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sparrman

$ per second rate?

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Hey all --

 

Simple question: What would be an appropriate "per second" rate for finished motion graphics work on a local commercial?

 

The local newspaper here wants a 30-second TV spot, which I plan to create in After Effects. Apparently it's being designed at the paper, and I would take that art and animate it. Just the typical stuff; flying logos, bouncing text, graphics zipping on and off, etc. Rather than deal with an hourly or day rate, I just want to give a flat bid for the finished spot. I am a one-man "studio" and would be working from my home office. This is not a huge market like LA or NYC, but a pretty large midwestern city.

 

I found in a couple of places online a rate of $60 per second (so a 30-second spot would be $1800). Does that sound about right?

 

Thanks!

Edited by sparrman

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that is insane crazy way too cheap.

unless maybe you are living in rural bangladesh or something.

 

just ask them what their budget is / what they feel comfortable paying for it, then plan your technique & quality level around that.

 

but a 30 sec spot for a company that has a healthy business already in place, for just a measly $1800--- HEYYYAL NOZE.

Edited by jaan

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Guest Sao_Bento

That "per finished second" pricing is pretty much a relic of the olden days of 3D. First off, what are you selling? Time? Most people would rather frame it so their selling their expertise, like a lawyer or accountant or something - They're not charging you per piece of paper, they charge by the hour, because they're selling you themselves ( I guess you could say that about hookers too).

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estimate how long it would take to finish it, not how long the spot is. then take your estimate and triple it. at the end of everything it will even out - trust me, it always takes 3x as long as you think it will. don't forget, the small clients with no money are always the biggest pain in the asses.

 

In the end, it will depend on how much the client has for the budget and you will have to work within that. You should check out a book called The Graphic Artists Guild Handbook It's mostly for static arts, but it includes average prices for all kinds of jobs and it's a good bargaining tool.

 

good luck

Edited by yogert909

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Thanks for the feedback thus far. Not to veer my own thread off-topic, but I just feel a firm quote on the spot (per second, per minute, or whatever) is fairer than figuring some "hourly rate" for myself. As someone posted in another thread here, he might be able to do something in 2 hours that would take someone else 2 days, but does that mean he should get paid less?

 

So if anyone else cared to venture a per second or per minute rate for finished motion graphics, it would be most appreciated.

 

Thanks!

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As skills increase (finishing 2 hrs. vs. 2 days) hourly rate increases.

 

What happens next week when they want a 30 sec. spot to include a film production shoot with celebrity spokesman composited into a fully realized 3d world (including imaginary plants and animals) based on James Jean's illustrations. Would you still charge them the same per/second rate?

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What happens next week when they want a 30 sec. spot to include a film production shoot with celebrity spokesman composited into a fully realized 3d world (including imaginary plants and animals) based on James Jean's illustrations. Would you still charge them the same per/second rate?

 

And so we veer off-topic...(I know, I helped...)

 

No, of course the rate would be different. But I'd still figure the cost of the shoot, celebrity, 3D work, etc., and give them a price for the whole spot, period. Not to sound high-falutin', but if you commission a painting from Picasso, you don't pay him based on how many hours he says it will take him to do the painting! You pay him a flat amount based on the demonstrable quality of his accumulated body of work thus far. It's a perfectly legitimate way of establishing pricing; I know several animation houses that price this way. What business is it of the client's how long it's going to take you?

 

I've nothing more to say on that point, but if anyone else feels comfortable mentioning a per second or per minute rate for typical "car commercial" motion graphics, it would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks!

Edited by sparrman

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it sounds like you're arguing semantics. If you're dead set on doing a per second rate then estimate the amount of time it will take you to do the spot. Build in contingency and profit, and then divide by 30. That's your "per second" rate.

 

There is no set rate for a one man shop. It depends on the project. Bigger studios might be able to have a per second rate (although it's more rare then you think) because they have numerous ppl that can work on the project.

 

Most places that I've dealt with will give a flat estimate on the project which is no doubt based on (# of hours to complete + contingency + profit = bid)

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Guest Sao_Bento

The per project pricing approach requires rigidly defined documentation in place up front - otherwise they'll make some giant change on the last day and you're screwed. Being greeted with tons of paperwork isn't always well received, depending upon the expectations of the client. Those who would be scared by the proposition of specifying what they want BEFORE you start are the same ones who are guaranteed to change their mind before you're finished, turning your "per project" fee from profit into debt.

It's really about knowing your clients, knowing the process, and structuring an approach that everyone feels comfortable with.

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The per project pricing approach requires rigidly defined documentation in place up front - otherwise they'll make some giant change on the last day and you're screwed. with.

 

 

Iv been stung with this before. It hurts. Now I quote per project but tell them its not set in stone. -try and tell them nicely that if they dick around with changes the time spent working on it will increase as will my fee.

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It's really about knowing your clients, knowing the process, and structuring an approach that everyone feels comfortable with.

Defs. As a one-man/freelance operation your pricing structure/method will have to be more flexible than an agency, and as this thread points out, different levels of complexity

require different rates., i.e. Maya work versus authoring a DVD for kiosk playback. Ask them upfront "What's your budget?" and you can determine from there the time you can afford to spend on a project.

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Give them 2 rate options. A whizbang that you can slam out with motion presets in a week (4 days plus l day for possible changes), or the correct way, with style frames followed by custom animation.

