September 20, 2016 at 3:40PM

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The (inevitable) approach to charging clients as a freelancer.

Hello NFS community, I wanted to ask this question to all of you so I, and maybe a couple of us, can have a different idea on how to charge clients based on each person's different approach on when it comes to "Charging for your creative work".

I know it depends on the country, experience, portfolio, currency, etc. But I'd really like to hear what is your approach, step by step, on charging for your work. Do you write down contracts? Do you charge before working? Do you make your own costs sheet? Everything that could help a 23 year old graduate (and all of the creative souls out here) find his approach on costs/fees and maybe avoiding some mistakes I could possibly make on the process of learning.

69 Comments

Let me throw a wrench in the idea of freelancing. Instead of having a client pay per video or project (which ALL freelancers dread trying to win, and clients hate searching)... offer to work on a retainer basis. Essentially they pay $X per month for any video project they need, as many as they want.

Then you just balance all projects and deliver as quickly as possible. You get the recur, they get an insane value (essentially the price of 1 or 2 videos per month).

For me, that's been the difference between dying for work, and creating a 6 figure video business, by myself, from my office in my house. Leaving room to make an entire feature length doc in the process.

Think about it.

September 20, 2016 at 5:00PM

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Jordan Mederich
Documentarian / Filmmaker
1353

I really like your point, and idea, and I've thought about it, but I have some questions for your way of work;

1) What do you do, if the company that pays that monthly quote, asks for let's say, 8-12 videos per month? Isn't this way too much for what you may be asking for the month?

2) You mentioned working by your office, or your house; how do you manage to do this? Don't you have to go outside and shoot? Do you only edit?

Because I truly like the idea, I just feel that sometimes companies that hire you may try to abuse.

Tommy Plesky

September 20, 2016 at 6:25PM

1) The retainer model means you would do one video at a time, as it balances with your other tasks... So it wouldn't matter how many they ask for, they'll be completed in order, one after the other. Not at the same time. You may only do 3 videos a month in that manner, or you may be able to crank out 10.
2) Yes, the editing is done from the office, but many shoots in area locations, even using my house or basement to create sets. If you need a living room, use your living room, etc.

The big goal is to avoid constantly selling yourself, grab a client or a couple who appreciate your work, and keep them on the hook with constant content.

September 20, 2016 at 6:30PM

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Jordan Mederich
Documentarian / Filmmaker
1353

Charging is always a tough one, if you ask just a bit too much the client will go to someone charging less.

Clients usually have an idea of what videos costs, that cost is falling by the day. Rates in this industry are falling by the day. Cameras are cheaper, gear is cheaper, and education is not needed as much.

In my past client jobs, I have been able to charge $150 for shooting and editing a 1-3 minute corporate piece. This could include interviews or just broll and voiceover. This usually equals about $15 an hour depending on how many notes they have.

I have tried to come at full "industry" rates but get passed over every time. If you can get $5 over minimum wage in this industry I would take it.

As far as contracts, use them if possible. Usually they are worthless though because you won't have the money to hire a lawyer anyway. I have had several contracted clients not pay, nothing really I can do without dumping several thousand in legal fees. They should keep honest people honest though.

September 20, 2016 at 11:01PM

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Just wondering. Do you live in or near a big city? If so, you are cheating yourself. If not that $150 doesn't seem bad given the current downward spiral of day rates. Small townships used to be deserts where you could charge even more than in the city because no one had equipment and skills. Not anymore. It's bad these days.

Don Way

September 22, 2016 at 9:01AM

Do NOT listen to Ninja Monkey. If he hasn't already convinced you himself, you should be able to tell he is not a model of success. Anyone who advices you to aim for anything close to minimum wage is not someone you want to listen to. Sure at the beginning you will probably be working for really low rates; but as your skills grow and your client base, you will find yourself so busy that you have no choice but to charge more.

