I totally agree with your comment Ken
“Also, if I h=give this client the service of a more involved production for free how would I justify charging for it on another shoot? They will absolutely say, and rightfully so, "last time you brought lights, grip equipment and took time to light the scene and you only charged me x amount.."
You start giving them the full service for the cost of a get in and out quick shoot the you are bugged.
This is something we all fight in today's economy, large production or small.
We'll get a gig that big, but still the cost is held tight and to be safe you want to double your lights, add more crew, maybe even add another 4k RED or a focus puller, steadycam op, etc. etc., but we're working from a bottom line and they know they aren't paying for all that extra convenience and safety.
It's a tightrope and I agree with Ken and Simon, do the very best, very professionally with what you have and get on with it. As long as your honest about what your going to provide then everyone is usually more than happy.
Turning an image or video with twice the production values might seem like a good idea and be appreciated, but usually it works the opposite way and the next time they ask why do you need to charge for that?
You work differently in the fact you have a unique system of shooting on assignment with the agreement to liscense your imagery to others later. It's a good plan and the investment pays off for you.
For me, my client's would have a coronary if I tried to cut a deal to sell their images later.
In most cases after the licensing is up I could, in fact I have millions of dollars in lifestyle production I could offer, but it wouldn't go over very well.
Actually I'll tell you a little secret. A few years ago we we're shooting a still and video production and the client's ad manager asked how I promote myself. I said by building equity with my clients and pointed to the extra RED1, the steadicam operator and focus puller.
I said there is no line item for them, I threw that in for free and that is hard cost out of my pocket of about $8,000 plus cameras I own, lens rentals etc.
The ad manager asked why I would do that and I said because you'll get imagery that's more than you expected, more usable and should put me ahead of anyone I compete with.
He kind of smiled and said, uh yea, I guess so, but next time will you do it?