 

I wouldn't go with a flat rate, but would give an estimate based on your project time.

That way if they get overly picky, you won't get burned.

 

I'll have to add that local papers don't have mega budgets. Don't cheap yourself, but you want to be reasonable.

Edited by tomcat

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I thought the standard algorithm for this was you take the number of frames in the final piece, multiply that by the ammount of time it takes to render each frame, add (the number of communications[emails and phone calls] multiplied by the number of revisions), devide that sum by the percentage of creative freedom (in decimal form), then add the cost of eclectricity used to run your computer, and lastly subtract your area code. It usually comes out to the fair market rate for your area.

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Guest spence
I thought the standard algorithm for this was you take the number of frames in the final piece, multiply that by the ammount of time it takes to render each frame, add (the number of communications[emails and phone calls] multiplied by the number of revisions), devide that sum by the percentage of creative freedom (in decimal form), then add the cost of eclectricity used to run your computer, and lastly subtract your area code. It usually comes out to the fair market rate for your area.

 

:unsure: area codes in canada have letters...

Edited by spence

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The per project pricing approach requires rigidly defined documentation in place up front - otherwise they'll make some giant change on the last day and you're screwed. Being greeted with tons of paperwork isn't always well received, depending upon the expectations of the client. Those who would be scared by the proposition of specifying what they want BEFORE you start are the same ones who are guaranteed to change their mind before you're finished, turning your "per project" fee from profit into debt.

It's really about knowing your clients, knowing the process, and structuring an approach that everyone feels comfortable with.

 

 

While I agree with what you are saying, I personally feel a happy medium can be met. I've had success quoting a job with a simple flat price, outlining what the end delivery will be along with the due processes (delivery of boards, delivery of animatic, one round of revisions, etc) and then tagging on something along the lines of "additional work outside this scope will considered an overage and billed seperately". I then make sure the client signs-off on every deliverable (style guides, animatics, castings, etc.) throughout the process. If the day before final delivery they ask for a change, you can simply point at what they have approved and then quote them an overage cost and charge them accordingly (often times they will have some sort of memory jog that reminds them changing the font at a cost of $10k isn't really that important). This way you're not freaking them out at the beggining of the project by attempting to get them to follow your pay structure, which can be trying at best, and gives you wiggle room if the client tries to screw you at the end.

 

Again, you summed it nicely by stating "It's really about knowing your clients, knowing the process, and structuring an approach that everyone feels comfortable with."

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:mellow:

While I agree with what you are saying, I personally feel a happy medium can be met. I've had success quoting a job with a simple flat price, outlining what the end delivery will be along with the due processes (delivery of boards, delivery of animatic, one round of revisions, etc) and then tagging on something along the lines of "additional work outside this scope will considered an overage and billed seperately". I then make sure the client signs-off on every deliverable (style guides, animatics, castings, etc.) throughout the process. If the day before final delivery they ask for a change, you can simply point at what they have approved and then quote them an overage cost and charge them accordingly (often times they will have some sort of memory jog that reminds them changing the font at a cost of $10k isn't really that important). This way you're not freaking them out at the beggining of the project by attempting to get them to follow your pay structure, which can be trying at best, and gives you wiggle room if the client tries to screw you at the end.

 

Again, you summed it nicely by stating "It's really about knowing your clients, knowing the process, and structuring an approach that everyone feels comfortable with."

 

 

 

Hi, everyone

 

I´ve been reading about the price rates on this forum, and i have a question . i´m starting as a free lance motion graphics designer and i was comissioned for a commercial spot of 27 sec. through a company on internet . my question is. how can i be sure that after the work done i will get my payment back? is there any legal procedure for this sort of online work?

 

regards,

noor

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Guest Sao_Bento
:mellow:

Hi, everyone

 

I´ve been reading about the price rates on this forum, and i have a question . i´m starting as a free lance motion graphics designer and i was comissioned for a commercial spot of 27 sec. through a company on internet . my question is. how can i be sure that after the work done i will get my payment back? is there any legal procedure for this sort of online work?

 

regards,

noor

Signed contracts that state specifically what is expected from each party, and what will be done if the terms are not met.

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If you do work for independent producers or small businesses and don't get a 50% cash

deposit before proceeding, you will be burned many times. C.O.D is also good business.

Edited by guavaman

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Guest Sao_Bento
If you do work for independent producers or small businesses and don't get a 50% cash

deposit before proceeding, you will be burned many times. C.O.D is also good business.

There is also a common thirds method, where you get 1/3 for start of boards, 1/3 start of production, 1/3 delivery. The specifics of how you charge are meaningless without signed paper to back it up legally though.

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The above thirds method has worked well for me so far in freelance. You always have some people who do not like it, but then you must ask yourself if someone who is not willing to invest in you as an employee (with a contract) is someone you should work for

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Guest Sao_Bento
The above thirds method has worked well for me so far in freelance. You always have some people who do not like it, but then you must ask yourself if someone who is not willing to invest in you as an employee (with a contract) is someone you should work for

That's the single most important skill for newbies - don't be afraid to charge a fair price for your work. If someone doesn't want to do that, or you sense there's something not quite right about the situation, just walk away - you're not losing anything except an opportunity to learn the hard way.

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