18
Mar 11

The Videographers Guide To Not Falling On Your New Media Face | Chapter 4 : Rates continued

When it comes to determining your rates there are many questions you need to ask yourself. Should I ask the client to reveal their budget? Should I give discounts for retainers? Should I offer one size fits all packages? How often should I raise my rates? This is the second part of my entry dealing with rates.  You can find part one here.

How often should I raise my rates?

Over time as I have become more methodical and ambitious with my productions, my rates have risen accordingly.  So how do I sell my higher rates to prospective clients?  To begin with I don’t sell the rate.  In fact I hardly mention it at all.  What I sell is an idea in the form of a treatment.  This treatment clearly states my vision and the resources needed to achieve it.  Once a qualified client understands that I am the best man to help them accomplish their goals, more times than not they are happy to invest in my plan.

Don’t undervalue yourself.

The freelance lifestyle is wrought with unpredictability and insecurity.  For many freelancers it is feast or famine.  For those lean months it’s tough to say no to any client when rent is due or bills need to be paid.  It seems like the client always has the upper hand when negotiating rates, especially when you take into account the dozens of videographers who will say yes to any budget. If you recall in chapter three I gave the following words of advice.

“if you want to work as a videographer there has to be some outstanding quality in your work that is specific to you.  And that does not necessarily mean art.  It can be your quality, your turnaround time, your lenses, anything that makes you different can be leveraged strategically. If all you offer is a copy, your clients will use your competition as leverage to bring your rates way down.”

Follow through with this advice and you will also have something that you can leverage.

Should I get the client to reveal their budget?

There is this unwritten rule that states that the first one that mentions a price losses. Most videographers (myself included) are not in a position where they can take part in a negotiating standoff.  Save these theatrics for Hollywood.  Maybe with time you will develop your Gordon Gekko like instincts, until then if the client asks for an estimate send them one.  Expect some push-back, and aim to meet them somewhere in the middle.  This type of back and forth is healthy negotiating, passing scraps of paper over a table with your dollar amount accompanied with witty barbs is not.

Contracts

I would have never predicted that I would have avoided so many battles just because I took the time to put something in writing. Even if I didn’t draw up a formal contract, I at least tried to clearly state our agreements in email.  Things you should always get in writing.  Delivery dates and deposit amounts, due date for balance payment, number of revisions included in your rate, who owns the raw footage, and the hours for your shoot day.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Trust your gut.

These are all just guidelines I use based on my experience.  However there are going to be times when a handshake and a nod are more appropriate than bringing in lawyers to draw up extensive contracts.  There will be situations when shooting an extra hour or doing an extra edit does more for building a relationship than pointing to a clause in your agreement.  Your number one goal should be to nurture your good clients and keep ‘em. So be flexible, trust your gut, and exercise allot of common sense.

Next Friday: Lipstick On A Pig.  How to make a bad event look good!

Thanks

Trevor “Trevz” Bayack is a Brooklyn-born filmmaker who approaches his web pieces as mini documentaries. Recognized as a member of the 2008 URB magazine Next 100 for pioneering the “video blog” Trevz continually makes his pieces shorter, sharper and ever more shareable”   Follow thenewpop twitter feed for more.

 


17
Mar 11

Artists Wanted | Scope NY 2011 – “The Night Event”

As a part of Armory Arts Week Artists Wanted recently held an opening night party for Scope NY 2011. The event was held at the Angel Orensanz building on the Lower East Side, a Gothic-revival synagogue built in 1849.  I only recently discovered Artists Wanted while doing one of my recent blog postings.  Upon my discovery I loved their mission so much that I had to reach out to them.  When they in turn reached out to me to document this event I was pretty excited to be involved.  As I mentioned when I posted the photos, there was an eclectic mix of artists and celebs alike including Chloe Sevigny, Nick Zinner, & AndrewAndrew, and performances by Le Reitman, and Gang Gang Dance.  Everyone had big fun. Thanks to Will and Suzie for putting me on, and to Rachel Hornaday for video assisting!

Enjoy the show
TrVZ

 


16
Mar 11

Handmade Portraits | Nanopod

The video portrait continues to evolve on platforms like etsy.com.  This portrait by Pascal Perich described as a ‘Journey through the dark dreams and inner turmoil of Tosca Hidalgo y Teran‘ continues to blur the boundaries between documentary and vignette.

Enjoy
TrVZ

 


15
Mar 11

Haiti Stands With Japan

Geoffery & Joseph had their home destroyed in the 2010 Haiti earthquake. This video by David Barg captures their emotional reaction to the horrific images of devastation coming from Japan.  A touching video that illustrates the tragic bond these two nations now share.

