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What to charge ????


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#1 Dominik Muench

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 08:01 AM

Hi guys,



i got a job at a small but very nice production house, they're doing a lot of tv segements for fox and quite a few german tv channels.
i would be working for them on a freelance basis, but 3 full days a week plus if they need me on any shoots as assistant or second camera.

my main area of work would be the whole technical stuff in the company:

- updating and maintaining their website
- computer and network maintenance
- reorganizing and rewiring their editsuite
- doing editing jobs, creating quicktimes, making dvds...
- as well as working as DOP (betacam) when the need arises.


i know its hard to ask for a "standard" rate or a correct answer because there is none, but the owner of the company asked me to tell him my rates.


any suggestions greately appreciated :)
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#2 Tim Tyler

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 11:19 AM

Your rate for this should probably be based on your experience and what you think they're willing to pay.

Have you worked for them before? What did they pay you?

I'd suggest you come up with a relatively low rate that you're comfortable with, and then tell the owner that you're willing to work for that to see how things work out, and that maybe you'll ask to renegotiate in six months or so.
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#3 Dominik Muench

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 11:22 AM

Your rate for this should probably be based on your experience and what you think they're willing to pay.

Have you worked for them before? What did they pay you?

I'd suggest you come up with a relatively low rate that you're comfortable with, and then tell the owner that you're willing to work for that to see how things work out, and that maybe you'll ask to renegotiate in six months or so.



hi tim,


nope i havent worked for them before.

i would consider myself fairly experienced with an IT and electronics degree, as well as a dop.
but i guess its better to start low and then raise it later when hes satisfied with my work.
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#4 Lars.Erik

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 10:49 AM

Hey there.

First, I don't understand why you should sell yourself at a low rate. That's not a good way to think. To me it sounds like they are asking you to to a type of editing work, with some other tasks in the job description. iT doesn't sound like a P.A. job, it does sound a bit more important. Not that P.A. isn't a important job, but you know what I mean.

I would rather ask for a decent pay. And also ask for the hours you are supposed to work every day/week. Also, if you ask for a decent pay, and they think it's too much. You can always just go down a bit on your pay. Worst thing that can happen is they say no, and ask you to come up with another figure. So, ask for a decent pay first.

Let us know how you do.
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#5 Dominik Muench

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 11:01 AM

since its a small company i cant really ask for too much.

for the start we figured out a 148? per day payment, im working for them twice a week.
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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 12:15 PM

Hi,

That doesn't sound like much. Depends on a lot of things, but that really isn't much. Have you factored in the costs of any travel?

Interestingly I have never had someone balk at a rate. I have gradually increased my rates over the last two or three years to at least a somewhat professional level and nobody ever seems to complain. The bigger the client, the bigger the productions, the more this is the case - it's not that they'll deal with higher rates, they just have a much greater tendency to go "Yahright, whatever." Especially if they're doing ads.

Phil
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#7 Tim Tyler

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 12:50 PM

When I first moved to Seattle from NYC, I hooked up with a small production company (for about a year) who offered a job similar to what Dmuench describes. I did a little P.A.ing, office tech, some offline video editing, some A.C.ing, and eventually camera operator on some spots. I think my rate was $75/day ~1992. It barely paid the bills, but mostly it gave me a chance to meet other Seattle industry pro's, labs, vendors, and to learn from the commercial director who ran the company.

Since I only worked for them a few days a week, it gave me the flexibility to freelance on other productions too.

I'm not suggesting that Dmuench sell his soul cheap, but sometimes the money isn't the most valuable thing you get from a job.
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#8 Stephen Williams

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 01:49 PM

Hi,

That doesn't sound like much. Depends on a lot of things, but that really isn't much. Have you factored in the costs of any travel?

Interestingly I have never had someone balk at a rate. I have gradually increased my rates over the last two or three years to at least a somewhat professional level and nobody ever seems to complain. The bigger the client, the bigger the productions, the more this is the case - it's not that they'll deal with higher rates, they just have a much greater tendency to go "Yahright, whatever." Especially if they're doing ads.

Phil


Phil,

Thats my experiance too.

Cheers,

Stephen
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#9 Dominik Muench

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 04:33 PM

Phil,

Thats my experiance too.

Cheers,

Stephen



i know its not much, but its a very small production house, the "core" team is only 3 people strong, the rest are freelancers which get hired when a job comes up.
should they get more work im sure i can renegotiate my rate with them.
on a longer term im wanting to go to asia anyway.
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#10 Sam Javor

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 01:35 PM

I am just starting to get paying work doing a 30min training video for a "small" national corporation... I'm charging $30 an hour. I expect the project to take (may change) 20 hours... a competing bid was $10K... but I think that company was going a bit overboard...

now I have go get "legitimate" and get a DBA and vendor's license :) I think I'll start as a sole proprietorship and maybe go to LLC if I get bigger...but it's just me and I might hire crew on larger projects...

Edited by zekthedeadcow, 09 March 2006 - 01:38 PM.

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#11 Tim J Durham

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 07:26 AM

since its a small company i cant really ask for too much.

for the start we figured out a 148? per day payment, im working for them twice a week.


Hi Dominik,
When I got my 'big break', I was making $7.50 an hour so don't let these guys talk you out of an opportunity.
Just try to make yourself indispensible and once that happens, start sending your resumé around. Then you'll find out what they can afford to pay you.
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#12 Dominik Muench

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 08:19 AM

thanks tim,

im sending out applications next week, well the first lot, 100 copies :/
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#13 Tom Mott

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 03:53 PM

Hi Dominik,
When I got my 'big break', I was making $7.50 an hour so don't let these guys talk you out of an opportunity.
Just try to make yourself indispensible and once that happens, start sending your resumé around. Then you'll find out what they can afford to pay you.



If the job will increase your knowledge and skills - take it. At the ripe age of 32 I got into one of the finest art schools in the country but wasn't able to swing it financially. Instead, I left a decent job in IT to first be a producer (commission sales for a local tv show and commercials), then ran and created their websites, then edited, then filmed (Sony DSR 500 and PD150) - basically learning everything I needed to know to start my own media company - although I've yet to shoot in film which I am looking forward to.

I now freelance shoot and edit and somehow manage to pay the bills each month. This industry started on the basis of apprenticeship and in my humble opinion you learn much more by getting your hands dirty and doing things. I've been on many gigs with people fresh out of college who couldn't light, shoot or get sound to save their butts.

Keep learning and charge as much as the market will bear.
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