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storyboard artists rates


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#1 Mike Washlesky

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 02:00 PM

Curious what the going rates are for storyboard artists? Do they charge per cell, by the hour, or flat rate per project? Want to have a little knowledge before contacting artists directly. I am about to start looking around for artists to sketch some ideas for a promo vid for a pitch. I usually do them myself so am ignorant of rates/etc.

Any info would be helpful.
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#2 Ira Ratner

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 08:33 PM

Loaded question:

Depends on the level of detail you need--just rough frames stroked in black? Or color with a modicum of detail and shading?

In this economy, you want a guy to sit down and work with you and just charge by the hour. The more you change your mind and he has to redo frames, the more money he makes. (It will also be a good reminder for you to think it all through before you work with the guy.) In addition, a per frame charge is kind of awkward because you might really bust his balls on a few frames where HE would be pissed, where conversely it will take him no time at all to do other frames, where YOU would be pissed, with the same cost for each.

As far as $ per hour, again--depends on the quality, and the area you're in. But I would think that nowadays, you would pay anywhere $35 to $75 an hour.

Mind you, these guys could be worth much more, but in this economy, people are happy to be working and eating. Budgeting $500 to $1,000 for a half-way decent storyboard guy/gal is money very well spent for a real project, because you gotta remember:

Although you may be a filmmaker, these guys are literal ARTISTS, with a superior take on perspective and such. So, you may explain something to him, and the frame he gives you really captures the essence of what you wanted to achieve, and giving you a real tool when it's time to shoot.

Mind you, my experience comes from advertising work in the 80s, where we had salaried storyboarders on staff. The art directors would work with them in real time, and 9 times out of 10, the art director was wrong.
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#3 Mike Washlesky

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:16 PM

Loaded question:

Depends on the level of detail you need--just rough frames stroked in black? Or color with a modicum of detail and shading?

In this economy, you want a guy to sit down and work with you and just charge by the hour. The more you change your mind and he has to redo frames, the more money he makes. (It will also be a good reminder for you to think it all through before you work with the guy.) In addition, a per frame charge is kind of awkward because you might really bust his balls on a few frames where HE would be pissed, where conversely it will take him no time at all to do other frames, where YOU would be pissed, with the same cost for each.

As far as $ per hour, again--depends on the quality, and the area you're in. But I would think that nowadays, you would pay anywhere $35 to $75 an hour.

Mind you, these guys could be worth much more, but in this economy, people are happy to be working and eating. Budgeting $500 to $1,000 for a half-way decent storyboard guy/gal is money very well spent for a real project, because you gotta remember:

Although you may be a filmmaker, these guys are literal ARTISTS, with a superior take on perspective and such. So, you may explain something to him, and the frame he gives you really captures the essence of what you wanted to achieve, and giving you a real tool when it's time to shoot.

Mind you, my experience comes from advertising work in the 80s, where we had salaried storyboarders on staff. The art directors would work with them in real time, and 9 times out of 10, the art director was wrong.


No kidding. I actually am an artist myself so hopefully that will help speed things along. Like I said previously, I usually board things myself, and they are very detailed with lighting and shading but no color. I sometimes animate them as well if for a music vid or a specific sequence that needs timing, I just have never actually paid for them which is where the question comes from. On this project I wont have the time to personally draw them myself, so those rates help me get a general ballpark of what I am looking at.

Thanks for the advice.
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#4 Ira Ratner

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 07:58 PM

Well, you knew the answer anyway. But if you did storyboard work where you now live and now want to hire the same, why did you ask this question? Don't you know the acceptable rates?

I had no idea about Texas and just wanted to contribute that you're better off going hourly.

Some of the posts here are getting real cryptic these days.
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#5 Mike Washlesky

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 10:14 AM

Well, you knew the answer anyway. But if you did storyboard work where you now live and now want to hire the same, why did you ask this question? Don't you know the acceptable rates?

I had no idea about Texas and just wanted to contribute that you're better off going hourly.

Some of the posts here are getting real cryptic these days.



I do storyboard work for myself. Never been paid for it, now looking to hire someone to do it instead. Which is why I was asking, so I have an idea what rates are normal. I dont know the rates, which is the point of this question. How was that cryptic?
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Rig Wheels Passport

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

Aerial Filmworks

Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Visual Products

Technodolly

Ritter Battery

CineLab

Abel Cine

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

Opal

rebotnix Technologies

FJS International, LLC

Wooden Camera

Tai Audio