Going rate UK/EU SFX/Final mix on animation.
Old 19th February 2013
  #1
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Going rate UK/EU SFX/Final mix on animation.

Need a little help, don't mind if you answer here or by dm.

May have some work making 4 minute animations. It is not my usual domain, but it has sort of fallen my way. I'd be building/editing sfx tracks, mixing dialogue and music...so end mix.

I was wondering if anyone could give me a ballpark per episode figure for this kind of work. It's difficult to know what to quote. I don't want to go so low that it damages the 'going rate', but I don't want to look like a joke either.

Any advice/knowledge/guidance - I'd be very grateful!

Cheers.
Old 20th February 2013
  #2
I'd start by figuring out how many days/hours I CAN do it in then add a couple days/hours for perfection and fixes from eventual feedback. If you know the productions budget is large and can pay daily rate + studio rent & etc then charge full rate for those days (maybe throw in a "Nice Price" for good measure).

If though The budget is tight (which it usually is) look at how many days you are willing/can afford to put in for free, from your personal time, then subtract those from your original plan and charge the remaining. If they then decline your offer but want to negotiate, do so but don't end up charging for 1 day when you will end up working 17 hours for 10 straight days.

I recently did a 2-part TV Documentary were the budget was blown before it reached sound design and all our past plans as to how it should sound couldnt be done with the price lowered that much. It was my first time working with that client but we all knew how good a story it was. And wanted all aspects of post to be as great as could be. So I charged what was offered by The blown budget and added almost twice as much time personally to finish it The way we wanted it!

Feedback after pre screen and original air were so positive and The humble client is giving me all his future productions.
I ended up making great friends that all want to work with me.

Though I won't recommend doing this for every project if you want to stay in business, but my point is if you have time for it you can and you will most likely establish great relations.

There is such things as over- and under pricing and some won't give you a second chance or "respect".

Hope this helps in some way!
Old 20th February 2013
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willeyh View Post
The humble client is giving me all his future productions.
)
Heard that one before.

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Old 20th February 2013
  #4
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Thanks for the help! I am looking for an actual figure. £ per episode for sfx/sd plus final mix. Or indeed, what's your daily/hourly rate?

Because I usually work on the composition/music mix side of things, I am almost completely in the dark.

Like I said dm me if you don't want to write it here. Cheers.
Old 20th February 2013
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by automatom View Post
Thanks for the help! I am looking for an actual figure. £ per episode for sfx/sd plus final mix. Or indeed, what's your daily/hourly rate?

Because I usually work on the composition/music mix side of things, I am almost completely in the dark.

Like I said dm me if you don't want to write it here. Cheers.
Ok. Well if I ask you, how much for you to compose and mix for a show, I think your first question would be, can I see a rough cut. You would need to know what type of show it is. What needs to be covered. And what the expectations are of the producer.

Is it gong to be wall to wall music. Or just minimal score here and there.

Same goes for what you are asking about.

I can mix a movie in 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months.
What is THEIR budget should be your question with stuff like this.
Old 20th February 2013
  #6
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Thanks, but that also gives me no idea of the 'going rate' for this kind of work. That's why anyone letting on what their daily rate is would be very helpful, then I can calculate the number of days/episode myself. (Are you saying that SD gets the same daily rate as composers? Cos I wasn't aware of that.)

I know exactly what the work is, how long each ep is etc. I just don't typically work in Sound design. I'm a composer who has gotten lucky cos I did a couple of small jobs in this area and it turns out I'm ok at it, so now music and SD is being thrown my way. (It seems like a obvious marriage of skills, especially in animation.)

Ballpark figures would be helpful, if anyone in the UK community knows....
Old 20th February 2013
  #7
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Going rate for this kind of stuff,is what they can afford.
Then you need to figure out if you can afford to do it for that.
You need to first talk to the producers of the show, to see what they out int heir budget for sound, when they came up with the total budget for the show.

Also, you will need to provide more information.
What kind of show is it.
Is it minimal Fx, or Fx heavy.
Are you going to have to record the voices.

