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What to charge for proffesional aerial services?

Discussion in 'Inspire 1 Discussion' started by Sky High Photography, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. Sky High Photography

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    Hello Everyone,

    How much are our professional services worth?

    I am currently restructuring my business plan as now I am able to offer video for most of my clients.
    I have always sold aerial still imagery as I used a 21' helium airship with a NikonD300s attached to a gimbal. Great still photography but obviously no mobility for video.
    As the regulations have changed in Canada, I decided to purchase the Inspire 1. The weather is not quite good enough to shoot sell-able footage but I do have 3 major clients committed to shoots in the next month. 1 is a Real Estate property; 2 is a large mansion with infinity pool, barn, lots of acreage and lakefront, and 3 is a golf course. These are clients that I have previously done stills for but have revisited them now that I can offer video.

    My question is: How much do you charge?
    I understand that there are lots of factors to consider, but as a starting point, do any of you have any input?
    *Do I ask clients how long of a video do they want?
    (I anticipate most shoots to be around the 90 second mark for say #1; 120-180 seconds for #2 and about 300- 420 seconds for #3 (5 seconds per hole, straight full course vertical, clubhouse etc). This is just approximate timing.)
    *How much do I charge for editing? I am assuming that most clients will want a complete video put together for them. Would this be a total package price?

    I am not even sure how to format a pricing package. Bronze, silver, gold. Per second, per project, include editing, just supply raw footage etc etc.

    What if someone saw your drone and asked you how much it cost to come take a picture and some video of their house, mansion or golf course.
    What would you say?
    This is intended for the professionals rather than the hobbyists as I am sure the hobbyists would do it for next to nothing:)

    Thanks in advance,

    Peter
     
  2. gruvpix

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    I can comment, as I am doing this in Canada. Firstly, I would not bundle shooting and editing into a set package price. Some projects you can shoot all day for and cut in an hour. Some you can shoot over a half day and spend a couple days in the edit suite finicking with graphics, music and pacing it perfectly. It all depends on the project.
    Generally speaking our company works to budget, but if a company would like a quote we charge $1500/day or $750/half-day for aerial filming and photography, and then $500/day for editing incl all post-production, but not stock music purchasing or anything over and above such as narration. This means a standard real estate, golf course, wellsite etc. video will be in the range of $3000-$4000. Now this may seem high to a lot of people but we have the luxury of being part of a very small group of companies that offers this service in the province, while being in traditionally one of the more wealthy provinces economically speaking. We also fit a small niche between the many Phantom operators and the high end DSLR guys who tend to bill out $3000+/day.
    If some dude rolled up and wanted some snaps of his house: $500. If he wanted them edited, extra.
    We charge by the day or half day and very rarely by the hour, unless it is just one simple flight. At minimum for new clients, it's a half-day of shooting and then they decide if they want an edit or just the raw files. Usually it's about half and half. It's quite often another producer will hire us to shoot some aerial footage for a commercial, doc or other video, so we just bill the standard rate and give em back their microSD card.
    For someone starting, I would consider the following line items on a quote or estimate to your client:
    1: Pre-production. How advanced is the shoot? Will it need location scouting in advance to determine shooting angles, lighting characteristics etc, or will it be suitable to run and gun it? Usually if it involves any pre-production including meeting the client we'll charge for this
    2: Shooting. As mentioned we do a day/half-day rate structure. Only for established clients will we go an hourly rate and only if we know it's a quick job. The majority of projects we shoot a half-day for on location unless they want a super long video or lots of clips and photos.
    3: Editing. Try and estimate an editing time for the video. This does not fully depend on the desired length of the video. For example we are doing a project now for a commercial real estate project, and while the initial cut took about 4 hours, they want specific 3D animations and pretty advanced camera tracking, which takes quite a bit of time. All projects are different so take this into consideration.
    4: Stock music. You'll need to purchase a stock music track that fits the tone. These range from $25 to $500 depending on artist and where you get the music from.

    That should be enough to take care of the majority of videos you will likely do. In some cases clients want their videos narrated, no problem we bill that at cost. Or they would like a blend of aerial shots and ground shots, so take that into consideration.

    Anyways that's my two cents...

    EDIT: I see you're in kelowna. So likely the majority of your work will come from residential real estate, golf courses and possibly weddings and tourism (although I haven't known of Kelowna tourism to spend much $$$ on video assets). In a region like that I'm not sure you'll get away with charging more than $1000/day, for the amount of commission they make, real estate agents often will not spring a lot for a video. We've had real estate agents contact us and it seems the only ones with a marketing budget that can afford aerial photo and video are the commercial guys.
    What I would do if I were you is put together a little demo reel or a 90 second piece on one house showing what you're capable of. Then you can take that directly to the myriad high end realtors and developers as I'm sure you'll be one of the only people offering this service in the region (although I have a friend looking to break into the industry in Kelowna as well).

    PS see if you can swindle a deal with Big White, I know they had some drone dudes up there doing filming a month or so back, but their tech wasn't nearly as good as the inspire from a video quality standpoint. It would be awesome to get paid to fly that thing around there. You're on the right track with golf courses too, the high end ones definitely have a budget for this. There was a high end drone crew at Predator Ridge last summer and I can imagine they would have been charging a pretty penny for filming all 27 holes and likely most of the developed areas.
     
    #2 gruvpix, Apr 9, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015
    SkySav, ringolong and Ascender like this.
  3. Johnny Sky

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    With your previous commercial aerial photography, do you already have Transport Canada certification in place?

    - Johnny
     
  4. DaveInspire

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    Gruvpix, thanks so much for sharing. Which province are you operating out of? Curious how this varies across the country if others have experience and are willing to chime in. Are your day rates for dual operator?
     
  5. gruvpix

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    Alberta. And no that is for single operator. Dual operator would be extra, haven't figured out how much because our second remote is still on backorder :|
     
  6. Phatzo

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    yes also from Hungary a big thank you for the input, although I can not just put the HUF currency in place of the $... that would make me the cheapest in all of Europe :D LOL
    recalculating it into my currency is a much better approach :) though I think that would be again toooooo much... 1500 a day would be 419 000 HUF which is a really good number but no one would pay without having an 8mm tucked to his head LOL... I think I´ll come over to Canada do all the papers and start my life over again with family and my kids and my dogs...

    this country seems so small at times when too many people trying to do the same thing at once giving each other no chance to live and let live... sad.
     
  7. Skyringmedia

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    We're operating out northern Ontario and it's challenging to price. Realtors are super cheep. Most of them thinks it's mental to pay 700 for a 90 sec vid of a property. It's very exspencive to operate insurance, travel, paper work, softwear, risks, equipment failures etc. in southern Ontario I think it's approx 1800 for a day 900 for half. People who do this commercially can appreciate the amount of work that goes into doing this and the risk involved.
     
  8. gruvpix

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    No point marketing to residential realtors. They are so cheap, for the most part it is an unreasonable expense for them unless the property is 1.5 mil or more. Heck I've seen realtor produced videos with a GoPro hand held walking through the house. Hey if it works it works but imo that stuff looks like garbage.
    Try the big commercial real estate firms