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Pricing Multimedia Stories

OK, Dana has just posted a thread asking for help with pricing her slideshow, while Art Rothfuss and I have been kicking the problem around with regard to both commercial and to documentary projects. So let’s get this stuff out in the open and discuss what we are all doing. A couple LS members have told me that they have been selling these to commercial clients, and of course many of us are already working on documentary versions. The big question is, how does one sell these things? What are the various things we need to know to determine pricing? How big of a difference is there between the documentary market and the commercial market?

Here is some of what Martin Fuchs had to say with reference to Dana’s question:

First of all I would ask them to specify the use of the slideshow. Will it be used for a DVD that they are going to sell or give away, will it be used for projections at events, will they want to show it on their website as well… Personally I would say that you shouldn’t sell the slideshow and give them the right to do with it whatever they want. There have to be limitations. And selling them a slideshow shouldn’t give them the possibility to use single photographs from that slideshow for other usage I think. Also how many photographs will be included in the slideshow, did you gather the audio yourself, did you edit the audio yourself, and so on. Magnum In Motion tries to take different ways. They trie to get somebody to pay for a single essay and they try to get sponsors to basically pay for a series of essays. I can’t give out any numbers from Magnum however.

And we all know that Martin knows whereof he speaks since he is one of the original movers and innovators behind this thing. Here he gives a good idea of some of the criteria we need to adopt for pricing: usage, number of photos, etc. The reason I decided to bring this up is not only to get some info on how to price my own productions, but also to see if we can reach a consensus and maybe control the market a little better as a result. At the moment all we have are thousands of individuals going off in different directions, some will charge more, some less, some will charge for this or that, and others wont — this kind of irregularity of practice leads to big trouble for us. Witness the fact that even now post production fees are not considered legitimate by all clients. we need to develop consistent fee schedules so as to enforce a uniformity of practice that cannot be ignored by potential clients for these things.

So speak up: what have you been doing and how? What do you charge for, why and how much? etc.

by Jon Anderson at 2006-10-22 00:12:04 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Santo Domingo , Dominican Republic | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Totally agree Jon. If we can get some sort of very rough fee schedule together now, it will bode well for all of us later on.

by [former member] | 22 Oct 2006 00:10 | Salt Lake City, United States | | Report spam→
absolutely. It seems to me that the digital revolution caught us unprepared in terms of what it all meant business-wise, because we were all thrilled with the editorial control digital imagery gave us and other such advantages. Now we are more experienced, we ought to be able to hammer out some protocols so that we are all asking the same thing of our clients — a kind of virtual Union statement.

by Jon Anderson | 22 Oct 2006 02:10 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
I recently listened to Brian Storm talk about this stuff however he didn’t mention pricing per se… Perhaps we can get him on here to shed some light on what MediaStorm.org is doing about pricing and licensing, etc. Also, if you have something you’ve put together, MediaStorm might just be a good outlet for you.

by [former member] | 22 Oct 2006 02:10 | Austin, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
i know a thing or two about multimedia pricing.
and though i’m more than willing to share,
i won’t share it here;
not indiscriminately on an open forum like lightstalkers (as wonderful as it is).
and i can assure you, there’s alot of misinformation out there on this topic.
not even most pros have any clue what to charge.

i can be emailed at binjiminyin@gmail.com
if you have any questions about this topic.

that doesn’t mean i’ll reply.
you’ve gotta have my trust and respect for me to let you in on those kinds of industry secrets.
so if you’re a childish prick, don’t even waste my time.
i will do my research on you if you write me.

i’d certainly be alot more likely to reply to your query if you’re willing to provide me with some constructive criticism on a document i’m looking to finish:

aka 1.0 (beta).

the only bit of advice i am willing to give out here is that google video provides you with a service in which you can set a price for people to be able to watch or download your video pieces. they take a percentage.
you can also limit people’s ability to syndicate your content and limit what countries the piece can even be viewed in.

the list goes on and on.
more info can be found at http://video.google.com

google video might eventually be integrated with google news, and producers could be paid royalties for each news source that syndicates it. that way, people can name their own price based more on merit, and less on outdated, established, and arbitrary guild-like medieval market prices.
and google can take the percentage.

two good reads for inspiration in internet business, “the cluetrain manifesto” (cluetrain.com), and “gonzo marketing” written by christopher locke. i discovered these reads a month ago. bear in mind, they were both written over five years ago, in the era of web 1.0

good luck

by P. Money | 22 Oct 2006 03:10 | | Report spam→
IMHO, I would have thought that the obvious place to start working out pricing is to compare multimedia pieces with the TV/video market. I say this because once you have spliced together a multimedia piece from pics, added music, narration, some video etc.. and then burnt it to disc, well, don’t you have a product that is closer to the medium of a product used in the TV/video industry?