Kenneth Merrill

September 23, 2016 at 2:08PM

Kenneth and Jordan, things are not as easy as you say. It's highly insulting to all the skilled, smart, business minded individuals I know. We are in a down economy, our generation will be the first to not progress from our parents. Most of our generation has to work three jobs and live at home to make ends meet, and you think you are not lucky?

If you are making six figures, today, from film/video you are lucky. Stop fooling yourself into thinking you are smarter or cunning than the rest. I have seen both of your work, it is not good. I made better work when I was 13 with a hi-8 video camera. I'm sorry to break it to you.

Stop tricking people into thinking you know anything.

Frank Hernandez

September 23, 2016 at 5:53PM, Edited September 23, 5:53PM

NinjaMonkey who are you? Do you have a website of a vimeo where I can see your work? Let's collaborate:)

forest erwin

September 23, 2016 at 6:20PM

It's weird that you have two forum accounts here Frank/Ninja. You're not lending yourself any credibility.

I consider myself very lucky to be seeing the success I am. I sure as hell don't take it for granted. But I also know that I've only been this successful because I worked smart. Aiming for minimum wage isn't smart.

Kenneth Merrill

September 24, 2016 at 3:36AM

I was told to create a new account with my name by noFilmSchool, I am following their rules. The other account is no longer active.

Frank Hernandez

September 24, 2016 at 9:43AM

I'm 17 and can charge 10x that no problem :'D you must live somewhere unfortunate for video producers hahah

Clark McCauley

September 24, 2016 at 10:58AM

Congratulations on your luck Clark, your humbleness is infecting.

Frank Hernandez

September 24, 2016 at 11:00AM

*IF YOU ARE MAKING 6 FIGURES THROUGH VIDEO - great job, you put in work and made a name for yourself... success is not a coincidence and lack of success is not luck.

Clark McCauley

September 24, 2016 at 11:15AM

I like how frank, on a forum with no notifications responds 15 minutes after I comment, on a thread started 4 days ago. As if he's patrolling the forums just looking for an argument ;)

Clark McCauley

September 24, 2016 at 11:20AM

You are 17, I have been working since you were 10...How can you really claim you worked for any success you have? It was luck plain and simple.

Frank Hernandez

September 24, 2016 at 12:41PM

Haha so have I. So we seem to have been working for the same amount of time... sure my videos were crap back then but I made money and learned in the process...

Clark McCauley

September 24, 2016 at 1:12PM

Ninja monkey and I very much disagree on several things... no difference here. Maybe $150 per video is enough for you to live, but I really doubt it. Maybe as you are building up a resume and proof of what you can do. But at those rates you may as well work at Walmart.

Value yourself, set a benchmark (For example, $500-1000 per finished minute) and sell people about your value compared to others in your area.

If you're charging $15 per hour, you're going to get bottom feeder clients who will nickel and dime you every time, and ask for a million edits. It's the employee mindset.

Be an entrepreneur, a real business owner. Do killer work and go after the sharks, forget the tadpoles. The sharks are entrepreneurs too. They pay better, expect less, and appreciate talent.... they'll keep you around. The 'fiverr' budget customer is broke and will expect the world from you for free.

Perhaps that's the difference between our two mindsets, one begs, the other can give.

September 21, 2016 at 2:12PM

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Jordan Mederich
Documentarian / Filmmaker
1353

You are just lucky Jordan, you haven't had to beg for work. Don't fool yourself into thinking your work is great or your an amazing businessman. It's just luck plain and simple, there are people with more talent in one of their hairs than you'll ever have, and a lot of them struggle to make anything in film. Why must you insult every starving artist because of your blind luck?

NinjaMonkey

September 21, 2016 at 5:42PM

I'm curious about your strategy - mostly about offering a client an unlimited amount of videos per month. How should one approach signing a contract with such client? If I charge them for example 5k$/month for 'unlimited videos' they could just throw at me 20 different projects and expect them to be finished in a month because they paid for it. How should I settle things down with them? If I tell them that I can finish only 3 videos per month they will most likely divide the amount of cash they are paying be by amount of videos I will make monthly and whole plan goes out of the window.
Would you mind clearing it out for me?

