Establishing A Fair Project Price

– Posted in: Producing Film / Video Productions

I was recently approached about lighting gear to be used for some simple web-videos. After seeing that I had a kitchen studio in which to shoot they wanted me to price a package but had not provided me with enough information to gauge the scope of the work and thus, the tools and or people I think was needed to accomplish the job.

This is not an uncommon occurrence and the knee-jerk reaction would be to throw out a price but this rarely ends well. Either you feel you’ve given too much for to little money or the client not understanding the scope of the work thinks the price is too high and shops price without understanding the scope. How you handle the interaction will make a big difference establishing yourself as a professional who wants to meet their expectations for the right price.

Here are a list of question’s I asked prior to price negotiation. This list also establishes line items the client could consider eliminating and thus saving some money.

I’m a little unclear if you were considering me as Gaffer or DP or both?

Here are a few questions to help me gauge the scope of work and pricing:

– Do you have a shot list or boards?
– How many individual shots?
– How many sub-locations within location?
– Do you want flat ENG lighting or do want to stylize each shot?
– Do you need additional cameras.
– Are you thinking one day to light, shoot, and breakdown?
– Am I shooting and lighting? (which could be fine depending on how quick you need to move)
– How many children and parents will be here at any given time.
– Do you have any other help coming with you? ( I have a grip/PA if needed )

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