• Tech Staff

    Hello All,

    So I'm sure some of you have encountered this before, but I've been approached by people who don't necessarily want/need to bring me fully onboard for projects, but would like consult with me and, talk through what they are trying to accomplish, have me design hardware and software solutions for them to utilize. Often, I've done this sort of thing for free if the project is interesting for me and I can give them a quick answer, but I've also often gotten further into it and spent more time on it that I likely should have without being paid.

    Examples of things I've done for free that I probably shouldn't have:

    Free Theoretical Design for Low-Budget, Simple, 24/7 Live Stream

    Low-Budget Wired and Wireless Live Feed Solutions and Analysis

    Now that I'm finally planning on starting to charge for consulting on projects, (don't worry, I'll keep posting solutions on the forum for free 😄), I need to get an idea for a fair amount to charge for this service. That being said, does anyone here have a ballpark figure they'd be comfortable sharing in terms of what they charge for consulting on a project/designing but not personally implementing systems for other people?

    Best wishes,

    Woland (Lucas Wilson-Spiro)

  • Beta Platinum

    Hi Lucas,

    That is an interesting question, and I imagine will have a good range of responses, based on the broad and specific international contexts represented in his forum.

    I have benchmark rates set by organizations that represent the industry. These rate schedules are a guide that I use to indicate a ‘standard’ for estimating and quoting for a particular project. The terms used for presenting a cost structure to a client depends, exclusively on the economic status and relationship of the client i.e. are they corporate, commercial, government, community, non profit, education or an Independent producer.

    So the estimate will always represent the full commercial/professional rate, but then include a discount for the kind of client I am working with.

    This approach does a couple of things. It shows the client the ‘real’ professional value of what is being proposed, it  develops good will with a client who can appreciate the discount and the potential for repeat engagement, it allows a level of sponsorship or philanthropy that can be leveraged either as brand promotion associated with the project or, if you donate cash back to a non profit, an income tax incentive.

    In short, I would advocate that whoever you are preparing costings for, that you always reflect the professional value of what you will offer and then apply a generous discount appropriately.

    Two examples of organizations in Australia are:

    Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance



    National Association of Visual Arts


    I am sure there will be similar industry groups where you are?

    Best wishes


  • Tech Staff

    @bonemap said:

    I am sure there will be similar industry groups where you are

    If they exist and if they're any good for anyone, I'm sure Trump is in the process of dismantling them. 

    But seriously, thanks for the information. I've worked on productions and projects a-plently directly, but now that I'm in New York I'm being approached about consulting, which is new to me. I'll look up similar organizations here.

    Best wishes,


  • Beta Platinum

    @woland said:

    in the process of dismantling them

     I can say that a process of disempowerment has been happening in Australia as well. Many creative arts based organisations are struggling or have wound-down due to Government funding cuts or redirection. Pay rates have been stagnant for many industries for a decade or more, while living costs continue to rise e.t.c, e.t.c.

    On top of that the voice of the artist is being suppressed by changes to the concept of aesthetic defense (artistic license) in litigation cases. 

    Best Wishes,


  • do not work for Italians theatres, unless if is a big one. Just for your knowlege recentrly I've set a show where a kinect connected to one mac in scene send video feeds to another mac placed in control booth through NDI into qlab, an usb endoscope and some other tricks. More or less is a setup like you described....well the price for this is less than 400€ (two days of work). As bonemap says different place has different steet price. Here in Italy one day for a techitian is payed around 150 € per day...and you are luky if they also pay for your meal. 

  • I'm not a super-Isadora expert, but have done just this kind of consulting. I charge (the low) rate of $25US an hour for fellow artists' advice and consultation. I have not had commercial requests...