Marcin

September 22, 2016 at 7:07PM

Jordan, read my post above. You need to get off your high horse, and realize luck played a major part in any success you have. There are people with more business knowledge and more video knowledge than you who struggle in this economy. There just isn't enough work to go around, and some like you get lucky.

Frank Hernandez

September 23, 2016 at 5:55PM

Marcin - That's the beauty of the system and clearly the client has to be onboard. They CANNOT expect 20 videos to be done in the month, it's one after the other, not 20 videos all being worked on at the same time.

It's a massive value for them, even if they get 3 finished videos, it much less time and money spent to maximum output from you. And YOU keep the recur.

By the way I just discovered NinjaMonkey and Frank Hernandez are the same people, he's notoriously the most negative person on NFS boards and does nothing of value in the industry... just slams other filmmakers. Don't pay any attention to either of his accounts.

Jordan Mederich

September 23, 2016 at 11:12PM

How should I approach signing contract with a client then? Won't a statement 'producing unlimited amount of videos per month' put me in a bad situation if the client turns out to be an asshole and says that I only produced 3 videos and not the X amount that he ordered (because contract clearly states that he could order as much videos as he wanted)?
I don't know if you're following, I'm basicaly asking what happens if I sign a contract with such statement and client turns out to be an asshole and a dodger.

Marcin

September 24, 2016 at 7:33AM

@Marcin - you really do have to protect yourself, and add a clause that allows you to escape the contract because of 'unreasonable expectations'.

First, you have to LIKE the person you're doing business with. Some level of trust and understanding. Do one gig as a normal business deal, see how you two mesh.

Second, he's not ordering 'as many as he wants', he's ordering your work on retainer. So you could actually charge MORE if it's a full month of crazy busy work, but the retainer remains. If he has NO video projects, he'd still pay. It's what many businesses do with lawyers, having them on retainer.

The benefit to him is that he will truly get the most value. No business deal can work where someone is taken advantage of, so protect yourself and balance your work with for that company, with other gigs.

They just really want to feel like your only client, make them feel respected and special, they'll often return the favor.

Jordan Mederich

September 26, 2016 at 11:30AM, Edited September 26, 11:30AM

Marcin - Its not unheard of to do a "Not to exceed" clause in a contract. You can do it in hours or projects and you can set it up so that the verbal conversation you have with your client is covered in your contract. You can make the number high without worrying that the client is going to destroy you in workload for the same price. The not to exceed part can have additional rates for out of contract or exceeding contract work.

Chris Hackett

September 30, 2016 at 1:34PM

It's a poor man that believes his entire life is the cause of bad fortune, and that all rich people are the result of good luck.

I could teach Tommy, or anyone else how to make a 6 figure business from scratch, no problem. I was a starving artist at one point too, until I ponied up and changed my mindset and business strategy.

Feel free to continue whining on these threads about how nobody will pay you anything... I'll keep mentoring people how to nail down client, after client, after client.

September 21, 2016 at 7:01PM

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Jordan Mederich
Documentarian / Filmmaker
1353

Jordan,

Your words insanely got my head flying about how can I make a real business from one of my passions. I'm very interested in your business model as I haven't seen anything like this around here and I see an opportunity, Would you mind sharing some details? What kind of clients have you got with this model and how did you communicate the value of your model? Thanks so much for sharing.

September 22, 2016 at 9:34AM, Edited September 22, 9:35AM

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Ulises Bravo
Filmmaker, DP
456

Hi Ulises - I can attest, most filmmakers are artists, not business people. But filmmaking is half business, half art, so it's really crucial to think about the best method.

Honestly, I'm the only one using this model that I'm aware of, been my little secret.

Here's how it works best. 1) you HAVE to have good products. In the niche I'm in, my vids have led to over $10mm in sales over a couple years, so you really do need good video to start.

2) Forget the budget customers, approach businesses who need recurring work, or are constantly sourcing out for creative work. Offer them a deal they can't refuse. Approach them with an "unlimited video production" package for $X/month. Maybe it's $2K, maybe it's $5K, whatever.

