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Rates for professional Max work

May 27, 2008 | 3:05 pm


May 27, 2008 | 3:40 pm

Hi
Well that’s hard to say, I guess it depends on the work. You may want to specify this also in our quote anyway.

Is it composing, an interactive installation, does it involve video (Jitter), does it need your equipment etc …

You can always ask what they have in mind …

Regards, Stan


May 27, 2008 | 6:57 pm


May 27, 2008 | 7:46 pm

Op 27-mei-2008, om 20:57 heeft mzed het volgende geschreven:

>
> Keep in mind that a permanent installation means you might be on
> call to fix it, 24/7, forever. Trust me, I know.
>
>

Ha! +1.

I seriously underestimated the amount of planning/organisation and
work that goes into keeping an installation going 24/7 for years.

Read up on daemons/uninterruptable power supplies/lights-out-
management/Apple Remote Desktop/Friendly and knowledgable staff/
surveillance cams/error and crash logs/Fire Dept regulations/etc.

Test. test. test. And get a class of hyperactive 14-year olds to help
you testing.

Good luck!

Zip


May 27, 2008 | 8:41 pm

you HAVE to specify in your contract how long your service contract will last. how long you must maintain it, etc. and what your rates for maintaining it will be. otherwise it’s a guarantee- you’ll be screwed.


May 27, 2008 | 9:14 pm


May 27, 2008 | 11:00 pm

Thanks for the advice…but no-one mentioned any going rates. Is that because there aren’t any?

Robin


May 27, 2008 | 11:14 pm

Quote: robin wrote on Tue, 27 May 2008 16:00
—————————————————-
> Thanks for the advice…but no-one mentioned any going rates. Is that because there aren’t any?
>
> Robin
—————————————————-

I don’t know about "going rates" in the "fine art" world, but what I do when I bid on jobs is basic math:

(how much time will it take)*(how much do you want to make per hour)+(how much you have to spend to accomplish it hiring, buying etc)+ (a percentage of your overhead)-(will it end up in repeat business or PR, aka discounts) = $$$job bid$$$

Chances are they want you to bid for the entire job and not for a weekly/daily/or hourly rate.

"going rates" for commercial art vary. I know 2D comp artists that make $150/hr working on commercials feature films and I know 2D comp artists that make $20/hr working on commercials and TV shows.

How much do you believe you are worth?
How much of a budget do they have?
How much are you willing to take?
Is the project cool enough where doing it is more important than the money?

Lots of factors…


May 27, 2008 | 11:18 pm

Pretty much. Or because the going rate is incredibly variable
depending on circumstances.

The best definition of the "going rate" is the highest number you can
say with a straight face.

I would consider the rate you mentioned a very good one for an eight
hour day, however, but my currency isn’t worth anything…go for it.

bt

On May 27, 2008, at 4:00 PM, robin foster wrote:

>
> Thanks for the advice…but no-one mentioned any going rates. Is
> that because there aren’t any?
>
> Robin

barry threw
Media Art and Technology

San Francisco, CA
Work: 857-544-3967
Email: bthrew (at) gmail (dot) com
Web: http://www.barrythrew.com


May 27, 2008 | 11:19 pm


May 27, 2008 | 11:23 pm

robin foster skrev:
> Thanks for the advice…but no-one mentioned any going rates. Is that because there aren’t any?
>
> Robin
You mean like a published document, detailing the rates for maxMSP
installation work?

…no, but wouldn’t it be nice? I’d also like a similar list for web
devs, graphic designers and ad people. Oh, and roadies.

Seriously though, streamlining rates for artists seems very… communist
Russia.

a.


May 27, 2008 | 11:38 pm

Quote: Wetterberg wrote on Tue, 27 May 2008 17:23
—————————————————-

> > Robin
> You mean like a published document, detailing the rates for maxMSP
> installation work?

no i don’t. i mean, has anyone got much experience doing this and would they feel like sharing it


May 27, 2008 | 11:42 pm

the highest number i can say with a straight face seems a very good place to start. at least then it can only get less.


