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Thread: Why not list pricing? Video production/3d animation

  1. #1

    Why not list pricing? Video production/3d animation

    I am starting up a video production business. Most of the other video production sites I visited have examples, but dont list their price for the videos. Instead they want you to contact them for pricing. How come? Why dont they say on their site, this video cost 500.00 to make, this one with animation cost 1200.00, and so on. It would make it easier for the customer.
    Last edited by skywalker113; 12-28-2011 at 03:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Banned OnlineRender's Avatar
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    How would it be easier firstly you want any client to speak 1 on 1 this way you have better interaction ..secondly not all jobs are the same for example one charged 500 a minute for a client I charged 1000 varibles are different ,pick a set price you will end up doing yourself out of money
    Last edited by OnlineRender; 12-28-2011 at 03:27 PM.

  3. #3
    Banned OnlineRender's Avatar
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    Plus if you add the price people will go wtf ,nah can't cost that much

  4. #4
    we're not selling bags of chips or ipads..

    we're creating bespoke content, as such each project has different requirements and goals to achieve be they, quality, speed, size [resolution], complexity, style, final format to deliver [print, web, tv, cinema, app,pdf etc]

    as such one size does not fit all.
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  5. #5
    I know each project will have different prices, but why not give them a general idea of cost on the site. So they know if their going to have to pay 500.00 or 10,000.00.

  6. #6
    Kamehameha Chameleon BigHache's Avatar
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    It's a trap!

    You may start your business with lower prices, then increase as time goes by because you've added equipment, staff, just gotten better at what you do, etc. If you listed prices you may lock yourself into something that's no longer feasible.

    A client may look at your $500 video example and say, "I want that exactly", but the circumstances may not be $500. You may have shot the example piece in a location you got for free, but the new client's request involves an additional location cost. I would wager in most cases, you will not be able to explain things like this.

    Go with the wisdom, don't list what projects cost.

  7. #7
    Virtualsets.com Tim H.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywalker113 View Post
    I know each project will have different prices, but why not give them a general idea of cost on the site. So they know if their going to have to pay 500.00 or 10,000.00.
    Because pricing can be so vastly different for different projects. For example, if someone with a super-detailed, work-intensive project sees $10,000 as the maximum price, they may expect their entire $30,000 project to be done for a maximum of $10,000.

    Similarly, perhaps a person wants a 10-second web-quality video with a white background and no editing at all. If my studio is all set up for this, the person could be in and out of the studio in 15-20 minutes. In that scenario, the potential client may believe $500 far too much to spend for what they need. They never call. I never get the quick/easy job.

    Unless selling a commodity, posting pricing rarely works to the benefit of the service provider.

  8. #8
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    List your prices, don't list your prices. Doesn't matter. Someone is going to keep saying they can get "this kid" they know (probably with a pirated copy of Maya) to do the job for $100.

    All you are doing by listing your prices is letting the person who is undercutting you know how much more they can charge.

  9. #9
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    Here's what I do:
    Free phone consult to hear about what they want and I recommend a quick storyboard at a fixed price, which I will do as cheaply as possible. If they need a ballpark estimate before the storyboard, they'll get a wide, wide range. After the storyboard, I'll aim for +/- 10 percent estimate. I don't do much animation, so I'd like to hear how a more established studio would handle it.

  10. #10
    1. Quality
    2. Fast turn around
    3. Low price

    I tell my clients to pick two of the 3 above.

  11. #11
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
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    Most production jobs are awarded through a bidding process and, as OnlineRender mentioned above, every job can have many variables you need to consider before making a bid. Here are some tips:

    If possible, find out what the client's budget is and then work up a realistic bid and tell them what you can do for that amount of money. If they want more than what you suggested, they know they will have to come up with a bigger budget.

    Serious clients will either accept the bid, simplify their production or come up with more money. Chances are, these guys will be professional and be more pleasant to work with.

