The Future Church - A Church Communications Podcast
Church Media + Communications

E015 - How Much Should I Spend On An Edit?

James: Today's episode we're talking about money. How much should you be paying for contract work? So James I'm going to look to you for that.

Joanna: Alright James, there's lots of different projects that I hire people like you for and I'd love to pick your brain a little bit around how much you think a fair price for churches to pay for projects? So we could talk about all kinds of things. I mean there's stuff that goes by hourly rate and stuff that goes by projects I hire people on both sides of that. But let's talk about video projects specifically that you're most expert area in church work. So how much do you think these people should pay? We do news videos, we do testimony videos, we do epic long 50 minute documentaries, and one of the most common projects of course that we do and have done together is is sermon bumpers or sermon trailers the introduction video for a sermon series so let's talk about that as an example of how much we should pay.

James: So let's start by giving people like an idea of what we make when we make a sermon intro video so they can understand kind of what our church here does. So when we talk about a sermon bumper video we're talking about usually four to 10 week kind of sermon series that's gonna be happening and so we make something usually very cinematic that gives an intro and a vibe and a feeling that that sermon is going to be talking about. And so it's something that usually is about a minute to a minute and a half. It sometimes has people sometimes it just graphics. But usually its very high quality. It's not just you know cheesy graphics it's usually filmed on you know HD 4K cameras. It's highly edited and highly produced. So that's where we're going to start with this. So the biggest thing to understand is every community in every area is going to be different but for the most part you don't want to go to cheap it's like anything when you're hiring. When you get three quotes you do they say go for the middle quote don't take the highest and don't take the cheapest because they both come with their problems you somewhere in the middle is going to work. So if you're out there and you're saying hey I'd love a cinematic intro video for our church and we're going to use our church as the example. If someone comes back to you and says hey I'll make it for you for two hundred dollars. That should be a red flag because they're probably not paying themselves enough even for their time as well as they're probably not considering voiceover, music licensing, and getting people to come and be filmed. And sometimes that can cost money based on my donation is arguing and how many requests not including gas money and they're definitely not including editing time which is usually a big chunk of it. So let's start by breaking down some of these costs. So there's people charge very different price some who will charge based on project which is generally the way that I charge or some people charge based on hours. But I think a good kind of range that we should you be talking about for a video like this is somewhere between the range of 1000 to 2000 dollars. Now that can vary. There are definitely people that can do a great job for way cheaper and there's definitely those say to you there's no way you could ever make a video like this for a thousand dollars. So there's those as well. Those are the people I'd call an outlier. Now that 1000 to 2000 dollar range is also would be called the "James Adams discount". So if you were a corporation and I've worked for many different large and medium sized companies that price I would never even go near. I would never even consider anything under 5000 but for a church you're trying to be efficient and you're making something that works and you're not trying to burn too much time on the things that maybe don't matter. So what I would say is from the video standpoint 1000 to 2000 dollars now that's including voice over which as we talked about in the earlier episode can be probably around 50 to 100 dollars for the voiceover. You need to do music licensing music, licensing has really gotten good over the past couple of years there's companies like Sound Stripe and Artlist which provide memberships for 100 to 200 dollars U.S. per year and that gives you unlimited access to music but you should count that as part of the costs because music licensing as you know Jo we used to get our music from a different place and it would cost around one hundred one hundred and fifty dollars per song per project. So that's something to count.

Joanna: So you have a subscription that through your client work you would they would pay a portion basically of your subscription cost.

James: So generally because I have a subscription I would charge a client usually 25 or 50 dollars for that music fee and also include the time it takes to kind of find the right song and you know go back and forth with your client on what is the right the right vibe for it. So that's where I say yeah you have to add in some sort of small amount for that to cover your licensing fees because I pay on average right now around 500 hours a year and these music licensing subscriptions. And that just gives me access to pretty much everything that I need. The other thing you have to consider is that if someone's charging that they ideally have a good enough camera that shoots 4K, whether it's a Panasonic GH5 or one of the canon brands or something better like a BlackMagic or RED camera. Something thats going to shoot quality right. If someone is charging that much they shouldn't be showing showing up probably with an old iPhone.

Joanna: You're paying for their equipment to you. Beyond their time.

