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300 U$ for a 14 minute documentary!?


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#21 John Bantin

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 06:43 AM

I worked in the period between 1970 and 1992 and have always maintained that I only got paid big fees to produce a result (to the client's brief) that did not already yet exist. Once it existed, whether film, video, or still photograph it was worth very little in the marketplace. I made my money making client's perceptions (whether accurate or not) become reality as an image.
I once did a shoot for Coca Cola (Agency: Harrison McCann) in the Seychelles on spec. They agreed to pay me if they used the pictures in an advertising campaign. Two years after shooting I saw the posters with my pictures go up all over Britain. They offered me a derisory amount so I took legal steps. I lost a lot of money to lawyers as well and got peanuts for my efforts. That was way back in 1985. Get the contract signed before you commit.

The last underwater video I shot (30 minutes) had a post-production budget of 10,000 sterling. It was in 1991 before you could get broadcast quality on your home computer. Even then we were offered around only 200 per minute to put it on mainstream TV.

Edited by John Bantin, 18 July 2009 - 06:51 AM.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#22 pmooney

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 07:16 AM

The last underwater video I shot (30 minutes) had a post-production budget of 10,000 sterling. It was in 1991 before you could get broadcast quality on your home computer. Even then we were offered around only 200 per minute to put it on mainstream TV.


Its come a long way since then John.

I just had a show broadcast on NHK-BS tonight - 70% my footage ( Natural History Japan - National Broadcast - 8.30 Sat Night Special ) - the budget was stupid with $ wasted on flying crews in to location who failed to get the shots etc.

It was a tough negotiation but thanks to my hardline I was still able to get real money for the job - firstly it was real HD vision which they wanted , secondly their crew had already failed and they had a broadcast deadline and finally it was just damned good vision ( even if it was of my B roll ) .

It really pays to properly understand the customers position - in this case they were very needy. :B):

#23 John Bantin

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 07:39 AM

It really pays to properly understand the customers position - in this case they were very needy. :B):


Exactly my point!

You bet it's come a long way. The last TV commercial I directed had a production budget of 250,000 Sterling. I understand that's peanuts too, now!

Edited by John Bantin, 18 July 2009 - 07:41 AM.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#24 Drew

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 11:41 AM

The last underwater video I shot (30 minutes) had a post-production budget of 10,000 sterling. It was in 1991 before you could get broadcast quality on your home computer. Even then we were offered around only 200 per minute to put it on mainstream TV.

That's interesting. BBC offered me 600 for 1 min of a video of a Wunderpus and flamboyant cuttlefish in 96. After Blue Planet, even the cheapest Wildlife on One gave 800-1000 a minute.

You bet it's come a long way. The last TV commercial I directed had a production budget of 250,000 Sterling. I understand that's peanuts too, now!


Interesting John. Michael Jackson made the Thriller video for $500k waaayyy back in 83. You could've beaten Landis but I liked this classic version the best:



The Filippino are the craziest entertainers in the world!

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#25 Nick Hope

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 09:40 PM

I know of a film that was recently shown on Sky in the UK three or four times a week for 6 months and it brought in less than $1000US for the film maker.

That's just taking the p1ss! You know what channel?

#26 SimonSpear

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 12:33 AM

Yeah it was on Sky1 Nick. If you want more details PM me as I probably shouldn't put more than I already have on a public forum.

Cheers, Simon

#27 John Bantin

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 12:33 AM

That's interesting. BBC offered me 600 for 1 min of a video of a Wunderpus and flamboyant cuttlefish in 96. After Blue Planet, even the cheapest Wildlife on One gave 800-1000 a minute.


Understand the client. It always comes down to what is NEEDED. If they need a segment they haven't got for an ongoing production, they will pay. Try selling a whole production they don't NEED and get back to me!

Edited by John Bantin, 19 July 2009 - 12:35 AM.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#28 Drew

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 07:04 AM

Precisely the point of this thread, John. Underwater Channel is looking for filler for their website. No offense to Volker's piece but that's the bottom line. He could try to bargain and squeeze more out. If he shot an epic Whaleshark's mating and giving birth or whatever they do, then he wouldn't be offered $300.
I expect prices to go down further as the market splits even more to online content.

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"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.


#29 Specialist Stock

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 01:05 AM

The UNDERWATER CHANNEL - I agree that they just need content for the on-line channel. Until recently they were not paying anything. The revenue from advertising maybe very low as they are still building their coverage. We all need to go out of our way to keep deals sensible though and although $300 is probably a figure they are sticking to you could argue that you should get 75% revenue from advertising on principle.

MARKETING - You could argue it would be good marketing for your material and the revenue just covers admin. Airing some of the material in your collection on-line is some most effective marketing these days both for big budget documentaries (best clips up on YouTube increases viewing at final broadcast) and for my stock library www.specialiststock.com (go to Splashdown aquatic collection). I assume it would work for individuals too if you get a suitable credit.


STOCK - I also agree it is hard to get old rates to license material but production companies supplying big broadcasters is still reasonable revenue (we have charge $45 to 65 per second for the last year). Unfortunately these companies only approach individuals if they think they can get a silly low price and prefer stock libraries where they can get a bulk deal for a wide range of material in one hit. We represent many of the BBC NHU cameramen and they have worked out that their best bet is to barter with a stock library for a good commission and let the library do all the bartering with all the production companies around the world while you stay submerged gathering new material.


(NB beware of sending HDV material - use codecs like DNxHD to bump it up to HD first and be honest).


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#30 Drew

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 03:28 AM

Tom, welcom to WP and thanks for the input. I hope you will clarify on your delivery requirements for those who don't get it. You want HDV uprezed to Avid's DNxHD 1080p at 1920x1080 resolution? Do other codecs like ProRes HQ or Canopus qualify as well? What about AVCHD and other H264 derived codecs (AVC-I 100/50) which are now the mainstay of video?
It's funny how you say be honest? How many people do you know have tried to pass off HDV as HDCAM? I'd be interested to know. :drink:

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#31 Specialist Stock

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 04:58 AM

Tom, welcom to WP
THANKS!
You want HDV uprezed to Avid's DNxHD 1080p at 1920x1080 resolution?
DEFINITELY UPSIZED TO HD BUT CODEC DEBATABLE YOU ARE RIGHT!

Do other codecs like ProRes HQ or Canopus qualify as well? What about AVCHD and other H264 derived codecs (AVC-I 100/50) which are now the mainstay of video? YES ALL GOOD - TRYING TO FIND OPTIUM BUT WILL PROBABLY END UP WITH DIFFERENT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DIFFERENT SOURCE FORMATS AND EDITING PLATFORMS (FINAL CUT etc)

It's funny how you say be honest? How many people do you know have tried to pass off HDV as HDCAM? I'd be interested to know. :drink:
THOUSANDS!

BOTTOM LINE - if anybody wants to work with us we would love to see some low res samples / edits and then we work closely with your workflow.
Cheers,
Tom