And if you agree with that rationale, then looking at how similiar products are priced in that industry, may well be a better place to start – as opposed to looking at price models based on one-time print usage for hard copy publications.

by Thomas Pickard | 22 Oct 2006 03:10 | Male', Maldives | | Report spam→
That might be right Thomas, but Martin is implying that Magnum’s pricing model also includes some consideration for the number of photos used, so I am guessing that people are assimilating elements from both models.

by Jon Anderson | 22 Oct 2006 03:10 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
It seems like something in between would be best, as a multimedia slideshow contains still images that can then be hard printed, portions or the whole thing, whereas a video- while its very possible to freeze frame & print- seems like a somewhat different animal.

by [former member] | 22 Oct 2006 05:10 | Salt Lake City, United States | | Report spam→
Look, I totally agree Jon and Eric. And you summed up how I was thinking about it Jon when you said ‘assimilating elements from both models’ – what I wrote just didn’t convey that message. There must be pricing models around for video/tv/syndication etc… and there are pricing guidelines for image usage, so a blend of the two would have to be the way forward. I am just thinking that photo pricing is quite mature, while multimedia that photogs produce isn’t – so why not look at a similiar medium (video/tv) to ascertain what the price guidlines might be to start with. Then look at the other elements (# pics used; will pics be hard printed etc..), then work out the final price.

I wonder if video/tv has something similiar to fotoquote?

by Thomas Pickard | 22 Oct 2006 05:10 (ed. Oct 22 2006) | Male', Maldives | | Report spam→
You might want to look at it the other way around: if you were a consumer and wanted to buy a podcast or a multimedia story on your next generation mobile how much would you be willing to pay? Say 0,10$ for a 5 minutes story on your iPod? If the story you bought is successfull how many would get sold?

The amazing thing for the producer is he could sell that story anywhere between 10 times (YEAH!! he made 1$) or 1 million times (100,000$). Of course the 100,000$ would have to be shared by all the people from the production chain, from the photographer to the webhost and everybody in between. UNLESS you do everything on your own…

The difficulty to put a price on a multimedia story is to assess how many times the story you produced will be downloaded. One solution could be charging a flat amount per minute for the first 5000 downloads or so and then get a percentage on the 0,10$ (or the download price) varying on what you provided the producer with (the pics only, the pics and the rough sound, the pics and the mounted soundtrack, the sequence without the soundtrack, the complete and finished podcast, etc…)

by [former member] | 22 Oct 2006 07:10 | Phnom Penh, Cambodia | | Report spam→
mr news,while i share your opinion that certain sections of the media have become fat and lazy,i fail to see how handing over your imagery to a corporate behemoth like google is going to challenge anything.referring to at least some of your fellow lightstalkers as ‘childish pricks’ suggests you are just as puerile as your percieved antagonists and is pretty graceless.you make a great spokesman for self-obssessed,arrogant youth,try backing it up by actually doing something radical,instead of mouthing off cliches and insults.trying to gain attention by shouting and stamping your feet and being ‘controversial’ is a rather cliched and very old idea.if you really to want to try and help bringing about some sort of change,try behaving in a truly radical way,rather than just aping the tactics of everyone from carravaggio to elvis to the pistols.

by Michael Bowring | 22 Oct 2006 08:10 | Belgrade, Serbia | | Report spam→
Michael, let JohnyNews express his views. He talks about not wasting his precious time with the ‘childish pricks’ … that’s his choice. Why does he bother to write all those empty lines of text saying that he knows stuff but he is afraid to share them on an open post, but he still will share some secretes …. don’t bother to waste time contradicting him. when he will find out if he wants to say or not smth on LS, he will say it. just smile and read what is worth reading.

