How much money can you make from making videos? Not professionaly.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by 66217, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    I like making videos with my MB, had made a couple of them for relatives, and all the people that see them tell me that they are great and that I should make some videos for money.

    But how much can you make from making videos?

    I am not planning on going to a professional level, I am in college and don't have much time. But making videos with a Mac is such a joy that I don't mind working late making the videos.

  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    You can make what the market is willing to pay.

    I'm not being trite here -- it varies from region to region, with the competition that is out there (1001 students with iMovie), and with the quality of your product.

    Most of all, it is dependent on market and marketing. Can you identify a sufficient number of people who have a need that you can fill AND that you can reach (whether through word of mouth or advertising)? If you can't get your name and a persuasive reason they should use you in front of them AT THE TIME that they require your service, then it is all academic.

    Plan on spending at least as many unpaid hours in sales and consultation, as you do in editing. (the corollory of which, is that your hourly rate for editing has to be at least 2 x the amount per hour you are worth)
  3. smirkingboy macrumors member

    Apr 5, 2007
    gotta love it...

    wow, you sound exactly like me some years ago. i spent a lot of time doing video work for low amounts of money while learning software and production techniques. all i have to say is, at this level, youre doing weddings, other event videos, maybe small commercials for local business, etc. none of this pays very well, unless you've really got your act together and can offer something that people come scrambling for. even then, you need experience and videos that you can show people before you start charging decent money. but really, all that matters that you're into it. its fun.

    i have one rule to share with you that would have helped me avoid a whole lot of pains in the ass, had i really understood it at the get-go. you might know it already, it's simply known as the rule of:


    you can never have all three, and neither can your client. what that means is, if you're making something good and fast, make sure you charge them a good rate because you'll be up late nights working on it, and may have to pull in outside help to hit the deadline, whom you'll need to pay, or compensate in some other way. "good" and "fast" but not "cheap".

    similarly, if someone wants something well made and for little money, but you really want to do it, make sure you only agree to a deadline thats a long way off. that way you can spread it out through other projects and forget about it for a while while you study for finals, etc. "good" and "cheap" but not "fast".

    if youre doing a quick turnaround on something that your client says "doesnt have to look perfect" (very common), then it can cost little. you're doing "fast" and "cheap", while omitting the "good". but what's likely to happen is that they will want changes at the end that are going to take up more of your time without giving you any more compensation for it. so its very important that you and your client define what "not perfect" means exactly.

    weddings are a good way to go. people will pay a lot of money for a good wedding video. if you hang out the whole day and get all the shots you need it can be a lot of fun editing one. let them choose the songs for the video and then cut to that music.

    a good low price for a quality wedding video these days is about $1500. it may seem like a lot, and you might be blinking at that price, but trust me, you'll earn it. if youre confident and smile when you tell them that price, trust me, they won't even blink.

    weddings are a lot of work because youve got to prep a fair amount, figuring out where the camera will be for that particular church, how youre going to get the sound, where and when you can get b-roll to cover edits. youve got to get everything right when it happens because there are no second takes. and as any bride will tell you there are always things that happen at every wedding that seem like the end of the world and @$%^ everything up and everything has to be winged for a few moments. these can affect your production direly. last thing anyone wants to think about when everythings on fire is the wedding videographer. in general you want to be invisible, yet getting everything.

    and thats only the beginning; once youre editing you will find that brides are among the most demanding post-production directors you'll ever work with. i'm not being sexist, i'm just saying, you're editing together a movie version of the most important day in her life, and you must have heard or seen how brides can be! there she is watching your first cut - she doesn't like that shot, she needs more of this shot. that girl there that you stay on, she's actually the bride's brother's friends' girlfriend and none of them like her very much. you have to cut her out whenever possible, which screws up the whole sweet rythym you had going on during the reception (true story).

    wow, i'm really going off. i could keep typing this stuff all night. i did this stuff for a while. anyway. all you asked is how much you can make. well, the answer is, like the guy says above, as much as you can get awy with, basically. just don't undercharge. i did that for years and boy, "i wish i knew what i know now, when i was younger..."

    wedding video - $1500 or more. not less. trust me !!!!
  4. 66217 thread starter Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    Thanks for the info and the tips.

    Where I live it would be kind of difficult making wedding videos. Weddings here seem to be going in the way of: "the more expensive the best". I just don't get it, but people spend a lot in their weddings.

    And the guys that make these wedding videos have these great cameras, and a more professional look that I could have. (I don't even have a decent camera)
    There could always be the chance of making a video for someone not wanting to spend a lot of money, but seems a very small market to me.

    I was thinking more in the lines of family videos, marriage anniversaries, birthdays, maybe honey moon videos, etc. Where I would only have to mix the photos and videos they give me.

    At least in the beginning I would like to stay doing small projects (a wedding seems to be a difficult one).

    And I don't know how to charge for the video. I mean, do I charge per hour, per photo?:confused:

    Thanks a lot
  5. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    If you are going to charge for your videos, by definition, you are going to do it professionally. Perhaps what you are asking is how much an inexperienced person can make.

    Start by figuring out what kind of videos you want to make. Find out what others are charging to make similar videos. Your rate will be based on this and your level of confidence. You might start at a low rate by making some for your friends, relatives or fellow students. It is all a matter of confidence. If you feel your work is as good as what can be bought commercially, then you should charge the same price. Best wishes.

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