Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Lifestyle content of a patient using a medical device and interacting with their caregiver

Licensing: Trade Advertising and Collateral use of up to 6 images for 2 years from first use.

Photographer: Lifestyle and portraiture specialist

Agency: Medium in size, based in the Northeast

Client: Pharmaceutical company

Here is the estimate:

Pricing and Negotiating first estimate for a Pharmaceutical company production

Creative/Licensing Fees: The agency was in need of images showing a medical product being used, along with images of a patient interacting with their caregiver and family within multiple scenarios taking place in and around a house, as well as a few outdoor scenarios as well. The exact shots were a bit TBD at the time of estimating, but we did know they wanted to end up with six final images, and they’d be used for trade advertising and collateral purposes for two years. Based on recent similar productions and a knowledge of previously palatable fees/expenses for this client, we landed on a creative/licensing fee of $7,500. It broke down to $1,250/image, which we felt was reasonable for the intended use and the given variables.

Crew: We included adequate prep, scout, shoot and wrap days for a producer to help coordinate the production, and included two assistants, one of which would also attend the scout day. Additionally we included a digital tech on the shoot day and a PA to help with prep/shoot/wrap as well.

Styling: We would only be capturing one main hero talent, and three others, and we were confident that one hair/makeup stylist could handle that without an assistant. In an effort to reduce people on set, we combined the roles of wardrobe stylist and prop stylist, and included adequate shopping time in addition to the shoot and time to return the items procured, while providing them with two assistants to lend a hand. We included $500 per talent for wardrobe, and $2,250 for props, however we marked that as TBD since the shot list was still under development and the final scenarios would dictate the exact prop needs/costs. We also included $500 for stylist kit fees, shipping and misc. expenses.

Health and Safety: I’ve started to break out all things related specifically to COVID protocols and prevention into a new category when estimating projects, and here I added 2 days for our CCO, as she’d join us on the tech/scout and the shoot day, and $300 to cover PPE and supplies. I’ve found that $300-$500 is an appropriate amount for PPE and cleaning supplies for a shoot this size.

Casting and Talent: We had to find one main adult hero talent to portray a patient, a secondary adult talent to portray their caregiver, and two children to portray grandchildren. The casting agent we worked with would hold virtual casting sessions remotely, rather than have talent attend an in-person casting session, and I knew this price would cover their time for at least 2 days work of casting to help find the talent we needed. I included $1,800/day, which was appropriate for this particular market based on the usage.

Locations: Since the shot list was still a work in progress, it was a bit of a challenge to estimate location scouting and location fees, but I felt confident that we had enough time/money built in to handle the anticipated request of finding a residential property and a couple nearby outdoor locations. We also included $1,000 for location cleaning to address the anticipated concerns from the homeowners regarding COVID.

Vehicles: In order to try and keep the bottom line down, I marked a production RV as TBD, as there was a chance we could use the house and the exterior locations as a staging area, rather than an RV. I also added modest funds for van rentals to help with equipment and supplies.

Equipment: I included $1,000 for the photographer’s gear, $750 for the digital tech’s workstation, and $500 for production supplies such as tables, chairs, tents, heaters, etc.

Meals: I included $75 per person for breakfast and lunch

Misc.: To address potential mileage, additional meals and miscellaneous expenses that might arise, I added $500. I also included $300 for insurance.

Post Production: I included $500 for the photographer’s time to go through the images and make initial edits and provide a gallery of content to the client, and then $200/image for 6 images to handle the retouching.

Feedback: The numbers were well received, however we were informed that they wanted to add a video component to the project. They weren’t sure exactly what would need to be captured, but they asked for a quote and told us they had an extra $15k budgeted for it.

Here is the quote we provided:

Pricing and Negotiating first estimate for a Pharmaceutical company production

Crew: We got a quote from a local team and consolidated their numbers into this bid. We anticipated bringing on a DP, along with one or two assistants.

Casting and Talent: We increased the talent fees by an extra $500+20% to account for the video usage.

Vehicles: Now that we had extra crew with the video team and a padded budget, I took the opportunity to add the production RV into the estimate as I felt it would be necessary.

Equipment: This covered the minimal gear rented from the videographer.

Meals: We added a small amount to include extra meals for the additional crew.

Misc.: I added $800 to cover miscellaneous expenses that might arise.

Overtime: Now that we planned to shoot video, I felt that the time necessary to do so would cause us to go past a 10-hour shoot day, so I included an extra hour for everyone involved with the production, billed at time and a half.

Results: The photographer was awarded the job.


If you have any questions, or if you need help estimating or producing a project, please give us a call at 610.260.0200 or reach out. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs—from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.

Recommended Posts

1 Comment

  1. These estimate examples have been a lifesaver. I really appreciate you all posting these.

Comments are closed for this article!