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Old 07-01-2006, 02:11 PM   #1
spinner
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A possible business venture...

...I'm not really sure where to post this, so Indie, move it where ever you think it should go....

I am going to be attempting to create a business for myself. What I am going to do is try to market myself to making very short documentaries for bands in order for them to promote themselves to labels or companies or just in a way to present themselves in order to get their names out there. This is not a music video. This is to just tell people they find important who they are.

I am thinking that I may have to do a few for free, maybe 3-4. Then I want to start charging low costs up until I begin to charge a full price, which I would still like to keep relatively low. Just like us indie filmmakers, new rock bands don't have much money and I want to respect their efforts, its not like we filmmakers don't understand having to scrape money together to put forth our vision.

The question I have is this: What do you think might be a good full price for something like this?


I am just starting to look at the finances part of doing this. I am almost at the point where I will only have to worry about the time and effort for doing this, I have to get a few more pieces of equipment: a on-camera light, a tripod (those are expensive!) a small light kit that I can probably put off for a little while. I just don't know what I should charge.

I don't want to gouge anyone, but at the same time, I can't do it for free or for too low a price because I can't just give my work away and I have to live, too.

Can anyone give me some ideas as to what sounds like a good price?

If you want to know what I am thinking, I will be expanding on the idea of the short doc I have on here. To see it go to: screenings-documentary and look for 'a documentary short by Spinner' on this site.

I am still working out the kinks, but I think I could turn this into a pretty nice venture for myself.

Any suggestions?

-- spinner
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Old 07-01-2006, 02:34 PM   #2
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No Clue about the $$$, but best of luck in this venture!
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Old 07-01-2006, 03:16 PM   #3
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thanks, knightly!

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Old 07-01-2006, 08:52 PM   #4
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ahoys spinner,
Video resumes are becoming more and more the way of hiring ..i have also been interested in such endeavours ..starting off with rock bands seems to me, would be a great way to get started ...How much to charge ...how serious is the band ..? are they 500 dollars serious...is your experience and talent worth 500..it might be fun to do a few at that price see what comes of it ...if you do them good ..each client would be coming back for the "NEW LOOK" .
As an example ,snowboarders have been into this for quite sometime ...the vids are sent in to prospective clients,for considerration in advertising campaigns for clothing and snowborad gear,etc..each year the riders update and freshen their vids..trying for more lucrative contracts..
these videos can often cost thousands of dollars ,professional & amateur riders pay up because they know the vids can get them the contracts...
The thing in my mind that would be paramount would be getting the initial start...that why i would start at 500 dollars for the first few..get the door open ..so the word gets out that your the "one" arghh matey ..
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Old 07-02-2006, 12:59 AM   #5
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I know some friends of mine are paid videographers who film events like talent shows, sporting events, weddings, etc and they charge from 1200 upwards (filming on HD). However i suggest you ask a price that reflects your experience and if its your starting venture i would say 250 ($500) all inclusive is realistic. You could always put the price up by getting more experience.
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Old 07-02-2006, 02:46 AM   #6
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Hi

Can I just suggest another way of calculating cost that gives you more freedom.

At the moment you're thinking about the video as a product and trying to establish a cost for the product.

But actually when you think about it, each video is a different piece of work, which means that each one should have a unique price which is calculated on how much time and resources go into it.

So instead of working out what to charge for your product, instead work out how much a day of your time is worth.

That way if someone wants something straight forward, you might be looking at a day filming and a day editing - if you're prepared to work for $250 a day, then that would cost the client $500.

Personally I think $250 a day is hellishly low.

The other thing you want to consider is who you are targeting.

At the moment you seem to have locked onto a category of client with not much money -- but if you targeted slightly more successful bands, you'd find they have a budget to cover promotion.

Common mistake that people make when setting up businesses are

a) Attempting to sell their services to people who can't afford it
b) Undervaluing their own time

The problem with that is if you're not careful you end up earning less per job than you would if you were working at McDonalds flipping burgers.
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Old 07-02-2006, 11:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
a) Attempting to sell their services to people who can't afford it
b) Undervaluing their own time
Very true! I'm in a similar situation actually where I'm going to be starting into visual effects and color grading as an actual job rather than hobby. Finding the right target market is very key and it is so easy to undervalue your skills!
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Old 07-02-2006, 01:41 PM   #8
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Thanks, for the input, everybody!