It's back to the old "How long is a piece of string?"
Old 20th February 2013
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman View Post
Heard that one before.

Heh. Yeah. But it's proven to be true so far!

As for OPs question about daily rate in numbers you set that yourself.

But you still have to consider the amount of work and time spent.

Could be anywhere from £300 pr day and up. Not including studio rent.

The point is you decide, but the client usually have a budget for it. Which may be lower than the overall time you will end up working.
Old 20th February 2013
  #9
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There is no 'going rate', just like there is no going rate for composing music. Ask them what they have budgeted and then try to figure out and tell them what that means in how much work you can do, and what they can expect. If they have no clue then it will be a little harder to negotiate, because you have no clue and they have no clue, so there is no starting point
Old 20th February 2013
  #10
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Trust me, there is a 'going rate' for composing music for television here in the UK. It is ballpark, but it exists.
Old 20th February 2013
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman View Post

It's back to the old "How long is a piece of string?"
+1

The mix will be pretty straight forward, probably an hour or 2.

However the sfx edit / premix could be a day or 2.

I recently spent 1.5 to 2 days on 90 sec. TV AD/ vignette.
1 day sound edit and design, a couple hours mix, the rest was tweaks with the producers , editor then clients. (mix by committee)
Then a re edit for new pictures.

I've worked on 1hour TV shows that have taken only a day.



Sent from my GT-N7000
Old 20th February 2013
  #12
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It's 4 minute animations - 26 in all. Minimal f/x and foley. Don't need to record voices. Maybe some editing. Then final mix.
Old 20th February 2013
  #13
FWIW: my book rate is $1500/day - For that I'll work my ass of for up to 12 hour doing ALMOST anything you want. ...picture editorial, Visual effects, managing a production or project, sound design, Dialogue editorial, Sound Design, Mixing, making coffee and telling the Director how amazing he is....

The real question is "How much is the client prepared to spend..." - that's how much I charge, or I don't take the gig.


cheers
geo
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Old 20th February 2013
  #14
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Thanks Georgia, I appreciate that I need to know what they are prepared to spend, but when you are asked to put in a quote you have to have *some* idea. I want to be competitive, but I don't want to be taken for a ride or let the side down. The fact that I'm doing the music too means inevitably the quote will come in lower cos I'm already getting paid once and that will be their expectation, but I can't go *too* low.

It is for a major broadcaster, but it is animation, which has prohibitive overheads. Minefield.
Old 21st February 2013
  #15
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You already have a rate right? Charge them that
Old 22nd February 2013
  #16
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I tend to find that animation projects will have a bigger budget for you than say a factual documentary. Sound for animation often takes a lot longer for obvious reasons.

FWIW a big or decent size animation studio will give you as much as 5 days for SFX editorial and mix and 5 days to the composer for an 11 minute EP. You should already know what the going rate is in your area so that might help.

Of course having said that, we are doing a low budget series at the moment 10 x 5min eps at £500 and ep including VO rate which is not a lot but we wanted to work with the company and project and there is scope for a ton of more eps. Not bad for downtime work.

Best advice is to always give two or three quotes each with more work involved. This gives them the option as to what they are prepared to invest into the audio side of things.
Old 22nd February 2013
  #17
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I've just recently taken on 52x12min of animated episodes; Sound FX edit, music composition/recording, and final mix. Basically everything that makes a sound will come from me.

There wasn't really a negotiation - there was a dollar figure in the budget, they asked "can you do it for this?" and I said yes.

From a per-hour standpoint it's probably not all that great. On the other hand, I'll have a busy, creatively rewarding year and halve our mortgage.

I can handle that.
Old 22nd February 2013
  #18
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This is all very helpful. Yep, my life would definitely be easier if they were saying 'Can you do it for this?'

They're not. Just asking for a quote.

Bigmouth, if I asked you for a quote right now for a 5 minute episode Sound Design, what would you ordinarily charge?

