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For-Hire Videographer


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#1 Chris Keth

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 07:15 PM

I'm a student and I've been asked to shoot an interview for a documentary film. The director can't come to town so I will be lighting and operating myself.

I've never done any videography for hire and I have no clue what sort of rates one might charge. I have quite a lot of creative experience as a student, but very little as a working professional.

I'll be supplying a DVX, a tripod, minimal lighting (one 2-foot-4-bank and two 2-foot-2-bank kinos), and perhaps a microphone for the talent. The interview is expected to last around an hour.

When finished, I'll be shipping the tape to the client.

What would some of you who do this for a living charge for this service? If you could, would you also break it down by exact charges (i.e. itemize your time, equipment, et cetera)?

Thanks a ton! I'm not quite sure where to start.
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#2 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 08:11 PM

I'm a student and I've been asked to shoot an interview for a documentary film. The director can't come to town so I will be lighting and operating myself.

I've never done any videography for hire and I have no clue what sort of rates one might charge. I have quite a lot of creative experience as a student, but very little as a working professional.

I'll be supplying a DVX, a tripod, minimal lighting (one 2-foot-4-bank and two 2-foot-2-bank kinos), and perhaps a microphone for the talent. The interview is expected to last around an hour.

When finished, I'll be shipping the tape to the client.

What would some of you who do this for a living charge for this service? If you could, would you also break it down by exact charges (i.e. itemize your time, equipment, et cetera)?

Thanks a ton! I'm not quite sure where to start.


Rates are somewhat regional, so it is difficult to give you an exact number. Also, sometimes you can get away with charging more if you've got experience to back it up. As a "new" cameraman, charging a regular rate (for your area) may not fly. It might. It doesn't hurt to ask for it.

Camera/Lighting equipment rental is dependent upon what you have and what the budget of the project allows. I don't do shoots with that kind of camera if I can help it, so I'm not sure what a standard rental rate for that package would be. I'll put it in the ballpark of around $400 though. I might be wrong.

You say that you might provide a mic for the talent. That's a pretty important element for an interview. If you are a "one man band," then it is your responsibility to run audio as well as setting and lighting the shot. I avoid those situations whenever possible.

When invoicing, I would turn in two invoices, one for you (labor) and one for equipment for tax reasons.

For more detail on what we run into, check out this thread:

http://www.cinematog...showtopic=16530
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#3 Stephen Williams

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 03:27 AM

Rates are somewhat regional, so it is difficult to give you an exact number. Also, sometimes you can get away with charging more if you've got experience to back it up. As a "new" cameraman, charging a regular rate (for your area) may not fly. It might. It doesn't hurt to ask for it.

Camera/Lighting equipment rental is dependent upon what you have and what the budget of the project allows. I don't do shoots with that kind of camera if I can help it, so I'm not sure what a standard rental rate for that package would be. I'll put it in the ballpark of around $400 though. I might be wrong.

You say that you might provide a mic for the talent. That's a pretty important element for an interview. If you are a "one man band," then it is your responsibility to run audio as well as setting and lighting the shot. I avoid those situations whenever possible.

When invoicing, I would turn in two invoices, one for you (labor) and one for equipment for tax reasons.

For more detail on what we run into, check out this thread:

http://www.cinematog...showtopic=16530


Hi,

The more you quote the more client's will respect you.

Stephen
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#4 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 08:52 AM

Hi,

The more you quote the more client's will respect you.

Stephen


You'd think so. I work a lot with one company and I get $700 a day for HD from them. That's just me, no equipment. So I got a call from someone else I work with, usually just standard def stuff, and his rates are usually really low. He is shooting some HD and I told him what my rate is for that. Pretty much take it or go find someone else. His pool of cameramen doesn't have many (or any other as far as I know) guys who can shoot HD (which basically amounts to just knowing how to set up the camera). For whatever reason, he agreed begrudgingly to the $700 for tomorrow, but then added that "we'll figure out some other rate for long term HD work." What? So what he's saying is, in return for me giving you a lot more work, you agree to work for less than what you are worth to others. Hmm. The way I see it, if he can afford me tomorrow, chances are he is able to afford me for everything else. It all comes down to who is going to get that extra hundred or two, him or me. We'll see how far this respect thing goes....
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#5 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 09:20 AM

I do this a lot, although usually with a couple of extra hands. If it is only going to be a half an hour shoot plus your travel/setup time and you are a student looking for work experience and you are providing the gear I would say $500.

good luck!

also, Brian, it's funny the situation you describe, I've been through the same thing, although in my smaller market, I usually get $500 a day for myself. Producers are like, "I'm hiring you for the week....can you do it for $350 a day???" Like you say, producers usually DO have the money, it's just a matter of do they get that extra $150 or do you.
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#6 Stephen Williams

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 09:48 AM

You'd think so. I work a lot with one company and I get $700 a day for HD from them. That's just me, no equipment. So I got a call from someone else I work with, usually just standard def stuff, and his rates are usually really low. He is shooting some HD and I told him what my rate is for that. Pretty much take it or go find someone else. His pool of cameramen doesn't have many (or any other as far as I know) guys who can shoot HD (which basically amounts to just knowing how to set up the camera). For whatever reason, he agreed begrudgingly to the $700 for tomorrow, but then added that "we'll figure out some other rate for long term HD work." What? So what he's saying is, in return for me giving you a lot more work, you agree to work for less than what you are worth to others. Hmm. The way I see it, if he can afford me tomorrow, chances are he is able to afford me for everything else. It all comes down to who is going to get that extra hundred or two, him or me. We'll see how far this respect thing goes....


Hi,

I said to one Producer, "guarantee me 50 days in a year and I will work for the price you offer!" and "you agree to pay all of those 50 days even if you don't use them." Funny thing was he never asked for a discount again but he gave me nearly 50 days work that year!

Stephen
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#7 Tom Mott

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 02:36 PM

300-500 seems like a good range... definitely get a lavalier mic for the talent. You can rent a wired audio technica for about 25 bucks.
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

CineLab

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

Opal

Tai Audio

Abel Cine

Glidecam

The Slider

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post