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How much money do I charge clients?


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#1 Ian Collishaw

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 10:38 AM

Well, I've been operating a Glidecam X-10 for around 7 months, upgraded to a Steadicam Scout about a week ago, working on putting a 15mm cage around my camera so I can fly it on the Scout...

 

I'm starting to get to the point where I can set my own price, and having never really done that before, I find it an awkward, nearly incomprehensible social situation that I am too young to fully understand.

 

So... I'm coming to you guys. How much money should I charge for my time?

 

I really have no idea, and I find the concept of applying a monetary value to my own work to be a very bizarre affair.

 

I've been told I'm quite talented, for how long I've been operating. As an example:  that was shot on a whim while I was walking down a city street while filming a completely different video.

 

So, care to help a 20 year old out? It would... help me.


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#2 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 10:46 AM

Center punched, check
Ignoring headroom, check
Bouncing the rig off your leg, check
Horizon roll, check
Odd vertical bouncing, check
Missing key points in the shot (dancers footwork), check

Yup quite talented

Oh, not using your real name in accordance to forum rules and conventions, check
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#3 Ian Collishaw

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 11:05 AM

Thank you, middle aged adult, for completely disregarding the main thrust of the post and instead attempting to make fun of me based on the comments other people have told me about my work, and not what I think of my work myself. 


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#4 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 11:09 AM

Thank you, middle aged adult, for completely disregarding the main thrust of the post and instead attempting to make fun of me based on the comments other people have told me about my work, and not what I think of my work myself.


And you miss the point completely. You made the comment, then posted a video to support said comment, ergo you agree
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#5 Ian Collishaw

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 11:34 AM

The logic doesn't follow whatsoever.

 

Other people say this work is good. Here is the work.

 

That says nothing about what I think about the work. It is merely me giving you an example of the work other people have labeled as good.

 

Are you going to continue this spearhead against me based on a misunderstanding of my intentions, or can you actually help me.


Edited by ABlindGuy, 28 May 2013 - 11:34 AM.

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#6 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 11:39 AM

The logic doesn't follow whatsoever.
 
Other people say this work is good. Here is the work.
 
That says nothing about what I think about the work. It is merely me giving you an example of the work other people have labeled as good.
 
Are you going to continue this spearhead against me based on a misunderstanding of my intentions, or can you actually help me.


The logic follows (i shot this on a whim, while walking down a street, i'm told im quite talented, here look at this video and you will see....) and you STILL miss the point.
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#7 Ian Collishaw

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 11:47 AM

I don't even think you've made a point, sir.

 

You've criticized my work. You've criticized me, I guess.

 

What is your point? Maybe you should be more explicit, instead of dancing around the issue like you're on an intellectual pedestal.

 

How old are you, as a side note? This is certainly not the behavior I would expect from an adult, and would be much more fitting of, say, an eighteen year old. Who is kind of a shitty person.

 

Anyway, is your point that I shouldn't charge clients because I am so terrible at operating? Is it that I should charge little money? Is it that I'm just not good at operating, and I should charge people a lot of money because they tell me I'm good?

 

All you did was criticize the work I don't even really think is that good, even though I did shoot it on a whim, and other people think it's good, and then left it at that. Were you going to go somewhere with that... or were you just venting your frustrations over [insert typical emasculating insult here], or, [insert typical comment about the realization of being middle aged]?


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#8 Libor Cevelik

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 12:09 PM

Maybe you should ask those " other people think it's good" how much would they pay for your service .. 


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#9 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 12:41 PM

Maybe you should ask those " other people think it's good" how much would they pay for your service ..


And Libor gets it!!!
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#10 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 12:50 PM

The critics Eric are giving are crude, but real. I would suggest taking the critics from one of the peers as a lesson and work on those points he mentioned. These are all things that can be corrected with training so you are good. Look for low budget jobs that won't mind an approximate framing and work your way up. I'm doing the same. I'm aware I'm not at the top but I I'm working on getting better. Edit: also, if you think the notion of being payed for what you do is crazy, then maybe you don't need to be payed for it yet. When you are confident enough to ask for your rate, then you'll know what to do.
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#11 Ian Collishaw

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 01:02 PM

The critics Eric are giving are crude, but real. I would suggest taking the critics from one of the peers as a lesson and work on those points he mentioned. These are all things that can be corrected with training so you are good. Look for low budget jobs that won't mind an approximate framing and work your way up. I'm doing the same. I'm aware I'm not at the top but I I'm working on getting better. Edit: also, if you think the notion of being payed for what you do is crazy, then maybe you don't need to be payed for it yet. When you are confident enough to ask for your rate, then you'll know what to do.