Cheers!
Old 23rd February 2013
  #19
You can't really just ask a question like that and get a straight answer. Without us knowing the project and what it's about it's really hard to give a number for a certain amount of video. A sci-fi monster 4 minute video is going to be much more SFX intensive than someone biking through the country-side.
Old 23rd February 2013
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedantic Sound View Post
A sci-fi monster 4 minute video is going to be much more SFX intensive than someone biking through the country-side.
Hey, don't underestimate biking - it can be a real bitch to foley/sfx!
Old 23rd February 2013
  #21
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It's a kids cartoon, small amount of action, mostly ambients, footsteps, the odd , splash and dink. 5 minutes.

Direct answer?
Old 23rd February 2013
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by automatom View Post
It's a kids cartoon, small amount of action, mostly ambients, footsteps, the odd , splash and dink. 5 minutes.

Direct answer?
How long will it take you to cut and mix I?
I out do this in under 8 hours, at home. Sitting in my pj's.
If I can deliver a file, with no client at the mix, it will be cheaper than playing back on a dubstage.

So, if you can do it in 8 hours. Multiple your hourly rate times 8.
Old 23rd February 2013
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman View Post
How long will it take you to cut and mix I?
I out do this in under 8 hours, at home. Sitting in my pj's.
If I can deliver a file, with no client at the mix, it will be cheaper than playing back on a dubstage.

So, if you can do it in 8 hours. Multiple your hourly rate times 8.
And add in equipment / studio costs.
Old 23rd February 2013
  #24
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Originally Posted by brandoncross View Post
And add in equipment / studio costs.
Thas why I said I said it would be two different prices if its a client attended mix.
A client attended mix would easily double the price.
Old 23rd February 2013
  #25
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Another thought is that if it's a very formulaic show you'll possibly find subsequent episodes easier/faster to work on than the first couple. That's certainly been the case on the couple of seasons I worked on previously, and it's a big part of my self-justification for accepting the offer on this latest one.

Once your ambiance and spot FX "feel" has been decided on, there's likely to be a lot of re-use. If you've got any recurring sequences of animation you may be able to re-apply large swathes of SFX with a copy & paste. Stuff like walk-cycles will almost certainly be re-used time and time again in a modern animation workflow. Toward the end of my previous 26-ep run, I was laying FX for a 12 minute episode in around 3 hours.

I also try to re-render any commonly used FX sounds so that they were already very close to the required volume level with the faders at unity, so when you get to mix time everything's already pretty close to where it should be.

Of course the flip side to that is whether or not you should be rewarding the client for your own efficiency & hard work. They're already getting it faster...
Old 24th February 2013
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman View Post
Thas why I said I said it would be two different prices if its a client attended mix.
A client attended mix would easily double the price.
What if you are sending client files then they want revisions? Say u charge for a days work.. Do u include the odd revision in your fee? Or charge an hourly rate for the revisions ?
Old 24th February 2013
  #27
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Originally Posted by BIGBANGBUZZ View Post
What if you are sending client files then they want revisions? Say u charge for a days work.. Do u include the odd revision in your fee? Or charge an hourly rate for the revisions ?
One set of revisions. The rest is extra
Old 26th February 2013
  #28
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UK Tracklay rate sits between 35 and 50 pounds an hour. Most dialogue and fx editors range from 800-1200 per week based on 40 hours. Some charge more of course.
As a freelancer, it has become rare to be able to charge anything for gear, indeed it has become expected or is supplied by the facility that you go to.
If you get 400 ( 50 per hour) you are doing pretty well for this kind of job.
Conversely if they wanted to go into a facility, a mid range one outside of London would be approx £150 per hour

If it was me, I'd quote 12 hours ( 8 for the tracklay and design, 4 for mix and revisions) and try to get 60 an hour but be happy with 50. (60 on the basis of mixing as well as tracklay)
Old 26th February 2013
  #29
Old 26th February 2013
  #30
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Brilliant! A no quibbles answer! Cheers nzl62 you da man! (or woman)
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