by G. Muj | 22 Oct 2006 09:10 | Dubai, United Arab Emirates | | Report spam→
g., i am smiling.i find his posts funny in some ways,but also essentially boring.the whole point of a forum is to indulge in debate,dialogue,and to hopefully learn and maybe help others organise their thoughts about the subject under discussion.it is not a place to simply spew out platitudes.doing that is just a waste of everyones time.this particular debate is important,and will become more so in time.i am very interested to see how this whole ‘still-movies with sound’ idea is going to impact on our world.personally i can’t add much to the words of the contributers,simply because its too early to say.the one thing i can say is that editing images to sound is very different to choosing a layout on a page.i suspect that the services of professional film editors will be required to make these slideshows truly interesting.editing is a profession unto itself.as photographers we will need to learn those techniques or work closely with people who do.now i am going to continue framing some prints,still the most satisfying way of seeing a photograph to my eyes anyway.as some old hippy tattooist i used to know in houston used to like to say,’everything changes,everything remains the same".have a nice lazy sunday afternoon everyone.

by Michael Bowring | 22 Oct 2006 09:10 | Belgrade, Serbia | | Report spam→
I got in contact with Media Storm and they gently gave me this answer;

“The market is still developing and there is no standard in regards to pricing per minute for example. Only you know the value of the product that you have created and the negotiation on pricing will boil down to what you are comfortable with for the placement in conjunction with their budget.

I’m not sure what you mean by royalty free in this case, but I think you want them to have the rights to use the work as they see fit – it is a great cause after all – and you want to make sure that you remain the copyright holder and can you continue to license the rights as you deem appropriate."

by Dana De Luca | 22 Oct 2006 10:10 | Madrid, Spain | | Report spam→
Thanks everyone, keep it coming. John, very good points you make and yes, this is a very important consideration. The use to which these are put, the final form they achieve, all count toward the calculation of fees,a nd I imagine that those of us who are selling specific “shoots” to corporate clients are going to be charging them accordingly. Thomas may be on the right track: perhaps there is a version of fotoquote for videographers, and we can start there. will look around.

by Jon Anderson | 22 Oct 2006 13:10 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Ok, let me bring in some more thoughts from me. It’s Martin the photographer not Martin the Magnum In Motion editor. :-) But who knows, I am going to talk to my boss at Magnum tomorrow, maybe he can add some more of his thoughts in regards to Magnum as well…

Pricing a multimedia package is though. There is so much more work going into the production of a multimedia story than into the editing of a printed story. And as in photography, the question is also who produces the multimedia piece, what are the skills of the producer. Usually we photographers do not have much background in multimedia. We start playing around with Soundslides or other tools that let us put together these slideshows kind of easily, we start to play around with audio editing software, maybe even add a map that we are able to use to the sequence of images. But still: Photographers are usually not professional multimedia producers…

A lot of the people working for Magnum In Motion and MediaStorm for example are not photographers, the are sound designers, video editors, cinematographers and flash specialists. Sure, some stories contain more work of these highly specialized people, others less. But the point is that almost certainly there is a difference in the quality of work at the end.
I am not trying to blackguard any of the photographers self-produced multimedia stories in any way, these stories can be great, well edited, can add new layers of information to the story. But I haven’t met a photographer yet who is able to do the same multimedia stuff as a team of people is who do that as their way of making a living.

I guess that has to be payed attention too as well when we think about pricing guidelines or ideas for our own stories. What is our need and what’s the clients need? Can we produce the story ourselfs or do we need help, which kind of help do we need and so on.

If mutlimedia stories are produced with a complete team of specialists the prize would go up like crazy. And which organization or newspaper would be willing to pay – let’s say – 10.000 dollars for a 10 minute piece? This is a number I made up so please don’t think I make any references to Magnum In Motion. Again, it’s me the photographer right now. But I think that’s also one of the reasons why Magnum is working together with sponsors. If you go to the Magnum In Motion podcast page you will see that Nokia sponsors these podcasts. It’s a way for Magnum to continue the work they are doing with In Motion.

