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Business Thread - Post questions here

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  • Business Thread - Post questions here

    I thought, since the forum didn't have a specific subsection that dealt in the non-creative issues of filmmaking (business) and I had a distinct concern I wanted some feedback on, I'd start this thread. Perhaps it can be a place where we can all post questions / comments / concerns, and the community can all help us figure them all out (or maybe the thread will just die a premature death lol...who knows)

    In the last few days I have been looking over my cost of ownership on the BMC and the gear I purchased for it ($5000 total investment to date) and trying to factor out a day rate as a DP with the gear. That got me thinking on a slightly more harder issue to figure out

    Some clients hire me as a "full service" filmmaker (Direct / DP / Edit) which is fine, if not my ideal working environment. (I'd prefer to just do one of the three, but business is business) Normally I quote a "project rate" which involves pre / production / and post.

    With the BMC and the RAW shooting, I know my time sitting in front of a computer will increase. When you consider doing a one-light correction in Resolve, creating the proxy files to edit, conforming in Resolve, then finalizing the color job, it's substantially more time consuming due to the RAW recording format. to calculate that into a rate? I don't want to absorb everything and continue to charge the same rate as I currently do, but I don't want to substantially increase my rates either. I just need to hit a sweet spot where the additional hours aren't being given away for next to nothing.

    So...any feedback / thoughts would be awesome

    And if other people have questions along the business lines, post them here...maybe this thread will be helpful to some of you

  • #2
    I'm curious about how others go about finding jobs that aren't corporate videos or events. How has it been for you guys that work on music videos, films, commercials (short/long forms)? How'd you go about finding those gigs and is it paying (both financially/creatively)?


    • #3
      Originally posted by CineMac View Post
      I'm curious about how others go about finding jobs that aren't corporate videos or events. How has it been for you guys that work on music videos, films, commercials (short/long forms)? How'd you go about finding those gigs and is it paying (both financially/creatively)?
      It's a combination of knowing others in your area that work on films / word of mouth / a bit of luck / and sometimes even Craigslist (have booked four paying music videos via Craigslist strangely enough...three of which went to broadcast television in India...their version of MTV)

      Financially it pays pretty well, creatively most of my contract work has not been very rewarding. I always say "the worst day on a shoot is better than the best day in an office" when my fiance asks me how my work went, and I do stand by that. But in reality, it's my own work that is rewarding. Most of the work I do for others finances my own work


      • #4
        and of course...a super solid reel is a must


        • #5
          The camera offers three workflows - uncompressed raw, film log, and rec. 709 - two of which are going to require color timing and a more robust workflow.

          I've doubled my rate for the raw workflow - capture, proxy, grade, etc...This will include storage for the project and backups for the client. I don't do the one-man-band thing for production. I pay good rates and use top talent. There is no markup in production for me. I look there to just break even. I make my money on development and post where I labor over the files and images personally.

          I hope this helps.
          Facebook - Angelis Digital Studio


          • #6
            Ok, I have one for the business thread...

            How many of your guys rent your gear? Either separately or including yourself as an operator? Any thoughts or tips you'd like to share about getting started or best practices etc?


            • #7
              Charging should be broken down (IMO) conceptually even if not on the quote..

              'creative fee' - your amazing idea
              'work done' camera dayrate on location
              'pre and post' probably lower rate than shoot days
              'gear' valued at 3 year life 100-150 days per year, 75% depreciation and 150% profit
              'special gear' 20 days per year or 10 (car rig not used on every shoot)
              'data' charge for drives tapes et al 25% markup unless brought by client
              'costs' could be assistant, sound guy or coffee fuel, or all, 125% of cost to you

              IMO never have unpaid people on commrcial job, even students who would work for free, charge for and pay them

              As for the format? shooting raw will increase 'post' and 'data' so that is covered

              For all in jobs never allow infinite client meddling my last quote was..
              2 day edit, further 1day edit after client feedback, further edit time at XX/half day

              Last edited by morgan_moore; 09-24-2012, 09:57 AM.


              • #8
                Originally posted by morgan_moore View Post
                'gear' valued at 3 year life 100-150 days per year, 75% depreciation and 150% profit

                Do you mind going into this in a bit more detail? Are you estimating your daily rental rate with this?


                • #9
                  Its some sort of guide figure I made up.

                  I dont rent gear but I charge for jobs in the main.

                  I just think it is super important to make sure that when your XXX is dead, you have enough cash for the next one

                  Its also important that clients pay sustainable rates for jobs

                  So Im not estimating a rental, im estimating how much my gear costs me and looking to cover that with a safety margin - I charge for me and cover my costs on stuff

                  Its also why I wouldnt go near owning a C300/F3-pix as I think they will crash in a year or two valuwise, unlike the BMC which is so cheap..



                  • #10
                    I never dry hire my gear, unless its someone who is in the inner circle. I'm not a rental firm. If you dry hire gear, don't get emotionally attached to it and expect to buy seconds. You can't really only have one full working kit if you dry hire. Unless its just an income boost, in which case it matters less.

                    To be honest I'm can't really nail down where work comes from as a whole. I don't go out networking, but I am actively networking in a conversational sense. Whenever you are working on something you are always talking to people and looking at whats going on around you. You have returning clients, see bands you like offer them a deal. shoot a spec video with someone in mind...There is so many ways to start out. Once you start hopefully things start to flow a bit...I've always found it is better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond. I've never advertised myself. I don't have an online reel or much in the way of a presence. I still work as a digital supervisor and advisor for exhibition, visual effects and other 3D work, Image clean up and correcting, and cinematographer or director. I've worked in the arts world a fair bit with installation pieces for people. All over the shop basically.


                    • #11
                      Wow Tim, you've got a lot of different things going on. That's cool. Must be awesome to have some much variety to keep things fresh!