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Weekly Rates vs Owner Operator Rates


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#1 Daniel Andrea

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 01:40 PM

This rarely happens but it is now coming up in prepro for this large HD doc I am shooting starting next month.

The producer suddenly asks me what my "WEEKLY RATE FOR EQUIPMENT" is after I had provided a quote with daily rates which was approved by production.

As an owner/operator I always charge daily rates but then don't charge for equipment on travel days. Which I think should make up for some. Besides much better cared for equipment and lower hours what are some other arguments that you guys use in this type of $$ discussion?

Appreciate your kind advise!

Daniel Andreas
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 01:43 PM

Personally as an owner/op I always discount weekly/monthly . . . Rental houses do too so you might be a bit pigeonholed into doing it too. Your argument could/should be that they already approved the daily rate, though. . . aside from that I can't think of any.
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#3 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 06:11 PM

Rental houses often do a 4 day week rental, sometimes even 3 day if the job is long enough. You should be prepared to give the production company something along these lines for your equipment. Your personal rate should stay the same, however, minus whatever deal you do for travel days.
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#4 David Rakoczy

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 06:20 PM

The producer suddenly asks me what my "WEEKLY RATE FOR EQUIPMENT" is after I had provided a quote with daily rates which was approved by production.


Daniel Andreas
DP Los Angeles



Tell him to look at his line item budget.. as those numbers have already been approved...
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#5 Dan Goulder

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 06:54 PM

This rarely happens but it is now coming up in prepro for this large HD doc I am shooting starting next month.

The producer suddenly asks me what my "WEEKLY RATE FOR EQUIPMENT" is after I had provided a quote with daily rates which was approved by production.

As an owner/operator I always charge daily rates but then don't charge for equipment on travel days. Which I think should make up for some. Besides much better cared for equipment and lower hours what are some other arguments that you guys use in this type of $$ discussion?

Appreciate your kind advise!

Daniel Andreas
DP Los Angeles

How do you define "approved by production"? Is this a hard legal contract, or just a verbal understanding? Without knowing more details, I'm reluctant to take sides. However, as it is standard industry rental practice to offer a 3-4 day week (or 9-12 day month), you may have to consider conforming to the competition. As for the equipment being "better cared for", or having "lower hours", don't expect that one to fly. Unless you were counting on the naivety of the producer, there's no reason why they should be paying you significantly more than they would from a reputable rental house. (sorry if that sounded blunt)
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 07:04 PM

Is it really a 9-14 day month I Had always done %s personally, though that's make my math a whole lot easier!
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#7 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 06:22 AM

3 day weeks are unfortunately very standard for both rental houses and owner/operators. You can stick to your guns and demand a daily rental, but it will cost you a lot of work.
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 06:25 AM

Good to know brad. Guess it looks like I ought redo some maths. . .
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#9 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 12:29 PM

If you look at the daily rental of an HVX200 which may go for $425 with batteries and cards from a rental house. That same rental for a month would not come to 30x $425 or ($12,750) as that would not make any sense. This is why weekly and monthly rental rates exist. However, it should be noted that the days must be consecutive for this to apply. You can't book a "9-12 day monthly" rental on equipment and then space out those 9-12 days over the course of three months, coming in whenever you want and repeatedly checking in and checking out equipment. Those days must be back to back and within the time frame of a week or a month. Same thing with weekend shooting. A weekend rental of 2 days is a 1 day rental. But 2 days in the middle of the week is 2 days.

The protocol for owner operators also has it's differences. For instance, if production books your gear for a month on a film and you finish the film in 18 days. That doesn't mean that they have your gear for a week to use on a different film or a music video, commercial etc. Where with a rental house, no one would know or care if they did this, if it's your own equipment, typically, your obligation will end when production wraps. For this reason, it's always good to have a contract with terms everyone understands and agrees upon.

Always keep your business practices standard because whether production knows they're doing something stupid or not today, isn't the issue. Eventually, on this project or the next they'll realize they made a mistake and they'll remember that if you took advantage of it.
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#10 Rohan Dadswell

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 11:12 PM

When this discussion/argument comes up I point out all the extra gear that comes with owner operators. I have a van full of bit & pieces that aren't invoiced for but are there on the job. - C-stands, shot bags, clamps, chairs, hi-hat, cine saddle, blacks, reflectors & stands, extension cables,sun screen, fly spray extra lights etc.
As well as stuff like a microdilly & mini-jib that I do charge for and are 'on standby' in the van for when the producer suddenly realizes he can't live with out them.

If they want to get their gear from a rental house, get a quote for every bit of kit that you could use on a shoot and then see how good a four day week rate is compared to an owner operator that comes with all the stuff producers never think of.

Yes I do 'do deals' on longer jobs bit it has to be reasonable.

Edited by Rohan Dadswell, 23 November 2008 - 11:14 PM.

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