Jump to content


How much do I charge


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 jimmy g

jimmy g
  • Guests

Posted 07 December 2005 - 01:06 AM

He needs some rates, what are some averages. For example a live concert shot with 1 camera, and a couple of these would be edited together, or a multi camera shoot. or a studio film shoot? any ideas?


thanks,

-Jim
  • 0

#2 Rik Andino

Rik Andino
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 783 posts
  • Electrician
  • New York City

Posted 07 December 2005 - 03:35 AM

He needs some rates, what are some averages. For example a live concert shot with 1 camera, and a couple of these would be edited together, or a multi camera shoot. or a studio film shoot? any ideas?
thanks,

-Jim


Rates vary within the industry, from person to person and from production to production.
There is no such thing as a fixed rate...however there are union standards.
But...I'm betting you're not a union man yet, that's why you're asking about rates.

To come up with a somewhat accurate estimate...
I'd say consider how much the resources will cost, (that includes renting equipment and hiring crew)
Secondly calculate how much time it'll take to do it all, and how much you feel your time is worth
Then add it all up and you should have a crude budget estimate

You should however always keep in mind
What the production can realistically afford...
If they can't afford the price you came up with
Well you'll have to ask yourself is it worth it for you to do it...

If it is worth it then tell them how much you'll be willing to do and then that there is your rate.

Ultimately YOU DECIDE THE RATE.


Good Luck
  • 0

#3 jimmy g

jimmy g
  • Guests

Posted 07 December 2005 - 04:59 PM

what you mentioned little of, how much is your time worth. Thats basically what I was looking for. How much do people usually make per hour? Just a roundabout figure for editing or shooting.
I know I decide in the end but, I've never gotten paid professionaly for my work, I know how much work it will require me to do becuase I've done it before for free, so I dont know how much to charge.
  • 0

#4 Tim Tyler

Tim Tyler

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1291 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Olympia, WA (US)

Posted 07 December 2005 - 05:31 PM

Just a roundabout figure for editing or shooting. ...
... I dont know how much to charge.


Oh! Just charge them $50.

What, you say? That's too little?

OK - Charge them $100.

Huh? Still not enough? Hmmm. Make it $1000 then.

Sarcasm aside, my point is that YOU need to decide what to charge them. If YOUR time is worth $10/hr, then charge them $10/hr. Professional rates vary from 'free' to thousands of dollars per day for shooting and editing. Maybe you do the first one for free, and then figure out a rate for subsequent projects.
  • 0

#5 jimmy g

jimmy g
  • Guests

Posted 08 December 2005 - 03:43 AM

Ok, well does anyone know of any company rates or their own personal rates dependent upon quality? I know mine will be vary according to what I decide but, just because I'm a nice guy and can shoot with a high end mini dv cam and edit on avid doesnt mean it should be free.
  • 0

#6 Stephen Williams

Stephen Williams
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4708 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Europe

Posted 08 December 2005 - 11:08 AM

Ok, well does anyone know of any company rates or their own personal rates dependent upon quality? I know mine will be vary according to what I decide but, just because I'm a nice guy and can shoot with a high end mini dv cam and edit on avid doesnt mean it should be free.


Hi,

In the end its down to how much you want to earn per year. Then devide that figure by 100. I think thats a good starting point!

Stephen
  • 0

#7 Michael Collier

Michael Collier
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1262 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 08 December 2005 - 07:12 PM

A good base if you have never done anything professionaly is about 20 bucks an hour. Keep in mind that since our work is usually based on a one time project (not 40 hours a week, with 2 paid vacations) your rate should be higher than what your worth for a continual gig.

Various other factors should be counted in.

Is there travel? Usually a travel day is half full rate.

Is there long days? after 8 hours (or 10, if thats your agreement) you go into overtime and should make time and a half.

Are you providing your own gear? If so find a rental company in your area, find what they charge and then give the production your working on a break (producers love saving on rental services, and most houses cut break to long time customers, so give that to them right off the bat, they will love you for it)

Are there difficult conditions? I have shot for the Iditarod, and if its between a nice studio shoot and -10 degrees in a town with 3 cars and 80 snow machines, well the latter should pay better.


In the end they will pay what they need to pay and if they cant afford you (i assume your rate will be far lower than many of the ENG freelancers in the area) then chances are they are a shady operation trying to get a bunch of cheap work from a guy whos eager to get his feet wet. Then you gotta decide if you should do the shoot or not.

