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Old May 31st, 2005, 09:19 AM   #1
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Rates for acting as a sound guy.

I've been asked to act as a sound guy on someone's low budget film. It is a small budget project. I've only done this for free previously and have no idea what the going rate is for doing this work. I would be using a portable mixer and boom mic. I'm familiar with the equipment. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old May 31st, 2005, 01:37 PM   #2
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If it's a low budget film they probably can't afford to pay you too much (or whatever the market rate is)?

Different ways of looking at this:
A- You could charge market price, although they probably can't afford this. I think in Canada it's like $300-400CDN/day... but things depend highly on the niche (i.e. feature films pay the best). If you factor in your experience, then you may want to charge lower.
Wireless rental is an additional cost on top of that. (Lots of sound guys own their gear, so they come as a package rate.)
B- The most you can charge out of them
This depends on how much money they have, how good they think you are, and how you ask them.
C- The minimum you should be paid
Minimum wage (because it's contract work, minimum wage should be higher for you to make the some amount as someone with a Mcjob) + transportation, your equipment (rental), expendables, lodging, food (they should provide this), maybe overtime (if you worked union, you get paid extra when it gets into overtime), etc.

If one of your goals is to get future jobs out of this, then it may make sense to be upfront of your costs and then not go over it (i.e. overtime, unforseen expenses for purchases or rentals). You don't want to be known as the guy who's trying to squeeze the production for money, so avoid hidden costs.
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Old May 31st, 2005, 05:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Finn
I've been asked to act as a sound guy on someone's low budget film. It is a small budget project. I've only done this for free previously and have no idea what the going rate is for doing this work. I would be using a portable mixer and boom mic. I'm familiar with the equipment. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
Rates are wide open for nonunion. I've seen people ask for as low as free to $150 for a 12 hour day.

I usually charge $300 for a 4 hour, $400 for an 8 hour, $450 for a 10 hour and $50/hr overtime after that.

Others don't do partial days and you see rates around $400 for an 8, often plus gear. The gear fee depends on how many toys are asked for.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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