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who earns more money, the director or the dp?


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#1 Ronald Carrion

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 02:00 PM

The cinematographer has a lot of work to do, but the director is involved in the production before the shooting starts and even after.


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 02:14 PM

Rates are higher for a director on an episodic TV show for example, compared to a DP, probably by 2X.  I don't know the actual guild minimum rates are but I would guess it would be around $6000/week for the IATSE DP versus $12,000/week for the DGA director on network TV.  

 

Actual rates are here if you want to figure it out:

http://www.dga.org/C...12-to-2013.aspx


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#3 Richard Boddington

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 03:44 PM

Well, obviously on a feature film project the director's pay package should be, and probably will be, higher than any other person outside of the producers. It's quite common for director's to have to "shepherd" their movies along for 2-3 years in order to get them made.  The DOP will be in for the duration of the shoot, and that's it.

 

My DOP on Against The Wild has already worked on a number of projects since we shut down last October, I won't be finished with post until June 15th,  and I had a year of my life into the project before we even started shooting!

 

My DOP on The Dogfather, has 20 credits on IMDB listed since that show shut down in 2010.  I have one(1).  This is very common when comparing directors to DOPs.

 

Directors do have to spend a huge amount of time in pre-production, and post on large projects can easily last for a year.

 

So if word leaks out with regard to how much money a director is making, and the crew gets ticked off, keep in mind the incredibly higher number of hours a director must put in compared to every other person on the crew.

 

It's 2-3 years out of a director's life, and 5-8 weeks out of everyone else's.  The numbers don't even compare.

 

R,


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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 04:34 PM

High risk, high reward, not to mention residuals, profit points, etc.

There is an averaging effect to be sure, a DP can work on many more projects than a director, a camera assistant can work on many more projects than a DP, etc. But there's no question that directing episodic network TV is pretty lucrative and you aren't sucked into months and years of prep, post, or fund-raising... You work maybe two weeks of prep, two weeks of shooting, and a week of editing, and get paid maybe $50,000 for the month of work... Do that a couple times a year and you're doing alright financially without doing the 9-month slog that the rest of the series crew puts in. I would guess that a TV director only has to direct three or four episodes to earn what it takes the DP to earn in the whole season.
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#5 Richard Boddington

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 06:15 PM

Yeah you're right episodic TV is a great deal for a director.  Plus you don't have to cast, find key locations, or even invent a title sequence.  It's a rinse and repeat operation.

 

But, I don't do TV as they say.  :D

 

Actually I looked into this once...I was repeatedly told, bugger off Richard your are a features guy you know nothing about TV.  So that was that.

 

R,


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#6 Dustin Supencheck

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 12:15 AM

Do Dop's often get residuals on a project? I was thinking more in the vain of indie features.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 12:41 AM

No, on an IATSE union show, the union gets the residuals, which go towards funding our healthcare plan and pension.  Occasionally a DP might be offered profit points on an indie but that rarely pays anything.


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#8 joyce go

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 03:05 AM

It is hard to say that, do the work which one like to do is the most import, I think.


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