File puptcrit/puptcrit.0707, message 119


Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2007 10:36:56 -0700
To: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] PRICING Fairly


> I'm wondering what a "fair price" for a puppet  should be nowadays.


For stage or  video? Stage work you'll never make money as every
production's budget for puppets comes out to $200 (US) and there will always
be 10 puppets to be made.

-Can you share what prices you offer for each type of puppet?


I look at the project and my interest in the project and if I'm going to be
hired to work in said project as something other than a builder.

-Do you stick to your mathematical formula?


When pricing the formula is: (Approximate cost of materials + Approximation
of my time) x 10%. An additional 10 to 30% for rush jobs on top.

I may give discounts for my time or reduce the 10%.

-Do you adapt to (or try to beat) the prices of your collegues around the
> world?


Hell no. I don't live in an inexpensive part of the universe. I have lattes
to drink.....

-Do you accept to work in exchange for supplies or services (such as free
> advertisement)?


Free advertisement, no. I am done with, "getting exposure". As we all know,
one can die of exposure. Exchange for supplies and services, it depends on
if I want either. It worked with my dentist. My tax guy- no.

-Do you stick to your level of complexity and price, or do you offer a
> choice, to allow the customer to pay less?


Simple puppets equal less time to build equals cheaper. I tell people the
more you want it to do the more it will cost and that 'doing more' is not
equivalent to 'more gimmicks'.


-Do you believe it is a "treason to the whole Discipline" to offer lesser
> prices than most?


However you want to starve to death is your business.


THE PRICE
> So when it comes to buying a one-of-a-kind, they don't understand the time
> and work that went into it.


It is the job of the Maker to make them understand the importance of
producing an unique item.


People will pay 1000$ for a small painting on canvas


They do? Please give me a list of these people so that I can pass it along
to my starving artist friends.

(cliché landcape you see by the thousands), and find it acceptable "It's
> ART, of course it's expensive!",


But you don't perform with a landscape painting.
So, a puppet is not art? Is it a tool then? Shouldn't the use of the object
be considered when pricing? I usually consider puppets to be tools. I've
toyed with the idea that they're art

Half that price for a performance-worthy puppet seems to be unreasonable for
> them: "how can you ask so much for a simple doll???"
> Believe me, I get that kind of argument even from people in the Theatre
> business.


Jeeze, don't we all. I don't see why you would be surprised by the theater
people, they don't do puppets, they think that puppets are a prop and not a
actor.

You should find how much a custom made doll costs in your area.


Some makers greatly undersell their talents, and end up working for well
> under minimum wage, when time and all expenses are considered. I've been
> guilty of that, and am getting better at avoiding it. I admit to
> compromising when the project is fascinating and can lead to other
> contracts, but I try to avoid that now, as bills need to be paid after all.


(( Sigh )). Money. If only experience and level of interest were capital.


So, what would a reasonable price be for a custom-made puppet?
> I think at the very least 200$ for a very simple puppet, and up as the
> details and steps increase in complexity.


Seems fair-ish.

And even higher depending on the use of the puppet.

Yep

A TV puppet can often be worth twice (at least) as the same puppet for
> theatre.



If you designed the puppet I would say, $1500 (US) plus a percentage of any
toys.

That strange Market again...


It's the economy of scale. Theater is very local. Television is, at the very
least, state or provence broad. More viewers, more money.


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