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Hiring a cinematographer in seattle


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#1 Niki Mundo

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 02:05 AM

I've decided against shooting my own film because it's too overwhelming (I'll shoot the FX), I don't like thinking about lenses,stocks and blah blah all the time. I will leave that to the professionals!

So I want to shoot on 35mm (blimp and crystal), so that means I must "rent" the cinematographer with/without his/her equipment.. sounds expensive. Is there anyway I can avoid the $450-1000 daily rates most DP's charge. I put a ad on craigslist..

Also, This cameraman also must be "open-minded" as some scenes and stuff aren't entirely legal.

What about production insurance,i hope they come with some.

So I could afford $100 for a 4 hour shooting day, maybe someone owns a 35BL in Seattle..

Niki Mundo
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#2 Patrick McGowan

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 02:50 AM

What's the non-legal part, the squibs, the burnt cars, maybe even real gunfire?!?!

I wish I could shoot this. If I only had my own 35mm camera. This would be an experience.
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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 03:42 AM

Is there anyway I can avoid the $450-1000 daily rates most DP's charge. I put a ad on craigslist..


You should be able to easily find someone with a good reel, some experience and who's willing to do it just for the experience and demo reel addition. Especially if you're shooting 35
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#4 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 03:44 AM

Why on earth would a cinematographer come with production insurance?
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#5 Pete Von Tews

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 04:19 AM

Why on earth would a cinematographer come with production insurance?


That sounds like a movie in itself!
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#6 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 08:12 AM

So you are looking for a cinematographer to risk their safety and/or the safety of their equipment for no cost or liability to yourself to work on a film involving "illegal stuff and scenes".
What kind of "illegal stuff and scenes"? What kind of risks and dangers are involved?
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#7 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 10:07 AM

Yep, the making of this movie sounds better than the movie itself.

The cinematographer usually has their own equipment insurance (although, some productions do put it on the their insurance), but the production insurance is up to the production company to arrange.
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#8 GeorgeSelinsky

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 12:17 PM

Also, This cameraman also must be "open-minded" as some scenes and stuff aren't entirely legal.


Shooting without a permit is one thing. You camera can get confiscated in some instances, but if it's a few handheld shots on the street that should be no problem for many.

Shooting pyrotechnics and stunts carelessly is another. If you can't do it safely and properly, don't put it in the script. Even if someone were to have insurance, insurance companies don't pay if it's proven you were doing something carelessly or illegally. And if something were to happen to that person and they had insurance, the insurance company would sue YOU to reclaim the damages.

If you want to take serious risks, do them yourself. When a wire guy sets up his wire harnesses, or creates a hangman's noose, he always tests it on HIMSELF before putting the actors through it. Get a camera, whatever you need, and do the risky stuff yourself if you can't afford to secure the safety of others.
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#9 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 06:00 PM

Yep, the making of this movie sounds better than the movie itself.

The cinematographer usually has their own equipment insurance (although, some productions do put it on the their insurance)

Not true. Most cinematographers probably DO have insurance on their gear (if they own any), but production is expected to supply insurance for every job. I'm sure you can find exceptions, but this is the rule. They're the one's renting the gear, which many other people will have access to, so they need to insure it. Obviously, if you rent from Panavision or Clairmont, or any other rental house, they demand that you have insurance to cover their gear. Why should it be any different for an owner/operator?
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#10 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 06:03 PM

Also, This cameraman also must be "open-minded" as some scenes and stuff aren't entirely legal.

Niki Mundo

There are plenty of criminals around. I'm sure you can find one. Hey, that will be perfect since you want to shoot your actors and trash a rental car! An ex-con would be perfect for the job, since many ex-cons are extremely "open-minded".
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#11 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 07:20 PM

Not true. Most cinematographers probably DO have insurance on their gear (if they own any), but production is expected to supply insurance for every job. I'm sure you can find exceptions, but this is the rule. They're the one's renting the gear, which many other people will have access to, so they need to insure it. Obviously, if you rent from Panavision or Clairmont, or any other rental house, they demand that you have insurance to cover their gear. Why should it be any different for an owner/operator?


