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day rate in relation to travel and prep


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#1 tanner wolfe

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 07:31 PM

right now i'm shooting several documentaries. i'm curious what a standard charge is for travel days and prep. days. also last month we had several days which were scheduled work days, but turned into off days. that's great, but since we were in a foreign country i couldn't really do any personal work. up until now, i've negotiated this on a show by show basis. however, i'd like to give this production company (that i work with often) a standard list of rates for travel, prep and days off overseas. is charging 1/2 my day rate for these days reasonable?

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#2 Kirsty Stark

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 02:41 AM

Hey Tanner,

This post was started a few days ago and covers a lot of similar questions, so maybe start there and then ask anything specific that hasn't been answered:

http://www.cinematog...n...c=30837&hl=
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#3 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 04:47 PM

Working on any project that isn't covered under a union contract means negotiating whatever rate and deal that you can live with. Most freelancers have their standard day rates, but sometimes leeway is given for longer projects.

A normal day rate is $XXX.00 dollars usually for 10 hours. Then OT billed at 1.5x for hours 11 and 12 then double-time after 12. If you're on location, per diem is also paid at a rate commiserate with the costs of the location, usually somewhere in the range of $25/day to $75/day.

On a long term project where days on and off and OT could become difficult to calculate or is just impractical due to the sometimes fluid nature of non-narrative production, it can be easier for everyone involved to accept a flat day rate for every day that you're away (on a distant location). Of course a lot depends on the kind of show you're doing and how organized the Producers are, but you could wind up with more days off (paid) than counted on. That could balance out with some really long shooting days on occasion. What a deal like that offers is that you are happy that you get $$$ every day that you're not at home and able to take other work on the days off. It gives the Producer the freedom to shoot every day if he needs to (but everyone knows that you won't) and he doesn't have to worry about figuring out OT or getting upset for only shooting one thing a day, ten, or none.

Essentially they are paying for your skills AND for your exclusive availability. By taking you on the road, you are essentially bound to that production until you are allowed to go home, so you should be paid for every day you're there. What that day rate IS is really up to you. Not only do you have to ask yourself what you need at minimum to keep paying your bills, you need to know what the "going rate" is for this type of work that others have gotten with that client. You need to take those things into consideration A) so you can survive and pay bills and B) to set a fair precedent for your own future and for everyone else who expects some kind of "brotherly" agreement as to what fair rates for that kind of work are.
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#4 tanner wolfe

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 09:26 PM

thanks. that's helpful.
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#5 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 02:24 PM

B) to set a fair precedent for your own future and for everyone else who expects some kind of "brotherly" agreement as to what fair rates for that kind of work are.


Thank you.
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