May 27, 2008 | 11:45 pm

…or rather, when my fee gets beaten down hopefully I’ll end up with something decent still


May 28, 2008 | 2:13 am

ah, to build patches for a living, what a life to dream of….


May 28, 2008 | 3:21 am

Or you could hire someone in the US for that rate in dollars, and then
sit on your ass and rake in like 150 pounds a day.

bt

On May 27, 2008, at 4:45 PM, robin foster wrote:

>
> …or rather, when my fee gets beaten down hopefully I’ll end up
> with something decent still


May 28, 2008 | 5:41 am

I don’t think your price is unreasonable at 250-300/day. Lets face it, when you are making something in Max, it’s often time-based art and it takes a long time to test and troubleshoot some things thoroughly. Makes truly charging by the hour difficult.

I’ve had this internal battle countless times because things like interactive installations is such a niche market. I decided on a model that seems to work for me and keeps customers coming back.

For programming, I tend to put forth an hourly rate and then offer a minimum for services rendered (so even if they back out before it’s done you get something), an estimated time/cost, and a maximum based on their proposal (so I don’t scare them away by threatening to break the budget). For programming itself I don’t charge much hourly because often I choose jobs I know I can manage in my spare time and I genuinely like the idea of repeat customers even if they can’t pay much.

However, the physical setup for webcams, projectors, arduino, and things like that costs additionally 10 times as much hourly (no joke) plus equipment, expenses, and transportation. It’s necessary to prevent being taken advantage of especially if the person you are dealing with doesn’t know what they are doing.

Sounds like what you are doing is both hands on and programming.

The best policy is to confidently approach them with an estimate (minimum, expected, and high), and then explain the factors that will drive the price up (meetings, changes in design, unexpected on site work, etc).

Anyways, I don’t mean to sound pretentious, I just know how nerve wracking the talk of money and max can be. I’m genuinely excited for you and would like to know if you get the contract. Gives the rest of us hope.


May 28, 2008 | 5:59 am

i like the formula below, but i’d like to postulate a golfers approach
to max-programming.

the handicap factor:

how much time will it take * your handicap factor = actual time spent
to finish the patch;

including debugging and unexpected pitfalls (which is 90% of the
project time, some say).

if all members of the max union can agree on a handicap rating system
this would tremendously help in bidding for jobs ;=)

by now my handicap is 8 !

oh, and don’t talk to me of hardware develpment, there the factor gets
an extra 0…

> (how much time will it take)*(how much do you want to make per hour)+
> (how much you have to spend to accomplish it hiring, buying etc)+ (a
> percentage of your overhead)-(will it end up in repeat business or
> PR, aka discounts) = $$$job bid$$$

more seriously. i’ve asked for 300 Euro/Day fees, and did get them.
but i still had to negotiate the number of days budgeted. so it’s a
give and take.

you need to know beforehand where your lower limit is! and keep a
straight face when asked to work for less :)

oh, and yeah, usually in long term or so called permanent
installations, you have to negotiate a maximum guarantee time and
budget the upkeep and additional backup equipment, because something
is bound to break.
ideally you can hand off the hardware maintenance to an IT contractor.
and much like mzed’s experience mine is that the more time you spend
proofing your system at launch the less often you will have to go back.

in one case of an outdoors installation i had to trek up a mountain 3
times one summer because of design flaws in the protective casing!
(the condensation tended to flood the floor of the box and short the
battery).

good luck!

/*j


May 28, 2008 | 8:29 am

yeah, i definitely need to be sure of my obligations once it’s up and running.

thanks for the advice everyone. sorry for being so vague about the project, i’ll post some more details when i know its all sorted


June 5, 2008 | 5:46 pm

i worked as a max programmer for $40/hr this is a standard tech
wage… i was doing more techy-art-guy helping art person as opposed
to artistic collaborator. for a collaborator i would want to be paid
what the other collaborators are getting paid.

On Wed, May 28, 2008 at 9:29 AM, robin foster

wrote:
>
> yeah, i definitely need to be sure of my obligations once it’s up and running.
>
> thanks for the advice everyone. sorry for being so vague about the project, i’ll post some more details when i know its all sorted
>

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