How much should I charge

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Andy, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. Andy

    Andy Guest

    A friend asked me to edit his overseas holiday and produce a DVD.
    I charged him $400 for the work.
    He showed the DVD to his friend who went with him on the trip.
    Now his friend has asked me for a copy of the DVD.
    How much should I charge him?
    If I only charge him $30 for the copy of the DVD the first friend won't be
    too happy, I think.
    Andy, Mar 13, 2013
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  2. Andy

    Brian Guest

    You could talk to your friend first and can to an agreement on what to
    charge the other person.
    You should have recovered your costs in the $400 that you were paid so any
    future copies should be at a much lower cost. If your friend wanted another
    copy then you are not likely to charge him another $400.
    You could sell to your friend the second copy for $30 then let him decide
    how much to charge when he sells it to the other person.
    Brian, Mar 13, 2013
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  3. Andy

    Paul Guest

    Someone "owns" the work.

    And controls its distribution.

    You should check with the owner of the work first.

    In terms of a charge, materials might cost $1 for the DVD
    (if you buy them by the spindle). It takes 10 minutes or
    less of your "work" to copy it, so the overall fee shouldn't
    be much more than about $10.

    If you think you're going to become Bill Gates doing this
    stuff, you could charge $30, but you'll scare future customers

    You want to charge a fair wage, for the things that take time
    and effort. If you had to sit in front of that video editor
    for a while, then maybe it's worth $400. But making a duplicate
    DVD, isn't really a lot of work. On my burner, I even have a
    "verify" option as part of the burn, so I don't even have to
    worry about the disc being readable. I click a button
    and the whole process is done for me. $10 for that is overkill
    with my setup. Maybe $5 would be more in line. Perhaps putting
    a fancy LightScribe label would raise the value somewhat (as it
    takes more time, and might involve non-automated work). But an
    undecorated DVD shouldn't be an expensive proposition. Even the
    person who commissioned the work in the first place, could make
    copies for third parties. You don't have to do it, unless that
    person is completely computer-phobic.

    The only incentive you might have, to charge a lot for reproduction,
    is to prevent the original owner from getting you to make 100 copies,
    one at a time. Then I'd charge up the wazoo, to make them go away :)
    Making one additional DVD isn't that annoying, but making a stack
    of copies one at a time, that sucks. It's about as much fun as running
    a desktop scanner and copying a book.

    Paul, Mar 13, 2013
  4. Andy

    Brian Guest

    Good point Paul. Who does have ownership. Maybe the owner of the video does
    not want it sold to others without his approval.
    Brian, Mar 13, 2013
  5. Andy

    Andy Guest

    That is a valid point which I did not consider.

    What I will do is sell any copies through the original owner of the video.
    I will charge him a set charge and he can add an extra charge onto that if
    he wishes.
    I provide the DVDs with customised printed disk labels and DVD case sleeves
    have no issues if the original owner wants to duplicate and sell his own

    Thanks for your responses Paul and Brian.
    Andy, Mar 13, 2013
  6. Andy

    Steve King Guest

    I agree that only the owner, the person who shot and commissioned the
    editing of the video, has duplication privileges. A technical note... I now
    only use printable DVDs. I have a rather inexpensive Epson printer that
    prints label copy and graphics on the disc. I had a few clients contact me
    to replace non-playable or skipping DVDs (and CDs before them) with paper
    labels. I assume the problem was caused by an out-of-balance condition, but
    it seemed to get worse with time according to my clients. No problems with
    print-on discs. I am thankful that my clients prefer downloadable versions
    now. If they want DVDs in any quantity, I refer them to several near-by
    suppliers of that service.

    Steve King
    Steve King, Mar 13, 2013
  7. Andy

    Andy Guest

    I use an Epson R310 to print my disc labels.
    It does a good job.
    No way would I use the stick on labels!

    Andy, Mar 14, 2013
  8. Excellent idea!
    Gene E. Bloch, Mar 15, 2013
  9. Andy

    gtr Guest

    A minor shift of topic: How did you establish the $400 for your work?
    How long was the finished product?

    I ask this because I recently completed a project for a local
    non-profit: I videod 10-12 lectures and produced training videos for
    each. I did one of them free (it was for my wife's presentation), they
    loved it and asked me how much I would charge for successive videos.

    I said $325 per assuming the videos didn't need mcy editing after the
    fact and if they ran no longer than about 30 minutes. In the end I
    think they gave me $275 per, but said they wanted no editing whatever.
    I couldn't help but do a little editing anyway.

    I've since picked up another job with a commercial firm through a
    friend. I charged him $250, since I just received the final video files
    in the mail, but I had to edit the living hell out of it. I got paid

    I delivered a DVD of each project, with a cute intro/outro titling and
    powerpoint inserts and such. I also gave them the video in a YouTube
    distributable format. I gave them only one copy, and told them I would
    not house the library for future duplication. I did actually burn my
    own copies since I don't want to get caught if they eventually ask for

    How close does my pricing match the "real world" of low-dollar video jockeys?
    gtr, May 9, 2013
  10. Andy

    gtr Guest

    I was at the shop for the bulk of 3 days doing the filming.
    Maybe 9 hours.
    You're right and that was a nuisance. I set it up and found other
    things to do aroung the house.
    I clearly spent more time on a per-hour basis that I think was fair.
    It worked out to less than $20. But it was my first such product, so I
    didn't mind eating some of it; it was in the process that I found
    exactly how much labor (and disk space and memory, etc.) was really
    called for.

    I also had to work out a routine for final DVD production that was
    confusing, because I wanted to produce multi-media disks that included
    the movie as well as documents and legal forms that were related to the
    substance of the lectures.
    I'm a pro!
    Me too! I knew/accepted that I was underpaid for the task, but I'm
    related to the (first) company. As I said, it's a non-profit, and half
    their labor is volunteers anyway, so I could have been pushed further.
    But much further and I would have found myself uninterested in doing
    the project.

    As the project drug on I found myself less interested in the
    predictability of production drudgery. I loved the editing that I did,
    because it had presented problems that were enjoyable to find solutions

    You have a better idea of what I did on these projects now. I worked
    for many years professionally as a musician, and in all kinds of
    commercial gigs. I didn't do gigs for a free meal and beer, nor did I
    do happy hours for tips or anything. When I meet musicians doing that,
    they don't seem to know/realize that they are being screwed. I know
    the people that I'm helping aren't "screwing" me, per se. But I just
    wanted to get a feel for what low-end video production projects
    normally bring in.

    I thought about calling around locally to see what it would cost to get
    a video of a child's bday party or a memorial for a lost love-one or
    something like. But it's hard to get pricing on that when you tell
    them you want to ensure they only use consumer-quality equipment and
    gtr, May 9, 2013
  11. Andy

    gtr Guest

    Thank you for your support. I know I'm not being paid my full value
    (experience aside), but I thought it would be nice to know what the
    dollar value is for what I did.

    I assume if I manage to do more of these for either/both organizations
    I'll eventually find my own limits; my own energy to dollar ratio.
    gtr, May 10, 2013
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