3) You do one video for them at a time, when that's done, you do the next. No more bidding, no more hassles of them finding creative people, no pricing surprises. Pretty much pays for itself after the first video.

4) Here's the beautiful part: you can have AS MANY OF THESE CLIENTS as you want! Outsource projects to other video people that you don't want to do, or they could handle better.

You're scaling up your business. You're no longer their employee, you're a business owner with yourself as your only employee. You call the shots.

Works for me. Does that help?

Jordan Mederich

September 22, 2016 at 12:06PM

Thank you so much Jordan, I'll do my homework and star to work in a business strategy. I've been working as a freelancer for almost 6 years and I can't complain, but in this case i can see the value for both parts and the opportunity to get to the next step, (client and filmmaker) so this way is a win-win trade. Would you mind if something pops up along the way keep consulting you about your experience in the business department? Again thank you very much.

Ulises Bravo

September 23, 2016 at 12:31PM, Edited September 23, 12:31PM

Of course! Hit me at jordan @ churchoffelons.com with any questions.

Jordan Mederich

September 23, 2016 at 3:09PM

Tommy,

I started my own wedding videography company roughly 2 months ago, and now I am successfully self-sufficient. As far as prices are concerned, you have to be able to produce high-quality output—that means skill, experience, and unfortunately, gear. If you won't, someone else will. As a result, I recommend honing your applicable skills. If you're good in that department, you should be able to provide a concrete example of the quality of work you can produce. Typically, after showing potential clients a bit of my work they feel more than confident in hiring my services. When I started out, I charged about $1000 per wedding, give or take a couple hundred dollars depending on special circumstances. This included supplying all of my own gear and crew.

However, I recently made a successful partnership with my local wedding planning company, so now I receive a flat payment of around $4,000 per month from them, and in return I film all of their weddings. This is a contractual agreement, and monthly it too totals to around $1,000 a wedding. For my hours (typically 12 per wedding), the profit is unbeatable, and I still maintain my creative liberty for the most part.

Bottom line: as long as you produce consistently solid output, you can justify a price that you like. Here's a tip, scout out the local videographers, find out how much they're charging, make sure your quality is better, then charge a little more. With exclusivity you'll be able to increase the rates until you're pleased—it's a model I've followed to great success so far.

I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors. Feel free to contact me regarding any questions about my personal experience or business model.

Note: I live in Idaho, appropriate prices may differ depending on your local community.

September 22, 2016 at 6:45PM, Edited September 22, 6:46PM

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Lorenzo Ducai
Director/Cinematographer/Editor/Wedding Photographer
355

But didn't you make 1 wedding video? Now you are an expert.

I don't know why it bothers me so much when someone buys a camera and six months later they say they are a DP. Your work is not good enough to give advice, I only take advice from those with experience and skill.

Frank Hernandez

September 23, 2016 at 5:57PM

Wow Lorenzo, I hadn't heard of many people partnering with wedding planners around me, that sounds like a great idea! Do they give you a time frame to get everything done in, or is it just whenever you get it done? Are you required to take every wedding given? And what do you mean by keeping most of your creative liberty? Do they restrict you in any ways? I'm really intrigued. And Frank, I don't care if someone was been doing what they do for 3 weeks or 3 decades. Good knowledge is good knowledge. Why break people down like that? We're all in this together, a community all over the world trying to help each other out. Keep it positive, eh?

Craig Douglas

September 23, 2016 at 6:48PM

How do you know it's good knowledge? He claims his work is better than anyone in his market, I doubt that is true unless he is the only videographer...is bragging without reason okay to you?

Frank Hernandez

September 23, 2016 at 6:52PM

I didn't read it as that, Frank. I mean, signing a $4,000/m deal is pretty substantial to me! If he had no proof of concept, that's a very different story. Now, if he claimed doing that is the best way, having never done it before, it would be another thing completely. I feel like bragging rights are justified. Shoot, i'd be telling everyone if I got a deal like that!

