October 5, 2016 at 12:51AM


Freelance Videographer Rates

Hi I am a starting out Freelance Videographer. I was recently approached by someone I know who wanted me to film and edit their 30 min segment that focuses on discussing life topics. The segment has air time on a religious network and I don't know what I should charge them. I don't want to be too low because I know my worth and work but at the same time I don't want to charge to high because I know them. What should I do? Please Help


"Normally I would charge this..."
might be the most effective way to get a response :-P

October 7, 2016 at 10:35AM, Edited October 7, 10:35AM

Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer

I built an exact tool for this dilemma we face and I'm looking for more case studies. Zee, will you shoot me an email with details (after going thru the list at http://churchfilms.com/blog/instantquote) and I'll give you an invoice with an itemization of what I would charge?

E: info@churchfilms.com

If not, no worries. Good luck!

October 7, 2016 at 11:38AM


Your worth (rate) - if you're starting out - will largely be based on the quality of work you've done at an amateur/pro-sumer level. Aka, do you have a demo reel yet? You should share it in this thread and ask for feedback.

If you don't have a body of work yet, I would not charge more than $50/hr. unless you get the sense that a client is willing to pay a higher rate. But I'd be careful not to offend a client with a rate that is beyond your skill level. My starting freelance rate out of school was $65/hr., for reference, and my demo reel was acceptable (by student standards) enough that I was able to get corporate video work right out of school. Would love to see your work if you've got things to share.

October 10, 2016 at 8:33AM


$50 an hour right out of school? Wow that must be nice! Here I am four years out of school and I'm lucky to make $8 an hour doing deliveries. The market is saturated, and there are way to many talented filmmakers willing to work for free. It's expected to work for free for up to or over ten years in this industry. I have applied to paying jobs, but they never get back to you. Career services at my college can't place anyone, maybe cleaning decks on a cruise ship but I can't leave my wife alone like that for months.

If you can charge anywhere around minimum wages for film take it, you are lucky to get anything for this work. It's seen as a passion or hobby and people won't pay for that.

Good luck, being a filmmaker is a hard road unless you have luck.

Frank Hernandez

October 11, 2016 at 7:43AM

What is the minimum salary that would keep you happy doing that job for them. That's what you should charge, if you go higher and they say no you'll regret to have gone too high, if you go lower you will eventually feel bad about it as you might feel the situation unfair. Also be very clear on what and how you charge, is it by the hour, for the finish product, if it is for the finish product how many time they can change etc because it can also be endless when a client wants multiple change or ad things, like titles, close captioning, etc, etc. It's even worst if it's friends.

October 10, 2016 at 9:55AM, Edited October 10, 9:59AM


Are you providing camera gear for the shoot? It's good practice to build that into your quote.

My formula, which I learned from DP's in my area, is to quote a day rate + gear rental rate.

For example, since you are new, maybe your day rate is $300/day, plus your camera package (maybe it's a Canon 5D and a few lenses) for an added $100/day. That brings your rate to $400 per day of shooting (12 hours).

Doing it this way helps the client understand what you are providing isn't just knowledge, but the use of equipment that is expensive to purchase and maintain.

I don't like quoting hourly for shooting, because it incentivizes the client to rush you through the project. But for editing, I do quote an hourly rate.

For more insight, here's a great video on pricing for freelancer shooters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFuvZL0MN3A

October 12, 2016 at 7:33AM


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