INCOME / FEES
When Your Voice Over Client Pays You 'PFH'
- Per Finished Hour - What Do REALLY Earn?
April 13, 2017
By Gary Terzza
Voice Talent and Coach (UK)
The letters "PFH" often appear at the side of voice over job quotes, for example "The client is willing to pay $250 PFH."
It is important to understand what these letters mean and how they impact on your earnings. Get it wrong and you could severely dent your hourly pay rate.
WHAT PFH MEANS ...
"PFH" stands for the words "Per Finished Hour" and this refers to the method in which you will be paid for a voice over job.
Also, you may see clients, or experienced clients, asking you how much you charge PFH.
Here's how it works.
Let's say you're being paid £100 PFH. Now you might think, "Well, that sounds great. That means I'm getting £100 an hour."
CONSIDER ALL YOUR TIME
But hold your horses, because it doesn't really mean that. It means the finished audio, the completed voice over, lasts one hour.
They're willing to pay you £100 for the hour that is completed, finished, edited audio, per hour.
So of course, it's going to take you much, much longer to produce a single hour of voice over than simply recording.
You've got to record the voice over. Edit it. Produce it. You might have to do retakes, and so on.
So you're talking at least four times the length of simple recording - possibly five.
That's an awful lot of time to produce that one hour.
HOW TO CALCULATE PFH
One hour of recording is actually something like 10,000 words, to give you an example.
Divide that figure by four, at least, to give you a realistic view of what it's worth.
Let's take the £100 PFH example. That's what the client's going to offer you.
Divide that amount by four, and you find that would actually be earning £25 an hour.
REALIZE THE IMPLICATIONS
It's important to understand the implications of PFH, because it looks like you're getting paid more than you really are.
Always bear that in mind, particularly for lower rates. For instance, £50 PFH would effectively be £12.50 an hour.
And as you get lower, you're probably going to go under minimum wage.
Gary Terzza is a UK voice over coach based in London. He is also a long established voice over artist with a client list that includes Channel 4, BBC, ITV, Pepsi-Cola, Symantec, BAE Systems and Hitachi.
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