Craig Douglas

September 23, 2016 at 7:12PM

Jeez Frank - what's your beef with Lorenzo?

He's sharing his answer, and his experiences of freelancing. I think what he's doing is smart business.

Why the crap do you immediately come in and slam?

Grow up dude.

Jordan Mederich

September 23, 2016 at 7:44PM

Jordan, people like Lorenzo are a major problem with our industry. They pick up a cheap camera, watch a few online videos, and then six months later they are undercutting professionals. Clients can't tell the different, especially since most people can stitch together a decent 30-60 second highlight. They sell themselves as "Experienced" which is a joke. Its a huge problem and I will not stay quiet about it.

He didn't go to school for film, he barely has any experience and shot 1 wedding. Then he took that video, acted like a seasoned pro and booked a contract with a wedding planner. Making promises he cannot deliver upon.

If a sleazy businessman is okay for you, if him bringing down the industry is okay, you have issues I cannot help with.

Frank Hernandez

September 23, 2016 at 9:15PM

Thank you for your kind words Lorenzo.

Tommy Plesky

September 25, 2016 at 11:41PM

Jeez Frank what's your deal here? I've seen your work and it's nothing special, but yet you come here and slam everyone that takes part in this discussion. You literally commented every user that commented this post stating that their work is terrible, grow up.

September 23, 2016 at 7:52PM

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Marcin
114

Did you read me posts? These are lucky people with very little actual experience, should I just stay blind to that?

Why has this industry turned into a bunch of amateurs acting like experts?

I know my work is shit, I have only been working 6 years.

Frank Hernandez

September 23, 2016 at 9:07PM

FRANK HERNANDEZ IS NINJAMONKEY!!

That explains the insane amount of negativity and shaming others. This dude should be kicked from all NFS boards.

Jordan Mederich

September 23, 2016 at 11:05PM

Hey Frank, I checked out some of your work and I'll say the footage was fine and the editing was average, but clearly that's not the issue if you're struggling with your business. If you have the same attitude at weddings as you do on the message boards here, I would say that's the biggest issue you're having in growing your business. Weddings are like 90% personality and 10% skill. If people enjoy having you a part of their day, they'll tell others and your business will grow. Not only that, but if you get along well with the photographers and other vendors you work with and make a good impression, they'll recommend you to their clients and your business will grow. Positivity goes a LONG way in growing a business. And yes, luck is a part of it. I was lucky enough to get connected with some great people who have helped my business grow, mostly because I stayed positive and tried to make sure everybody was having a good time. I'm not trying to personally attack you or anything, I'm just saying being someone worth working with is less about talent and more about if someone enjoys spending the day with you. The assistants that I hire are based on that philosophy. There are plenty of great shooters that I wouldn't hire because of their attitude and the way they conduct themselves.

That's a business lesson for everybody trying to get their business going -- be the type of person you would want to spend the day with and you'll find yourself booking more and more.

My general approach to pricing is to look at what others in the area are charging for the service they are providing. And the service they are providing has a lot more to do with it than just how the final product looks. Factor in what you can provide that others can't or maybe what you're lacking that others do provide. Weigh all of this against how much you need to survive and how much work you want to do while being honest about how much it will cost you to operate your business. Never forget how much taxes will cost someone who is self-employed and don't forget to factor in the risks you have that someone with a steady job doesn't. But above all, be someone worth working with. Just my .02

September 23, 2016 at 10:50PM

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Jeremiah Kuehne
Filmmaker
732

My business suffering has nothing to do with how it's run. My countless reviews here prove that: http://www.ninjamonkeyweddings.com/reviews

Brides love to have me at their wedding. My wedding companies main issues is me always being over $200-300 competition offering much more. Guys like Lorenzo can offer 3 shooters, drone and full editing for $1000. I need to charge $1895 to be profitable with those same options.

Lead generation is the main issue, my conversion rate is pretty high. Out of brides I have had meeting with only 1 has ever not booked out of hundreds.

