What would you charge to produce this corporate webclip?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Shacklebolt, May 2, 2012.

  1. Shacklebolt, May 2, 2012
    Last edited: May 2, 2012

    Shacklebolt macrumors 6502a


    Sep 2, 2004
    The internet is replete with what-would-you-charge-to-produce-a-corporate web clip questions, and the only consensus is that, "It depends," which I completely understand. I'd just welcome a reasonable starting point, and build from there, so happy to give some basic info, and any input would be welcome.

    What I have: 2 hours of raw 1080p/30 shot with a very expensive DSLR in March for a corporate promotional event, divided 60 different clips. Footage itself is very basic.

    What they want: a 3 minute montage of of event highlights, complete with non-original music, good editing, brand logos over screen, etc. No crazy effects or anything, but defintiely rendered.

    Size of company/viewership: Viewership is moderate, company is extremely large.

    What is the fair _value_ of this work? Would be a flat rate, not hourly.
  2. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    I hate to be vague, but fair value is really up to you. What is your time worth to you? How long would this project take you? What other additional costs will you incur creating the video (music track, dvds, etc.)?
  3. floh macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2011
    Stuttgart, Germany
    I have no experience with such things, but I also heard once that you should just think about what would be appropriate for you:

    Add up everything you spent and will spend for the movie. Estimate how many people will be working how many hours on the edit. Try to think of a good hourly charge for such an advanced job (I don't know.. maybe $50 per hour?). Then you end up with your price. And you also have a good receipt for them already.

    Don't think in terms of "I need to get money for my gear" or "I am using my own laptop". Not only will you not be able to write this on a receipt, it is also not very true unless you rented or bought something especially for that gig.

    Good luck!
  4. JasonA macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2009
    Are you billing for the shooting too, or just the editing now? If it's just for the edit, I'd say at least $500 but keep it under $1k. A lot of times in the corporate world, $1k is that magic breaking point, that can be the difference between the client easily paying without having to get higher up approval.
  5. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    to me it doesn't sound like it won't take "too" long a day or two if you focus at the job.
    The fact that you use an expensive DSLR camera doesn't matter. Did they hire you because of the camera that you used?
    It comes down to how long will it take and your experience. Are you a famous Hollywood editor/Cinematographer etc. or a College student or somewhere in between...
  6. Shacklebolt thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 2, 2004
    From a practical standpoint, this makes a lot of sense, and falls within a reasonable range for the what the client would probably pay. I think I'll try to make them throw out the first number though. No, not billing for the shooting -- I shot the event for them. Product I had to (and did) deliver was 1. fully retouched photos and 2. raw DSLR video for someone else to make into a check-out-our-awesome-event clip.

    They simply are asking me if I would do the clip now, and what the charge would be.
  7. diamond3 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 6, 2005
    If you are somewhat new to producing videos for pay (sounds like you are), you will want to come across reasonably fair. If you see future possibilities working with this company, you don't want them to feel like they're being overcharged and not receiving exceptional work. If they know you're new, give them a one time discount with the agreement that they'll have you back for future events and you'll let them know what you would have charged based on your hours accumulated during the edit. Make sure they realize the discount so they know it will be more next time.

    There are so many factors involved in pricing. Are you just getting into video production? Where are you located? Are there other options available in your area? Do you have a good relationship with the company? Do you have a portfolio of videos you've completed? How long do you think it will take you to edit - is this time affected by your lack of experience editing?

    If you are just starting out, building a good reputation with a quality product so you can gain the reputation, network and get referrals. Doing this will offset a lower price you might charge on your first few videos.
  8. WRP macrumors 6502a

    Jul 20, 2011
    Here's the thing... How many rounds of revisions are they planning on going through? The edit of a 3 minute video could easily take 1-2 days (for me). $500/day. But on the second day when they watch the rough, what if they have music changes? What about content changes? Are there art cards? Are you creating them? Do you have copy for what they say?

    I would charge $2500 and be done with it. That's edit time, music sourcing time, color grading time, plenty of rounds of revisions, transcode time, media delivery, overhead (remember you are using your electricity, your equipment, etc). That way if they keep coming back all week for changing this and that you won't feel like you got taken for a ride. Trust me, these things have a way of constantly dragging on specially depending on how many heads are approving the final deliverable.

    If it is a company that will scoff at $2500 for a 3 minute video, trust me, turn and walk away because you don't want to deal with them. They have obviously never dealt with this kind of stuff before and will be a nightmare to deal with.

