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high end rates


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#1 Demian Barba

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 09:18 PM

hi

i ask this not because i am money hungry. i am in film making because i just cant see myself doing anything else regardless of the pay, but i had a discussion with a friend in which he talked about a friend of him that makes thousands per day as a sound recorder, above 3 to be precise and i just wonder: is that true? I come from the new york indie industry where i am happy if i am making 350 a day on a job and 500 is damn good.

I just wonder how much high end commercial crew members make and how those rates compare to high end feature rates for dp, director, sound, keys, etc...



thanks

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#2 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 09:27 PM

Your rate is whatever you can trick production into paying ya! :lol:

I have heard of grossly overpaid crewmembers, but $3K for a sound recordist? YIKES! Is that for commercials or features though, big difference.

I have never made more than $600 a day myself, never more than couple of days at a time, for commercial projects and the like. Mostly I average $400 a day for camera work. But then, I am far from the big leagues . . .

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 26 August 2008 - 09:29 PM.

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#3 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 10:34 PM

$3K for a sound mixer sounds very high. But remember, they do have a good amount of gear that they rent production, so a good portion of that money is probably from rentals. But still $3K is high. I would have guessed that a high end mixer got about $1500/day, but I'm not a mixer so I don't know.
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#4 John Brawley

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 11:02 PM

hi

i ask this not because i am money hungry. i am in film making because i just cant see myself doing anything else regardless of the pay, but i had a discussion with a friend in which he talked about a friend of him that makes thousands per day as a sound recorder, above 3 to be precise and i just wonder: is that true? I come from the new york indie industry where i am happy if i am making 350 a day on a job and 500 is damn good.

I just wonder how much high end commercial crew members make and how those rates compare to high end feature rates for dp, director, sound, keys, etc...



thanks

demian barba
ww.demianbarba.com



Perhaps on TVC as a day player with lot's of gear hires he might make that much.

A commercial DOP here in Sydney would be on 2K - 5K per day to start with and even more at the higher end...

jb
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#5 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 11:12 PM

That rate would likely include rentals as Brad mentioned. I certainly can't speak for everyone or every area but a typical rate for a Steadicam operator would be around $100-$125 an hour plus $600-$800 kit rental. There are a lot of variables such as the going rate on the type project it is, length of project, union or non-union, the geographic area, experience and talents of course. The elite level Steadicam operators with 2-3 specialty rigs, 30 years experience and dozens of A list features under their belts could easily negotiate for double that, maybe more. Add long days with OT and Double time and the day adds up.

There are hybrid deals negotiated too where on longer projects an operator will get X rate for B camera work but on any days the Steadicam is used at all the whole day goes up and there are usually a certain amount of days guaranteed for Steadicam and kit rental whether they use it or not.

Rentals help bump the pay but on the other hand, I walk in the door with roughly $110,000 invested in gear. I could see a sound professional on a large feature needing at least that level of kit and more.

Learning to negotiate is an important part of learning the business. Production / Producers negotiate deals all day and they're usually more adept at it since it's part of their job and they hone that skill-set. If they want or need you bad enough they'll find the money from someplace or if there are ten others who will do the job at half your rate you get stuck with the legacy of market pricing.
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 09:53 AM

3K is a bit high but not unheard of. I myself have gotten 3K/day for DP work, but only when I brought myself and ALL my kit (SR3, lenses, lights etc) and went into double time. But again, the average I think is 'round 500-600/day for most positions. I recall a few yrs ago I was getting $450/day to rig up studio lighting for a shoot.
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#7 Matt Workman

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 11:21 AM

I mainly work in music videos, which are not what they once were, nor are they any where near commercial rates but:

For some decent videos a DOP/OP can make $1500-3000 not including kit or OT. Just base. Commercial and Corporate is the same and higher, in my experience. On corporates owning equipment can bring in a lot of money becuase you can charge over full rate for you kit and they are happy to pay it.

New York features at $1 million and under is much less per day, obviously. But like its been said, if the projects is really stretching to get a good DP they might rebalance the budget to give the DP their full rate and sacrifice in other areas. Haven't heard of this though.

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#8 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 12:04 PM

3K is a bit high but not unheard of. I myself have gotten 3K/day for DP work, but only when I brought myself and ALL my kit (SR3, lenses, lights etc) and went into double time. But again, the average I think is 'round 500-600/day for most positions. I recall a few yrs ago I was getting $450/day to rig up studio lighting for a shoot.


Adrian, if you've gotten $3k for a day, I could never afford you. ;)
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#9 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 12:14 PM

Welcome back Matt. C'mon, you know you'll get the cine.com 99.9% discount. But, if course if you can swing 3g a day I won't turn it down! :ph34r:
One of these days I'd love to see a million $ budget. . .one of these days
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#10 David Rakoczy

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 01:24 PM

The scary thing is.. you shoot a million dollar gig.. and it still isn't near enough... even adding a zero... nope.. we sure get jaded fast.
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#11 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 04:33 PM

Sadly true. No matter what budget you get there is always that one "thing" to tack on which drains it away.
I wonder though if the differences don't subside as you go up the budget ladder. 1 mil to 10 million is a big change, but what of 10 mil to 20 mil?
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#12 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 07:50 PM

what of 10 mil to 20 mil?


In my experience working features -not as a DP, mind you- it doesn't start to make a difference until you scratch 30 to 50 mil. The stars usually take most of the money anyway, so the more money there is, the more they take. This years's The Eye, the horror flick remake with Jessica Alba that I was part of, had a budget of 20 mil -and she took a reported 12 mil herself. The rest of us were pinching pennies. And the movie tanked at the box office. So go figure.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 27 August 2008 - 07:51 PM.

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