I know how I\'ve been handling this for years, but am curious as to how some of you look at this from a business standpoint.
Let\'s say a client hires you to do the score to a short sales film. The budget is 10,000.00.
Let\'s say also that you can tell going in that there will be a need on this film to run to Soundsonline and grab at least one sample CD...that might cost 350.00....that this project will need. You may also need a small firewire drive to put the project and all it\'s elements on, that you can unplug and put in your closet for when this client comes back in six months with some \"additions\" etc.
Do you guys tend to add these charges on? It\'s not clear cut...they are hiring you because they like your work. And the budget given is what you would charge to do that work on this project. The samples and drive could be something that one says, \"Look you should have this stuff already\" or....\"This is something you didn\'t \"stock\" in your arsenal and it\'s understandable you need it for this project.\"
In the past, I\'ve never opened my mouth, and just bit the bullet. But some jobs aren\'t 10,000 as you all know, some are 3000, and the supply costs of the drives and samples don\'t change. So I got to wondering whether I\'d been too lenient over the years.
I think you may be able to ask for extra if the client wants you to store a lot of data after the project is over, but they might prefer low cost storage like dvd-r\'s. It\'s very unlikely you\'ll be able to charge for samples or other equipment you need to do the job. I once asked for (and was given) an advance on part of my fee which I used to buy a new sampler for that job, but like I said it came out of my fee. If you need to spend money on a job try to buy something that you can continue using in the future thus making it a better investment. Good luck.
As I am putting together a bid for a project, I always tag on an amount for supplies and such. This of course varies from project to project. Ultimately if the project budget warrants that you buy a new tool for your music out of it, then go for it. I think that if someone is giving you $10k for scoring a project, $350-500 for supplies is pretty reasonable an investment. If a project is paying you $2000, then it\'s unreasonable that you go out and get yourself VSL (unless of course you really want it for other reasons).
If there is a rule in this business is that there are no rules. Figure out what works for you and stick with that plan. If you can get the client to buy you extra stuff for the project, you\'re a lucky guy!
Can\'t speak for the industrial world, but in film, a package deal is a package deal. Or as one old saying used to go....\"everything, including the microphones\".
Anyway, my accountant recommended long ago, not to itemize expenditures like that, as it makes it easier for her to manipulate data later down the road....(not anything unscrupulous, mind you....heh, heh....) Section 179 is your friend in April.
I\'d look at the purchase of a new library, hardware, or software for a project in the same context of hiring a musician for it, or renting a studio. With the exception that you get to hang on to it for another. Yet, you can still write it all off as an expense instead of capital.
I think the tax waters get murky when these things become reimbursements. And that is the road you are going down. Add a little extra in your package for the libraries, drives, etc... when you are bidding, but don\'t itemize with the client. Why should they care? It gives your accountant more flexibility when doing taxes.
It\'s usually laid out in the contract as to what extra costs are covered. The \"plus expenses\" clause is in a lot of contracts because of the live sessions that need to happen. You never really know how long it will take to get the material down on tape, so you just pass the hourly musician rate and studio rental fees onto the company you\'re contracted for. A lot of companies are comfortable with this, and I don\'t see why this clause could not extend to sample libraries.
Obviously, it\'s in your best interest to pass those costs on, and if you can get away with it, do it. Of course, these little particulars should be ironed out already before you invest any time into the music.
Actually, I always think of a 10,000 + project as an excuse to get new samples/softsynths! And I\'ve found that clients don\'t want to know about your expenses. It\'s basically an all-in-one fee, meaning all expenses are included. OTOH, I don\'t buy new goodies and storage for a contract that pays me less than 3 grand. And in the context of a small contract, if there\'s any recording to do, like vocals or flute, for eg, that will be an additional fee to the client.
If the painter decides to use some of the profits of the quote to invest in a ladder needed to complete the job, as long as I get my house painted with the money agreed upon and in a timely fashion I really don\'t need to know what he had to buy to complete the job. Just my two pesos.
If he adds the full price for the ladder, you effectively pay for it and thus should be the new owner of the ladder. The painter should not be able to use the ladder for another job.
You should think of getting your tools as midlong term expenses, for which you use the cashflow of your well paying jobs. I have the same problem with my IT work. It does not make sense to present my clients with a bill for tools like Borland Delphi. They just want me to get the job done.