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#1 Kenny Williams

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 11:52 AM

Hey everyone I'm currently doing pre production on a short filming I'm making for school at the end of the year. Right now I'm looking to hire key crew. My teacher told me about a graduate from the school that I'm going to that I should hire as my DP. I've been talking to him a little bit he seems interested. My question is I've never done this before so when is the appropriate time to bring up money? I just don't know how to work into the conversation how much his rate is.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 12:43 PM

I think you have to figure out an overall budget first to know what everyone's rate can be on some sort of tiered scale and then tell your cinematographer what you can afford.
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#3 joshua gallegos

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 01:47 PM

Just write him a bad check and hope he doesn't cash it until you've wrapped filming.


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#4 Mark Dunn

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 05:15 AM

Now we know who not to take a cheque from.


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#5 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 07:04 AM

Just write him a bad check and hope he doesn't cash it until you've wrapped filming.

 

hehe.. and that you have a lot of big projects coming up.. and scripts in with Universal..  your people will reach out to him and you can do breakfast at The Standard.. 


Edited by Robin R Probyn, 27 July 2015 - 07:05 AM.

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#6 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 11:37 AM

To get back on track, you need to come up with a budget for the film first, just as David said.  Then you will be able to figure out what you can pay your entire cast & crew.  Be realistic with the numbers and up-front with your crew.  If they can't afford to work for the rate you will be offering they need to know that at the outset.


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#7 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 03:23 PM

To be honest, I'm surprised that you're hiring people to work as a DP on a student film which doesn't appear on the surface to be at a third level education level. Surely it should be a fellow student on the course working as the DP, otherwiise it isn't fulfullimg the educational exercise.

 

I say this having worked on third level graduation productions for 3 different film students to shoot some Steadicam shots, but this was at an agreed price that was half the normal rental rate for my Steadicam. The rest of the crews were entirely made up of students on the course or their friends helping out with jobs like catering. I was only there for some specaiist shots on single days, so didn't have any major involvement.


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#8 Kenny Williams

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Posted 27 July 2015 - 03:51 PM

Thanks everyone you've been really helpful. I planned on getting a student to work as DP but the ones I wanted are already booked. Now I'm looking at former students who freelance hopefully they have a student rate!
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#9 JD Hartman

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 06:27 AM

To be honest, I'm surprised that you're hiring people to work as a DP on a student film which doesn't appear on the surface to be at a third level education level. Surely it should be a fellow student on the course working as the DP, otherwiise it isn't fulfullimg the educational exercise.

 

Explain that please.  How would assembling the best crew to produce the best "product" not be the goal?


Edited by JD Hartman, 28 July 2015 - 06:29 AM.

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#10 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 06:53 AM

Because student films are basically about learning and working on each others productions is how film students learn. If you bring in working professionals to do the work of these students they don't learn by getting this experence. They'll make mistakes, but that's part of the process of learnimg and the students will move on. Student DPs can do a good job on these films and it helps to develop their skills and talent without commerical pressures. They are just one part of what makes a student film work.


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#11 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 05:44 PM

Because student films are basically about learning and working on each others productions is how film students learn. If you bring in working professionals to do the work of these students they don't learn by getting this experence. They'll make mistakes, but that's part of the process of learnimg and the students will move on. Student DPs can do a good job on these films and it helps to develop their skills and talent without commerical pressures. They are just one part of what makes a student film work.

It all depends.  Sometimes a "student" film is a calling card for someone who has pretty solid connections either through family friends or faculty and it's going straight to industry pros.  So you're better off with a pro-crew at that point.  Especially if a lot of money is being spent.  Which can be the case on a lot of films at NY film schools like NYU, SVA, Columbia, etc.  

 

Ideally you want to work with your fellow classmates of course.  Being from film school I can see both sides of it but I do see how it's really a case by case basis.

