Last Friday, one of our clients suddenly realized that Valentine’s Day was just around the corner (i.e. the following Wednesday). So they sent us a request asking for a couple of romantic pictures featuring their product, and a video to promote on Instagram.
Client: Hey, is it possible for you to create those assets right away? If so, please send me a cost estimate first.
Me: Sure, we cannot tell you exactly how long this will take, but we’d say 6-8 hours, max. But of course, we will only charge you the actual time it took.
The “6-8 hour” estimate was based on two staff, a photographer and a motion designer, each putting in 3-4 hours.
Client: 8 hours? That’s too much. Can’t you do it less? Otherwise, we will have to do this job in house.
In their case, “in house” means “taking pictures on their cellphones”. I have no idea how they’d make a video as well.
Client: Moreover, I already sent you the concept, so all you have to do is execute my ideas.
The “concept” was a very rough description of three pics. Oh, and they mentioned that they would “need a video, too”. Other than that… nothing.
Me: …Okay, we can do 4 hours. But you should know that the assets could turn out to look pretty rushed if our primary objective is to keep it short and simple…
Client: 4 hours it is. Perfect. In order to save time, you can also send me pictures of your photography setup before you start shooting. That way we can avoid having too many feedback loops afterwards J
So we did our best, photographer and motion graphics worked parallel, and we sent them a pretty nice result 3 hours later – about 2x 2.5 hours of actual work, but we would only charge 4 hours as promised.
Client: Hmmm… I’m not totally sold on this. Can you make another video? There must be some time left from those 4 hours we bought, right?
Are you serious?