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What rates to charge for real estate shoots with a small camera?


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#1 Victor Lin

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 03:56 PM

I'm trying to get a handle on steadicam rates for shooting videos for real estate - houses being sold, with the clients being Realtors.

 

Currently we give them a 4 minute video, with about 2 minute's worth of total steadicam footage. The rest are just slider and panning shots.

 

The standard charge for a shoot like this is $350+ and we take about 2.5 hours to do it. 

 

Now, I'm the owner of the business but I also fly and employ videographers. So I'm in a weird position where I want to pay people fairly, but I also have to keep costs in check so that we can continue to make sales. They fly with a simple Panasonic GH3 and a glider/vest/arm. All the equipment - slider, motor, tripods, camera, glider, vest, etc I purchased for them. And all the post processing is done by me. All they have to do is shoot and fly. And flying consist of 2 minutes of clips - walking through the front door, from large room to large room, and that's about it. 

 

BTW, I've heard rates of $2000 a week being *crappy.* So all of you guys are making at least six figures, mid six figures?


Edited by Victor Lin, 08 May 2013 - 04:06 PM.

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#2 Alan Rencher

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 12:10 PM

You're in a bit different market than us, I think. Most of us work in entertainment (tv, movies, music videos, commercials, etc.) I don't think you're clients would find that it would make sense to hire a professional Steadicam operator at $1,000-$3,000 per day just to get some camera movement in a product shot. If it's you're business, and you're doing the work yourself, charge what you need to stay in business. If your clients can't pay what you need to survive, maybe look for a different market.
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#3 Osvaldo Silvera SOC

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 05:33 PM

As for the comment on "So all of you guys are making at least six figures, mid six figures?"

the answer is....Pretty much yes.

 

A friend of mine down here in South Florida did the real estate thing for a while, he would charge a standard day rate for him with his experience, and gear, ( everyone is different but it was over $1200 for a 10 hour day and the realtor would have a bunch of houses for him to do. He would go from house to house shooting the walk thru's of each house and when his day was up, it was up. the realtor would end up with 6-8 homes shot on tape ( Pre HD) and The Realtor would then pass the footage to his/her web person who would put the clips into the necessary format to be on their website.

 

You may reach out to your Realtors to wait till they have 4 or 5 homes at a time and then you charge for the whole day. Plan the day and locations strategically , go from home to home with your team, then a few hours at the end of the day to put the clips in order and assemble and deliver. I wouldn't be surprised if you can get $2K+ for a full day of work. Once you have done several nice clips, put that together and reach out to the Multi Million dollar club Realtors in your city or a nearby big city.

 

Good luck,

Ozzie


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#4 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 08:53 PM

BTW, I've heard rates of $2000 a week being *crappy.* So all of you guys are making at least six figures, mid six figures?


That won't get my gear for a week. Commercial rate is $2500/10 and up.

And yes six figures is what we make
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#5 RonBaldwin

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 12:49 AM

 

BTW, I've heard rates of $2000 a week being *crappy.* So all of you guys are making at least six figures, mid six figures?


And yes six figures is what we make

 

 

maybe gross...annual net is closer to $37 after buying fancy carts, posting bail, and bowing at the Jumbos altar


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#6 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 01:19 AM

 

 

BTW, I've heard rates of $2000 a week being *crappy.* So all of you guys are making at least six figures, mid six figures?


And yes six figures is what we make

 

 

maybe gross...annual net is closer to $37 after buying fancy carts, posting bail, and bowing at the Jumbos altar

 

 

 

making it rain aint cheap....  well you could try if you were a glidecam guy but then that does't end so well....


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#7 Janice Arthur

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 07:39 AM

Victor;

U have to look at what your market charges for video production and what you have invested in equipment.

These high end movie etc guys are not your market and u have far less invested in equipment

Talk to a shooter u work with a lot and see what they expect for a day and see what your client has budgeted and what u have invested too.

I do high dollar days but I also have a pilot and flyer so that I can do cheaper day shoots that come up.

If I have a day free and one comes up maybe it works out to take it. Homestly I've made a lot in just rentals on those cheaper rigs so it hey have been good to have .

Yiou as the business owner have to figure out if a deal to your client for ongoing work is also worth a break in price

Dont look at the guys with 80-120 k invested as your benchmark look at your market rates are everywhere w these new little cameras and the new way businesses will pay for outside videos.

BTW I have a real estate brokers license and I know personally they don't want to pay much, I've been trying to get others to do this and they honestly dont want to pay anything

Peace and have a great week! Good luck

JA
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#8 Victor Lin

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 06:42 PM

Thanks for all the feedback! Yeah, I kind of figured that my business is no where near the same market as that of your's. For one, we don't spend 8 solid hours holding and moving around a vest, arm, huge camera, etc. Like I said, we get maybe 5 minutes of stabilizer footage per house, and we shoot 2 houses a day. The rest of the footage is just sliders and pans. 