It also depends if the cinematographer is hiring the gear or the production company. Knowing some British broadcasters you'd insure your own gear: for a while one had a contract which almost made the freelance DP responsible for what would be offered by production insurance. The DP also provided the crew, so they needed employers insurance to cover this, plus the public liability.

If you're shooting industrials/corporates for organisations, they might have their standard business insurance, but there's a good chance it doesn't cover a freelancer's camera gear.

Agreed most productions do have full cover.
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#12 Niki Mundo

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 09:37 PM

So you are looking for a cinematographer to risk their safety and/or the safety of their equipment for no cost or liability to yourself to work on a film involving "illegal stuff and scenes".
What kind of "illegal stuff and scenes"? What kind of risks and dangers are involved?


I mean when I say "illegal" I mean a few scenes where weapons that aren't made for film productions, no permits everywhere , some risky stuntwork (not for the cinematographer but the willing actors), being on private property without permission.. stuff like that. Nothing really evil but if the DP is an englishman who gets his panties in a bunch I wouldn't want to waste his time or mine.
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#13 Chris Keth

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 11:14 PM

Can I get hazard pay the entire shoot?
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#14 Niki Mundo

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 09:42 PM

Can I get hazard pay the entire shoot?

Yes, you get an extra $34 dollar a day for live-fire weapon scenes and those where actual police are "detained".
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#15 Chris Keth

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 10:02 PM

Yes, you get an extra $34 dollar a day for live-fire weapon scenes and those where actual police are "detained".


Let me guess, since I have lots of experience with craigslist ads. That is on top of the base pay rate of credit, a copy of the film, meals, and the privilege of working with passionate filmmakers?
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#16 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 02:22 AM

I mean when I say "illegal" I mean a few scenes where weapons that aren't made for film productions, no permits everywhere , some risky stuntwork (not for the cinematographer but the willing actors), being on private property without permission.. stuff like that. Nothing really evil but if the DP is an englishman who gets his panties in a bunch I wouldn't want to waste his time or mine.


If your shooting in the city limits and you have firearms and you DON'T inform everyone INCLUDING the poe-lice, expect to spend some time bent over the hood of a car with your feet spread and in handcuffs while 5-O pats you down in the most embarrassing of places along with the rest of your cast and crew, then expect to have your weapons and maybe your film equipment confiscated as evidence and be hauled off to the pokey. Cops tend to get very nervous and belligerent when they have to deal with people who are waving guns around. Now I own a lot of movie equipment it's taken me several years and a lot of cash to acquire so why would I risk losing it, having it damaged or confiscated so I have to go to court to get it back in order to shoot a job that pays poop?

You'll note Rodriguez used the Mexican police and THEIR guns on Meriachi bucause even HE wasn't willing to break THAT particular rule.

Think III'M full of poop? A friend of mine was shooting a mob movie on high 8 for Christ's sake, did a scene where a character was being beaten up, no guns AND the lead of the video WAS a police officer, and the cops STILL came out because some neighbor called them thinking the beating was real. Another crew was shooting a shootout scene on the roof of a 15 story building and HAD permission to use the roof but HADN'T let the police in on this little nugget of information, that they were shooting a movie up there, and so they ended up laying flat on the roof, face down, spread eagle while cops with guns drawn stood over them threatening to KILL them if they moved about a third of the way through the sequence because people in building around them saw what appeared to be a shootout, not noticing the camera and THIS IS EL PASO where no one really gives a poop. They're lucky they weren't all shot.

Also on the stunts, if your stunt man gets hurt or killed and you are not insured or have not formed a cooperate shield for your production company, they will go after YOU for medical, pain and suffering or wrongful death, which means you will be paying the settlement off until you are a little old lady. BUT do what you want! :rolleyes: As for permits, the cops will just shut you down more than likely, as for being on private property, they'll probably just throw you off the property if you get caught, BUT if you come back, then the police WILL arrest you. B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 07 November 2007 - 02:26 AM.

