: Your Advice Please

Sep 1st, 2004, 10:09 AM
I have a few video jobs that I will be doing for some people. One job will be making a small 5 min video that will be played on a loop in a sports complex in my area. I have never done any video work for money before. What is a average wage for something like that? I know I could not charge what a professional charges, and thats fine. But I would like to get an idea as to what a pro charges for putting together a 5 min video.


Sep 2nd, 2004, 03:56 PM
Lord only knows. There are too many variables for me to even guess at what to charge.

-are you shooting the footage? Or just making the loop?
-will it be seen by hundreds? Thousands? Tens of thousands?
-will it ever be used again? Or is it just a one time thing?
-any special titles, effects, or soundtrack (music) required? All of this cost more, and is more trouble to do.
-what format will you be using? If it's shot on miniDV, then you can probably do it for pretty cheap. Anything else will cost wayyy more to shoot or edit.

Perhaps if you filled in some of the blanks for us, then someone could take a stab at a ballpark price. Maybe. ;)

Sep 2nd, 2004, 07:29 PM
Thanks for the reply macnutt. I am not sure how many will see this video, it will be high lighting the sports facaility and its staff, it will about 5 min. I will be using my own Canon DV camera, with standard DV tapes. So I will not be renting any equipment. This will all be done in iMovie. I will end up burning it to a DVD. I will be shooting some film myself. I have done a few freeby jobs for some weddings and a few friends, word has got around to a few people, family and there friends. So I see this as a great learning experiece as well as a way to make a few bucks on the side to get into bigger waters ie: final cut pro. Not sure as to what music I will use, I might have a friend who is very talented musically wise put together a 5 min rock guitar instrumental, still not sure exactly yet. I am still fine tuning what I want to do. I am looking to charge for this first job by the hour. I was think around $15/hr. Is that way to high? Again I would classify myself as an amateur.

thanks for your help

Sep 2nd, 2004, 08:20 PM
Generally charge per completed minute.

For something small between $500 and $1000 a minute seems fair.

Sep 2nd, 2004, 08:28 PM
At $15/hr you are severely undervaluing yourself. I think charging by the hour is a good idea but I would start at $50 or $75 as a bare minimum, especially if you are using your own equipment. You are providing the services of a skilled professional and if you charge too little your client will not respect you.

However, as you are an amateur, I would adjust what you bill to take the learning curve into effect. That is, if you spend 3 hours figuring out something that would only take 15 minutes if you knew what you were doing, then bill for those 15 minutes only.

Good luck!

Sep 2nd, 2004, 08:30 PM
I always knew that Apple made those 30" inch LCD displays for the video people.

For something small between $500 and $1000 a minute seems fair. They are the ones that can afford it!

I also know that a professional job is definitely worth it! ;)

I have heard $80/hr bounced around.

Sep 2nd, 2004, 08:55 PM
It's a tough call charging by the hour when you're your own boss. Charging by the job allows your client to know their costs up front and will teach you quickly how to estimate.

By the minute is fairly standard. You tailor that cost ($500 - $5000) to the difficulty of the job: your time/ expertise, expenses, overhead and the demands of the client.

Sep 2nd, 2004, 09:02 PM
On the subject of charges.....this is one I struggled with when designing title signs for a video store. 14 signs @ 17" x 5"....
I charged them about $255.00....my cost was more than I had at first figured so I only made a profit of about $100.00.

How do you figure out the best way of charging for graphic work?

I knew they didn't want to spend much......I also know that you have to charge a decent buck if you want to be taken seriously.

Sep 2nd, 2004, 09:15 PM
thanks for all your suggestions, I find it hard to believe I could charge $50 to $75 an hour, that would be so nice! I dont know if I will charge that high, I will have to play it out with the customer

Sep 3rd, 2004, 12:58 PM
I don't think I'd charge by the hour. You're not building someone a garage here. Charge what you think is a fair price for the completed job. Do this by figuring out roughly what your expenses will be...then double that...and then figure out what you're time is worth and add that in to the mix. If it takes you a week, then you need to get some sort of payment for a week's labour..even if you are a brand newbie.

And, like everyone above has mentioned...DON'T undersell yourself or try to be the cheapest video guy around. The customer will not respect you. They will be expecting crap because they "got it CHEAP".

If you turn out a carefully crafted masterpiece of filmmmaking...then they will be laughing and jabbing each other with their elbows and saying "...yeah, and we got it CHEAP!"

Don't go there.