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$500,000 budget...


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#1 Chris Reilly

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 02:11 PM

I will be shooting a $500,000 feature soon, and I don't know what is fair as far as the budget for the DP. I was thinking $600/day plus 1 point. Is this reasonable?
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 02:46 PM

I will be shooting a $500,000 feature soon, and I don't know what is fair as far as the budget for the DP. I was thinking $600/day plus 1 point. Is this reasonable?


Hi,

I think thats a good starting point, however I think you should be prepared to accept less.

Stephen
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#3 Stephen Whitehead

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 02:59 PM

What do you mean by one point? 1% of gross?

Cheers,

Steve
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#4 Chris Reilly

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 03:12 PM

What do you mean by one point? 1% of gross?

Cheers,

Steve



yes 1% gross
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 05:12 PM

Good luck -- I've never been given a point in the thirty features I've shot so far. And I generally get offered $600/day on the 3-mil. and higher features (it's close to union minimum for a DP), not a $500,000 feature. I mean, that's what Warner Bros. and Lionsgate offered me on those two studio films I shot ("Astronaut Farmer" and "Akeelah and the Bee"), again mainly because they couldn't pay me less on the union contract, so they offered me minimum basically. I've been trying to get above that lately.

Back when I was shooting $500,000 features, it was more like $300/day.

I shot the three earlier Polish Brothers features for about $1000/week but that was more of a favor on "Northfork", since it had a 1.5 mil. budget and should have paid more, but $1000/week was a flat deal for every crew member high and low, so I took it.

Commercial rates are a whole other deal though -- often they offer per day what I'd make per week on a feature.

On the under-$500,000 features, generally the pay scale is based around the simple fact that it is hard to pay anyone less than $100/day because on a long day, it almost slips below minimum wage. So if they are going to offer grips, electrics, and 2nd AC's $100/day, then they are going to have to offer Key Grips, Gaffers, 1st AC's closer to $150 or $200/day, so they are going to have to offer the DP, AD, Production Designer more like $250 or $300/day.

I'm not saying any of those rates are reasonable, by the way.

So tell them your rate is $600/day, you never know, they may feel it is worth it. I once did a very small movie where I said my rate was $3000/week, and they decided to pay for it -- but I felt guilty later when I found out what everyone else was making. On the other hand, as one of the few experienced people on the shoot, I really earned my salary taking up the slack!
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#6 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 05:24 PM

I will be shooting a $500,000 feature soon, and I don't know what is fair as far as the budget for the DP. I was thinking $600/day plus 1 point. Is this reasonable?


I did a $350k feature 2 months back and I got them too $1000 a week. Like David says, quote high but expect to settle for less.
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#7 Eric Steelberg ASC

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 07:38 PM

Start high, but expect to land in the $300/350/day range...maybe less depending on the genre and other production aspects.

In contrast to David, I've got 1% on two features. It's not something you should ever expect to see, more of a gesture so you can have that in your back pocket for future jobs when trying to get a better rate. Not all that uncommon for DPs, from what I've heard.
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#8 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 08:14 PM

Ouch. It hurts to see what some of those rates are for, especially considering the hours you work for it.

As an EPK/DVD/Corporate Videographer, I've been able to make $500 - $550 for 10/hrs for Beta/Digibeta/HDV. $700/10hrs for HDCAM. Plus OT on all. Of course, none of it is covered by any IA contract so I don't get hours credited toward health and welfare. Local 600 is supposed to be "working on it." The other downside is that I don't have a guaranteed 8 to 12 weeks of solid work like one would have on a feature project. I might work 5 days one week and just one the next. You never can tell.

One way to look at the higher rate is that I have to cover my own benefits where guys working 14 hours on set don't.

The other benefit is that the shorter hours afford me a life outside of work. That's time I can devote to writing my book and screenplays so that eventually, I won't have to carry a 30lb camera on my shoulder anymore. :)
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 11:09 PM

As an EPK/DVD/Corporate Videographer, I've been able to make $500 - $550 for 10/hrs


When I was doing EPK's it was like that. The reason is that no one does EPK's or corporate videos just for the love of it, so you have to pay people a decent wage to do it. Features, on the other hand, have this allure that creates a lot of people willing to take low wages just to work on them.

Plus they tend to be longer-term jobs than one or two-day shoots, so the pay can add up, although who wouldn't want to make more money working fewer hours, I guess. I'm afraid I'm one of those people who likes shooting narrative so much that I don't think too much about the money... lucky I have an agent!
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#10 Nate Downes

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 06:48 AM

This is very handy to know for my own budgeting.

I only wish there was a better market around here.
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#11 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 08:45 AM

When I was doing EPK's it was like that. The reason is that no one does EPK's or corporate videos just for the love of it, so you have to pay people a decent wage to do it. Features, on the other hand, have this allure that creates a lot of people willing to take low wages just to work on them.

Plus they tend to be longer-term jobs than one or two-day shoots, so the pay can add up, although who wouldn't want to make more money working fewer hours, I guess. I'm afraid I'm one of those people who likes shooting narrative so much that I don't think too much about the money... lucky I have an agent!



I definitely understand that! The work can be fun, but it certainly isn't fulfilling any lifetime dreams. But a wife and kids and overhead necessitate that I not take too many "love of the craft" days.

I talk about it all in the book. :)
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#12 Richard Boddington

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 12:08 AM

So bjdzyak,

Are you writing a book? You haven't really mentioned it too many times on the forum.

R,
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#13 David Sweetman

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 02:58 AM

So bjdzyak,

Are you writing a book? You haven't really mentioned it too many times on the forum.

R,


well if I was putting a significant ammount of time and effort into writing a book I think I'd make sure people knew about it too...especially if its material was pertinent to the conversation at hand
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#14 Richard Boddington

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 11:04 AM

Yes, and you'd find that people would get quite annoyed with endless self promotion of your product. It would be a bit like joining AMWAY and then wondering why you are never invited over by friends any more.

We get marketed to enough. I could drop dozens of references to product that I make on this forum, but it wouldn't take long for people to get ticked off.

R,
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#15 Stuart McCammon

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 12:11 AM

I appreciated reading about his book and enjoyed the website - if only it loaded a tad faster)
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