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Commercial to advertise a product

Have a [video] service you'd like to promote - whether online or at your home/office? Do you need a video related professional? This is the place. Post your inquiries, website links and requests for services here. Of course, no spam please ! - has to be digital video/photography related.

Commercial to advertise a product

Postby SteveG » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:26 am

A friend and I have been presented an opportunity to shoot and edit a 30 second commercial to advertise a product. This might lead to a few other products. It is our first job. I am not sure how it will be used yet. I did an inital search on the internet. One place charged $95/hr for SD and $195/hr for HD.

I have three questions.
What rates would you suggest for a biginner?
Do most people charge by the hour or by the video or both?
When they say they charge by the hour I assume they mean how much time they spend doing it vs. how many hours the final product runs?

These may be basic questions but we have never done this before.
Steve G

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Re: Commercial to advertise a product

Postby Steve Grisetti » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:23 am

I would recommend going with the going rates for this kind work, even if you are a beginner. Remember, people will judge you by the price you charge! In other words, if you give them bargain basement prices, they'll expect bargain basement work.

On the other hand, since this is your first time out -- if your client knows it's your first time out -- you may even want to do it pro bono. For just your expenses. It's a great way to build a demo reel and share some good will.

That's my recommendation anyway. Either offer your services as a pro or do it for the bragging rights. But I wouldn't sell myself short or they'll expect a lot less from you.

This is, of course, depending on your client's current expectations, if he already knows you're just starting out.
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Re: Commercial to advertise a product

Postby Chuck Engels » Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:16 pm

I still consider myself a beginner in many respects. When I do similar projects they pay me between $350 - $500, depending on a few variables;

1. Format of original footage (tape, SD Card, or hard drive)
2. Total time of footage that has to be edited (do they give you 4 hours of footage that has to be turned into a 30 second commercial or do they give you 20 minutes worth of footage?).
3. Finished Media, DVD, BluRay, or web format (High Definition for web or BluRay is always more expensive as it is generally more time consuming)

For the $350 -$500 I probably put in 30 hours of work, it isn't really worth it and I obviously don't do it for the money. I am learning that the more I do, the faster I get and, the rate per hour is increasing (not the gross pay however).

It used to take me 40+ hours to do a 5 minute video segment.
That is taking roughly 2 hours of interview video from 2 or 3 cameras, syncing them all up, editing down to 5 minutes and adding background music and B roll footage (another hour of video to sort through). After doing a few of these now the time spent is down to a little over 30 hours each. The rate was $450 per segment when it took me 40 hours and it is still $450 now that it takes me 30 hours but my hourly wage out of that has gone up :)

A professional production company would get $1000's to do a 30 second commercial, probably 10's of 1000's.
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Re: Commercial to advertise a product

Postby SteveG » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:45 pm

Excellent and valuable information Steve and Chuck. Thank you so very much for sharing that.

Steve, I don't think I will be selling myself short..only because it should be a pretty easy job. Still don't know all the details yet. My friend will be writting and directing and I will do the editing. We both will be recording it.

Chuck, I can't believe you think of youself as a beginner sometimes. But I guess we all have a different view of ourselves then others do.

And if anyone else has some tips please share. It is kind of exciting knowing that we will be getting paid for this but I'm sure it eventually wears off a bit. Still...I'm getting PAID for something I do as a hobby.
Steve G

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