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Hourly Rate/ How Much To Charge


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#1 Matt Serrins

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 04:44 PM

Hi,

I'm a short filmmaker who's been asked to do some corporate video for a small company, and I'd like to know what kind of rate I should ask for, as I've never done this. I'm basically freelance, and I will be required to film for about half a day (4 hours). I'm not involved with the creative, but I will be required to light and compose, and I will also have to edit. I also need to borrow/rent a camera and whatever minimal lighting kit will be necessary. I'm in a smallish city in the South if that affects anything.

What's a fair rate for this job? Do I charge for the time spent tracking down the materials? For the time spent brainstorming? How much do I charge for editing? Thanks for any advice.

Matt Serrins
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#2 Jay Gladwell

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 07:54 AM

Yes, your market (location) affects everything! What the market will bear in Miami will be markedly different from what the market will bear in small Southern town. What is an hour of your time worth?

Regardless of what you're doing, you charge for it.

Don't forget, the rentals (and any other expenses) are in addition to your fee, not a part of.

Too, you should check out DV Info Net -- http://www.dvinfo.ne...isplay.php?f=40 -- they discuss this topic quite often.
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#3 Josh Bass

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 01:52 PM

I don't know about this hourly thing, either, at least for the shoot. Usually people work on day rates, unless they're camera guys at a news station or something.

I would set a half day and full day rate (usually the half day rate is NOT actually half the full day rate, it's more like 60% or more, to encourage your client not to waste your time for only half a day, and to go ahead and splurge for the full day. The logic there is that you can't book two half days, more than likely. Once you've booked that day, even if it's only 4 hours, what're the chances you can pick up a gig for rest of the day? Some people don't even do the half day rate for this reason.


As for editing, you could do an hourly rate there, since it's a little different. If you're a beginner, maybe $30-50 an hour. Seasoned pro? 125+.

that is of course from a Houston perspective. Alter your rates for your city accordingly.
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#4 Matt Serrins

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 01:57 PM

Thanks for the info and for the link guys. I appreciate it.

Matt
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#5 Tim Tyler

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 03:53 PM

Jay - Please don't link to another forum's 'Business' topics when we have one of those right here on Cinematography.com. This forum is a place to ask and get answers, not ask and get redirected.

Matt - I've seen day rates for video shooters range from $300 to $800 for 10 hours.

Add a camera package rental rate to that. You can get an idea of market value rental rates from Bexel at http://www.bexel.com...iceList2005.xls
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#6 Jay Gladwell

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 06:53 AM

Sorry, Tim, I wasn't aware of that.
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#7 Jay Gladwell

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 07:05 AM

I don't know about this hourly thing, either, at least for the shoot. Usually people work on day rates, unless they're camera guys at a news station or something.

Josh, this is only a starting place--square one. If you don't know what an hour of your time is worth to you, who does? For example, if I know what the "expenses" are going to run, the only other item left is my "time." Sometimes, when all the expenses are covered by the client, as in such cases of being a "hired gun", I still need to know what my time is worth to have a basis for my day rate.
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#8 Chien Huey

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 03:55 PM

Don't forget to factor in editing time. Most of my corporate clients want a flat rate for the job which will consists of a day rate for shooting and then a flat rate for editing.

I always put into the contract stipulations on what the editing rate includes (e.g. 1 first cut w/ 2 revisions). You'll be surprised how quickly your editing time adds up so charge accordingly. If the client is open to an editing day rate or hourly rate, by all means go that route but they probably won't want to. Invariably, some clients know what they want and can clearly articulate their edit feedback and others won't. Since this is your first gig, I'd suggest being conservative and estimating more time for editing. Once you figure out which group your client is in, you can adjust your rate accordingly.
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#9 Josh Bass

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 05:33 PM

I was saying, I wouldn't quote someone an hourly rate. Quote them a day rate based off of what you think you're worth per hour.
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#10 Jack Guthrey

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 09:27 PM

I co-own a media production company in a small southern town actually (East TN) and for four hours plus editing charge, I would probably charge anywhere from 800 - 1100 but, I own my equipment so add whatever your amount is on top (or subtract about 100 or so and then add your amount to it). And honestly, we are the cheapest outfit in town, our only competitors are not very good and charge exhorbant rates. So, if you are the only option, sometimes you can charge a good deal more for it.

Edited by Jack Guthrey, 04 April 2006 - 09:28 PM.

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#11 Jay Gladwell

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 06:16 AM

I was saying, I wouldn't quote someone an hourly rate. Quote them a day rate based off of what you think you're worth per hour.

Agreed! We were singing from the same page.
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#12 Josh Bass

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 09:02 AM

Exactly. From the initial post, it looked like he was trying to get advice on actually quoting someone x amount of $$$ per hour. I used to do that 'til I heard about the exciting world of day rates.
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Visual Products

Glidecam

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Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

Opal

Wooden Camera

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

CineTape

Gamma Ray Digital Inc