"Hey could you make a video for my band"

I’m sure a lot if not all of us have made videos for friends or have been approached for commissions at some point. I have a gauche question… what do you charge?

I still do this now and then, but I feel like I’m undercharging for work that most of the time I’d rather not even be doing. I guess once it’s something expected of me, it feels like work, so fuck that y’know? I’ve been quoting people at $200 - $250 Canadian as a friendly rate, the big problem being is that they’re all friends.

Anyway, I want to raise my rates pronto, I’m just having trouble ballparking it. I usually don’t do any shooting, it’s all in-equipment effects and found footage.


just reading the title of your topic made me start sweating, haha.

knowing you and your work, i’d suggest 400 CAD as a baseline (more if they are a commercially oriented entity). if it’s something that will take extra work on top of your usual process, you could go up from there proportionally to the estimated amount of effort.

it might bring it out of some people’s budgets, which can feel awkward, especially if they are friends, but your time is important, and 400 is still pretty low imo for the amount of editing it takes !

i know exactly what you mean about it feeling like a chore. i feel lucky to be able to say “sorry but no” to most offers these days. but, if i go back to freelance work, that might not always be the case. in any event, value thy time !


you could figure how much per hour you feel you deserve, and then estimate the amount of time. if someone paid you $400 and you worked on it for 15 hours you’d be making $26.66 an hour


With underground / DIY releases its a hard call, so I try to weigh up factors like how much I like the music, the attitude of the person (there are red flags), and whether its perhaps also an excuse to try out a new technique or fix some equipment.

For actual numbers, anything but less than minimum wage should be the baseline - which is consistent with the 400 mentioned (at 5 days work). Explaining this will help, and its a good habit to get into, because without being too dramatic about it, minimum wages were hard won (at cost of human life etc). Friends should also expect to be paid at least minimum wage in return. Short of there being some type of video-circuiters-union, it helps inoculate one another from some of the wrong’uns / bad experiences out there.


Yeah I think $400 CAD actually translates into a reasonable hourly rate. I appreciate the insight!


isee this question asked quite a lot, and although there are many answers, :100: to this one
@autr !!

do what feels right; use it to work on you; respect the labour movement; :sparkles: :heart: :fist:

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Hi! Just chiming in here. I change my rate depending on the situation but I agree with $400 as a baseline. I also like to ask
For half upfront and the other half when I’m done. I’ve worked on projects before and then the person disappeared and I never got paid. Def learned from that!


I usually work on sliding scale, pay-what-you-want, which has mostly ranged from $free to $500 USD. Payment amounts generally correspond to my relationship with the artist. If it is a long standing relationship, they generally value my time and artistic vision and compensate accordingly.

I don’t make a living from abstract visual art, and I’ve yet to work with a musician who makes their entire living off of selling music. Everyone has day jobs, including me. I take the money I make and invest it back into visually creative tools and conferences. I feel damn lucky to have these opportunities to work with other artists.

I’m going to create art regardless of payment, but it is nice and validating to get paid.

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+1 for 1/2 up front, always.

I’ve gotten to a point where I only work on videos for people who’s tunes I like.

I always charge hourly, I always ask for 1/2 up front, and I am really candid about the number of revisions/what type of notes I’ll accept. . . More often than not, the first thing I send is the final version, but every once in a while I’ll have someone who wants to make a lot of changes. . . and I take it on a case by case basis.

But our gear is expensive, and finite. Every use of our gear (some of it 30 and 40 years old) is one less time we’ll get to use it before it irreparably fails. . . So, asking for a little money to bank for replacement gear down the road shouldn’t be taboo.


yeah no doubt, half up front for any kind of video project is crucial and also making sure that folks know lengthy revisions and editing should cost above the initial quote as well