Jump to content


Photo

Cheap Skates


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 G McMahon

G McMahon
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 161 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 26 March 2008 - 09:19 PM

Hello all,

I have been asked to shoot a simple thing a bit out of town over the week end. He told me the rate which I believed was fair (for one day). I said that + tax.

I was clear on travel costs.

Then he mentioned that i should arrive the afternoon before so I can go over the gear. So I am thinking now, hey I should be charging for a gear check, I mean, it is taking an extra 1/2 day out of my life. Then he briefly skipped over something about a twilight shoot the evening of the equipment check. (I do not know if I am required for that too).

On top of that, i may need to collect and transport the gear up there as well.

Now at what point are you being taken advantage of, or, alternatively, not being a team player. I try as much as possible to clarify costs as early as possible, but being flexible could mean more work.

Thoughts, comments, observations?

Thanks,
  • 0

#2 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5482 posts
  • Director

Posted 27 March 2008 - 12:52 PM

Hello all,

I have been asked to shoot a simple thing a bit out of town over the week end. He told me the rate which I believed was fair (for one day). I said that + tax.

I was clear on travel costs.

Then he mentioned that i should arrive the afternoon before so I can go over the gear. So I am thinking now, hey I should be charging for a gear check, I mean, it is taking an extra 1/2 day out of my life. Then he briefly skipped over something about a twilight shoot the evening of the equipment check. (I do not know if I am required for that too).

On top of that, i may need to collect and transport the gear up there as well.

Now at what point are you being taken advantage of, or, alternatively, not being a team player. I try as much as possible to clarify costs as early as possible, but being flexible could mean more work.

Thoughts, comments, observations?

Thanks,


In a heavily over subscribed business like this people will try and squeeze out of you what ever they can. I mean this is an industry where UN-PAID jobs on an indie film set will garner 300 applicants from Mandy.com!!

On the one hand you want to be seen as a team player and build relationships that will help you move forward in the industry and obtain future work. On the other hand you don't want to be a patsie that gets taken advantage of.

It's a balancing act that every one in this business deals with daily.

I will add that lately a few crew members whom I've worked with in the past have been going out of their way to cheese me off to the point where they will never work with me again. I can only assume that they don't care, so they figure let's milk Richard for every thing we can get out of him now. To heck with the future.

We all burn bridges as we progress, either by accident or on purpose, it's un-avoidable. Some people however seem so hell bent on it that it surprises me.

R,
  • 0

#3 Serge Teulon

Serge Teulon
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 757 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London UK

Posted 27 March 2008 - 12:56 PM

I agree...but I would add that you have to go with what you feel comfortable with.

S
  • 0

#4 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 27 March 2008 - 04:11 PM

Now at what point are you being taken advantage


The point where the client tries to squeeze in an extra day's shoot, when you've agreed to a one day/rate. If he can't be up front with you about it being two days' work and two days' pay, then it sounds like he's hoping you'll be a sucker and not complain.

I tell people I can give them a rate of "X" for shooting, and a rate of "Y" for prep or gear pickup/returns. For a new client you *might* decide to throw in some freebies the first time for the sake of building a relationship, but don't do it twice. If you do, then they think that that's what your time is worth and you've only garnered a low-paying client.
  • 0

#5 Michael Collier

Michael Collier
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1262 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 27 March 2008 - 04:38 PM

I think back to my days as a telemarketer on this one. How do you get what you need, and make the client feel good about it in the end? First and foremost is set your rate on the table. Thats the rate, and its constant. Now if the production needs this or that, we can talk, and be open to talk, but if they want something for free, they must feel like they are getting a deal.

If you do prep unpaid, tell them that you normally charge X amount for prep. If they don't want to pay it and start throwing up roadblocks, then casually tell them you'll throw it in for free....but make sure and emphasize that its something YOUR doing, not something they are intitled to. Then if they try and get you to shoot that night, tell them, well I already gave you free prep, and normally I only charge for full-day rate if I shoot (no half-days or prorates), but since I know your strapped lets call it time and a half on the pro-rated day rate (IE day rate: $1000/10 hour day, they ask for 2 hours shoot at night, quote them $300 for that shoot.) Again giving them a deal against your stated rates (while still getting paid for the shoot).

As for transport, I usually quote my rate in 10 or 12 hour blocks, and anything over and above that is time and a half. That gives the producers modivation not to work me for 18 hours while only paying my 12 hour rate. If they want transport, tell them its counting towards hours and OT rates.

If you do it diplomatically they will be thankful since they felt they got a deal, and they will be slow to take advantage of you because it took some negotiation, and they already got some freebies. They will also remember you in the future because they know they didnt grift you, and you were helpful to their bottom line. Its a tightrope to negotiate things like this, but there is an attitude and demenore that will make any producer feel like your on their page and a team player, while maintaning the intrinsic value your work has. The key is to be a salesman. Make sure they know the value and the savings they are getting, and make sure they know why they are getting them.

--this is also why I want a rep. I suppose a few years down the line maybe, I would gladly give away 10%. For now like everyone else we must negotiate ad nausium to work a few days.
  • 0

#6 G McMahon

G McMahon
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 161 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 27 March 2008 - 04:45 PM

Thanks guys
  • 0


Rig Wheels Passport

Metropolis Post

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Glidecam

Opal

Tai Audio

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

FJS International, LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Technodolly

CineTape

The Slider

Willys Widgets

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

Visual Products

Wooden Camera

Tai Audio

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Visual Products

The Slider

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

Metropolis Post

Aerial Filmworks

Technodolly

Glidecam

FJS International, LLC

Paralinx LLC

CineLab

Wooden Camera

Opal

Willys Widgets

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies