Where 2 look 4 storyboard creation rates?


Subject: How much to charge - create a 30-sec storyboard

I have helped paying clients create a 30-sec commercial, a 2-minute infomercial, and a 17-min training video.

I have great video production, and post production editing skills.
Only now, much later do I realize, that Pre-Production, takes up more or at least equal time to accomplish production, or post-production.

And I did not charge for it.

How much should I charge to create a 30-sec, 2-min, 17-min storyboard?

Do you charge by time - per second.

Or do you charge by number of panels or shots?

What is a fair Hourly rate?

In the case of the 17-min video, the client wrote the VO. However they wrote for radio, not for video. There were many VO sections that were too complex, and we did not have video to match the spoken voice over.

In the case of the 2-min video, the client wrote the voice over, and a friend
did the Voice over.

I laid the VO track down first, then found video clips to match.
Fortunately I got the script 24 hours before the video capture date.

In the case of the 30-sec, I collected key words and phrases from client.
Then ordered then in a way I thought was needed. Gave outline & storyboard to client.

The client then massaged and had an in-house guy do the voice over.

I did the pre-production work to get the video production and post production work.

Now I understand I need to charge for that.

Were else can I look for storyboard creation rates?


This is a “loaded” question and there probably aren’t any good answers because it is so dependent on so many variables that are so specific to you and your client’s situations. You might charge one rate for a standalone project, while charging a very different rate for this type of work as part of a multi-job project. And then there is the factor of is this a one time client or a long term client.

When we estimate costs for work we try to break the work up into as small of a series of tasks as our experience dictates and then estimate the time and resources needed to complete each task. Then we add in an “experience” factor based on the client and the situation which helps us to adjust for degrees of unexpected or expected difficulties based on the individual project. This then gives us a reasonable handle on what it will cost us to do the work.

Then based on the particulars of the project we “mark up” our cost accordingly. But the trick is to make sure your costs are covered in your estimate before you address the “mark up” otherwise you may find your self “donating the work”.

As to “mark up” percentages, they range from 20% to 150% depending on the client and the project. The better the opportunity and the lower the “grief” factor for working with the client the lower the “mark up” percentage. So it usually lands some place in the middle of the range.

As to your actual cost for doing the work, that you estimate, that depends on your situation and resources etc. Just remember that the more creative the project the more time it will take and the less creative the project the less it is worth to the client and the easier it is for them to find another contractor. -JK