 

I intend to keep improving. All I see is problems and issues in everything I shoot; nothing is perfect, or really even close to perfect.

 

I find the notion of charging money for my services as weird because I've never done it before, really. And I don't know what is, and is not, appropriate.


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#12 JobScholtze

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 01:55 PM

Ok, lets see this as a client point of view. How much wil these be worth to me as a client? Depends on the project i do. Lets say its for internet on a small website about street artists, i think i would pay $ 100 for your time and gear. And i will by you a sandwich.

Am i a more proffesional client who shoots this for a tv or movie serie, i think i wont want to use your service at the moment, as the quality isnt there yet. The clip you show is missing al the things eric mentioned. You asked for critics on a forum with higly proffesionals wich you are a long way from to compare, yet you cant handle that kind of critism and ask's how much money you can charge. I am affraid your going to fast.

 

I think you need to go on with freebie's like this and learn your ars off, perhaps you can ask 50 or 100 bucks and save for a workshop. Go from there, and then you will understand all those comments eric made.


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#13 Ian Collishaw

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 03:52 PM

I actually never onced asked "hey, critique my work", I only asked how much I should charge clients.

 

I'm not against criticism, I'm against the sort of way Eric went about doing it (which prompted a personal message from a completely different member telling me to ignore his behavior, as it is embarassing to most of you). Yes, I need to watch my headroom, my horizon, and try to focus on the important details.

 

Was that difficult to try to accomplish given the space at the time? Moreso than if I had choreographed it, sure. Is this an excuse? No, not really.

 

I do thank you for your consideration, though.


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#14 RonBaldwin

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 04:06 PM

At least this is in the newbie section where it belongs. Don't post video footage if you don't want to be critiqued. I suppose the reactions you are getting stem fom the fact that at leat once a week some new op shows up and posts his/her reel asking how it is (it is usually horrific), then tbey are compleyely surprised that we do not drop to our collective knees to stroke/cradle/suck. Like I have said before, it is not unlike some kid who buys a low end sports car, makes a few laps around the track then stops by a professional race forum to post the bad times.

As far as rates...have you bothered to talk to other ops in your area to see what they reccommend? What is the client used to paying (client possibly meaning bride's father). Do a little homework and check your area out 1st before coming to an international forum and asking the question you did and getting all butt-hurt with the responses from us middle-aged professionals.
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#15 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 07:49 PM

Okay you big meanies!  Ian, the 'art' of charging and getting what you deserve is tricky for the most experienced of us.  Many of us that have been doing steadicam for a lot of years have an agent who helps negotiate our rates.  I personally love what I do and for the most part would say yes to almost any rate offered to me, which is why I always defer to my Agent (who has no problem telling clients what I'm worth)....

 

That being said, I can give you some ball park figures and you can figure out what rates make the most sense... 

 

On a high budget feature film (say Star Wars 7) an 'A' camera / steadicam operator can make between $250 and $300 an hour with a ten hour minimum per day and perhaps $10,000 per week for steadicam rental.  Now that is an operator who has probably done 20+ years as a steadicam operator and worked on multiple academy award winning, box office smashing feature films and brings 2 fully loaded steadicam PRO rigs worth about half a million dollars.  (If you are currently the 'A' camera / steadicam operator on Star Wars 7, feel free to correct my numbers).

 

Another very skilled steadicam operator may do a hit, network television show (is there such a thing?) and may make as much as $100/hr and $5000 a week for rental????

 

Yet another operator may do a big Nike or Gatorade commercial and get $2500/10 and $2000 for his rig.....

 

And any of those guys may do a 'favor' for a DP or director or producer and do a music video for $1500 bucks cash all in if they have nothing else going on.

 

When I first started (in 1998), before I got an agent, I was happy to get $850/10 and $750/day for my steadicam PRO and Preston.  That was my 'good' commercial rate...  Keep in mind I pretty much sucked in 1998.

 

Guys who work for networks like Telemundo and use the networks 'in house' steadicam get something like $750 for 10 to operate the steadicam.

 

I've heard you can hire a steadicam operator with a glide cam or something like that to shoot your wedding for about $1000 (maybe less).

 

I hope that at least gives you a ballpark idea...

 

Finally, I didn't start doing steadicam until I was 24 so your already 4 years better than I was when I started.

 

And yes, take the steadicam class, it is the single best investment you can make in your career. 


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