For a pricing model of our multimedia stories we have to take into account the amount of work that needs to be done. And most of the time it will not be the photography itself. If you already were assigned to shoot for the Red Cross the shooting is done and you got paid. Using the photographs in an additional media should of course be payed as well, but it wouldn’t be the whole assignment that needs to be payed. How long will the sound editing take, do you just simply cut together an interview or two you recorded or do you take it a step further and mix voice, ambient sound, music? How much work goes into the multimedia additions to the story. Do you add an interactive map, quotes, clickable screens with a variety of text or facts to the story that need to be done in Flash?
How long do we actually sit in front of the so much hated computer and work on doing all these things. What would our day rate as a multimedia producer be?

I hope my rambling wasn’t too much now. I know, I still don’t come up with a number that can be used as a guideline but I struggle with that myself. I think we need to put in more discussion and more thinking on this topic but it’s great you started this post Jon!

by [former member] | 22 Oct 2006 16:10 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Martin that was great. OK, I am gathering some info on how video people charge, we will see if eventually that can help us, meanwhile I would love to hear from some LS members who have sold these to commercial clients. Let’s us hear something about how they priced them.

by Jon Anderson | 22 Oct 2006 17:10 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
“For a pricing model of our multimedia stories we have to take into account the amount of work that needs to be done. And most of the time it will not be the photography itself”

… Martin, sorry but i don’t agree: it took me 6 months of self produced work to shoot the pictures that will frame the audioslide show: i should not consider this cost?? i think i deserve some money too :))) …………………………………………….

thanks x your pm and your extensive explanation, dana

by Dana De Luca | 22 Oct 2006 17:10 | Madrid, Spain | | Report spam→
so im selling some work to an non profit media source now.. not sure how much this helps the debate.. but it is has been very clear.. from the beginning. that the web/projection slide show oriented work is one thing.. and the stills for print purposes is another… (they are planning to produce prints for fund raising etc..).. this may be a totally unrelated example… but this is how it is running… i am licensing images for slide show..images for print… everything clearly defined…dont know if this helps the discourse.. but this is how were doing it.. it also helps, i imagine, that my slide oriented work is entirely different from the stills.. as ive been shooting for slide/projection p purposes as long as ive been in the game.. and the images simply would not work for print.. another tangential conversation perhaps.. what are magnum’s figures?? are people really donwloading this type of material?? i think the whole video ipod thing is not built to last.. remember a feww years ago we were all going to be sending video mesaghes over cell phones etc… much of this will die… images still affect memory.. people like to scan… multimedia journaling may offer depth.. (which i cherish).. but it is certainly a bubble… or so me brain imagines.

by e.t.r. | 22 Oct 2006 19:10 | portland, oremagon, United States | | Report spam→
Hey Dana, the quote from me you used above is slightly out of context. Another thing I wrote a sentence later is “If you already were assigned to shoot for the Red Cross the shooting is done and you got paid. Using the photographs in an additional media should of course be payed as well, but it wouldn’t be the whole assignment that needs to be payed.”

Jon, looking forward to hear what you find out about the video pricing. Not yet sure though how much that can be compared… By the way, I’ve e-mailed with LS member Carlos Cazalis a while ago and a view days ago he e-mailed again to let me know that the Guardian bought a slideshow of his (http://www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,,1925827,00.html). Maybe he can help with some thoughts too…

by [former member] | 22 Oct 2006 19:10 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
The basic principle is firstly you have to be paid enough to cover your costs of doing business – that’s the time and equipment used to produce the finished article as well as the initial shooting time.

Digital capture caught a lot of us on the hop, because we misunderstood the nature of what we were producing – unlike slides and prints, there are few phyisical barriers for digital material, so a close eye has to be kept on how its used, re-used, stored etc by the shooter and the client. This is why the licensing pricing model is more appropriate than the ‘day-rate’ model.

I had a print client ask me a specific pricing question for a short video last week. Firstly, I told them any video was going to require a double day rate. I used the day rate model in this case because the video is so specific, it’s unlikely to be used by anyone else. So the license is akin to a ‘single use in print’ editorial license – the publications day rate already sets the bar for that, so it makes sense to start from there. However if it was for say, a corporate client, with mulitple uses – Web, DVD, podcsast, you’d calculate the fee based on useage.

