I haven’t shot with animals in a long time...we have some cows in a piece of creative. Can someone help me ballpark costs to have a cow on set?

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Tbh people keep posting asking how much things cost. This is one of the problems why projects are underfunded. When you’re making an estimate you should do the research - call an agent to see how much an HMU artist in Vegas costs, call a car wrap place to see how much that costs. I’m production side- I don’t just guess when I make a bid.

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And to add to my other post- ESPECIALLY with specialty things like animals. Most producers don’t have relationships with those types of vendors to get discounts. They cost what they cost, and there’s no way around it. This isn’t indie filmmaking.

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Thanks, EP1. Not trying to scam anyone here. Also, re. Ballparking above. No disrespect, but I get the feeling you don’t understand what is happening on the agency side....If I don’t put a ballpark and timeline in front of my account team quickly, they’re going to push forward regardless, assuming the idea/request from the client is feasible within the parameters. Then, when they get too far down this rabbit hole, only to discover it’s not feasible and we’re screwing ourselves, we start to eat costs and ask for favors and Im in an embarrassing situation I can’t just walk away from.... would love to avoid nightmares for you and me. If I were given proper time to bid accordingly I’d totally get to do this the “right” way. For now, assessing risk, scope, timelines and a single bid for creative (that hasn’t even been written yet) and needs to shoot coming right out of the holiday.

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Assume $2000 per cow, $500/8 for union trainers/handlers, 2 per cow, transpo trailers $750 ea and it’s not PETA that’s a concern, it’s the animals, so don’t do anything to harm them. Also, $75/hr for an on-set monitor.

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The answer is not to play with a production company. If you want them to scope a job, then bid them.

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One phone call to an animal wrangler will help.

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Don't let PETA find out and budget for clean up in post. I was on a job that had a cow shoot set up, then cancelled it because they would need to bleach the cows to get them pretty for the camera. I don't think there were actual threats from PETA, but rather a fear that it would tarnish the brand. Insurance was up there, we were planning to go to the farm with a green screen We ended up purchasing stock and doing a LOT of post-production to make it work. I don't have ballparks from that project though.

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And shoots in weird places such, for example, Montana. Shit costs what it costs.

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If the spot is broadcast make sure to have a humane society rep there. If it’s online only you can probably get away with a producer/owner affidavit. Check with your biz affairs folks

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Call a producer at a production co. you previously worked with and ask. That’s what I would do. Also, where are you shooting? Where would the cows be sourced from? Cost of transportation and wrangling? Cost for handlers? It’s not hard to find out.

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Words matter, and I missed a few while quickly typing up. Thanks for those that provided guidance on getting a proper ballpark/quote. There is no time on this one, and I was just trying to gauge if this idea was even feasible for our client. Some of the solutions are obvious... PETA is def a concern. Appreciate the support!

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Finally. Stop solving self made problems. Pay what the creative costs. It’s costs what it costs. Or learn to say no

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Contact a cow place. Not kidding.

If the timeline is tight and you need to single bid then you’ve got 2 options: 1) client provides a budget number and they get what they pay for, 2) the client pays the appropriate cost for the creative. Stop dicking production companies around.

Scope the damn project properly

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