I know business contrary to Jordan's assumptions. I know social, I know marketing and I know SEO. Being constantly undercut is my issue.

I apologize for getting mad, like I said I don't know why someone with six months of experience acting like a pro gets my bothered. I have seen people posting about the same frustrations elsewhere.

Frank Hernandez

September 24, 2016 at 12:10AM, Edited September 24, 12:10AM

So you aren't struggling to book and you're charging $1895? Where is the issue? That seems like a reasonable middle-ranged price for what you're offering in your location. You're just sort of coming across like you're mad that you're not getting enough business but it sounds like you're priced fairly and booking weddings, so that's great!

The thing is, if a person is working for 6 months or 20 years but they're getting business, they're pro (at least in the wedding industry). Say what you want about their talent, but if they're booking gigs and getting paid, they're already pro. Anyhow, I don't think Lorenzo is offering 3 shooters, a drone, and editing for $1000. I mean, he could if he was hiring people for minimum wage and I'm sure he would get business from some people. I try to stay away from those weddings anyway though because usually those clients don't appreciate the craft as much. I know a local DJ who doubled his pricing this year because he intends to book half as many gigs and make the same profit. It's kind of how it works. Maybe you won't get as many gigs but if you can book 25 weddings as $2000 each rather than 50 weddings at $1000 each, who cares?

Jeremiah Kuehne

September 24, 2016 at 5:23AM

If only it was that easy as you say jeremiah, my bookings hit a wall with all these "pro" shooters like Lorenzo. No one will pay $1895 if someone offers more for $1000. These days im lucky to get $500 for a wedding video.

Frank Hernandez

September 24, 2016 at 9:46AM

HOLY CRAP!!!

EVERYBODY - Frank Hernandez IS NINJA MONKEY!!

This dude is the absolute most negative person on NFS boards. Go ahead, look into all previous posts by NinjaMonkey (which by the way, just NOW has a real account)... you'll see him slamming anyone and everyone, while he makes $150 videos and makes fun of others making thousands more than him.

Now you know.

September 23, 2016 at 11:04PM, Edited September 23, 11:04PM

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Jordan Mederich
Documentarian / Filmmaker
1353

Bruh. I thought you were joking, or jumping to conclusions. Then I checked his account... Also, NinjaMonkey's account is gone! Glad to know that it's not multiple people running around with such hatred.

Craig Douglas

September 23, 2016 at 11:31PM

Thanks Jordan, I wasn't trying to hide anything and am abiding by the nofilmschool policies. I was being honest, I can't sugar coat things.

I get it my works sucks

Frank Hernandez

September 23, 2016 at 11:48PM

I definitely feel your pain Tommy. I'm hosting a webinar on this very thing soon - what the heck to charge, which should be four-figures if not five, and what to look for in that first convo. I also came up with a tool to do this job for us - i.e. give us a painless, seamless quote in our first convo with a client regardless of the nature of the video work because so many of us charge too little for our time and skillsets, but the webinar is free and the tool is not a requisite to learn from or join the free workshop. If you (or anyone else) would like to get an email when the webinar is live, just sign up over my site http://churchfilms.com or just shoot an email to info@churchfilms.com.

September 23, 2016 at 11:19PM

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Frank/Ninjamonkey. Only a fool attributes his failure to others. Seriously man, invest in a business coach. It sounds like you could use it.

September 24, 2016 at 3:39AM

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Kenneth Merrill
Director
1276

Thanks for insulting me merrill, I love being called a fool. Wait till the Lorenzo's hit your market, then you'll see.

Frank Hernandez

September 24, 2016 at 9:48AM

lol

Clark McCauley

September 24, 2016 at 10:56AM

I'm not in the US. In Australia, but I / my business (3 of us) have seperate rates for pre-production, production and post. Part of what we charge has a preset allocation, what is wages and what goes to the business (on average around 20 - 23%) When we quote for projects we clearly break down the costs. Clients REALLY appreciate that. It also means we clearly lay out the scope - shoot days, edit days etc. So if the scope looks like it will blow out we can either rein the project in or discuss with the client and charge fairly based on any extra days/hours. This has previously resulted in 120 grand plus jobs become 160 grand. Not because we overcharged but because the scope of the project and time required grew and the client wanted to invest in that.