Quote:
Originally Posted by clive
Hi
Personally I think $250 a day is hellishly low.

The other thing you want to consider is who you are targeting.

At the moment you seem to have locked onto a category of client with not much money -- but if you targeted slightly more successful bands, you'd find they have a budget to cover promotion.

Common mistake that people make when setting up businesses are

a) Attempting to sell their services to people who can't afford it
b) Undervaluing their own time

The problem with that is if you're not careful you end up earning less per job than you would if you were working at McDonalds flipping burgers.
...I like editing, but it is alot of work and I will remember that when I begin to start this little venture.

...right now, since I really don't have a name for myself doing this, I am looking at a 'clientele' (sp) who could just use some help, just as I do. $500 sounds good, like small bands could afford that. When I say 'can use some help' I mean they can't afford a big expensive documentary-dvd-music video at the time, but could pull together a little for a short doc.

I figure once there are people out there who know and are happy with my work, then I can begin to raise the price some. What I don't want to do is price myself out of even having a clientele. Once people know that I am reliable and can deliver what I say I can, then the price can go up.

I have seen some of the 'documentaries' some national acts have put on their CDs. I think I could do that. I am not really an effects person, but I think that a good looking doc is still a good looking doc. I don't think it should look as though someone is just setting the camera down on a static shot or just pointing the camera around either. That is what I've been seeing.

I also think I have a pretty good grasp on what I am capable of. I know what I am able to do, and what I can't do yet. I want to keep learning so I will get better...

-- spinner

Last edited by spinner; 07-02-2006 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 07-02-2006, 05:31 PM   #9
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If you have skills they have a market value.

Only you can decide whether $500 is enough for five, six, seven days work.

My experience is that no matter how little a client pays they expect to get the world on a stick, so therefore it makes sense to work with people who can afford to pay at least $4,000 for seven days work instead of $500.

My other experience is that the less someone pays the more hassle they create. When I was getting $800 a day doing corporate work I got 90% less bull than I get when I do someone a favour.

The reason for this is that if you don't set a high value for your time, people think they can have as much of it as they want for free. The less you charge therefore, the more liberties get taken.

Lots of people make the mistake of thinking that it's less hassle to work for less money, when actually it's the other way round.
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Old 07-02-2006, 05:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clive
My other experience is that the less someone pays the more hassle they create. When I was getting $800 a day doing corporate work I got 90% less bull than I get when I do someone a favour.

The reason for this is that if you don't set a high value for your time, people think they can have as much of it as they want for free. The less you charge therefore, the more liberties get taken.

Lots of people make the mistake of thinking that it's less hassle to work for less money, when actually it's the other way round.
...hmmm, I hadn't looked at it that way....

I guess I should make sure I am very clear on what they are getting...and who is in charge of the project. Money or no money, if I don't do what I know I know to do, the project will be crappy. No one will want to pay for garbage. Maybe I should make sure they see a work sample, I was planning to do that anyway...

I still don't think I can start asking for high prices before anyone knows who I am or whether or not I can deliver. I still feel that I need to establish myself a little bit....not that I am arguing with you

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Old 07-02-2006, 06:07 PM   #11
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The definition of an expert is "someone who knows more than you do."

Regardless of what level of experience and knowledge you have, providing you know more than the guy you're sitting in front of, you're the expert.

When they pay you, they are paying you for your expertise. It's worth remembering that.

You don't have to have all the answers, you just have to know how to do something that they want, that they can't do themselves.
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Old 07-02-2006, 06:48 PM   #12
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Thanks, Clive, you're the man.... I will do some hard thinking before I start anything...

It seems that $500, may be the consensus, though...

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Old 07-02-2006, 08:46 PM   #13
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and that price goes up as you get more good reputation built and a stronger reel to show off.
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Old 07-02-2006, 08:56 PM   #14
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As part of your business paln, you mght want to consider putting together a website or some other kind of promotional materials to sell your sizzle (rather than your steak - an old advertising adage.) In other words, you'll want to talk about the benefits of what you can do for your clients, more than who you, to put it in simple terms. Everything Clive says is spot on. It's all about 'perceived value.'

If you put together a flyer or some website copy, I'd be happy to look it over - just cuz that's my job and I'm pretty good at it. Gook luck!
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Old 07-03-2006, 12:19 AM   #15
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thanks, everybody....

anything else you all think I should be thinking about?

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