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Filming a Commercial


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#1 Andrew McCarrick

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 02:24 PM

I'm going to be shooting a commercial for my uncle's tour bus company. What should I charge for it? I'm DPing/Operating/Directing. It'll probably take a few weeks to shoot as I want to film on one of their trips. Looking at shooting with the HVX200.
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#2 Jim Keller

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 05:13 PM

I know this sounds flippant, but the answer is "charge as much as the client is willing to pay you, but no more."

If the client thinks you're worth $10, then you need to decide if $10 is worth your hassle. But why take $5 when you could get $10? If the client thinks you're worth $1 million, you need to decide if you'll put up with the client for $1 million. But why take $10 when you could get $1 million?

Sadly, there's no "standard" rate, except the union minimums (which I don't have at my disposal). But remember that it's assumed that if you're hiring a union crew, you're getting experienced professionals who won't be wasting time "learning" on a set. Non-union rates run anywhere from "It's good for your reel" to quite a bit more than union minimum.

My advice is, figure out how much you need to get paid (note that's "need" and not "want") to make it worth your time and trouble, and ask for that. Then the next time an opportunity comes up, you can haggle up or down based on whether or not your rate is working out for you.
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