How Much Is a Video Job Worth to You?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by sleevelessarts, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. sleevelessarts macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2009
    Hey everyone, this is my first post, but I've been around for a little while now.
    I've been doing video production for a little while now and I've run into a problem. My New Year's Resolution (if you want to call it that) is to start charging for my video services (in the past, I've usually not charged anything because it's what I like to do). The problem is, it's very hard to set up a guide to follow to determine how much a job costs. This is because most people don't realize how much work it is and how much time it occupies. I thought that maybe getting feedback about it from a lot of people would give me a good idea of what it's worth. So here's what I want to know. How much is the following worth to you?

    Shooting an event (wedding, play, etc) (per hour)
    Light editing (piecing a few clips together, nothing that would make my fans spin)
    Heavy editing (visual effects, compositing, etc. Anything that would make my fans spin)
    DVD creation (no menu) + a per-DVD charge
    DVD creation (w/ menu) + a per-DVD charge

    As for quality, I've got a Canon GL2, a fairly nice shotgun mic, some lighting equipment, and various other things. I use Final Cut Studio 2 to edit my videos.

    Thanks everyone, you're help is very much appreciated. ;)
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Call around to video production places in your area and see what everyone else charges and use that as a guide. Prices in Los Angeles will be much different than prices in Cornfield, Indiana. You don't want to under-cut the other video guys in your area, but at the same time you don't want charge higher than what you can deliver based on your skill set.

  3. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
  4. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
  5. -DH macrumors 65816

    Nov 28, 2006
    Nashville Tennessee
    Charge by the hour: have a production rate and a post-production rate. From those rates, you can develop 1/2 day and day rates.

    How to figure out how much to charge hourly? If you plan to do this as a business, you need to take a course in small business accounting. First you'll need to figure your fixed expenses. Those are expenses that don't change regardless of how much business you do or revenue you generate. Things like, rent, utilities, commercial insurance, marketing, etc will still have to be paid every month even if you don't sell a thing. So once you've added those expenses up, you know how much money you have to make each month just to pay the basic bills.

    Next you need to calculate the variable expenses; these are costs that can change with every job you do; tape or media costs, batteries, equipment repair and maintenance, etc. Also consider that each piece of equipment will eventually have to be replaced so you need to calculate a replacement cost into each job. That way, when the time comes, you'll be able to afford the new gear without going into debt.

    Once you've added your fixed and variable expenses together, you have your break-even amount. To that number, you need to add a decent profit amount ... money to live on and hopefully save some as well. You'll have to consider the market you're in, what the the competition charges and the local economic conditions.

    I started my business in late 1990 and one of the the best things I did was to take a business accounting course. I've lasted a lot longer than many of my competitors who have come and gone ... most knew the video production process fairly well, but they didn't know a damned thing about business.

  6. thewright1 macrumors regular


    Apr 3, 2008
    That's some good advice right there.
  7. sleevelessarts thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2009
    Agreed. Thanks guys. I've talked to some local businesses and found out what they charge. I'll take that and DH's advice into account when I come up with a price to charge.
  8. P-Worm macrumors 68020


    Jul 16, 2002
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Here in Utah, I find that a lot of videos go for about $500-$750. I know because I make them and have to compete with that. :(

  9. sleevelessarts thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2009
    Yeah, it's about that here in NC too.

Share This Page