I’ve been thinking about prices of my film school courses after one of my Google reviewers suggested I should be charging double!
Currently, I’m charging £350 for my two-day self-shooting course. That’s designed to give a TV researcher or AP (or anyone else needing similar skills) the confidence to pick up kit and be confident of shooting a professional looking film, whatever the camera.
I’m aware that roughly similar sounding two-day courses are available through the National Film and Television School at £535 – I’ve taught around ten of them in my time.
DV Talent charges £954 (incl VAT). Never worked for them and I’m sure they’re fine.
So why am I pricing so low?
I want to build up this side of my work so I need to offer attractive pricing. I enjoy it and, after 30 years as a professional documentary director and exec, I’ve got plenty to pass on. It’s good to hand that on to the next generation of film makers. Also, I worry that if I put prices up too high then I’ll be putting off the very people I’d most like to help. And I know that everyone who attends a course goes away and recommends it to others, so hopefully, word gets round.
I run the courses from home so, unlike the NFTS or DV Talent or London Film School or Met Film School, I’m not paying for expensive buildings and admin staff – and my clients get the benefit of filming in realistic, domestic situations. I do have to cover kit insurance, public liability insurance, fairly regular kit upgrades – I use whizz-bang new kit, which certainly isn’t true elsewhere (believe me: I know). And Facebook ads and Google ads – no-one hears about you unless you pay Mr Google.
SMALL, FRIENDLY GROUPS
I teach in small groups – I like to work with four at a time. That does make me vulnerable to people pulling out late or postponing and I haven’t worked out what to do about that yet. But that enables me to give everyone care and attention – and to shape the content one way or another according to who’s on the course. I’ve taught enough courses with eight people to know how different that is. As things stand, it’s enjoyable, rewarding and people on the courses always say nice things.
So, for the moment, I will leave prices where they are.