Video Commissions

After receiving a message about the possibility of filming a specially requested video, I decided that I should come up with some guidelines to use if a customer approached me with a desire to have a video commissioned. I’ve given it a great deal of consideration, and these are the general rules that I’ll use to determine the cost of any commissioned piece.

First of all, any such video will be a “one-shot” film. It won’t be a part of the timeline of my Birchwood Academy series or any other ongoing series featured in my store. These storylines are my personal creative product, and I reserve all rights to script these products as I see fit. Therefore, any commissioned video must be a separate entity, and may only connect to the timeline of other videos commissioned by the same person. In this sense, it’s completely possible for a customer to commission an entire series, though such a situation would be unlikely.

When you contact me to request a commissioned piece, please be as detailed as possible as to what you’re looking for. This includes what sort of model you’re looking for, what the location should be like, any requirements for wardrobe or script, and your expected budget for the piece. If there’s anything SPECIFIC that you want for the video (for instance, if you have a model in mind, already, rather than simply telling me an idea of what the model should be like), then this information would also be helpful. The more that you can tell me at the start about what video you want, the better I’ll be able to track down and film what you’re looking for.

The base cost to produce any such commissioned video is $100. This equates to my portion of the revenue from the video. However, if the customer is willing to allow me to retain production rights to the video, and sell it on my store, then the base cost will be only $10. Depending on the length of the video, that could really be a good deal.

The customer is responsible for paying any and all model fees involved with producing the video. Models may charge by the scene or by the hour, and the costs involved with vary accordingly. For models that charge by the scene, the customer will be charged for the number of scenes required to film the video. For models that charge by the hour, the customer will be charged according to the time required to film the video, rounded up to the nearest hour. If a model has a minimum scene/hour requirement, and the commissioned video falls beneath this requirement, then the total cost of the video will be based on this minimum, regardless of actual video length. If a model has to travel to the shoot, then any travel costs will also be figured into the model fees.

For models that I can easily obtain and shoot with, model fees may be negligible or nonexistent. For instance, if the customer chooses Cookie as the model for his video, then there is no model fee, as I can readily shoot with her at no charge to myself. Other “house models” that I shoot with on a regular basis and that are local to me would have a small charge, at most. Only when acquiring a model requires significant cost on my part will those costs be passed to the customer.

If the scene requires any special considerations, then any costs along those lines will be passed along to the customer. These could include, but are not limited to, location rental, wardrobe purchase, or compensation for additional hands on the set (cameraman, makeup artist, etc).

As you might imagine, costs could be very high if the customer has a very specific list of requirements for the video. Making such a video out of my own pocket would be a financial risk that could be catastrophic should a potential customer decide to skip out on payment after a video is completed. For this reason, once costs are projected for a video, the customer will be asked to provide payment in advance so that production costs may be paid as they are acquired. Filming on a commissioned piece will not begin until payment has been received.