How much $$ do I charge???

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  10 October 2012
How much $$ do I charge???

Greetings fellow artists,

I've been doing a bit of freelancing lately...from home...teamed up with a few friends here in Los Angeles and we've been doing well...but everyone in my team seems to not know how much we should charge a client for a project. Projects range from 3D logo animations to car commercials, modeling, animation, fx, rendering and compositing, green screen removal, tracking...just about the entire post production.

I researched how much actual productions cost but there isn't much information on vfx budgets and bidding and stuff.

So my question: how much should I charge for creating a logo (lets say the 20th century fox logo)? how much to model/texture a pirate ship (detailed ship)? breaking up meteor in the sky? Lets say I have 30 shots where I have to remove greenscreen, how much?

Does anyone know where I can see post production costs for commercials and movies?

Thanks for reading

  10 October 2012
Figure out what you're willing to work for per hour, and multiply that by how long you expect the project to take. Pretty sure saying anything more explicit then that would run afoul of the forum rules.
  10 October 2012
You need to find the Equilibrium point where supply meets demand:

To put it more simply, set a pricing point that a) you are willing to work for, and that b) your clients are likely to be willing to pay.

In practice, this will take some experimenting with different prices and clients.

If you undercharge, you'll go hungry. If you overprice, your client may not come back to you with more work.

Good luck!
  10 October 2012
There are no set guidelines and there is no arbitrary "this type of shot costs this much money" law of nature. VFX facilities - film or commercials - will all have a "rate card" with set prices for services, but they rarely charge that. The key thing is to work out what's the minimum you need to charge to stay in business - the cost of your equipment, heat, light, office space etc. This can be quite a difficult number to, but it's definitely worth the effort to do so. If you don't know the basic cost of your service then you might be happily cruising towards insolvency and disaster even whilst thinking that you're doing rather well for yourself.

How much extra you can charge on top depends very much on the appetite your clients have for your work. If you're doing stuff that other people can do just as well then your edge will come from competitiveness - how thinly you can slice your margins, how efficient you can be etc. A much trickier thing is to work out what is the premium a client will pay for an "enhanced" service. Enhanced can mean many things - it can be that you make prettier pictures than other people or that you have some killer process that no-one else has managed to work out yet or it can just come down to the fact that the client likes and trusts you, that you have a "relationship".
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