Post Production included in Hourly Rates?

Marcos Duran

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I've got a couple of questions on this post but to start, if the topic doesn't seem to make much sense the question is: When taking on a job, is post production time included in the hourly rate? 

2) How long does post production usually take for every 10 minutes of video?

3) Do most people charge a minimum of one hour of work, even for projects that may only take 30 minutes to record?

4) Do people begin the "work time" once they leave the house/office? Or once they arrive on the "job site"?

5) Is prep time (Calling ATC for clearance, reading current notams, submitting waivers, etc.) included in "work time"?

6) Best practice for logging minutes/hours worked on the project? How do you prove time spent it if a client asks?


Thanks in advance for any info!

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@Marcos Duran  from your line of questioning it appears that you have never done video production.  There are a lot of online tutorial sites that can help you learn how to produce, shoot, post produce, deliver and how to run a business.  I’d recommend that you check out

Theres an aerial video coarse here at UAV Coach but I think you’ll get more out of it if you have experience with basic video production.  Everyone has to start somewhere, however, while it might be tempting to have a customer pay for your education by hiring you, in general that’s a bad idea.  

Also, depending where you live, it’s important that your business is compliant with local laws, not drone related rules but insurance, general liability, workers comp, OSHA, etc..  Too many people think if they have a drone with a camera your in business, then if there’s an accident you can just apologize and walk away, “no harm, no foul”  kind of thing.  Again depending on where your operating, you can be held responsible and even in what appears to be a minor incident, if your business is not compliant you can lose everything you own.  

So you might want to give some serious thought to how much you think that 10 minutes of video really costs.  I’m not trying to discourage anyone from starting a UAV related business, they aren’t any harder to start than any other business.  But I am trying to get anyone in a similar situation to really stop and give some serious thought to what the true risks are in starting any business.  If you at least understand them you can make informed decisions on how much risk you want to take.    


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I'm not looking to start a drone specific business. My goal is as a REALTOR to create video content for my listings and if other REALTORS want me to record their listings, know what a good process is to charge them for the work. I appreciate you "keeping it real".

Edited by Marcos Duran
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Sorry, I replied to this thread before reading your other thread that explained what you want to do.  

again, the UAV simply adds another perspective that might help communicate something about a property that you feel will interest potential buyers. If your a realtor then you know the challenges associated with getting realtors to pay a fair price for anything.  

Some realtors in your office or area might welcome another realtor producing content for them to market their listings.  However, many are often skeptical because with every listing you promote that’s more experience you have to compete with them to get listing in the first place.  

It also depend on the market your in.  There are a lot of realtors who believe taking property photos with a cell phone is good enough.  Adding a drone to that mix is kind of pointless.  But if your already shooting the stills and video then adding a drone to the mix isn’t that difficult. 

As far as keeping it real, that’s often the difference between making money and losing it.  

Depending how long you’ve been a realtor and producing your own media you might remember when the Canon 5DII came out, just because it could shoot HD a lot of stills photographers thought they could offer video as an adjunct to their stills.  Most of them went out of business, just because the 5DII could do both it was two different businesses and their lack of experience in delivering video proved to be cost prohibitive. 


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Marcos...I own a small video production company with my husband. We incorporate drone cinematography into our film projects and would like to respond to a couple of your original questions regarding pricing, for whatever it's worth. When we quote a price on a project, it includes pre and post production work, our time/travel expenses and we always let our client know that we carry liability insurance, which is built into our rate. We spend a lot of time educating our clients about why it's in their best interest to hire a certified Part 107 drone pilot and why having liability insurance matters. With this said, I have to agree with Av8Chuck that real estate photography/videography is a tough nut to crack due to price undercutting by other drone operators. Realtors don't like to pay a "fair price" and don't necessarily see the value in drone imagery. Therefore, in order to survive as a commercial pilot, you end up taking more jobs for less money or look for other revenue streams in other areas. 

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