View Full Version : Charge for documenting/video process?

Stewart Vernon
06-15-2016, 07:44 PM
So... here's a thing I've never been asked before.

I was recently asked what I would charge to video/record me drawing something and supply either the raw or edited footage. I'm not sure I have an answer for that question.

I can give a general idea what I'd charge for a particular kind of commission, and if provided more details for a specific thing I could give a more accurate quote if I felt it was more (or less) complicated than my usual fee schedule would consider.

Anyone else been asked this? And if so... would you do it? And would you charge differently for doing it?

Assumptions built-in here are... I would be doing a paid commission, so the person would be requesting and paying me for whatever thing I'd be drawing... so that would take care of itself. The different component would be that I would need to record myself creating the commission start-to-finish. There are no "trade secrets" that I need to guard, but it might take more time to do such a commission this way as I'd need to monitor and review the video periodically.

Thoughts? Additional questions?

I'm at a loss as to how to reply on this one. It's a completely new question to me.

06-15-2016, 10:45 PM
Since I am a writer, and not an artist, I may not have a perfect answer, but I think you should estimate how much extra time this will take, and charge accordingly. In other words, if recording yourself creating the commission would double the time it takes you to do the commission (i.e. setting up a camera, setting up any special lighting, etc) , then charge double. If you think it would only add 20% to the amount of time it would normally take then add 20%, and so forth. Sometime artists place a great deal of value on the art they create (as well they should) but forget that their TIME is also valuable. Don't give it away for free.

If I were you, I'd also be curious to know how the footage is to be used. If this person is creating a documentary (for example) on how comics are made, and he plans to use your footage as part of this documentary, and he stands to profit from it, then you need to know so that you can charge accordingly, and negotiate proper credit.

Sounds interesting. Keep us posted.

Stewart Vernon
06-15-2016, 11:37 PM
Thanks... and yeah, I've been passing questions back and forth with the guy too... including asking what he plans to do with it, if he is going to want to sell it or combine it with some other thing.

Depending on what he wants... it might not require a camera setup actually or any lighting issues. It sounds like he wants a digital commission, and if he doesn't specifically need/want to see me, but just wants to see the art being made, I can do that with one of those programs that lets you capture what's going on the computer screen. I had a job once where I made those for software training, and that is something generally pretty easy to do.

I'll definitely follow up here if I end up pricing and doing the work. In the meantime, if anyone else has ever been asked to do anything remotely similar, please chime in.

06-16-2016, 05:44 PM
what are they using it for?

Renae De Liz
06-16-2016, 06:03 PM
I would charge for it, purely because I get antsy while being watched drawing, even with a camera, so sometimes I may even need to start over, causing more time input. Are you digital or traditional? Traditional has more time involved. There's the time to set up camera, working around the camera, upload, etc.

As to how much to charge I am not sure, it depends on the amount of time it takes for you. Just be sure whatever it is feels fair to you. In example if you get paid $400 for something that normally takes 8 hours, that's $50 an hour. If the camera adds another two hours to that, then charge $100.

Stewart Vernon
06-17-2016, 01:59 AM
Thanks, Renae... you hit on several things that I asked in the back and forth discussions.

I am better digitally than traditionally, especially when it comes to being watched while drawing... but I could work either way. I specifically asked in this case, because while the drawing might not matter, the camera equipment and lighting and all that comes with that would be more costly and time consuming for me.

Fortunately... he's fine with a digital illustration and he doesn't need to actually see me... so I can just use a screen/video capture program like I'm making a tutorial on the computer. It will mean a little more effort on my part but shouldn't be a lot of additional overhead like traditional drawing and me + camera would be!

Now the odd part... Turns out, what he wants to do is... basically have a video that shows a start-to-finish creation of an illustration BUT have voice-over narration that has nothing to do with the video. Specifically, his example was he might have me drawing Batman while the narration is a game-play voiceover describing the NBA finals game.

It's weird, and different, and I'm not 100% sure what the appeal is... and it sounds like he would like to do it all himself but he doesn't draw well enough... so he started thinking "what if" he could hire someone to draw and make the video and then he adds his custom narration later. He's not going to sell it, just put it up on Youtube.

Knowing all that I know now... I'll have to price whatever he wants me to draw (assuming this ever actually happens) and then figure out a fair premium to tack onto for creating the video portion for him. I also need to make sure I approve of whatever narration he plans to use. I wouldn't want to see me credited for illustrating and find that video being used as (random example) nazi propaganda or something!

This might not even happen... but it's been an interesting back and forth trying to figure out what he wants. We actually haven't even discussed what he might want me to draw at this point...it's almost like that's an afterthought... he just wants me to draw something that looks good.

06-17-2016, 12:59 PM
I'm not sure I understand the video he wants to make. If I happened upon a Youtube video of a drawing of Batman (for example) being created but the narration was about something else, I would be utterly confused.

But, odd stuff goes up on YouTube all the time. Does he post other videos to Youtube? If so, you might want to check out his channel and see what else he posts.

And, the issue of credit is still very important. YouTube is a form of publication/distribution. If anyone sees this video on YouTube, you want to be sure that it is clear that YOU made the art, and more importantly, how they can contact you. Full credit and a link to your website is not an unreasonable request.

Stewart Vernon
06-17-2016, 03:50 PM
Agreed... in addition to wanting to know how/what narration would be used so I could be sure I wasn't associated with something that could come back and bite me... I would also want to be credited. If I was doing the narration, the credit would take care of itself... but since I wouldn't be, I'd want to make sure that info was in an approved script before signing onto the project.

I agree it's an odd thing... but yeah, I've seen odd things on Youtube, so this probably isn't the oddest... just something new to me. I definitely need to see what else he has done to see if that helps me get a sense of where this might be headed.