Nevertheless the bottom line costs must be paid for, or you’re literally paying to work and that’s simply not sustainable. I might also add it damages the profession as a whole, but thats another story – but helps to explain why fees have stayed static or fallen over the last decade.

The double day rate wasn’t because I was trying to blind them with science, or because I was trying on some digital scam, but simply because it takes a day to shoot and a day to edit…and the editing time (which can be very labour intensive) has to be paid for.

In digital stills, this editing and processing time/cost isn’t sometimes passed to the client, sometimes because of client pressure (and not understanding that camera digital files have to be prepped for print/web before most clients can use them) and sometimes because photographers didnt start doing it when they transferred to digital.

Its very important that we don’t make this mistake again, unless you want to be sitting in front of your computer till 3am, producing slideshows for no extra pay.

by [former member] | 22 Oct 2006 20:10 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Exactly Sion. The thing i am working on now is simple enough, but I have spent a full day on it, and probably will spend one more. Course; I am learning as I go along,
but the truth is, if you are editing imaginatively, synching images to sound, matching the beat, using film techniques, etc. well that takes time, and every story
has its own rhythms and form. Reason I started this thread is exactly so we dont get caught unawares this time around. We cannot enforce a code of course,
but if everyone is on the same page, we will all know more or less how to approach the matter and not make egregious errors.

by Jon Anderson | 22 Oct 2006 21:10 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
this is a point i brought up on the last post about pricing. the few slideshows i’ve put together felt more like shooting an editing video packages i use to make in high school (yeah, a/v nerd) and college. going through photomechanic and photoshop has become old hat by now, but trying to sift through audio clip, edit them, then throw together a story with a good flow can be somewhat consuming the first couple of times. its something i should probably practice more as this will probably become more expected of us in the future. i have some buddies that use to do freelance video work, both doc and corporate. i’ll ask them what there average rate was for a package and slap it here when i here back from them.

by Dan Anderson | 22 Oct 2006 22:10 | Mobile, Ala., United States | | Report spam→

by Jon Anderson | 23 Oct 2006 06:10 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Hi….Martin Fuchs just let me to this post, so now I registered on Lightstalkers :-) I find the pricing issue one of the important ones of the emerging business of multimedia storytelling. I co-founded Magnum In Motion in 2004 (and by the way employed Martin in 2005) and before I was an indipendent producer of multimedia storytelling. So I have been in the dilemma of pricing these things for a while. First of all it is important to figure out what hourly rate you want to make. You can compare with journalists, photographers, webdesigners and film makers. When I was working in Denmark (my native country) I was making between 150 and 300 USD an hour. Then you find out how long the project takes. Usually it always takes twice as long as you expect. But to give an indication our Magnum In Motion essays currently takes 2-3 weeks for us to produce. In the beginning it took over a month but by now we have figured out a formula and gotten the right tools in place. When you know your hourly rate and the amount of hours you are using you have an indication of the pricing. But then off cause there are all the considerations that any freelancer og agency has. Is the project a good reference? Is it a job that could lead to other jobs? Am I working for a good cause (NGO etc), or is it purely business and commercial? Would it be a fun project or something I purely do to make a living? Are there a lot of other companies or freelancers who offer the same service as me? These are basic questions that influence the pricing. Like Martin writes it is also very important to specify the usage of the project, and what you are expected to deliver…I guess this is true with all projects, but with multimedia it is epecially important as there are many options and parameters, and the client often times don’t have a clear idea of what can actually be delivered. As a final not I think it is important that we stand together and find a common pricing structure. This is an emerging business and we, the producers or authors, should take the control and set the rules of the game before the emplyers or clients does it. I have always insisted on a resonable payment, and have refused interesting assignements because clients wanted it for free (giving the…“It is a great referece” speach). Simply because I did not want to be the one teaching the market that we all work for free. On the other hand a project like Magnum In Motion could never have been done if I or my team had to have standard journalist salaries. We are doing it to try to jumpstart a new future for documentary photography that we hope can benefit all of us…..well, I guess I am now going of in a different direction than the original pricing question…hope this helped a little. To be more concrete: I would probably charge at least 150 USD an hour.

