Raising my prices and why 3-8-2023

Yesterday I had to order rubber to fill more mask orders. I have been buying from the same company for years. They are old friends and the last time I bought rubber a few months ago it was around 180 dollars.

I have two choices. Either pay and have it shipped or drive into town which is a long drive and pay the same in gas not to mention the stress and the loss of a day. It is brutal driving into LA. Worth your life. That’s just the way it is and losing a day is losing money too.

Shipping has gone up a great deal and by the time it is delivered to the studio is nearly 300 dollars for 5 gallons of rubber. That will make about 7 masks if I really stretch it.

I started doing the math again and found that on the average it costs me about 110 dollars a mask in materials alone. Then 25-45 dollars for shipping. On the average about 30 dollars. I could make them out of thinner rubber as most cheap mask makers do. Then they would rot in a few years. Mine will last for decades. 

And then there’s the labor. I take a lot of care in finishing and painting my masks. It’s all being done by me, not in China. It can take me up to 8-10 hours to finish a mask. Why 8-10? Because some have hair and hair takes a long time to lay on.

I’m a well known Hollywood makeup effects artist, filmmaker and creature actor. And I sign all my work.

I have heard I charge too much for my masks and I can get the same thing from another company for 50 dollars. But it’s not a signed hand made Steve Neill mask and they rarely look authentic if they are recreation of a classic monster or creature. 

I have been under-pricing my art for years. People have been buying my masks and reselling them online for what they are actually worth. The Studio has been relying on charity to pay for rent and utilities. I can no longer afford to give my work away for basement bargain prices. I am charging reasonable prices for Artisan labor. I will never get rich doing my art but I at least want to pay the rent.

So I am starting today raising the prices of my masks to reflect these costs and the worth of my labor to produce them. Everyone is raising their prices to me from rubber to shipping. I just have to pass that along.

Anyone that has recently made and order will not pay more. But at some point today I will be changing the prices.

2 thoughts on “Raising my prices and why 3-8-2023

  1. Dear Steve,
    It’s a fact of life sadly that prices are going up on just about everything. Gas, groceries, medical care and even splurge items. I for one think your prices are fine and well justified if you need to raise the price a bit. If people think they can do it any better themselves…..as a mask/prop maker myself…..I say….go for it. Your work is worth every penny and happy to have my apes mask!


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