September 24, 2016 at 7:08AM

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Dean Butler
Writer Director Shooter Editor
473

There's an old chinese teaching about how those with early success are truly cursed. Look at childhood stars and historically those with instant success. They were not prepared to handle the success and this success ended up destroying them, almost as quickly as the success they obtained.

Guys like Jordan and Clark have had early success in their careers. They had it easy, either by being a rich kid or being in the right place. They did not have to work years and years, struggling to obtain inner strength and earned wisdom. Neither of them have ever worked shitty jobs, for years with little pay. That's why they both scoff at minimum wage, a wage that is the backbone of this entire country you are privileged to live in. They are both entitled rich kids, and have zero grit. I guess all the Mothers worked overtime shifts for minimum wage, while getting their degrees are just losers to Jordan and Clark.

Remember, not everyone in this country is lucky enough to have the opportunies that came so easily to both of you. Many people have to work minimum wage for years before earning success, why do you insult them by calling them employees. Like it is that easy to just become an employer right? Just ask your daddy for some money for you "business." This speaks volumes to how easy you had it Jordan...

When I obtain my success it will be through years of struggle and hard work. Working as an exterminator, landscape, deliveries, sales, customer service, and retail while always working on film projects for my entire life has made me stronger than those with early success. By Clarks account, I have 22 years of experience as my first videos shot were around 8 with a hi-8 camera. I always had a camera and have always shot/edited my entire life. Obviously this experience does not count just as Clarks experience does not count, it is not in any professional setting. Him claiming to have 10 years of experience is really a huge laugh for me, I laughed uncontrollably for ten minutes.

Good luck insulting me, good luck tearing me down. My business will be bigger than any of yours one day, and on that day you're businesses and "passions" will be a distant memory.

I hope you are saving this easy money you're making Jordan and Clark, you will really need it.

September 25, 2016 at 11:56AM

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But why post this on a forum? How is this helpful? I didn't get anything from this post besides "if you're young, or making lots of money in under 'x' years, you're rich or lucky, and won't amount to anything". Could this have been phrased in the sense of "to others, never stop striving to do your best, no matter how long it may take"? I'm right in the middle. I have been at film for a bit under 6 years, and I worked from the ground up. My parents weren't rich by any means, and I started with a point-and-shoot camera. I spent birthdays with no parties and no presents besides getting 1-2 pieces of gear, like a microphone, and a kit lens. And I spent my free time studying film, shooting, editing, and building my portfolio wherever I could. Now, i'm reaching a place, where i'm able to make up for all of that time I spent, in profits and success from relationships I was blessed to have. But, I don't scoff at these guys making it big quick(er). I celebrate for them, knowing that the dream I worked so hard for is now so easily accessible! But I am confident in my work and product, and don't fear for tomorrow. The same drive that got me here, will keep me going, no matter what adversities. Is being undersold hard? Of course! But good work, a strong show reel, and experience shines through the times of struggle.

Craig Douglas

September 25, 2016 at 2:37PM

You are jelaous - we get it. You have zero knowledge about how lucky they were, or how hard they worked for their success. Absolutely zero knowledge about if they are rich kids or not. Please stay away from this, because you are just embarasing yourself more with every new comment.

Marcin

September 25, 2016 at 4:26PM, Edited September 25, 4:26PM

Jealous? That's a bit low. I wouldn't trade anything for the hard work I put into this, and I'm not bitter to anyone who has. But does it really matter? Why can't people just celebrate the fact that people from all walks of life can tell stories through the art of film? This is a breakthrough moment in history, compared to a decade or two ago, when it was near impossible for anyone to break into the industry. I work with a local school broadcast class, and am inspired to see that all of these kids have everything they need to begin a career in film, from all walks of life! I would never tear any of them down, because they go home, and their parents buy them a Arri camera. No amount of gear or luck makes you a good filmmaker. I watched Phillip Bloom make a crazy short film on a barbie necklace camera, and a friend use a RED camera to make a load of junk. No matter if it takes 2 months or 2 decades, skill is skill, and that is the only thing that, in the long run, leads to success.