    Of course, the other option is that they can go with another vendor but you have no control over that. Just move on to the next one.

    If a potential client complains that your bid is too high, avoid them--these guys will ruin you. 'Cheap' clients = headaches and possible bankruptcy. Or, if you really want to work for them, suggest some alternatives that will work within their budget.

    Some clients may ask for a discount. That's fine but make sure you have your own good reason to give them one, like "I'll do this because it's going to look amazing on my reel and it will bring me more work," and you actually believe it will.

    If a potential client says something like, "if you do this this one job for us at a ridiculous bargain basement price, we promise to send more work your way later...seriously," don't believe them--this never happens.

    Your mileage may vary of course.

    G.

  12. #12
    What do I know? JBT27's Avatar
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    The Mill used to publish a rate card - day rates/hour rates - maybe they still do, haven't checked. That, of course, tells one nothing of how long or how good something is going to be.

    There are plenty of people who will shop on price, and plenty competitors who will undercut ... and each job is based on the length of a piece of string anyway, so there's no point stating prices. Unless you want to offer specific services that lock you and the client into a set type of job, in which the price is near enough predictable before you get going.

    We find it to be a very frustrating experience, because often the client doesn't get what they're asking for, and sometimes we find ourselves in the difficult position of having to educate a client before a job starts ... that's a whole other can of worms, and links through to agreements on content and procedure of a project.

    I'd concentrate on being open and honest if you want to make a statement about pricing, get that first meeting, start pitching, and work with the client, making them feel 'safe' and supported.

    Our experience shows that many clients are very confused and frightened by the disparate pricing they get from different vendors, and if they are not used to buying animation and video, then it's even more confusing.

    Last year, I quoted £25K for a CGI job that ultimately went to a company who charged £180K ... a couple of producers I work with felt that was way too high, but the client didn't know, was spending grant money, and got what they wanted ... so whether they overpaid for it is a moot point ... except that other clients will see that and believe that that is what it costs. Most don't have that kind of money, and there's the problem: setting a high rate kills the potential for other work that clients can afford - they get scared of lower quotes, and you end up in a tight spot of having to say that in your opinion, that high-paying client was heavily overcharged.

    A museum who commissioned a ten minutes monologue from an amateur actor, costume, set in a museum gallery, went with a company charging £60K ... I asked one of our producer friends how much he would have quoted ... he said he might have tried to get away with £6K. The museum didn't know, didn't ask, went with the smooth talking sales exec attached to a big video production company.

    I often think it would help if there were a set of more standard prices, at least as a basis ... it's still the length of a piece of string, but at least there's some levelling to start with.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenlaw View Post
    If a potential client says something like, "if you do this this one job for us at a ridiculous bargain basement price, we promise to send more work your way later...seriously," don't believe them--this never happens.
    G.
    This one i've learned.

    Quote Originally Posted by JBT27 View Post

    I'd concentrate on being open and honest if you want to make a statement about pricing, get that first meeting, start pitching, and work with the client, making them feel 'safe' and supported.
    Agree, 9 times out of 10 this works unless, as you wrote, they want the 'big' production deal at any cost.

  14. #14
    Goes bump in the night RebelHill's Avatar
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    As said by others.... every job is different.

    I just finished a 30sec commercial (2 characers) took me about 4days. I had another 30 sec commercial about 18 months ago, 2 chars... took near 2 months... Reason, there were HUGE differences between the 2 things, but most folks who dont know the ins and outs of CG wouldnt understand (without a few hours of explanation) why the difference in time.

    Btw... watched your reel, and its mostly good, with one glaring exception...

    The creature VFX stuff u have in that highschool... its TERRIBLE... modeling, animation, texturing, lighting, matchmoving... all these aspects are very poor indeed (sorry)... take em out, they drag the good stuff you do have down.

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  15. #15
    Running at 29.97 fps Titus's Avatar
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    So you want your competition show their rates? not gonna happen.

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