I just got my first REAL big break. I am doing a freelance design job for a major studio (that you all know of) that creates feature films. All I know, is that it is one character and one environment.
I have never worked on a project for a studio this big. How do I charge. On smaller projects in the past, I just estimate the hours and charge like $20.00-$25.00 an hour. I have no idea if that is too high or ridiculously low.
I just don't want to go in there totally clueless and look like a total amateur (which I am).
I usually ask what their budget is. Once they give me that info, I say "Ok, at my rate I can work for X hours." Then of course add in that the more they pay me, the more I work on the project, the better it looks.
That way I don't go over budget and work for no extra pay, though they may wonder whether I work for an hour or two then spend the rest of my time playing xbox.