Craig Douglas

September 25, 2016 at 10:39PM

Dunn worry Craig, this was supposed to go for Ninja Monkey aka. Frank

Marcin

September 26, 2016 at 5:20AM

Thanks for that Frank. You're amazing at talking about things you know nothing about!

Clark McCauley

September 26, 2016 at 9:37AM

OOPS. My bad Marcin.

Craig Douglas

September 26, 2016 at 9:43AM

Clark, you are just a rich kid who's daddy/mommy bought toys for. Stop trying to fool yourself into thinking you earned anything, you were just lucky plain and simple. You should be able to charge at your age and skill level, but your Daddy's Red camera allows you to. Good luck, I hope you are saving for when they stop buying you gear.

Frank Hernandez

September 26, 2016 at 10:48AM

I don't have a RED lol. Again... you're so good at talking about things you have no idea about.

Clark McCauley

September 26, 2016 at 11:17AM

Direct quote from clark "Redcode compression is why I still have mine" you have stated several times you have a red. Guess you are a rich kid and a liar huh? Scared that your nepotism is being discovered?

Frank Hernandez

September 26, 2016 at 11:37AM

Sold it a while ago. I've got an A7s now and like it a lot better personally...

Clark McCauley

September 26, 2016 at 11:47AM

Just give it up Craig, he's either an idiot or he's trolling us.

Marcin

September 27, 2016 at 7:08AM

Marcin, did you even read what I said? How does expressing my educated opinion make me a troll or an idiot?

Did you go to college?

Frank Hernandez

September 27, 2016 at 10:14AM

Thanks to all of your kind responses and tips/recommendations on how to charge/approach different types of clients. Unfortunately, Frank turned this into a pointless discussion in such a friendly, helpful forum (Which I don't like at all, this is probably one of the most healthiest, friendly, helpful forum online) so, let's keep it this way guys, we need each other's help in this creative path that we all walk through.

Again, thank you for your responses and kindness. I wish you all the best, and if you have more tips to share, I'll be grateful with you! Cheers.

September 25, 2016 at 11:58PM

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Tommy Plesky
Director / D.P / Editor
1934

I've been running my own video production business for about 2 years now, and getting the right rate is tough. I started off with another guy and we were charging £200/300 (I live in Northern Ireland) for your standard 3 minute promotional video. I then went forward by myself and starting charging about £400 for similar projects.

I am now at the stage where I have a reasonable portfolio of work so I can charge a bit more. After 2 years, I've finally settled on a decent pricing structure.

I now try and charge a 'per day' rate (both shooting and editing). A full day rate is £160, half day (less than 4 hours) is £100. Most clients would accept this as they know exactly what they're getting. This rate applies to single projects.

I also work regularly for a client and we agreed on £10/hr. It's not a whole lot but I essentially work full time with them so it works out OK (generally around £350/week).

I hope this is of some use. I'll let you do your own conversions to dollars!

Just try and figure out what the minimum you want per hour is and go from there. Good luck!

September 26, 2016 at 6:31AM

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Once you build up a solid portfolio and ideally become 'known' for certain types of work in your area you can justify charging more. Charge what your worth. Keep working and learning so your worth more. But people need to see that in your work and also in the experience of working with you. When you treat yourself as if you are where u want to be (not in an arrogant way) other people will to. Also the little favors and good (fast and clear) communication with clients goes a LONG way too

September 26, 2016 at 8:33AM

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Dean Butler
Writer Director Shooter Editor
473

Thank you Butler, aprecciate it bro.

Tommy Plesky

September 27, 2016 at 3:10AM

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