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fabmedia
01-20-2005, 12:53 PM
I have a great question, I have a client that wants to have a fully 3D music video with character and environment. It's 3 minutes long. Any idea of what to charge?

ingo
01-20-2005, 03:52 PM
How do you charge your other jobs ? I would do it the same way. Calculate the time you need multiplied by your hourly rate/daily rate.

fabmedia
01-20-2005, 04:21 PM
There are a couple of issues here, first this would be pushing my skills of character animation to the limit. I've only ever done two or three 3-5 second clips. I would estimate that it would take somewhere around 6 weeks to do. It's a very simple scene with the character in a karaoke bar. nothing spectacular. My graphic design billable rate is $65, but this leaves me a little stumped.

UnCommonGrafx
01-20-2005, 04:30 PM
Wow, writing up quotes... What a science!
I would up your hourly pay. Then, lengthen the project time to two months or so as you'll go really fast at first. Then it'll feel like it's sloggin' along.

Harlan's around; I hear he's a wiz at the estimate/quote thing. But he'd have ya earnin' enough to buy a house. ;)

fabmedia
01-20-2005, 04:40 PM
Wow, writing up quotes... What a science!
I would up your hourly pay. Then, lengthen the project time to two months or so as you'll go really fast at first. Then it'll feel like it's sloggin' along.

Harlan's around; I hear he's a wiz at the estimate/quote thing. But he'd have ya earnin' enough to buy a house. ;)

I don't think the client has a $15-30K budget. I keep hitting the magic barrier of $7-10K, but the thing about that is if I charge that, then I'm screwing the industry in the foot. Buggered if I do, buggered if I don't.

Who's Harlan?

Arlen

harlan
01-20-2005, 04:46 PM
Wow, writing up quotes... What a science!
I would up your hourly pay. Then, lengthen the project time to two months or so as you'll go really fast at first. Then it'll feel like it's sloggin' along.

Harlan's around; I hear he's a wiz at the estimate/quote thing. But he'd have ya earnin' enough to buy a house. ;)

LOL, Robert! :)

harlan
01-20-2005, 04:53 PM
I don't think the client has a $15-30K budget. I keep hitting the magic barrier of $7-10K, but the thing about that is if I charge that, then I'm screwing the industry in the foot. Buggered if I do, buggered if I don't.

Who's Harlan?

Arlen

Hey Arlen, I posted a reply to you over at CGTalk, but it probably wasn't the most informative - been a long day. I'll try to get back to you a little later today.

I do understand the conundrum you're in, but ultimately you need to figure out what the project is worth to you. If you can do it for say $10K and be happy, then I'd say do it, but that is a seriously low quote for what the project may entail. If you think you'll need to go for the higher route (ie: $30K), then that is exactly what you should quote them - if they turn it down then they turn it down.

It's better to lose a gig from the get go that will not pay you what you need than it is to bust your hump over a project and not make anything on it just so you can get the gig.

You may not have a full plate of work right now, which would make the project a little more enticing even at the break-even budget, but your time may be better spent on something else.

harlan
01-20-2005, 05:03 PM
Remember to factor in the equipment usage into the cost as well, and you can also charge a significantly lower rate for rendering time (which could shave a few pennys off the budget) as you're not working during that time. The machines are, and they need to make a little cash as well so you can afford to upgrade them over time.

Honestly, music videos are the majority of my income, and I've never done a video for less that $45K (without any dramatic VFX either). One video I did which had a ton of CG in it - was right around $500K (yes, $500,000) and that wasn't entirely CG (albeit it was a huge band).

All that being said, I was also contracted to shoot a video for a large band at the last minute, and after having spent nearly $130K out of pocket, I've yet to recieve a dime of payment from the label. They never got the video either, but the lawyers agree that I should be re-imbursed my expenses as contractually obligated.

Just be careful mate.

PS - I can't stress this enough, DO NOT UNDERSELL YOURSELF. You need to make a living, and shaving your costs to less than a Mc Donalds employee is not the way to do it.

UnCommonGrafx
01-20-2005, 07:47 PM
THAT'S Harlan.

Thanks for the info, Harlan. I have a job I have to bid out and I know that I need to add it up a little better. Hope you make it to NAB for conversation on such topics.
Impressive as always.

ingo
01-21-2005, 02:44 AM
..........

PS - I can't stress this enough, DO NOT UNDERSELL YOURSELF. You need to make a living, and shaving your costs to less than a Mc Donalds employee is not the way to do it.

You should write this in big fat letters. Yes many people wont give you a job because you want to much for it, but there are also people that wont give you a job because your offer is to low. For them this doesn't look professional. Although i'm in the archviz business, its the same over here.

