January 19, 2015 at 1:25AM


How much should I charge for a side gig?

I could use feedback. I've always misfired when quoting these side jobs, and I know without a doubt I'll always be a working filmmaker. I want to charge what's fair for my work, and at the same time, protect our industry and that of other filmmakers by not going for that low rate. The web promo in question is to be 30-60 seconds, one subject (a juggler), can use free music (even commercial free, royalty-free), I do the shooting, editing, coloring, etc. The location is free, and the voiceover is something I will outsource and thus have to write into the shoot budget. The client provides the script for narration. Thanks NFS community. Let's keep creating.


My client said he doesn't need voiceover now as this will be in a tradeshow and would rather do text.

January 19, 2015 at 7:11AM


Depends how much hours of work you think it'll take. I usually charge around 50$ per hour.

January 19, 2015 at 9:10AM

Alex Kaldeway
Director of Photography / Editor

Thanks Alex!

Jake the film guy Keenum

January 20, 2015 at 9:46AM

Personally I would budget 2 hours of shoot-time/set time and 6 hours of edit/touch up/color time per location for a job like that. But you have to know how much time it would take you to do a project. Also you have to know where the video is being pushed to. Is it just being put out for social media? Then you probably don't need to have it be perfect, good obviously, but they are probably more budget conscious.
If its being put out in a press release, probably needs more.

Here is how I personally would build for a job like this. Figure out what a fair hourly rate to pay yourself is. I put about 8 hours of work for every hour of shooting (pre-production, shooting, post, and non-billable). I do a minimum for 2 hours of shooting per project.
Add additional for expenses. (that's personal to everyone, you'll have to figure that out for yourself.)
10-18/hr is entry level pay depending on your region. I started there, every couple months I felt I improved I gave myself a $0.50 raise.

That gave me a starting point, I reduced prices slightly as I felt it was necessary or on easy jobs.
A lot of guys bill day-rates, itemized, or hourly. I don't like any of those. Personally I bill hourly but in 8 hour blocks + expenses. Basically between $150-$200 per shooting hour with pre-production/editing/delivery included for full production work. That's essentially a $300-$400 an hour day rate. But I charging for directing, shooting, and editing.
I charge half for event coverage (not including weddings. That's corporate events, conferences, and birthdays). I don't do color on these, I have a profile I've built in camera that gives decent results out of the box. Usually will just cut it together, clean up the audio, and denoise/sharpen.
I use that to build a project cost if the client prefers to be billed that way.
For me that gives the advantages of a day-rate, being able to give a transparent cost to the client, while giving the flexibility of charging hourly. I charge extra for revisions and extra things of that nature.
That puts the demand on myself to be efficient and makes for very happy clients with almost any project size. I also find a lot of way to speed up editing, shooting for the edit, automate different things, and reduce overhead. Electronic delivery, GPU accelerated effects, etc..
Makes a huge difference, it allows me to be very competitive on pricing while not short changing myself.

January 19, 2015 at 9:42AM

Josh Wilkinson
Music Video Director/DP

$300-$400 day rate*. NFS needs an edit feature

Josh Wilkinson

January 19, 2015 at 10:02AM

Many thanks Josh - I took a long and hard look at the numbers, your counsel and that of Guy's (below), and went ahead and submitted a quote. The real caution you shared here that served as a firm reminder is the need for transparency. Again, thank you for your detailed reply.

Jake the film guy Keenum

January 20, 2015 at 9:47AM

I would also factor in who the client is. Larger companies have no problem paying higher rates for first-class service, where small companies might not have the budget for this.

January 19, 2015 at 10:36AM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

Very true - thanks as always Guy!

Jake the film guy Keenum

January 20, 2015 at 9:48AM

The answer is $650, it's a number that's decent for you, and won't scare away small clients.

June 15, 2015 at 9:32PM, Edited June 15, 9:33PM

Graham Uhelski
Director of Photography/Video Editor

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