 

Yes, Realtors are not willing to pay a lot. Also, Realtors will not be able to line up multiple houses a day - they have to take on houses as they come. They sell and market when the homeowner wants to sell and market, so the timing isn't up to them really. The only feasible way that I could ever think of to line up multiple realty shoots is to work for an actual brokerage with tons of different agents, and even then the agents are all independent so the managing broker would need to find a way to convince all the agents to shell out *their* money for video and also to use only you.

 

In total we have maybe only $4000 invested in camera and stabilizer equipment.

 

BTW, we are in the San Francisco area. My team could really use some help in learning how to balance and fly these things better. Is there anyone who can provide maybe 2-3 hours worth of supervision and mentoring for them?

 

One of their main problems is getting the thing balanced. They balance it on the stand and by the time they put it on the arm it's no longer balanced so then they have to re-balance it on the arm and that takes time. In total, 30-45 minutes just to balance the thing in the beginning. And then I still see the up and down footsteps when they're walking.

 

We use a Laing M-02 and a little Panasonic GH3. Normally this would be MUCH too light for such a large stabilizer, but we add lots of weight plates under the camera to mimic the mass of a bigger camera, the kind that it would normally be flying.

 


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#9 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 06:55 PM

Hi, 

Yes, your marked is way different from the one of most big operators here with many hundred thousands of dollars invested in their gear. 

the issues wit your gear is as follows:

- For balancing issues and rebalancing, make sure that nothing is moving around, even a cable or a lanyard sliding will unbalance the rig, check every connection and screw, you should be able to shake the rig with nothing vibrating or moving.

- For the steps, you simply cannot avoid it with the level of your gear, and that's why these guys spend many hundred of thousands of dollars on their gear (among other things of course). Your rig is way too light to be really stable (even if you ad a lot of weight).

- For learning, there are great workshops offered on the right column of this forum they are all very good and with pro operators. You can also read cover to cover the The Steadicam Operator's Handbook http://www.amazon.com/Steadicam®-Operators-Handbook-Jerry-Holway/dp/024082380X

and get the EFP DVD from Tiffen http://www.steadicam...am_efp_dvd.html

- As for your price, it seems that you already have answered your question, go with what works best for you.  You cannot ask full price because your are lacking in good gear and proper training. 

 

Fly safe and good luck.


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#10 Victor Lin

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 07:12 PM

Hi, 

Yes, your marked is way different from the one of most big operators here with many hundred thousands of dollars invested in their gear. 

the issues wit your gear is as follows:

- For balancing issues and rebalancing, make sure that nothing is moving around, even a cable or a lanyard sliding will unbalance the rig, check every connection and screw, you should be able to shake the rig with nothing vibrating or moving.

- For the steps, you simply cannot avoid it with the level of your gear, and that's why these guys spend many hundred of thousands of dollars on their gear (among other things of course). Your rig is way too light to be really stable (even if you ad a lot of weight).

- For learning, there are great workshops offered on the right column of this forum they are all very good and with pro operators. You can also read cover to cover the The Steadicam Operator's Handbook http://www.amazon.com/Steadicam®-Operators-Handbook-Jerry-Holway/dp/024082380X

and get the EFP DVD from Tiffen http://www.steadicam...am_efp_dvd.html

- As for your price, it seems that you already have answered your question, go with what works best for you.  You cannot ask full price because your are lacking in good gear and proper training. 

 

Fly safe and good luck.

 

Thanks. I'll get those training materials. 

 

We have this. It's still too light?

 

http://www.amazon.co...r/dp/B009YTPMX8

 

I just asked my videographer and she said that there is nothing dangling or out of place on the camera, including cords and straps. It just magically goes out of balance when she takes it off the stand.


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#11 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 08:14 PM

Has your videographer ever used or been trained on a stablizer? Training will help develop the skills to troubleshoot these symptoms, which could have many sources (including lack of understanding on the part of your videographer, no disrespect intended.)

 

This stabilizer is known to be limited quality design and manufacture. Sounds like something is slipping. Could be anything, either above or below the gimbal. Even small shifts could cause unbalance. A defective gimbal probably could, too. Troubleshoot carefully and slowly. Mark the position of every adjustment point (pencil works well). Then try to reproduce the problem and see what has shifted. If you are then sure nothing has shifted, I'd suspect the gimbal.

 

Sorry to say you get what you pay for. With patience, practice and perhaps some training, you might be able to achieve useable results.

 

Again no disrespect intended, but you shouldn't spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to charge until you (or your videographer) learn the gear and insure you can deliver something that a client would be willing to pay for.


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#12 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 08:46 PM

It just magically goes out of balance when she takes it off the stand.


There is nothing magical about steadicam it's all explained with math and physics.

If nothing moves (even zooming on a lens will imbalance the rig adding the memory card or a battery) check the gimbal by balancing with the camera pointing to the left, then flip the camera to point right still on the stand. If the camera is not balanced anymore, then your gimbal needs to be re centered.
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#13 Alan Rencher

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 09:28 AM

Don't expect good results from those cheap knockoffs.
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