Is this a fair price for this video job?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Alucardx03, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. Alucardx03 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    I recently got hired to convert 29 or so VHS tapes for my father's manufacturing company. These tapes are very valuable to the company.

    I will be converting them through a Canopus ADVC300 and a professional-grade VCR with state-of-the-art auto-tracking (which the tapes desperately need, considering they are 15-20 years old) and editing and compressing in FCS2. They would like master copies on DVD with professionally-designed menus (I've already created the templates in DVD Studio Pro) and a video file to be used in PowerPoint presentations.

    The editing will be very simplistic and minimal. At most, I'd probably be adding 5 or more title screens to each video, removing blue screen between scenes, adjusting picture quality, and zooming into certain parts of the video.

    This is my first professional job, and hopefully the first step towards starting a production company. I've done professional editing and producing for years at a local ABC-affiliate television station, so I'm not new to this at all. However, this is the first time I'm billing on a contractual basis. My first freelance job.

    I've looked around at some competing prices, and have found that a typical straight transfer (no editing, menus, etc) runs around $10-15. I think I'm going to be charging $750 for the entire job (works out to about $25 per tape). Do you think this is fair? It's not too high, is it? Honestly, I'm not concerned if it's too low. They have about 100 more tapes, and I'd like to keep the cost low so they consider me for that job, or even some other video work. I put together a sample DVD, and they all love it. They are very impressed with the quality of the video, editing, and menus. I just need advice regarding the price.

    Thanks everyone.
  2. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
    It's a good thing you got the DVC-300 not the 110.

    I cheaped out and got the 110 but after using it with old tapes I realized that I really needed that built in TBC.

    Price wise I think you are ok, you might charge extra for the editing though.
  3. Alucardx03 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    Thanks for your response. I'm really happy with my ADVC-300. Especially for this job, the noise reduction comes in handy. Since there aren't a lot of fast-moving parts in the videos, the noise reduction doesn't leave behind any ghosting and simply makes the footage much cleaner. The TBC is a life-saver, too.

    Like I said, I'm not worried about the price being too low, just too high. While they would probably be content just doing a straight conversion (none of these guys are very technologically savvy), I sold them on the menus and simple editing. I want to make sure the price is low enough so they don't regret their decision, but high enough to be worth my while.
  4. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
    Try calling some local production companies and act like your a client looking to get a similar project done. See if they will give you a ball park figure.
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    What he said. Find out what others are doing it for and price yourself accordingly. If you lowball or undercut everyone else in your neighborhood you'll burn a lot of bridges in short order.

  6. Alucardx03 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    I've tried, actually. There are only a handful of such service providers in Wisconsin. Of the two that exist, they both wanted me to come in with a sample tape for a quick estimate. I'd rather not waste their time, you know?

    That's why I turned to internet services, but I can't find a service that fits the job exactly. Most just do straight conversion with no editing.
  7. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    I would price it like this.

    Transfer: $x per tape, mention the high end equipment. (Don't have to provide the exact details, just mention the equipment are high end professional equipment).

    Edit: $x per hour on top of transfer, estimate how many hours you would need.

    You can estimate on how many hours to do 1 tape, and do that one as demo (or do 1 and see how long it would take), and see whether they would want to pay for it. They can always pay for it later.

    Get a harddrive or 2 to backup the project.

    Good luck.
  8. Alucardx03 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008

    I was thinking along these lines when I came up with the price. As most services charge $15, I figured I'd add an additional $10 for editing and DVD authoring. I know that is probably considered low, but like I said, I would like future jobs from them.

    However, even though I consider an additional $10 low, I'm wondering if any of you think the price is unreasonable.
  9. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
    Never low ball if your looking for future work from them, they will expect everything to be cheap in the future.

    I would only would low ball if you need something for demo purposes because you have no examples of such and such kind of video. That type of stuff is better do with Non-Profit groups.

    You don't need a demo for transfers. :cool:
  10. Alucardx03 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    I'm not too concerned about low-balling the price. I'm currently out of work (damn economy) and would welcome any work I could get. I'm content with $25 a tape, and would be alright with that price in the future, as well.

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