My biggest bid yet?
I am about to bid for my biggest job yet. I just received a request to bid for a job and it is honestly a bit bigger than I normally work with. It is an edit only job and I normally am involved in the full creative treatment and production of the jobs I choose and bid. My business partner and I have about 8 years each.
The job is for a company that I have researched to make roughly $6-10 million a year and employ 140 people. The work they want performed will be the editing of 12 videos that will be used as training modules they are going to sell access to, to other companies. The 12 videos will be required by us to be delivered in 90 second, 2 minuet, and 4-6 minuet lengths each.
My thoughts are that we will be delivering roughly 102 minuets of final video all said and done if we assume that each 3 video set will average about 8.5 minuets. The time schedual that is known so far is that bids are due the 15th, interviews the next 2 weeks, and bid winner the beginning of May. The first rough will need to be delivered by the middle of May.
Light graphics and composition is implied. Other than that I am not sure of any other details yet. I am not sure of the recorded format, or the current state of footage/audio. The videos are supposably written by an Emmy award winning writer so I am assuming a proper creative treatment is in place and hopefully a nice storyboard also.
My thoughts are to bid out at the cost of 204 editing hours figured at 4 minuets of final cut video achieved every 8 hours per person. 15 hours of composition/intro/outro design. 20 hours of revisionary edits assuming 3-5 revision at 5 hours a revisionary round. All for a total of 239 billable hours at $78 an hour.
I am not really sure if I am underbidding myself enormously or not? Previously our jobs have been of a more manageable bid size in the $5000-10000 and I have had great luck figuring $300-$600 per minuet of finalized video in projects of the past depending on the client. On this one I don't know If I can use my typical formula I have been as that is obviously an enormous amount.
Some advise from anyone who has been in the game longer would be great, as I have honestly given it a lot of thought, but just need some advice a this point to hopefully give me a kick in the ass for overlooking something or being over confident/greedy.
Well, understand that I'm not putting pencil or paper to it or anything... and I'll admit that I don't know your skill level or the degree of "polish" that these videos require... but at first blush it sounds to me that this is awfully cheap work for something high-end (assuming it is, or is expected to be).
And I'll note that even at your rate of $78/hr (which is quite a bargain basement rate), if your guesstimate at 102 minutes of finished video is accurate, that's well well below your previous past experiences of $300-600 per finished minute. In fact, it's little more than half of the low end of that range... it's only about $183 per finished minute based on 239 billable hours.
I'd say first you need some more fact gathering... knowing things like how the raw video is delivered, what format, condition, and all that jazz would weigh greatly my personal bidding for it.
And obviously you don't know how easy these people will be to work for, what kind of state you'll be given things in or how clear the directions are. It could be easy as pie, or a giant pain in the rear to figure out what they need. And I wouldn't assume anything... one of the biggest pain-in-the-butt things I ever worked on also had an "Emmy-winning writer." And he was pretty much the main source of all the confusion, troubles, and general disarray (and was a pretty bad writer, to boot).
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
My inclination is to go way higher than you're talking with your bid. $78 per hour, as said above, is dangerously low for editing. I think most will agree that the lowest you should every be billing out for that, to say nothing of for a bigger, corporate client, is $150/hr.
I know around these parts, the standard for a 90-second web spot/training vid hovers around $3000 if you're shooting it and editing it. So work down from there since the footage is already in the can.
Lastly, this x10: I'd say first you need some more fact gathering... knowing things like how the raw video is delivered, what format, condition, and all that jazz would weigh greatly my personal bidding for it.
Fix your autocomplete settings because nobody dances the minuet anymore. On the serious side, you don't yet know just how much compositing/graphics work these training things may require, and that alone could blow a huge hole in your budget. That's the most glaring thing to me.
Hi guys I am sorry to be as rude as to abandon my own thread for nearly two days like that when you were are gracious enough to try and help me out on yet another "How much should I charge thread".
First off I am really thankful, each of your comments added that little extra something to helping really realize what I was gonna be bidding for. As I said before the projects we have been undertaking lately have been in that very manageable and time tested 5-10K range that I am much more familiar with, and a very large project like this was just dangerously new waters. That being said I really like to think that we are up to the task. Yesterday morning after I had posted my thread I sent an email to the contact for the bid to try and maybe clear up some of the ambiguity that I had and that you guys have all ended up showing concern over also. The most glaring questions I had to ask about was the format, state of the footage and the extent of the graphics work, and a more clear understanding of the time table they are proposing. After reading the comments I have received I see that those were pretty on point but I have now formed a couple more that I will be sending a follow up email about. I did receive a quick reply this afternoon that answered nothing directly but said that they would gather more of the information I had asked more quickly and then pointed me at a video from another company they are using as inspiration and as a "driving guide" whatever they want to mean by that.
Here is that video. Its interesting.
Again I thank you each for responding and being so forgiving with a new comer to something like this.
Yikes is right - that just makes me want kill any creative who suggests using a bear suit in a training video...
Not to mention the fact that there's no motivating message to make the viewer want to call the onscreen number...other than to complain about the quality of the video.
I'd rather watch a funny cat video on YouTube...
Um, yeah, that's weak weak weak.
I'm a fan of Lou Wagner... hate to see him in something so bad. And baffles me why some "Emmy-winning writer" would want to credit himself up front in a project like that, especially one so bad. There's no limits to vanity, I guess.
On the UPSIDE, if your client is "inspired" by that, it certainly does a nice job of setting the bar incredibly low. Any decent work should knock their socks off.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.