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I have been doing freelance video editing for non profit organizations and now i have an opportunity to do an instructional video for a company. My problem is that I am unsure on how to set up an appropriate fee. Is there a good resource for figuring cost. I mainly need to set up my cost. Shooting the video, editing, post production (dvd)
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That's a loaded question and there's no quick answer. But there are four fee structures you can fall in to as it relates to competition, your experience, what equipment you own and your creative limitations.

Charge by the Hour

Usually, anyone involved in video production doesn't want to make anything
less than $50 an hour. However, what you decide to bill your customer is solely up to you. If you are just getting started with little experience and less than professional equipment this may be the way to go. 

Charge Per minute

Many projects are billed on a "per minute of finished video basis and even that has it's generalities.

For example, some low end figures might be $850.00 p/f/m, mid range figure might be  $1,000.00 p/f/m, Some higher figures might be, $40,000.00 p/f/m. Low to high end depends on the efforts involved in putting the finished video together. Was there pre-production involved, scriptwriting, how long is the show? how many shooting days, studio or field? What equipment is needed- the list goes on and on. 

Charge Daily rates

I know some producers that charge daily rates. Some charge $200 a day, and they are still overpriced. Then I know some that charge $2000 a day, and I think they should get much more.

Charging By the job

A professional production company doesn't normally charge the client by the day or by the hour or by minute but by the job. And there are different pricing structures for each job- again, it boils down to where do you fit in? What's your experience, your education, what type of equipment do you have?

In my opinion, the best thing to do is figure out your client?s budget then work from there. A company I worked for figured out the client?s budget then we figured our costs for what the client needed then multiplied by three. This left room for anything left out in the estimate, plus some contingency funds, and some profit. That way you don't have to go begging every time the client needs something extra, or you run a little over.

Charging by the job may or may not work for you- the area you are in has a direct effect on that level of pricing. Competition may be a big factor. Where I live the medical industry is thriving with three television stations nearby that offer production practically free- no one can compete with free.

A production company is no different that any other businesses. Research your market. Who are your potential clients, who's the competition, what do you have to offer that your competition can't,  in few words, why would they come to you instead.

Last update: 02:52 PM Friday, December 9, 2005


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