How much to charge client?

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Allan Smithee, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. I have been approached by a local nightclub to film a promotional DVD.
    They want a film that's about 45 minutes long with a backing track of
    current dance tunes.

    What sort of price would you be reasonable to charge?

    I'm a one man band using a MiniDV camcorder, Adobe Premiere, etc.

    Allan Smithee, Mar 2, 2004
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  2. Allan Smithee

    Steve Guidry Guest

    Usually, clients like this want the moon for $50.

    My rates are as follows :

    $150/hr editing

    Expenses and tape at cost.

    Of course, at those rates, I don't do much nightclub work.

    here's an approach to the project :

    BEFORE you even start on the spot, have him investigate the cost of AIRING
    the spot. If he hasn't done TV ads before, he will likely be
    sticker-shocked. If he still wants to do it, then you have some leverage to
    get your own budget up. Say, "Mr. client, since you'll be spending $ xx.00
    on air time, it would be foolish to pinch pennies on the production end.
    let's do it right.

    On your end, figure the amount of time you might spend :
    - I'm guessing a half-day to meet with the client, and get an idea of what
    he wants. This might be strung out over the course of the project.
    - I'm guessing a day and a night of shooting.
    - I'm guessing 10 - 15 hours editing to do a reasonably good job, and
    create some decent graphics.

    Then multiply the value of your time. Be sure to inflate the hours by about
    50% for mistakes, the client changing his mind, and revisions. Then deduct
    whatever subjective amount you might place on your own "feelgood factor" for
    being a part of the project.

    Don't be afraid to pitch him the high ball. You can always go down. NEVER
    up. Most likely, the client has an amount in mind that he wants to spend.
    At this point, he will probably share it with you, and you can meet
    somewhere in the middle.

    That's my $.02 . . .

    Steve Guidry, Mar 2, 2004
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  3. Allan Smithee

    Bill Van Dyk Guest

    Yeow. You are about to enter the Twilight Zone of Copyright Possible
    Infringements and the Impermeable Swamp of Litigation and Licensing
    Lamentations. Hold on to your seatbelt.

    You will need permission from the owner of the nightclub, obviously.
    And all the patrons visible in the video,
    And all the staff of the night club,
    And the composers of the music,
    And the performers of the music,
    And all of the people walking by in the streets,
    And the owner of any images, paintings, photographs, or reproductions on
    display in the club, and the descendents of any artists whose works have
    been reproduced in any of the images, paintings, photographs, or
    And the designers of all the furniture, lights, and appliances,
    And the architect of the night club,
    And the architect of the building across the street visible from the
    window of the nightclub,
    And the manufacturers of the alcoholic beverages with any specific texture
    or coloration,
    And the designers of the clothing worn by the actors, guests, or staff,
    And the designers and manufacturers of the fabrics used in the clothing
    worn by the actors, guests, and staff,
    And the maker of the dyes used in the fabrics used in the clothing worn by
    the actors, guests, and staff,
    And the manufacturer of any instruments used in the music,
    And every musician who plays on every piece of music heard in the video,
    And the manufacturer of the microphones and audio processing equipment,

    Or you could just say, to hell with it and take your chances.
    Bill Van Dyk, Mar 2, 2004
  4. Allan Smithee

    Derry Argue Guest

    I've often wondered about that. Presumably if he is making the
    video under contract, he could engage a clever lawyer to pass
    the buck to the client, e.g. client agrees to specify the
    location, music, etc. and guarantees that he has obtained all
    neccessary permissions?

    Derry Argue, Mar 2, 2004
  5. Allan Smithee

    Jerry. Guest

    And some of the (snipped) list might be covered by 'Incidental inclusion' -
    or doesn't US copyright law etc. have such a clause ?
    Jerry., Mar 2, 2004
  6. Besides charging the client for your time and skill as a DP, the use of your
    camera package and for the editing, don't forget to have the client pay you for

    Writing a script (if there is any narration)

    Directing the video

    Producing the video

    Hiring V/O talent (if needed)

    Porter Versfelt III - Lighting Cameraman, Producer/Director, Writer
    Atlanta Broadcast Prod. / Versfelt Com.Group, Inc.
    Atlanta - Houston - Global
    1-678-469-6224 / Web: / E-mail:
    (Ask about our mobile production truck.)
    Porter L. Versfelt III, Mar 3, 2004
  7. Allan Smithee

    Steve Guidry Guest

    I've asked this question to the groups resident IP attorney, and he
    emphatically says that this approach most likely won't work. THEIR clever
    lawyer will punch right through it.

    Steve Guidry, Mar 3, 2004
  8. Great answer for a guy named "Smithee"
    Best regards,
    Craig Scheiner
    Executive Producer
    CPS Associates
    Video Production and Publication
    Craig Scheiner, Mar 7, 2004
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