 

 


15
Mar 11

Breath-taking Image from the Japanese Tsunami

The images from the Tsunami are unimaginable.  Like something from a disaster movie.  This photo courtesy of The New York Times really took my breath away.  A somber reminder that we are no match for the forces of mother nature when she wants to reclaim her planet.

View the rest of the images on the NY Times website.


15
Mar 11

Aftermath – The Japanese Tsunami

Here is a video from Dan Chung from what remains of the town of Shintona in Miyagi prefecture, one of the areas worst affected by the Tsunami. God forbid I was in the middle of a tragedy like this one, I am not sure if I could edit a video that sheds an artistic light on such a horrible tragedy. But the more I think about it, it is probably the most fitting way to pay tribute to those that lost their lives. A memorial of sorts.

Our hearts go out to the Japanese people.


14
Mar 11

Streetscapes | Morgan Library

Now that spring is just around the corner I plan to resume one of my favorite activities, exploring our city.  One of the first places on my list is The Morgan Library.  Located in midtown Manhattan, the Morgan houses one of the world’s greatest collections of artistic, literary, and musical works, from ancient times to the medieval and Renaissance periods to the present day.  Here is a video from the The NY Times Streetscapes series and Lost & Found Films profiling this historic landmark.

Enjoy
TrVZ


 

 


12
Mar 11

Tiny Feature Saturday’s – Josh Harris, Internet Entrepreneur

Pseudo.com was the epicenter of the new media art and cultural universe during the original late 90′s dotcom bubble, and Josh Harris was it’s ringmaster.  Taking up several floors at 600 Broadway (Now home to Hollister), Psuedo was an early pioneer of internet programming.  Many of it’s live streams were just excuses for allnight decadent parties.  My own personal experience with Pseudo was through their weekly show 88 Hip Hop.  Once a week around 10:00pm there would be a line going around the block with hip hop heads vying to get inside.  They stopped letting people in due to excessive tagging.  But this was nothing compared to the other programs and parties that happened there.  Here is a profile of one of the real pioneers of the New Media movement Josh Harris courtesy of the First Person series.  Also check out the trailer for the documentary film about Psuedo  We Live In Public.

Enjoy
TrVZ


11
Mar 11

The Videographers Guide To Not Falling On Your New Media Face | Chapter 4 : Rates

When it comes to determining your rates there are many questions. Should I ask the client to reveal the budget? Should I give discounts for retainers? Should I offer one size fits all packages? When should I raise my rates? Here are some guidelines I find useful.

Know your rates.

Your hourly freelance rate should be twice the corporate standard. Corporations factor in benefits, paid vacations, taxes, etc when they hire you. Those expenses are passed on to the clients. You should do the same.

Know your value.

As the social media phenomenon grows, video on the web is becoming an increasingly vital tool for those looking to make an impression. Keep up with trends and adjust your rates accordingly.

Qualifying.

Knowing what a client can pay is an important step in the negotiating strategy. If the client has a budget that exceeds your rate, don’t turn it down (as if you would), but also don’t just pocket the extra cash without considering all the opportunities it gives you to increase your level of service. It’s an investment in yourself that leads to more higher paying gigs.

On the other hand if you are negotiating with clients who can’t afford your normal rates but offer you something else of value, give them a discount. I call this my indie rate and it varies depending on the client. Often these indie gigs are very rewarding artistically, allowing you to experiment in a way that you could not with higher paying more demanding clients. I have gotten some of my best referrals from these indie clients.

Should I offer one size fits all packages?

Using a cookie cutter approach to price out future gigs leaves allot of room for misunderstanding. I have had many jobs where the client will use a past job as a reference point to a potential gig with the expectations that the rate will be the same. Unfortunately they may not be aware of exactly what goes into producing each job. It is your job to get as much information as you can before giving them an estimate. If you are a skillful entrepreneur you will offer your clients something more than they expect with the appropriate increase in rates. I will talk more about this next week.

Next Friday more on rates.  Including a discussion on when to raise yours.

Thanks

Trevor “Trevz” Bayack is a Brooklyn-born filmmaker who approaches his web pieces as mini documentaries. Recognized as a member of the 2008 URB magazine Next 100 for pioneering the “video blog” Trevz continually makes his pieces shorter, sharper and ever more shareable” Follow our twitter feed for more.


10
Mar 11

Tænker 001 : A limited edition publication by Aesir

This video by Wallpaper gives us a behind the scenes look at the creative process of Tænker 001.  Described as a beautiful design manifesto that hails artists and architects who value community and cooperation while resisting quick and easy solutions. Created by the Danish design firm  Æsir and printed from a 150 million year old stone, it is a concrete testament to the values stated in this manifesto.

Enjoy
TrVZ