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Is there a "typical" length for explainer videos?
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Mike Harrison
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:04 pm    Post subject: Is there a "typical" length for explainer videos? Reply with quote

Your thoughts, please, on what you believe the typical length of an explainer video to be... and at what length are they no longer "explainers" but regular ol' corporate/industrial videos?

Trying to be accommodating with rates for this shorter genre is frustrating. For example, the GVAA Rate Guide defines Explainer videos as 90 seconds, with a starting VO rate of $300. The explainer companies I've communicated with are looking for something closer to $175 for two minutes.
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Lee Gordon
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Put into NJ terms, I believe the difference between an explainer video and a regular narration is the same as the difference between pork roll and Taylor ham. In other words, in my opinion, the difference exists solely in what people call them, and I price them accordingly (i.e. the same).
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Bish
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple of points:

1) Not all things have the same level of complexity or need to be explained to the same depth... therefore, an "explainer video" is, by its very nature, a beast of variable length. In my experience, they can range from under one to well over four minutes. Trying to shoehorn them into a defined length is like asking a narrator, "How long is an audiobook?" - well, usually around eight to twelve hours, but it can be four... or forty.

2) The GVAA rate guide, although reasonably well researched for the US market, is grossly inaccurate in many places. It tends to either over-simplify for the sake of trying to clarify a complex issue, or it makes ridiculously granular edicts (like this $175 for 90 secs). Unfortunately some VOs have started to distribute it to clients which effectively makes the listed rates the maximum they will pay, rather than the VO's basis for negotiation (similar to how posted union rates do the same thing). Ultimately, I think the GVAA rate guide, rather than being a good resource on which VOs can base their rates, has become a tome for VOs to quote as if it's written in stone. Rather than set (and negotiate) their rates based on what they bring to the table, they simply read from a column on a list. I may me over-simplifying here, but while I think it was started with great intentions, it's misuse is assisting with the commoditization of the industry.

My current charging scheme for explainer videos (web or corporate presentation only, non-revenue generating, non-broadcast, blah, blah, blah)... is $100 per minute (or part thereof) against a minimum session fee of $400. So, they effectively pay $400 for anything up to four minutes.

Anyway, that's my guide... as with all things, my rates are flexible Smile
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Philip Banks
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No reflection on the reply from m'learned fellow Englishman in the colonies.

But Good by Philip Banks, on Flickr
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Bruce
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To the basic topic of how long should it be I refer you to an English teacher of mine who when asked how long a paper should be referred us to a lady’s skirt,
“short enough to be interesting yet long enough to cover the subject. “

I charge by length and size of company.

B
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Philip Banks
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To pre-empt Mike. If a company is 9ft 3ins long and the video is 1 min 37 secs is that scale (slightly union) plus fish?
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Last edited by Philip Banks on Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mike Harrison
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback thus far.

Let me ask it this way: for a project called an explainer video, has anyone ever done a 90-second VO... OR... what is the shortest VO you've done?

I seem to recall, when this genre was born they were generally described as 90-seconds. I'm just trying to figure out if they're being made longer now.
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DougVox
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, between about 2010 and 2018 I did around 500 explainer videos. Lengths roughly from 90 seconds to 3 minutes. (The vast majority clock in close to 2:00.)

I used a combination of Peter's approach ($100 per minute – or part thereof – against a minimum session fee of $400) and Bruce's strategy of adjusting the rate by length and size of company.

FWIW, outside of a couple of companies I've been working with for a long time, the last couple of years have seen a huge change. There's now a TON of competition among explainer video production companies, who are charging less and less for their work, leaving most of them with very little money to pay voice talent.
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Last edited by DougVox on Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ConnieTerwilliger
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eyeballs and shelf-life...and a minimum fee.
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Philip Banks
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forget invented genre.

Go for the amount you want, settle for the amount you need. At the dross end of the market, talent, ability, studio quality, Union, WOVO, OAV, Tufty Club status mean nothing, zip, zero, nada. The fact that you once looked as if you may have trained with Nancy Wolfson or met the guy who stalked Don La Fontaine in an elevator and on the "about me" section list your hobby as bicycle seats. Pah!

Run YOUR business and do not seek the wise counsel of those who believe pre-roll is the negotiation time spent with a Hooker.

This business has been allowed to deteriorate to the extent that we have a majority of people claiming to do voice work who are demonstrably incapable of telling the difference between believing something and believing anything. Evidence based knowledge? Philip Banks made a snarky video about it, sorry "Explainer Video" about it, so it must be true.
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todd ellis
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
pre-roll is the negotiation time spent with a Hooker.


isn't it though?

that said, i look at a job - ANY job - and think, "next month, when i pull the check out of the mailbox for this job, what number on that check will make me happy?" then i quote that number. broadcast, internet, explainer, pre-roll, post-roll, kaiser roll ... all that comes into play in my lizard brain ... somewhere, but, mostly, it's about that little mailbox moment.
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bobsouer
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm especially fond of the kaiser rolls!
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Deirdre
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tru-Scribe paid $400 for a 2-minute video for a long time.
Although I should say 'paid'. They had to be bullied into paying. it took months.
But--

$400
2 minutes
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Mike Harrison
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Philip Banks wrote:
This business has been allowed to deteriorate to the extent that we have a majority of people claiming to do voice work who are demonstrably incapable of telling the difference between believing something and believing anything.

Thank you for saying what I've been thinking for several years.

Apparently, my attempts to be as accommodating as possible to those producing this genre are not good enough. So, I've decided to seek more rewarding experiences in the other genres.

Many thanks for the great insights and feedback.
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ronharpervoice
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as length, I have a business partner who produces those, and the max time is 90 seconds.
This may have little to do with your VO rate question, but attention spans such as they are, 60-90 seconds is a perfect length, since the videos are SUPPOSED to be used to explain a concept, and the simpler, the better. They will keep folks on a website longer, and they're perfect for reaching out to folks who say "send me more information", since they can be attached to an email and stay under 5Mb
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