by Bjarke Myrthu | 23 Oct 2006 15:10 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Bjarke, thanks for contributing and a very hearty welcome to LS. Good to see you here. YOu are doing great work over there at MinM, and it is good of you to share you ideas here.

by Jon Anderson | 23 Oct 2006 16:10 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Bjarke, do you think you comment a bit on optimizing JPGs for these presentations? How should we generally prepare our files before collating them ina sequence. There is another thread
HERE about this.

by Jon Anderson | 23 Oct 2006 17:10 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
I join in thanking you a lot for your concrete contribution; wellcome to the LS too, dana

by Dana De Luca | 23 Oct 2006 17:10 | Madrid, Spain | | Report spam→
Thanks Bjarke,

Not that the pricing hat is out of the bag,
I can feel a little less guilty about putting in a little more of my input.

I have been ridiculed on here before for exposing some business “secrets” and thought it was best for me to hold my tongue this time around.

I personally would not work for less than $100 an hour for my multimedia services.

Of course, living expenses in the midwest are much lower than in New York.

Not everybody is worth $150 an hour. Some people have more skills than others. Some students have more skills than professors. Some amateurs have more skills than professionals.

If you have more skills, then charge more.

Will a client be able to get stills, video, and a website all from you? Or will they have to go through 5 different people? You can negotiate more money if you can provide the convenience of a designer, editor, photographer, and publisher all into one.

Bear in mind, some services have different rates than others. Design pays way more than coding, for example.

Can you deliver an all encompasing interactive video web piece, or are the limits of your abilities a soundslides presentation?

Obviously, one deserves more money than the other.

What is your portfolio like? How many people hit your web work? How long do they look at it? Is it popular based on it’s own merit, or does it have to be marketed and packaged by a photo agency do even be seen?

Is your client willing to overpay for your services?

Remember that if you’re cranking out work on lower level software like ilife, there’s a kid out there with the same software who can do a better job than you on the same software at a lower price.

I have posted suggestions and links about software titles on the parallel post. Lynda.com is definitely the answer to your software learning related anxieties.

If you’re new to multimedia or are a student, I would suggest doing nonprofit work for nonprofit organizations for awhile to build your portfolio and give yourself time to amass more skills before entering into the commercial market.

That way you can save the embarassment of humiliating yourself by overcharging for subpar work, which can potentially hamper your future multimedia gigs.

While I’m not completely opposed to unions or the idea of trying better control market prices, I can assure you that most skilled people i’ve met in multimedia are students or people that don’t have degrees or are self-taught. People without degrees and students are usually more likely to work for less because the degree-ocracy that we live in drives these market trends. The idea of a less-skilled (but more notable) person or team trying to make more money than a less notable but more-skilled student or team is quickly becoming percieved as more and more outdated.

If you are running an agency, you better make damn sure you find a good intern(s) that can teach you a thing or to about multimedia.

ultimately the rates you can charge are relative to the merit and quality of your individual portfolio.

be real

by P. Money | 23 Oct 2006 17:10 | | Report spam→

by Jon Anderson | 24 Oct 2006 00:10 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Welcom Bjarke.

You forgot to mention that if the team at MiM works at wages below journalists wages (like many other people at Magnum work more than somewhere else for less money, and what would we do without them?) that, as far as I know, the photographers do not get paid for the MiM stories (as yet)…

by [former member] | 24 Oct 2006 07:10 | Phnom Penh, Cambodia | | Report spam→
I would love to charge $150 per hr for editing. However, my computer is slower than I am.
As soon as I get a fast machine, I’ll charge accordingly. This is a tricky area I realise particularly as I
need to make more money to get the high end equipment.

