How To Choose The Right Pricing Strategy

This happened to me regularly till not long ago. Imagine the following scenario:
A client hires me for shooting. Everything is agreed on and I’d get a phone call two days before the shoot and the client would ask: Can we have a break in between the shooting because the second interviewee isn’t ready till two hours after the first one is finished. We’ll pay you for your time but we don’t want to pay for the break in between.
Man, I hate those situations. What should you do? Do you just give in, lose money, and set yourself up for this kind of headache in the future? Or do you fight for your rights and put your relationship with the client into danger? What a catch 22. What can you do in order to prevent those situations that can cost you lots of money, or possibly a client?


Everything we do, like which agreements we set up with our clients, what we say, and what we agree to, defines the future of that specific relationship. And once you set it up in a way that is to your disadvantage, it’s difficult to course-correct this after the fact. Now, in this scenario, the client wants to change the shooting day and is demanding you drop the price or have parts of your day go unpaid because he feels that you are not rendering service during that downtime. Here’s how to respond, so that you set up your relationship in a mutually beneficial way. There’s nothing worse then begrudging a client.

What has been your experience and how did you rectify it? I would love to hear. Please share with our community in the comments section.


  • You are hilarious Schmuley. It is definitely about setting the standard/policies from the beginning. Great info. Thank you.

  • Brian

    I’m nearly ready to make the jump from producing free videos to starting a wedding and SIV business, and I really appreciate your videos. They force me to think in ways that are not always comfortable. I would love to hear how how you determine the price of a project in the first place. I see companies with packages online but I don’t have clue how the prices were derived. Honestly I’m the kind of person who is more likely to low ball the price because I don’t want to feel guilty about overcharging. I can see that is a recipe for failure that I need to learn to avoid.

  • Ra’anan

    I remember shooting a job in an upscale theater w/my partner. He was TOUGH! He told the client that after 4 hrs we’d be charging him time and a half. Anyway, after 4 hours go by, the client is VERY pressured the production, but my partner doesn’t care. He walks over & tells him “I need your authorization to continue because we’ve passed our agreed upon 4 hours & now we’ll be charging you time and a half. I was CRINGING, but from the distance I saw the client was totally cool w/it.

  • Ra’anan

    Is it my imagination or does your wife look like a younger Ted Nugent???

  • entrefilmmaker

    Brian, short answer: What are you comfortable to charge right now? Now multiple this by 2. Why? Because whoever asks the question what he should charge is undercharging. If you double that thats the right rate you should charge. Try it out with 3 of your next projects and see if it works 🙂
    If not go back and charge less. Its all about trial and error.

  • Love these videos. That was like 7 tips in one video. Very valuable!
    Listen to Shmuley guys!

  • Johannes

    Why do you think the approach is different for editors? I didn’t really get your point.

  • entrefilmmaker


    it doesn’t need to be different with editors. I think the point I’m trying to make is that as an editor you are able to charge an hourly rate and you can handle multiple projects in a day. As someone working on location it’s much harder to have lets say part day jobs that fill out your day. Does this makes sense?

    • Johannes

      Ok, now I understand where this idea came from. Thanks for the answer. That makes sense if you are working at your own office. Not if you are working out in a production company. Unless they don’t have other projects for you.

  • jarrod

    Great video! Thanks! What if the client says: ” I have something I need
    filmed from 7:30pm-9:30pm”. How would one justify giving the client the “whole
    day” by charging the full rate, when it clearly isnt..? In this case do you recommend charging
    an hourly vs a half day?

  • AndreiiCGIFlythrough