I did a shoot in my early career for 200 bucks. 2 cameras (3 chip miniDV) that I provided, 2 hours of rehearsal and 2 hours for the performance, plus 5 days of editing (they wanted the whole 2 hour performance on DVD)

Do the math and thats about $4.54 an hour that I had to split between two people in the production company. Add to that the guy misrepresented himself as a 'local artist promotion' and promised more work (which never came, even the artist we did the video for left his company) and he didnt even pick up the DVD for 7 months. Every 2 weeks we would get a call "hey is that DVD ready?" "yeah, its been ready for a while, you can pick it up right now" "oh well I'm actually kind of busy right now, I will give you a call in a few days"

Our producer had to drive the damn thing to his house (so add $5 travel expense to get it from anchorage to the Mat-su valley in a Dodge ram pick up)
  • 0

#8 jimmy g

jimmy g
  • Guests

Posted 08 December 2005 - 10:27 PM

wow that was helpful. Ok, 20$ an hour seems very reasonable. I think I will be videotaping bands live (concerts usually run 5 hrs in length) in which case I would travel 40 mins each way. I guess in the end I would take some of the live concerts that are filmed and edited them to a cd travel for a music video, although I'm not sure because I don't have much information, all I know is he is involved with a major venue and books shows a lot. If he hires me, I will probably purchase a brand new 3 chip camera (maybe a dvx 100a?) or get a used 3 chipper like a worn vx1000(when I used to film bands, it was in very low light) because I am looking for my own 3 chip camera anyway. Thanks a lot for the info.


-Jim

Edited by jimmy g, 08 December 2005 - 10:28 PM.

  • 0

#9 Tom Banks

Tom Banks
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 119 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 08 December 2005 - 10:39 PM

To give you some more options or advice:

I started filming freelance in highschool (10th grade) I had no expereince, but landed a job filming shows for a Six Flags park in Houston. Without any professional experience I put my going rates at $30 per hour when filming and $40 per hour when editing.

Two years later I decided I was way overdue in upping my rates after many more jobs filming. My going rate now is $50 an hr. filming and $70 an hr. editing. I figure shooting on an XL1s simply as an operator I cant really charge much more than $50/hr.

When putting together larger projects that would involve longer hours or a set in stone final product I would usually meet with the client and work out a price according to their budget. I would add in the time it would take to film and estimate the time it would take to edit, then figure out the standard price. If their budget could not accomidate that I would knock however much off, still keeping a reasonable price, until it worked for them.

Just never undersell yourself though.

Edited by TomBanks, 08 December 2005 - 10:40 PM.

  • 0

#10 Peter J DeCrescenzo

Peter J DeCrescenzo
  • Sustaining Members
  • 620 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • Portland, OR, USA www.peterdv.com Blog: http://herefortheweather.wordpress.com/

Posted 09 December 2005 - 03:20 AM

Another item to factor into your cost and rate estimations: Insurance.

Most homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance doesn't cover relatively expensive film/video production gear or rented gear. Ask your insurance agent to find out for sure.

If you rent gear, the rental house will usually require proof of insurance, and you usually have to get their company "named" in your policy so if their equipment gets damaged, stolen and so forth, then they'll get reimbursed by your insurance. Some rental houses sell short-term insurance for the gear they rent. For details, consult with them and your insurance company well in advance of your shoot day(s).

Another reason to consider gtting insurance is liability. For example, if someone trips over a power cable ("stinger") associated with your production and gets injured, they may decide to sue _you_, not your client. Without liability insurance you're probably screwed. Consider that there are many ways someone might get injured (or worse) during a film/video production. Again, consult with an insurance agent for details.

Buying business insurance directly from an insurance company is usually expensive. For an individual film/video freelance contractor it can cost well over $1K/year for very minimal coverage. Of course, rates can vary tremendously from one insurance company to another. Note also that some ins. companies won't even want to talk to a 1-person business.

In the US, individual film/video freelance contractors with relatively small amounts of gear to insure (such as up to $25K worth or so) can get business insurance covering equipment damage & theft, and about $1M-$2M of liability coverage, by joining an organization such as WEVA (there are probably others). In the case of WEVA, its annual dues are about $175/year for an individual freelancer, and entry-level insurance as described above costs about an additional $500/year or so. Higher coverage amounts are available at higher rates. Info about WEVA and their member benefits are described on their website:
http://www.weva.com

By the way, WEVA doesn't care if you don't do weddings, they just want your membership money. ;-)

There are also insurance agents who specialize in selling short-term insurance, for example to cover the duration of a specific project when you might be using more gear (or more expensive gear) than usual. I don't know any agents to recommend, but a film/video equipment rental house in your area might be able to refer you to one.

Anyway, welcome to the wonderful world of business! Sometimes -- but not always -- you have to spend money to make money. But if you "wing it" you're by definition taking chances/risks. Sometimes that's a good thing, sometimes not. Be careful out there.

