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Reasonable Day Rate for a Commercial DP?


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#1 Alexis Hanawalt

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Posted 05 August 2005 - 04:53 AM

I'm starting to put together a few speculative budgets for a client for a commercial I'm directing. What would people consider reasonable non-union day rates for a DP shooting on a SDX900?
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#2 shane grace

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 01:19 PM

Hi - couldnt help noticing the lack of replies to a seemingly easy question to answer - maybe people are a bit shy to reveal how much they earn ;-) ??

Maybe it depends on the quality of DP your after - a student may cost you nothing while a very experienced feature DP will cost more. Some DP's offer cheaper rates if the project is considered interesting or valuable to his/her show-reel.

Shane
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#3 Patrick Neary

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 02:38 PM

Hi- Among a lot of other things, it also depends on where you live!

A commercial DP in Kalispell is not going to be looking at the same day rate as a commercial dp in Chicago.
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#4 Y.M.Poursohi

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 07:00 PM

It really depends on what you want to achieve. Do you want to impress the client with a super glossy look, or do you want to get a clean normal look and save some cash? Are you starting up as a director? Then you may want to use an experienced DP who will keep the show flowing smoothly. On most commercials I work on the D.P gets at least $2000 a day. But this is NYC and mostly large accounts, I know for a fact that there are some amazing DPs out there who do features and get a lot less than that. You may want to look for a gaffer or 1st AC/Focus Puller who is trying to bump up and get the job going. Keep in mind that if you have a name DP you'll have to pay for the shoot days and possibly a tech scout/prep day. One last thing, don't just view DP reels online, you should be able to see a DVD or tape not just a website reel.

Good Luck
Yousef
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#5 Eric Steelberg ASC

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Posted 22 August 2005 - 12:48 AM

Where are you located and what kind of commercials are they?

A normal rate STARTS at $2,000/day, prep days are additional but sometimes discounted. This is for a regional or small national spot being produced out of a major city.

Format doesn't really matter...the DP is still doing the same thing whether it's on a PD150 or an Arri 435. So that shouldn't factor in, unless the format is indicative of a low budget, in which case you should just say it's low budget.

It will also make a difference if you're planning on going through an agent to hire someone. You'll probably get a better deal from someone unrepresented, but then again you might be sacrificing quality and/or a good relationship during the shoot.
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#6 Alexis Hanawalt

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Posted 22 August 2005 - 06:51 PM

I knew this thread would get picked up sooner or later...!

We're budgeting in the 30K ballpark for 2 spots, probably 2 or 3 days shooting. We'll shoot in LA.
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#7 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 07:26 AM

I have DP friends in LA that regularly earn about $4000-4500/day. But they're experienced, have good agents and are in with the right prod. co's and directors. Naturally, here in Europe such day rates are not as prevalent.

The UK standard union rate for a DP is £1062 (about $1800) for a 10-hour day, I think. Rarely do you get more than that on a music vid, often a lot less.

On a commercial they negotiate for 12-hour days often including the prep and scout. So for a 1 day shoot with half a days prep/scout you'd get maybe £1600-2000 ($2800-3600), sometimes more depending on how 'hot' you are or how big the budget is.
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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 11:07 AM

Hi,

Adam, bear in mind that's about 2% of all music promos shot in the UK. I'm talking here about stuff that goes out on MTV or whatever. I've shot broadcast promos and made a fraction of the money you're talking about, and I don't ever expect it to improve.

Phil
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#9 Eric Steelberg ASC

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 11:22 AM

I knew this thread would get picked up sooner or later...!

We're budgeting in the 30K ballpark for 2 spots, probably 2 or 3 days shooting.  We'll shoot in LA.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I would plan on $1200-$1500/day.
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Visual Products

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Willys Widgets

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Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

The Slider

Glidecam

Metropolis Post

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

FJS International, LLC

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc