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Depends on the job, and I would advise anyone to think beyond getting a day rate. The thing about day rates is they aren’t scalable.  They are based on time, and with only so many days you can wo

In 2019: -$23,456.12 Hooray!  Self funding your own movies is fun.

The videography industry is like any other line of work.  You can work for someone else for an average / low salary, or work for yourself. If you work for yourself and you want to make money, you

1 hour ago, zerocool22 said:

Hello,

Just wondering how much you guys are earning as freelance videographers per month. Before and after taxes (which can be massively different depending where you are located)

Before tax:
After taxes: 
Location:
Type of jobs that you do: (Corporate/weddings/commercials/event/...)

Cheers

Err, you first.

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25 minutes ago, Gregormannschaft said:

Err, you first.

I'm not a professional videographer. But looking into if its worth switching careers over. I know I will probably earn less, which is not the most important, but I do need to be able to support my family with it(which is the most important).  

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I'm an amateur, so I make $0 before tax, and my P&L shows huge net losses every year...  

Having said that, I've watched a bunch of YT videos from people who are actually professional film-makers (weddings, music videos, corporates, etc) and I've found there are a few common threads:

  • You get paid almost nothing at the start
  • You will get paid for work one or two 'levels' below what you're actually delivering
  • How much you get paid is limited by your ability to sell, and your confidence in yourself
  • The sky is the limit, just like in professional stills photography where you have weekend warriors who don't cover equipment or fuel costs and you also have famous photogs who are rolling in it
  • If you work hard and do the right things to grow fast, then you can make a comfortable living (ie, more than an average office job) in only a few years

It's worth watching a bunch of YT videos on it and there's surprising amounts of info out there.  People won't tell you how much, but they do discuss how much jobs earn and likely costs, or some talk about how their income breaks down in percentage terms, etc.

Good luck!  and get ready to work your ass off.

 

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I've been doing this for a decade and 2017 was the first year that I cracked low six figures, before taxes. I shoot, edit, and color behind the scenes and EPK for the major studios. What I make after taxes is between me and my accountant. I live in Los Angeles so living expenses are astronomical. My advice: take care of your body. I tore my rotator cuff six months ago and lugging cases from job to job has been hell on earth. Still haven't fully healed.

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Any chance you could ease your way into the industry ?  Do weekend video work perhaps, build a portfolio that sort of thing. I imagine changing careers, cold turkey would be quite stressful for everyone involved, especially so if there is less money coming in.

Not sure anyone is going to give you a completely honest answer. Who wants some new kid on the block digging away at their turf ?  its a bit like the youtube question on, how much money people make. Nobody is going to say its a walk in the park and their living the life of riley. Cause then everyone would would jump on the band wagon.

If you have been doing some video work on weekends and getting paid for it and you can almost make ends meet,  i'd say go for it. Otherwise you might be better off chipping away at it for a bit longer. Thats my 2 cents worth.

 

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My advice: try to get repeat clients to go on contract for a monthly retainer. My freelance work was up and down and very unreliable for years, but once I got my first client on a retainer, things have gone much more smoothly for me, the consistent monthly paychecks have been awesome while still being able to enjoy the flexibility of freelance. 

One tip for negotiating these kinds of deals with clients is to look through job listings for full-time video work in your area, contacting the companies in question and pitching a freelance retainer solution instead, which they might be happy to do since it will save them a lot of money in the long-run, so it's a win-win. 

Best of luck! It's a lot more fun doing what you love. 

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The only money I make is from a part-time job and I am a part-time student as well. Filmmaking when you are starting out does not pay well, because well the competition is these professional music videos for pop singers and these Hollywood movies despite how negative that sounds. We are like the indie bands at a rock concert where the majority of the audience wants to see the main bands.

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10 hours ago, Zak Forsman said:

I've been doing this for a decade and 2017 was the first year that I cracked low six figures, before taxes. I shoot, edit, and color behind the scenes and EPK for the major studios. What I make after taxes is between me and my accountant. I live in Los Angeles so living expenses are astronomical. My advice: take care of your body. I tore my rotator cuff six months ago and lugging cases from job to job has been hell on earth. Still haven't fully healed.

Yeah health is nr 1, hope you recover fully soon.

Yeah that are some depressing numbers man. I feel like anything below a 6 numbers pay per year is on the edge of beeing worth it. (As you have to calculate pension/sickdays/insurance/periods with low income/less jobs...) i dont think I can stretch it for 7 years below that number though. 

Finding enough jobs to fill each weekday is one my main concerns though.

People working for less then minimum wage are kinda screwing over everybody in the industry. 

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1 hour ago, zerocool22 said:

Yeah health is nr 1, hope you recover fully soon.

Yeah that are some depressing numbers man. I feel like anything below a 6 numbers pay per year is on the edge of beeing worth it. (As you have to calculate pension/sickdays/insurance/periods with low income/less jobs...) i dont think I can stretch it for 7 years below that number though. 

Finding enough jobs to fill each weekday is one my main concerns though.

People working for less then minimum wage are kinda screwing over everybody in the industry. 

Also it does not make sense when a housepainter makes more money then a videographer that owns more then 100* times costs in gear. Allthough I am not a fan of capitalism and find the world of today very mis -divided, as I am more a fan of rewarding people to what they can do their extent. As atm if you are born less fortunate (handicapped, lower IQ, ugly or just even in the wrong country)  you are discriminated. 

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6 hours ago, zerocool22 said:

As atm if you are born less fortunate (handicapped, lower IQ, ugly or just even in the wrong country)  you are discriminated. 

This has always been the case.  No time in history has those born handicapped, lower IQ, ugly or just even in the wrong country NEVER been discriminated against for any real length of time.  From the promise of "equality" for all during the Russian revolution which lead to millions of average Russians to mass graves to Venezuela's "government knows best and destroy the capitalist" -- those that are stupid, ugly, handicapped have borne the brunt of the food shortages, murders, rapes, etc.  Those that are smarter, more cunning, ruthless, takes advantage of the less fortunate.

 

HOWEVER, as the world moves away from the mentality that a central government (dictators, rule by fiat, socialism, etc) should rule; the average citizens quality of life has gotten better.  Nobody starves anymore.  In western culture, for most average people, instead of being forced to go to war or have your home taken away, one of the biggest issue of the less fortunate is not famine, disease or mass murder through unpractical policy; but eating too much.  There is an obesity problem for the less fortunate now.  And well, that's usually an issue with self control.  One of the benefits of the policies enacted in Venezuela is the obesity rate has gone down.

 

I'm not quite sure what the point of my post is... but I have to get lunch now, soooo... whatever...

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9 hours ago, zerocool22 said:

People working for less then minimum wage are kinda screwing over everybody in the industry. 

Supply and demand.  Also, the devaluation of the service/product.

1 hour ago, eleison said:

as the world moves away from the mentality that a central government (dictators, rule by fiat, socialism, etc) should rule

Which direction you looking?

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Are most of the users on here hobbyists? (not that hobbyists can't create great video's/images but they probably have less experience with the moneymaking part of filmmaking)
But I think this should be a more open topic where we all just can benefit from, if most of us work for a certain minimum rate, it would help the overal industry prices to maintain or increase.  

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Used to be just for the pure enjoyment. Now, this year I'll look to see if doing it commercially on the side is viable (like, right now my work has got me scheduled off for a month (paid tho), so I might as well do something productive in that time). I hate the idea of having to shoot weddings, so, Imma focus on real estate as the bread and butter job. Perhaps can do some other more corporate style gigs, maybe in-house videos for companies, advertising, product shoots. At some point it would be cool to get into the fashion/music scene for more creative stuff. Maybe shorts. Still a bit clueless how to approach the whole doing it commercially thing and what to charge indeed. Probably more of an experiment at first. I'm not really too keen on doing things the way other people want me to and falling into the trap of merely being a puppet. Also, I love lighting/shooting but I rather dislike editing. But maybe there will be some cool collaborative efforts that actually do turn out to be great fun.

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