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#17 Niki Mundo

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 10:10 PM

If your shooting in the city limits and you have firearms and you DON'T inform everyone INCLUDING the poe-lice, expect to spend some time bent over the hood of a car with your feet spread and in handcuffs while 5-O pats you down in the most embarrassing of places along with the rest of your cast and crew, then expect to have your weapons and maybe your film equipment confiscated as evidence and be hauled off to the pokey. Cops tend to get very nervous and belligerent when they have to deal with people who are waving guns around. Now I own a lot of movie equipment it's taken me several years and a lot of cash to acquire so why would I risk losing it, having it damaged or confiscated so I have to go to court to get it back in order to shoot a job that pays poop?

You'll note Rodriguez used the Mexican police and THEIR guns on Meriachi bucause even HE wasn't willing to break THAT particular rule.

Think III'M full of poop? A friend of mine was shooting a mob movie on high 8 for Christ's sake, did a scene where a character was being beaten up, no guns AND the lead of the video WAS a police officer, and the cops STILL came out because some neighbor called them thinking the beating was real. Another crew was shooting a shootout scene on the roof of a 15 story building and HAD permission to use the roof but HADN'T let the police in on this little nugget of information, that they were shooting a movie up there, and so they ended up laying flat on the roof, face down, spread eagle while cops with guns drawn stood over them threatening to KILL them if they moved about a third of the way through the sequence because people in building around them saw what appeared to be a shootout, not noticing the camera and THIS IS EL PASO where no one really gives a poop. They're lucky they weren't all shot.

Also on the stunts, if your stunt man gets hurt or killed and you are not insured or have not formed a cooperate shield for your production company, they will go after YOU for medical, pain and suffering or wrongful death, which means you will be paying the settlement off until you are a little old lady. BUT do what you want! :rolleyes: As for permits, the cops will just shut you down more than likely, as for being on private property, they'll probably just throw you off the property if you get caught, BUT if you come back, then the police WILL arrest you. B)

:rolleyes: Jaaaaaaames! Save the dramtics for the screen please. All this negative energy man, You just have to Believe it will happen and the universe will grant it because the universe wants you to succeed.
See?
:lol: Cops aren't ominpresent. I know how to defeat the system well enough. You have the snitches and you have the patrol cars. You take those out of the equation you have the solution. It's called spikes in the road.
Just kidding, I'm just kidding everyone- please no more responses pleaase.

Hey- if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
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#18 Saba Mazloum

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 11:03 PM

[quote name='Niki Mundo' date='Nov 7 2007, 08:10 PM' post='202491']
:rolleyes: Jaaaaaaames! Save the dramtics for the screen please. All this negative energy man, You just have to Believe it will happen and the universe will grant it because the universe wants you to succeed.
See?

Err did you get those lines from the Documentary The Secret?
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#19 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 02:16 AM

:rolleyes: Jaaaaaaames! Save the dramtics for the screen please. All this negative energy man, You just have to Believe it will happen and the universe will grant it because the universe wants you to succeed.
See?
Hey- if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.


Niki baby, It's not negativity, it's experience. As for dramatics, being an actor, writer and director, that's.... kinda my job, in ADDITION to being a level headed producer which is what you also need to be.

There's somethin' to be said for your philosophy, a lot in fact. God does help those who just won't give up BUT just remember, God also HATES stupidity. Keep that in mind when you're planning this epic.

Oh and BTW it's Steve actually and you are right, it ain't easy, it's a bitch, but it's something VERY few people can do well and it's worth doing if you do it right so keep on truckin', kid, who knows maybe all this attitude will show up an screen and THAT may be somethin'. B)
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#20 Jesse Cairnie

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 02:53 AM

:lol: Cops aren't ominpresent.


you're right.. but gun fire sounds are.. and people pretty much always call the police.. good luck though..

start with the name "Chris Mosio" he is a Seattle local..

you prolly cant afford him but he will send you in the right direction...

Edited by Jesse Cairnie, 08 November 2007 - 02:54 AM.

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