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    Rates for videographers
    #1
    Member Shattered Glass Pictures's Avatar
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    What's todays going rate for experienced videographers these days? I'll be shooting with a DVX-100B, and I'm bringing along a Bogen tripod and and Sennheisier shotgun mic.


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    Unscripted Mod Erik Olson's Avatar
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    Just as a place to start, experienced shooters aren't usually tied to a particular camera or platform. Most operators have many hours across multiple systems and formats.

    Averaged rates take a cue from what the market will bear within that same market. St. Louis or Charlotte may not support the same rate of compensation as NYC or LA or Orlando or Chicago.

    There are other variables, of course. Your experience, guild affiliations (if any), market where the work is taking place and the platform you're operating all play into the equation.

    The easy answer, for an experienced shooter, is between $500 and $1000 per day based on a ten-hour minimum plus incidentals (per diem, mileage, meals).

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    Member Shattered Glass Pictures's Avatar
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    alright just wasn't sure. At the moment I'm in Fl. going to school but i've done camera work for a television pilot and a few shorts as well, so I have a fair amount of experience, and I was asked by a friend to film an event which lasts about 3 hours and i wasnt sure of the going rate.


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    #4
    Evil has Ears wabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by overlandfilms
    Just as a place to start, experienced shooters aren't usually tied to a particular camera or platform. Most operators have many hours across multiple systems and formats.

    Averaged rates take a cue from what the market will bear within that same market. St. Louis or Charlotte may not support the same rate of compensation as NYC or LA or Orlando or Chicago.

    There are other variables, of course. Your experience, guild affiliations (if any), market where the work is taking place and the platform you're operating all play into the equation.

    The easy answer, for an experienced shooter, is between $500 and $1000 per day based on a ten-hour minimum plus incidentals (per diem, mileage, meals).

    e
    Exactly, but also matters what sort of shoot you are doing. Dayrates between a commercial, industrial, TV show, documentary, or narrative film will often vary greatly.

    Also, "experienced" is a pretty broad term. A cameraman with 20 years in the field is defined as experienced and demands top dollar (and is worth every penny for projects that demand it) but people in the 20's, who have only shot stuff with their prosumer camera, will also define themselves as "experienced."

    Having worked both sides of that phone call I can say the best plan is to get the other guy to give their budget or dayrate first. If, as the videographer, you give your dayrate first, be prepared to have them attempt to negotiate down. Guys that have the resume won't budge. If the producer gives the budget first then you are in the position to either accept the rate or attempt to negotiate up (if they offer you a fair rate, getting greedy will mostly offend them and they will move on).

    Additionally, a lot of freelancers will take a lower dayrate for longer jobs.

    A friendly suggestion; don't give up the 10 hour work day and overtime. A lot of savy producers will talk about how they can't do overtime but they need the flexability to go "a little over." It's BS; when they do this they will work you as long as humanly possible. Always keep overtime rates in your contract.

    Cheers
    Fast, Cheap, Good. Pick any two


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    Unscripted Mod Erik Olson's Avatar
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    Wabbit is right - "no budget for OT" Trix are for kids. Don't do it.

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    #6
    Member Shattered Glass Pictures's Avatar
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    hahaha, alright I'll keep that in mind for all of my shoots.


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    #7
    Senior Member John Froton's Avatar
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    I have been doing video production since the mid nineties. I took my wife's advice and eventually embraced the rate system she recommended for me.

    I have a flat "personal rate" that I charge for all of my time -- $25 per hour -- this covers storyboarding, meetings .. etc and is also a base rate that is combined with other rates whenever other rates are applied.

    I have a shooting rate (when only myself) of $55.00 per hour (video/audio/lighting) making the total hourly cost $80.00 as it is combined with my "personal rate".

    I also have an editing/archiving rate of $35.00 per hour that when added to my personal rate brings the total hourly cost to $60.00.

    I just track my time along with shooting and editing/archiving time and log them seperately on the invoices and all has been well.

    I have also been flexible enough with some clients to budget an estimate up front and settle on a total capped amount for certain projects.


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    VHS Member Old Skool Jim Brennan's Avatar
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    I usually bid by the job. If I just shoot for a few hours at an event and hand over my footage, I may just charge a couple of hundred dollars.

    If I bring extra gear (more than a camera and tripod) the price goes up.

    If it's a project I do from concept to completion (like a recent marketing video for an art college), I try and estimate my time for shooting, editing, meetings and the like. I give a flat rate in the contract, with a clearly stated deadline (for them and me), expectations and certain number of revisions (usually 2 rough and 1 fine).


    "...there is no magic, no mystery---just common sense and hard work" - Nestor Almendros


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    Hooligan Nation Productions


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    I'm relatively new at this. Having a lot of experience on the academic side of documentary experience where pay is largely nothing after it's all said and done...I have my first real commercial gig staring me in the face and I don't want to under-bid it any more than I want to ask for too much.
    I'll be shooting with a (free, but experienced) undergrad assistant and have a lot of experience in the field generally and am sure that my product in the end will exceed what they expect. I'll be shooting on excellent equipment (camera, tripod, lights, gels, reflectors, shades--whatever), and the day of shooting plus editing should take no more than a day and a half at 8 hours per day.
    What would you charge if you were me?
    Thanks in advance for any and all advice.


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    #10
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    figure out what you think you need to make on the job, and then bid double the time you think it is going to take. In the end you can always present a bill that is lower than your bid, accounting for the time the job actually took, if you think that is fair to both sides. You can appear to be saving them money and maybe they'll use you again.


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