12 Feb 2020

Going Deeper: The branded content project bid

This post is part of an ongoing series called Going Deeper where we look at branded content production through the lens of the world’s most important question: why.

Over the past few weeks we’ve looked at all the factors that we would consider when putting together a proposal for our fictional prospective client, Acmify. Today let’s look at the actual numbers we might put together for the proposal.

The numbers

While every company has their own approach, at Long Haul Films, we typically break down the proposal into sections for pre-production, production, post-production and out-of-pocket expenses, which we bill to the client at cost, and estimate at this stage.

For this example, we polled a few of our colleagues in the industry to see what they charge, and took an average – exact rates will obviously vary depending on who you’re working with, and how they approach the project. What we hope is that this gives you an idea of the various roles, factors and requirements that any production company you work with may need to take into account as they develop your proposal. 

If you don’t see some of these line items in your bid, it may prompt you to ask your potential production partner how they are accounting for these factors, to avoid unexpected surprises or changes of scope down the line.

Let’s dive in.


Role# of daysDay RateTotal



Role# of daysDay RateTotal
Audio Mixer2$650$1,300
Drone Op / AC2$600$1,200
Director – Travel days2$750$1,500
Producer – Travel days2$600$1,200
Cinematographer – Travel days2$750$1,500
Per diems for travel crew
(3 ppl x 4 total days)
Per diems for local crew
(4 ppl x 2 total days)
Equipment from Production Company2$1,200$2,400
Equipment from Audio Mixer2$250$500
Equipment from Drone Op1$300$300
Rented lenses & lights2$600$1,200



Role# of daysDay RateTotal
Assistant Editor2$800$1,600
Senior Editor7$1,200$8,400
Director Consultation2$900$1,800


Total Fees $39,340

Out-of-pocket Expenses (Estimated)

Item# needed$ eachTotal
Round trip flights3$300$900
Hotel – Director3 nights$300$900
Hotel – Producer3 nights$300$900
Hotel – Cinematographer3 nights$300$900
Car rental, inc gas4 days$100$400
Music licensing1 song$300$300
Interview transcriptions6 interviews$40$240