Johnny
01-21-2005, 12:07 PM
I don't think the client has a $15-30K budget. I keep hitting the magic barrier of $7-10K, but the thing about that is if I charge that, then I'm screwing the industry in the foot. Buggered if I do, buggered if I don't.


Hey, man..don't lowball yourself just because the client can't afford what they want!

Doesn't work for you, does it? Does your landlord or mortgage company accept a lower payment when you have an off revenue month? No, they don't.

If your client can't afford to do business, they need to revisit their business plan.

I have learned this about clients: those who want to pay bargain-basement rates for your creative work are BAD NEWS! Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Run away. FAST!

After, of course, politely and professionally declining the job at that level of money.

You could say you'd be hurting the industry by taking that low money, which is true, but you'd be hurting yourself, too. Cheap clients get way more than the low fee's worth out of you, and the hand is always out wanting more ideas, more revisions, freebies, advice, more, more, more.

They don't pay appropriately because they have no CLUE what is the value of what you do for them.

I can only speak for myself, but I'd rather take a job at a coffeeshop than to give away my skill, talent and creative insights for crap money...just for the privelege of being able to do creative work..thank you, sir, may I have another? You have to hold your ground and value yourself despite being de-valued by others, else you're their toy.

J

fabmedia
01-21-2005, 02:01 PM
I'll reply to everyone shortly. There have been some great comments. I've been trying plug the client for thier budget, but nothing so far. I'm just going to drop the ball with them today and give them my best guess without commiting. That way they can say either yeah, or nay.

hruffin3
01-21-2005, 02:09 PM
well my first attempt to help some local musician resulted in their business associate screaming out that they didn't care how long the ARTIST spent coming up with the graphics the graphics are free she exclaimed for a tee shirt advertising their store - this was directed towards me as a response for offering to do 3d and video for a music video for dirt cheap ($17.50 an hour with an initial charge of $300.00 and even less for the render) - The tee shirt design by a third party was a 2 color bullseye with the name of the store in two whole colors too! this is a true story. they could come back and beg but the rate will be $175.00 an hour now.... :eek: ...

harlan
01-21-2005, 05:42 PM
I'll reply to everyone shortly. There have been some great comments. I've been trying plug the client for thier budget, but nothing so far. I'm just going to drop the ball with them today and give them my best guess without commiting. That way they can say either yeah, or nay.

Sweet!!! Good luck man, just go for it. F*** their budget, quote what you think is right, and if you need someone to break some knees, you know where to reach me. :)

firstsingle
01-23-2005, 12:06 PM
harlan, You rock man.

cresshead
01-23-2005, 03:32 PM
yup have to agree here...set your price according to YOU not them...if they can't afford it they are not serious about it...

or you could give them options...

an old client of mine was no forth comming with the budget he had, so i gave him 3 choices based on 3 price guides...not an open ended price

basic no frills based on *** hours
more detailed based upon *** hours
all in based upon *** hours


all three budgets would deliver "a final product"

budget 1 would be basic...no morph targets for face no animated hands, no eye blinks, no hair, no cloth, no dynamics...would be driven by footstap animation with a cursery edit to tidy up...[made in max/character studio]

then budget 2 and 3 could add in a degree of those things depending on what they wanted and how much of it they wanted to pay......

Boo!
01-24-2005, 04:24 AM
...hi fabmedia, excuse me as join this one late but i just had a meetin with a client yesterday(yeah i know sunday...sigh...) and i was wonderin if you could throw up a post when the client gets back to you regarding costs.

thanks :o

fabmedia
01-24-2005, 10:44 AM
Will do.

Just to let everyone know, I've decided to break the project down into very managable bits. This, I think, will win the client. I mentioned to him that we'd break the project into the typical pre-production, production, and post, but told him that we'd divide the pre-production into two phases. The first being full main character development and completion, a review of the song lyrics with a proposed script, and conceptual sketches of the overall look and feel of the video. That will be $X dollars. By the end of that stage I will have a better idea of what he wants. I mentioned to him that he'll be able to use the character for any marketing materials (he like that), and that I would present an estimate for the second part of the preproduction, which would be the completion of the pre-production phase and by the end of that, I would present the final budget for the completion of the video. It appears that he want's to mix animation with live action, but will have the character in a warehouse setting by a window. Everyonce in a while the character will be either viewed or will look out the window where you will see something going on which will be in relation of the song, i.e. garbage truck going by, a couple arguing, etc. (examples). So I already know the budget is going to get huge. But that's the take so far.

I'll keep everyone posted.