by Paul Treacy | 24 Oct 2006 14:10 | Manhattan, United States | | Report spam→
well, Paul, the slowness of your computer need not be a significant factor. You live in NYC, you can charge what you are expected to charge. And in my experience, if you charge less, people will thing they are getting an inferior product from a hack. This is a basic marketing principle, and not just for photography. When I was a grad student years ago, I made a living tutoring students. Kids from CCNY paid 25 an hour. Kids from East Side private schools, $75/hr. I wouldnt have gotten the work if I didnt charge accordingly, simple as that. You can have a sliding scale for your multimedia too, as editorial will always pay less than commercial work. But I bet my computer is slower than yours, Paul, and I tell you once you get the process down, you can work pretty fast. The real delay has nothing to do with computer speed; it is all about your creative splicing and assembling of the materials. That is slow by its very nature, as you are thinking and playing with the elements for esthetic effect. You know what is taking me the longest? not the editing, but the recording of the voiceover. It has to be just right, not too long, not to short, and you have to think of something to say, you cant just drone on and on. I recorded an initial set of 8 soundbites, some as long as a minute or more. Even though the M in M productions sometimes have long soundbites, that was inappropriate for my particular piece, so I cut them down (easy to do in Garage Band) and then had five basic soundbites. Still, I had to edit two of those further. The assembling and synching of the elements, at least on the level that most of us will be working, is really not so time consuming once you learn the methods.

The real criterion is your market: upscale NY, or third-world St Domingo. I could never charge$150/hr here. That is a fortune. Commercial day rates for some jobs can be as high as a thousand a day, but only for the biggest companies and only through the ad agencies; because they are used to doing everything on the cheap here in order to survive, they would expect to pay less for things like editing, and they dont know enough to recognize the value of quality production.

by Jon Anderson | 24 Oct 2006 17:10 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
well…..for those who want to do a screening or slide show of their work in Williamsburg , I have a great space and projector (panasonic900)for the occasion (with a 12" screen). I am one of the magnum B/W printers from some years ago and I now have put together a space that is quite unique for these kind of projects. So if you are interested just check out the studio www.studio304.org and send me an email. I am looking for good projects to share the space.

by mara Catalan | 24 Oct 2006 23:10 | new york, United States | | Report spam→
I’ve only just noticed this important discussion and would like to contribute an observation from the writer’s side of things. I tend to work by the word, not by day or space rates like shooters do. That means my rate is determined almost completely by a particular publication’s ad rates, not the broader market for my services.

So the question I’d ask first when determining the value of a slideshow is the following: how much money is the publication going to make in advertising attached to the slideshow?

It would seem possible to talk to a few ad sales types over a beer and roughly determine how much advertising traffic the biz side expects multimedia to drive. After the initial web bust, it would seem like “experiments” in multimedia aren’t experiments at all, but are based on real analysis with real, sober predictions of where the eyeballs are going to be 3,5,7 years out. That will determine ad rates and ultimately define what one can get for content.

An editor at a major US daily just getting into multimedia told me a year ago that the two things driving traffic to his paper’s website were 1) breaking news and 2) large documentary projects. The first because breaking news is a natural for the web; the latter because large projects stay up for a few days or a week, which, theoretically, allows the ad sales staff to sell either the same ad space several times or the same space for longer terms of display.

I am not volunteering to be the one to get a beer with an ad sales hack to get the real numbers here. But someone probably oughta.

by Marc Herman | 25 Oct 2006 18:10 | Barcelona, Spain | | Report spam→

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Jon Anderson, Photographer & Writer Jon Anderson
Photographer & Writer
Ocala Florida , United States
P. Money, Creative & Futurist P. Money
Creative & Futurist
(See That Which Cannot Be Seen)
[undisclosed location].
Thomas Pickard, Photographer Thomas Pickard
Rarotonga , Cook Islands
Michael Bowring, photographer Michael Bowring
Belgrade , Serbia
G. Muj, designer / ex photog / G. Muj
designer / ex photog /
Doha , Qatar
Dana De Luca, Photographer Dana De Luca
Milan , Italy
e.t.r., artist e.t.r.
San Francisco, California , United States
Dan Anderson, Freelance Photographer Dan Anderson
Freelance Photographer
Mobile, Ala. , United States
Bjarke Myrthu, Multimedia Producer Bjarke Myrthu
Multimedia Producer
New York , United States
Paul  Treacy, Photographer Paul Treacy
London , United Kingdom ( LGW )
mara Catalan, Photographer/B/W masterpr mara Catalan
Photographer/B/W masterpr
New York , United States
Marc Herman, Writer Marc Herman
Barcelona , Spain


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