All the best,

- Peter DeCrescenzo
  • 0

#11 jimmy g

jimmy g
  • Guests

Posted 09 December 2005 - 04:23 AM

Thanks for the info. I do not anticipate this project for me to require renting out space and equipment but, if it does then that should be fine. I am leaning more towards a per hour rate while filming and a flat rate for editing. Wouldnt clients think that you will take your sweet time dragging everything out very slowly while editing so you make more money?

thanks again for the info, its very helpful.


-Jim
  • 0

#12 Michael LaVoie

Michael LaVoie
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 719 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 09 December 2005 - 07:10 AM

For mid level DV/DVC-Pro/Beta gigs (i.e. non broadcast, non-union, etc.) at your basic production company, a concert that's only around 2 hours long should be billed out at around $1000 per camera if you can get it. That covers the cost of renting the camera and hiring someone to shoot. Forget the fact that you may own the camera and you may hire someone to shoot for you. You don't have to resign yourself to $20 an hour. You can still realistically bill out $1000 per camera if the client can afford it because if they call around to established production companies, they'll get similar quotes. They'll also get freelancers fronting as companies who will charge freelance rates and then you might get screwed. Determine if they're on a fishing expedition for quotes or if they're just interested in you. If you're shooting and editing HD you can charge even more.

Editing can be billed out at $85 to $150 an hour. Though again, it all depends on what the client can afford.

Edited by Michael LaVoie, 09 December 2005 - 07:13 AM.

  • 0

#13 jimmy g

jimmy g
  • Guests

Posted 09 December 2005 - 12:24 PM

wow, thats a stark difference than before. I am almost positive this company isn't looking around at other quotes. What is considered "mid level" dv? like gl-2s?
  • 0

#14 Luke Prendergast

Luke Prendergast
  • Sustaining Members
  • 491 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Victoria Australia

Posted 09 December 2005 - 02:37 PM

What is considered "mid level" dv? like gl-2s?


No, that's consumer-level DV. An XL1, PD150 etc would be low-end. An SDX900 would be high end SD.
  • 0

#15 Peter J DeCrescenzo

Peter J DeCrescenzo
  • Sustaining Members
  • 620 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • Portland, OR, USA www.peterdv.com Blog: http://herefortheweather.wordpress.com/

Posted 10 December 2005 - 12:51 AM

Thanks for the info. I do not anticipate this project for me to require renting out space and equipment but, if it does then that should be fine. ...

Just so it's clear: For an independent freelance contract videographer, the need for liability insurance is something to consider whether you're renting equipment or using your own.

Someone can sue you if they decide you have caused them harm for any reason, especially physical harm. The chance of this happening greatly increases if they decide any object associated with you in any way -- a cable they trip over, a lightstand that falls on them, and so forth -- allegedly caused them injury.

Your client is extremely unlikely to come to your rescue, neither will the venue (club, theater, etc.), or the promoter, or the band, and so forth. Or, another variation might be the injured person sues, say, the club, and then the club turns around and sues _you_. It's a normal risk of doing business. The question is, are you prepared for this risk?

Aside from the insurance industry existing for the purpose of making lots of money for insurance companies, it also exists because it can provide some actual protection for its policy holders. It other words, it's something to seriously consider.

Again, welcome to the wonderful world of business. :)

All the best,

- Peter DeCrescenzo
  • 0

#16 jimmy g

jimmy g
  • Guests

Posted 10 December 2005 - 03:59 PM

No, that's consumer-level DV. An XL1, PD150 etc would be low-end. An SDX900 would be high end SD.

gotcha, i guess xl-2s, ag-dvx100/100a's i guess would be in the same category.

Yea, insurance would be something I'd consider if the situation arises.
  • 0

#17 Ron_mc_Don

Ron_mc_Don
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 21 posts
  • Student

Posted 18 December 2005 - 11:51 AM

Personally, I'd just say go for it. $20 an hour sounds good for where you're at right now and what you'll be doing. Form the sounds of things you're an amatuer (no offense intended) trying to break into the indutry, and in my humble opinion you seem to be going the right way about it. Shoot heaps of stuff for heaps of people, then worry about money latter. It doesn't mean you should sell your self short, but just focus on getting some experience under your belt.

Good luck!

Tony.
  • 0


FJS International, LLC

Visual Products

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks

Willys Widgets

CineLab

Ritter Battery

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Tai Audio

Metropolis Post

Technodolly

The Slider

Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Rig Wheels Passport

Opal

Abel Cine

Opal

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab

The Slider

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Aerial Filmworks

FJS International, LLC

Abel Cine

Metropolis Post

Glidecam

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

Visual Products

CineTape

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

Rig Wheels Passport

Paralinx LLC

Tai Audio

Technodolly

Ritter Battery