 

What you don't want to do is work with a pro, create a great student film like Pate, win a jury prize at Sundance and then when your first feature is offered to you, drop your DP who helped you get that gig for a "bondable" veteran.  haha.  That's really wrong.   So if you book a pro, remember them if your film is a hit.  Bring em up with you.


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#12 Rakesh Malik

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 05:52 PM

 

What you don't want to do is work with a pro, create a great student film like Pate, win a jury prize at Sundance and then when your first feature is offered to you, drop your DP who helped you get that gig for a "bondable" veteran.  haha.  That's really wrong.   So if you book a pro, remember them if your film is a hit.  Bring em up with you.

 

Even if the person who helped you get that gig wasn't pro when you first hired him/her, you should remember them anyway... because clearly you did something right in picking them. :)


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#13 JD Hartman

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 09:19 PM

Because student films are basically about learning and working on each others productions is how film students learn. If you bring in working professionals to do the work of these students they don't learn by getting this experence. They'll make mistakes, but that's part of the process of learnimg and the students will move on. Student DPs can do a good job on these films and it helps to develop their skills and talent without commerical pressures. They are just one part of what makes a student film work.

 

Don't know if I exactly agree with your thinking.  My friend (mid 30's adult businesswoman) attended NYU for film, as she called it, "Adult Film School".  When it was time for her to write/produce a short for class she wasn't about to risk her grade with inexperienced classmates or underclassmen, she hired her entire crew.  Last NYU third year fllm I worked on, the only students besides he Producer/Director were the DP and the PA's.


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#14 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 02:27 AM

Most students won't have have the funds to hire a professional crew. If there aren't any fellow students capable of undertaking the crewing at the level required for the course there is something wrong with the course's student selection process and/or the teaching on the course.

 

Any such funds are usually best spent on the actors rather than the crew and/or art direction. 


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#15 JD Hartman

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 05:36 AM

Most students won't have have the funds to hire a professional crew. If there aren't any fellow students capable of undertaking the crewing at the level required for the course there is something wrong with the course's student selection process and/or the teaching on the course.

 

Any such funds are usually best spent on the actors rather than the crew and/or art direction. 

 

Trust Fund Kids, lots of them attending film school.

Hired guns, almost guaranteed that none of them will show up wasted at a 7am Saturday call time.


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#16 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 06:05 AM

Not every student is a trust fund kid. Unfortunately, there won't be a new generation of DPs etc if every wanna be director hires experienced professionals on their student film.

 

Professionals aren't immune to partying on a shoot, so a hang over is still possible.


Edited by Brian Drysdale, 31 July 2015 - 06:10 AM.

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#17 JD Hartman

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 06:17 PM

Not every student is a trust fund kid. Unfortunately, there won't be a new generation of DPs etc if every wanna be director hires experienced professionals on their student film.

 

Professionals aren't immune to partying on a shoot, so a hang over is still possible.

 

I didn't make a generalization like that.

 

True but crew you hire, you can fire just as easily.  I'd expect 99 times out of a100, a professional would not get drunk or stoned before a shoot .

 

Lets just agree to disagree.

 

My friend already had a professional career and she was paying her own way towards getting a degree and entering the film world.  She would graduate with a diploma, knowledge, networking both school and professional and material for the start of her reel.  Nothing wrong with making choices to try and and ensure that the material for her reel was the best possible.  If that meant hiring crew, that's her choice, it's her money.


Edited by JD Hartman, 31 July 2015 - 06:20 PM.

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#18 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 06:42 PM

Not every student is a trust fund kid.

 

This feels like another transatlantic divide. I've been to showcases of film school output in LA and it's like watching little mini feature films, clearly shot in a fully professional way with high-end crew and equipment. UK stuff is embarrassing by comparison.

 

P


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#19 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 01:55 AM

I suspect there is a divide in quality between say the National Film & TV School and a few other places in the UK and the film/TV/media courses at universities and further education colleges here.


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#20 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 03:13 AM

I know of students (or rather, their parents) who have spent upwards of $75,000 on their thesis films at USC. The budgets for AFI thesis films are often similarly incredible.


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