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Discussion in 'Camera Operating' started by Chris Newman, Jan 30, 2013.
Please Add please Mr AJL
Would like to play as well! Jim
Anyone already in the conversation can invite new members -- in this case someone other than me invited Justin and Jim, so thanks!
Boy, has this thread gotten off topic.
Back to the OPs question.
A long shoot, particularly those in distant and remote locations, are tricky to bill for. Remember that there is the job that you are working on and hopefully more in the future. Being an owner/operator on a shoot can be a blessing and a curse. You can work deals like "as used" which is attractive to production, but sometimes they can take advantage of it too. Since you are on the shoot, your day rate should be paid for all days away. Equipment? Maybe a weekly minimum up to days used or even a 3 day week. Specialized equipment (camera cars for example) sometimes are charged for everyday out of the shop. If rental houses will do a 3 day week (say on a Movi) it would be hard to charge more than that. If you are also taking a copter (I can't think of any rental shops that have copters), it may be a "charge for every day used", again with a week minimum (maybe one day charge).
I have traveled on long shoots like this with some of my own gear (not a Movi or copter) and brought gear. This was gear that could be obtained in most cities, I do a straight charged "as used" with no minimum. This has worked out since the gear isn't making anything sitting in the shop.
Agree with Chris' thoughts above.
With the Jibs I own I don't normally charge for rental days when gear is being shipped. Jibs are quite a big bigger so they have to go slow and cheap shipping. I have several Jibs so that I am not without something if another gig shows up. With the Movi, travel/ship days would probably be off the clock as well. Unless it might take days or weeks because of customs then some rental days should be charged (this is what I do with the Jibs). Any day the Movi is on set/field and being used I would charge a day rate. But…everyone wants a deal or only has a certain budget. So I would do at best say a 4 day for 7 or 3 days for 5 if the client needed. Hate giving discounts because I have become quite a gear whore, but realize you have to give deals at times to keep the clients happy…and keep the clients period. Most times I can get full rate for all days. All depends.
As far as the Operator rates go. Travel days are normally for broadcast tv a half day for anything under 5 hrs, full day anything at 6 or over. Shoot days are full day rates normally a 10 hr day, with Ot after that. But something like this when you are out for long periods and might be asked to do a flat rate I would build into the rate at least several hours of OT. Sometimes it really depends on how bad you want to do the job. I don't give anything away but have had to give some heavy discounts if its something I have always wanted to shoot or do, or if the client may throw a lot of work your way.
You also have to keep in mind, or at least I do, I don't want to lower the rates because you usually can never get the rates back up to what they should be. If you lower them enough times then that might become the new rate. Have been doing this for 26 years and it has always been a struggle to increase rates.
Hope that helps.
I would like to be added too please
I'd like to be added to the conversation it it is still ongoing.
May I be added to please?
May I please join?
Wes you are already a member....
Can someone invite me?
I would like to added please
Hello everyone! If you are comfortable inviting a relatively new member in, I would enjoy being part of this conversation. Take care, John.
I would like to be added to the conversation as well if possible... thanks!
Gentleman, may I join the conversation as well?
Jim Mundell above is correct with a lot of good advice. I've been a DP for over 25 years and Jim all your information is, "right on the money." (forgive me) Equipment, whether a camera or a helicopter, needs to be paid for, maintained, and updated just like any other tool a professional would bring to a job. But, producers trying to produce good programming have budgets that are smaller and smaller every day. Bargaining for cheaper deals on gear is less personal so they feel they can be far more aggressive, just like they would with any other "rental house."
Personal rates on the other hand need to be much better guarded. They are asking to buy your time, and, moreover, your experience. Both should not be given away easily. A good craftsman will always be respected. If not, you don't want that job anyway.
just requesting to be added to the really old conversation please
I haven't seen this covered yet in this thread and feel that it would be helpful info for most people. I've flown for a few commercials, TV shows and feature films thus far and always seem to come away with something new learned RE: items that SHOULD have been placed in my contract or discussed upfront.
So far and off the top of my head:
1) Ask them for a copy of their insurance and your equipment to be added. I still have my own but when flying for productions, it's best to be on theirs instead of tapping your own if something happens. I've asked a few steadi ops and that is how they do it. We are no different.
2) Safety first, meaning if the flight path or weather is not in your favor, don't fly. Period. And it shouldn't affect your pay. I'm not saying to not be flexible but at the end of the day, if you cant fly for reasons outside of your own, you should still get paid. For example, the last commercial I flew, we had 5 days of heavy wind-14-18 knots constant with gusts to 25. I told the DP that I wasn't going to fly in anything sustained over 12. I was willing to give it a go but also told them that I could not guarantee footage stability if we did. FWIW, we did fly on the 6th day when it was still howling 12-16 but we were able to get some usable stuff. We were booked for 2 days. I asked for another half day for sitting around and waiting for the wind and got it.
3) Prep days. I always ask for it and I always get push back from the LP or Director about it. Does anyone charge a prep day?
4) Release of footage. Depending on the production but in general, the footage is released when the check is handed over. Features and TV shows are different but commercials... forget about it! You get the footage when I get the check. End of story. Unless we have worked with the production company before. And there are only like 3 and I've known them for 15 years!
5) Start/Stop times. Again features are different but TV and commercials, for us our day and clock starts the moment we show up on set. Still not trying to be a jerk about it but several times we have shown up at our call time only to sit and wait for half a day before we got to shoot. When our 10 hour mark hit, I told the PM we would stay but would have to go to an hourly rate since we were over 10 hours on the day. That didnt go over well. How does everyone else handle that?
6) Rates. We did away with our half day rate a long time ago. Actually the only time we use it is prep/travel days and while technically it's not a half day, the rate is half of what we normally charge. Our day rates vary depending on machine, camera package, degree of difficulty for the shots, if there are any hazards like water or boats, etc. which basically breaks down to one of three tiers-1250/1750/2500. How does this compare with others parts of the country/world? Anyone willing to share actual numbers or how they go about pricing for different scenarios? Side note, the current feature I'm working on booked me for stills/EPK and wanted to work with me on the UAV side of things too. First question I asked is what camera/lens package do you want to fly followed by are we launching from a boat or flying around water (the movie takes place on a marine research vessel). Based on their response I give them my rate and they fire back and tell me they can get a UAV for 1K/day in LA and they were NOT paying a prep day (director was actually pissed about it). I told them that we are not in LA (those rates seemed low to me for LA) plus I am the only operator in this area and those are my rates. I worked with them but came away wondering how things are in LA as their attitude suggested that UAV ops are a dime a dozen there. Anyone care to comment about that?
Do you have anything else to add to this list of things that should be discussed up front?
This thread has been very helpful for me and I would like to see more important info like this added in the hopes that we all do what we can to protect this business and not see the bottom fall out due to operators who lack business skills or negotiating experience.
Is this conversation still alive? I'm a cineflex (helicopter mounted camera system) operator and our company is discussing adding UAV aerials to our services. The comparison between the two is interesting since many of our clients have jobs that could be satisfied by a UAV.
If possible, I'd appreciate seeing the private conversation. Thank you.
Scott: I sent you an invite....couldn't find you in the list of members at first -- then I noticed the "." between your first and last name (which seems to fool the forum software).
Can I be added, I'm in Camera Local 600