James: You're paying for the equipment, but you’re also paying for them to put in a good effort. As contractor when I was doing contracting full-time this was my rent money and my paying the bills money right. So you have to be you have to be motivated to be working like I want to know that I am making money doing this. It's not just a charity event for me. And so the you as the person hiring should also want to know that the person you're hiring is doing a great job and is also paying themselves that they will exist as a company or is a brand or is an individual doing this kind of work a year from now. Because if they're not paying themselves they're going to stop doing it after a certain period time because it's not financially viable. And they'll move on and I'll get a full-time job and you'll never be able to hire them again. So I think that's kind of the range we always need to be looking out for these types of things. Now that's also not the solution as you and I have discovered sometimes you know two thousand dollars isn't in the budget for a video and you've come to me and say how can we do this for cheaper and I said well you know I happen to also own and run a company called Stokhub, why don't we use some of that great footage that's on there then cut out the entire filming side of things because if if the brief that you've given me is hey we want some city shots and then we want someone walking on the beach well stock up has those shots that we can download as part of the membership.

Joanna: And that's the thing that makes our videos so much more affordable is that we don't have to shoot everything. There's this whole resource library of stuff that already exists.

James: So now we're using resources of music that are online subscription based now we're using our footage resource which is online subscription based. And I mean the video subscription is 300 dollars a year. Crazy affordable when considering most people charging you 100 dollars an hour just a film you're making up for really fast and then you're talking a Fiverr for you know a voiceover So as cost that I'm charging to you we're talking about probably 50 dollars for voice, we're talking 50 dollars for music, and we're talking 50 dollars for footage. Now we're at one hundred and fifty dollars and that's how you get it down to 1000. You know top for this intro video.

Joanna: Well the other thing to keep in mind is like as we've said you know in other episodes this week like it's not a Hollywood production. And so sometimes we want a ten thousand dollar video and our our budget is 800 bucks. And so OK. What can we do to make expectations match reality. So that's where like if we're trying to tell a creative story that I think in the endless realms of creativity we can come up with a solution that we can actually afford. Like it sounds great to have you know shoot our pastor talking about Ephesians, in Ephesus, in Turkey like That's amazing. If you had the money for it but of course most churches don't. So like OK how could we creatively come up with a solution on that. That involves him standing in the church lobby doing the same conversation and we can make that through maybe some stock footage added some extra clips to make it you know show the visuals that you want to show but not have to bring your pastor across the world. That's an extreme example.

James: Part of the project planning on that is also making sure that the goal for the end product is as short as possible. If you want to make there's always going to be a price difference between a one minute video and a ten minute video because there's almost ten times as much work that goes into the ten minute video yet. So with when you're planning your project and you're writing your scripts and you're you're planning your shoots the shorter, the better, the cheaper for everyone involved. And that means that it now turns into a half day project for me or a day project. And that means that the budget is really under control.

Joanna: Yes. That's right. The less locations the less people involved the more there's an opportunity to integrate some stock footage. It allows the price of videos to just drop signify.

James: Yeah. And using those online resources means and now you're just spending the time editing which means you can get the project back to the client really fast. There's been times where you've asked me for videos Jo and the very next day it's done and ready to go. Because we didn't have to shoot we usually online resources and I had an edit for you by the end of the day. And you've come back with some revisions and by the next day it's approved and ready to go and the pastors have kind of said yes we like it. This is a go and we're good to go right. And that is such a quick turnaround which also saves you time because this is obviously not going to be your only project as a church communicator you probably have ten things going on. So the quicker you can get these things wrapped up it's going to save you a lot of stress and a lot of time.

Joanna: Yeah that's right. And all all within that to say that this is an example of a video project there's lots of other kinds of video projects or graphics or whatever and some people charged by the hour. I mean this is sort of a scenario but we want to just give you some really practical numbers to work with because there's obviously so many kinds of products we weren't able to talk about but we want to give some specific numbers. In the show notes I'm gonna share with you something that isn't from me but from a friend of mine who's at a church of 10,000 people in the Miami area and I want to show you for graphic design and videographers how he breaks down appropriate cost. So James where can people find you?

James: They can find me on Instagram at visualmediachurch. And Jo where can people find you?

Joanna: Instagram is at JoannaLaFleur and then