organizing and digitizing of the footage already complete. Of course the deal has to be that you will turn over all work files (now repeat after me…) once you have received payment for the work to date.

This is all about establishing and constantly maintaining communication with the client. You must, must, must maintain the balance between the expectation and the end product for everyone to win in the end, (IMHO).

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Chris TompkinsRe: Need advice on a price quote
by on Dec 18, 2011 at 6:50:42 pm

IS the client picking the sound bytes out or you?
You could provide a TC dub for them to make an EDL.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC

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Joe BigorniaRe: Need advice on a price quote
by on Dec 18, 2011 at 10:47:44 pm

Thank you for your thoughts/input.
We did the shoot and the audio is separate through the soundboard, So I will be doing the syncing for sure. I know that each speaker talked for at least 30 minutes to an hour. So I am assuming I will be getting at least 20 minutes to 30 minutes of each speaker.
Unfortunately, The client will not be able to sit with me since he is all the way on the other side of the coast. I will be putting after effects in the beginning and the end. If I decide to do any in between I will most likely use a template. Still deciding if I should use encore for the DVD menus and so forth, I am not too knowledged with encore but am willing to look in tutorials for this. About 90% of the shots are usable and they are all HD. Thank you again

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Mark SuszkoRe: Need advice on a price quote
by on Dec 19, 2011 at 5:06:40 pm

I like Nick's approach: break this down into two jobs: the master edit of the segments, then a separate contract for the "authoring" of the DVD and all that goes with that. Get paid for step one before you start on step two.

Step one, you bill by the days times your day rate, plus any expenses, like more drives. Some of these segments are going to be faster to edit than others, but you still have to digitize or import and then align and screen 10 hours of material, before you make the first cut. Ten hours is pretty much a full day, just to prepare to begin the work.

You will then have to watch it in real time as you edit it, so best case that's about 20 hours, if you figure 2x real time to just match up 2 cameras and simulate a live-switch, plus maybe throw in a pre- built lower-third and some transitions every now and then.

Don't forget you'll need enough clear drive space for about 22 hours' worth of footage in whatever codec you're working with, and this needs to be built into the hourly rate if you need to buy the drives. The intro/outro AE templates, being templates, may only take an hour or less to apply, unless you spend more time customizing them.

To this point, I estimate the job is at, optimistically, 32 hours of work, if there isn't much to be done for audio sweetening or color tweaking. Mostly it is digital ditch-digging, so to speak, trimming out breaks between segments, covering camera angle changes and zooms, fixing powerpoints to look like real Tv graphics. Not especially challenging, but time consuming. You could save a lot of time if you captured the original footage to hard drives you can directly edit from. If you shot it on tape, you're definitely looking at 32 or so hours at a minimum. That would be about four days of pretty full 8-hour work days without much time for breaks or meals. So the edit is billed at day rate times 4 days, plus a markup for any extra drives you had to buy.

You explain to the client that once the main edit is done, he can take that material anywhere else to author, or he can go on working with you to make the DVD; he's protected by this arrangement against overages, as much as you are.

How complex the authoring of the DVD's is, remains up to you and the client. A simple front-end table of contents style menu is fast to build in DVDSP. You can jazz it up of course, at the cost of more hours. If kept very simple, authoring five DVDs might be done at two per day, figuring the graphics work, compression/burn time and testing takes most of the time there. The more of the elements that are pre-prepared in Final Cut, Motion, or AE before the authoring step, the better.

Based on this back-of-the-napkin calculation, looks like a 7-day job for post plus minimal authoring, duplication not included. At $80 per day, ( ten bucks an hour ) That's roughly $560 for the week without any expendables or commodities, and without figuring the drives if you needed to buy those. The $560 seems cheap when you look back at the scribbles we just laid out, and at ten bucks an hour you're not going to get very rich at this. Better than digging actual ditches or flipping burgers, but you're not going to make a lot on this job at that low of a rate. You will want to compare the opportunity cost of working any other job for seven days and look at what you get back out of that deal.

Again, this kind of calculation is why it is so handy to already have set a reasonable day rate and to know your day rate. That gets you not just in the ballpark, but somewhere in the good box seats section. And if the client can't meet your rate, you avoid working hard as a Big-Leaguer, only to get a nosebleed section seat at winter training.

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Joe BigorniaRe: Need advice on a price quote
by on Dec 19, 2011 at 9:33:11 pm

Thank you so much for your input. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

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Richard HerdRe: Need advice on a price quote
by on Dec 19, 2011 at 5:54:45 pm

I just successfully bid on an big editing job, by using he deliverable. And the client can opt out anywhere along the process.

This was a film, and so my deliverables are as follows:
-- Assemble edit - $XYZ
-- Rough Cut - $XYZ
-- Final Cut - $XYZ
-- Dialogue Edit and ADR - $XYZ
-- Foley and SFX - $XYZ
-- Score - $XYZ

Since my client doesn't know post either, a way of explaining what to expect and when was important. Also, if he wants to give the project to someone else, he can. If he wants to cut his expense and deliver what he's go, he can. If he wants to critique, he can.

I expect payment for each step, before moving onto the next step, and/or before releasing the footage.

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Joe BigorniaRe: Need advice on a price quote
by on Dec 19, 2011 at 9:33:08 pm

That's Great! I will definitely use this approach.Thank you

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