    Treat this like a business. My friend pays me $75/hr when I work at her boutique production house, but she charges the client $150/hr because she treats it like a business.
  9. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Not to be an @$$ but at times depending on the client and how much Id rather not work for them, I throw in the $1k an hour charge so they dont REVISE me to death :p
    Im usually up front and give them the basic price of acquisition, organizing, resource gathering, editing then finishing plus extra charges for media distro.
    I dont ever shoot so I cant comment on that part, however I would never give that away for free.
    That I would state is the discount this time around.
    Ive had it with clients coming back with "my cousin has a video camera" so thats why I get into the $1k mode.
    Do I get a lot of work doing that, nope but I get my peace of mind ;)
    Now this is for editing/finishing, totally different when I do 3D and Motion Design freelance.
    Just so you know where Im coming from, I already have a day job and other jobs to keep me afloat.
  10. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    Before I read this I was thinking no less than $500, maybe $1,000. Keep in mind that big companies think nothing of spending thousands of dollars on work like this, so don't go too low. Really it depends on the quality of the product too. If they can see that you just put highlights with simple transitions, it won't scream pay me thousands for this basic slideshow. If it looks really really professional then you can charge over $1,000 for the work.
  11. Shacklebolt thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 2, 2004
    I pitched $2.5k, they came back with $1.5k, we ended up at a hair north of $2k, which I'm pretty happy with, given that I didn't have any commercial video production experience. But for the amount of work I put into it though (and they were very happy with the result), that was definitely a fair price.

    Thanks for the good advice.
  12. boch82 macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2008
    You should have stuck to original price. When you go to sell your services to a client you need to go in and say this is my rate, take it or leave it.

    I am a freelance editor and have a set day rate and set hourly rate. If a place calls me and wants to hire me they pay my rate. I know I've lost work because my rate is on the high side, but there have been countless times that a client has called me to clean up a mess that someone made and realizes you get what you pay for.
  13. WRP macrumors 6502a

    Jul 20, 2011
    If he was an editor by trade, I would completely agree. I never reduced my day rate as a freelancer. But a one-off project he doesn't normally do and isn't super experienced with, I think he got paid reasonably for it. At least he didn't take the "keep it under $1k" advice people were parroting.

    Congrats Shacklebolt.
  14. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    As brash as this sounds, this is a very good point for the OP. I edit videos for corporate clients (one of them is a large pharmaceutical company) too and if you're not concise with what the client should expect for the money being offered, it gives that client an open invitation to beat you up on revisions. It's happened to me in the past, where a $500/day job would quickly become a $200/day job after dealing with 5 or 6 big-wigs going back and forth on revisions for days after the fact.

    Factor in a set amount of revision time (2 revisions perhaps, but up to you) into your price prior to bidding and make that clear to the client. That will get them to commit to paying for additional changes beyond that. Time is money, after all. Besides, a few grand is a drop in the bucket for larger companies. You should see what some of these companies spend on summit meetings. Your jaw would drop.

    BTW, congrats on your first paying gig, Shacklebot! I'm glad you got your rate at least in the ballpark of what you originally bid.
  15. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    This is true but I think an exception can be made for the OP who didn't have any prior corporate video production experience. That sounds pretty good for a first gig, but in the future you will make much more money by sticking with a higher price.
  16. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    My rate is my rate, except when it isn't. ;)

    If someone has an awesome project but the budget isn't very big I'll adjust my rate if I really want to work on it. If it is just run of the mill type work my rate is what it is. If it is something I don't particularly want to do my rate goes up.

  17. WRP macrumors 6502a

    Jul 20, 2011
    I love that. I have totally worked for less my rate on many a projects. I have also blown the rate out on crap HOPING to not have to work on it. It's funny when you come up with a rate you think no one would pay for hoping to not work on it only to get the job. ;)
  18. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
    I have been paid more to work as a freelancer for another production company. When your working directly with client though you can charge a good amount more. If your doing a day rate of $500 a day working for somebody eles's production company, can you imagine what they are charging the client?! :eek: They don't even bat a eye either.

    One day shoot, one day edit, and one day for client changes, thats $1500 in my pocket, I'm guessing the people I am working for are charing like $3,000 for these types of videos.
  19. LaWally macrumors 6502a

    Feb 24, 2012
    Here is how my negotiation with the client would have proceeded using your numbers:

    Me: I can do this job for $2500
    Client: I was hoping it would be closer to $1500
    Me: I can do it for $1500, but that would only include the original product. Any revisions would be at my $75 hourly rate.
    Client: How long do you think the revisions will take?
    Me: Since we don't know what those revisions are yet, there is no way to tell. With my $2500 quote I'm assuming the risk of completing the revisions within my original estimates. With your $1500 proposal, you would be assuming the risk for all revisions.
    Client: $2500 it is.

    If the client came back with a $2000 counter offer, I might have given them the original product plus one set of revisions. After that my hourly rate. Anyway the point is to make them understand that a fixed cost shifts the risk from them to you. Clients like that.
  20. Magrathea macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2008
    A very, very rough guide for corporate video is $1000 per min and that's on the low low end.

    More importantly have a contract that also includes what you're not going to do as well. Making too many changes can really lower your profit on any job so make sure you always say that you have two minor changes included in the price then it's $100+ per hour from then onwards.

    If you lock down exactly what they want in the future, might of been hard with your current shoot, then you have exactly what you need in the final stage/ edit and if they want to change something too drastic you can point them to the pre-production stage that they signed off on.

    The slew of cheap DSLRs + Chinese cheaply made production gear has made it possible for almost anyone to set up a production company and I think we may be heading down the web design route with nothing but discount companies on one end and ultra high end companies on the other.

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