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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old March 24th, 2005, 08:16 AM   #16
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Sounds great Christopher! What a day.

Sorry to hear about the trouble with the PA and you're money struggles. Hope you didn't get hurt too bad by either.

Let us know when your stuff airs!
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Old March 24th, 2005, 08:23 AM   #17
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Bryan, I have to no idea what my footage will be used for...it's either casting or actual show footage. I shot it to air, so it's definately good footage. I'm reviewing it now and it's decent. The second family was much better for eye candy... I got this little kid doing wheelie's on his little motor bike. It's really good footage.

The PA problem was a time issue...I got the confirmation at 6pm the night before and I had to be able to pick the person up at 3:30am! Who likes that kind of gig right? So, I was a little limited on PA's to call...lol

It's probably just me, but when I was a PA I hustled like crazy and made sure the Producer on hand didn't have to worry. I made sure everything was done right, I hustled back to the van for stuff, always doubled checked everything and overall made the Producer feel less stressed and was able to focus on the creative and logistical matters. I can't find many (or any) PA's around here that get "it".

Oh, and I pay VERY well....let's just say I am giving 40% of my total budget to my PA. That's more than I ever got. No one shows up anymore for anything less nowadays. This is what I hear..."I'd rather stay home and play video games". I've had 2 PA's give me that jive in the past couple weeks. What's wrong with kids these days? lol!
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Old March 24th, 2005, 08:34 AM   #18
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The trouble is, the good PAs (like you were) don't stay PA's very long.

Soon they become producers. :)

What did you end up shooting/delivering in?
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Old March 27th, 2005, 03:18 PM   #19
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<<<-- Originally posted by Christopher C. Murphy :
Oh, and I pay VERY well....let's just say I am giving 40% of my total budget to my PA. -->>>

Congrats on the gig Murph, that's awesome!!

But 40% to your PA, my God man!! What exactly is he doing for that kind of money? Most PA's we use (local film school kids mostly) are just glad to be getting ANY kind of work and see how the production process works, and they are doing flips for $100/day (the most I would EVER consider paying a PA is $200/day).

I would rather have a cheap, enthusiastic PA who could follow orders than an expensive "experienced" PA who has an attitude.

Of course, if you are talking about a PA who doubles as an experienced lighting grip, that is a different story.

Anyway, congrats again on getting that job, but it pays to be tight-fisted (but fair) if you are a producer.
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Old March 27th, 2005, 07:42 PM   #20
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PA's, for me, is more along the lines of free to $50 a day. I'll buy them lunch if the producers don't provide it.

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Old March 28th, 2005, 07:53 AM   #21
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I was in a major pinch though - I called him at 7pm and said we had a 3am call time. It's pretty tough to convince anyone to get out of bed at 3am. He agreed, but I had to up the rate a little bit more than I wanted to...and I should have based on his performance. I could have done the whole thing better by myself. I can't remember if I mentioned this or not, but he forgot to turn on the shotgun and also didn't charge the extra batteries during lunch. I told him directly to do both and "not to forget" right before I wanted them both done. So, I even reminded him.

Oh, and after the fact I realized I did the hustling too. I'm a huge hustler (lol, not THAT kind of hustler!) - I mean, I run around and get things done in a fast manner. I ran out to the vehicle 5-7 times to get stuff and he didn't go once! He sat on his lazy butt. I don't notice that stuff at the time because all I can think about is getting stuff done. I've got a "if you want it done right, do it yourself" attitude.

Anway, I'm going to change my PA practices as of now. From now on I'm going to outline what is expected up front...maybe even a hand out like I used to give in class. I don't know if any else does this ...but, I end up teaching like when I taught television production. It's like a damn class when I go on shoots with people...even with experienced people I end up acting like a teacher sometimes because they lack knowledge in some area. I wish someone would teach me sometimes on gigs...when I started out I got that quite a bit. Now, I'm the teacher and it sucks when you need to get stuff done fast. lol
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Old March 28th, 2005, 12:36 PM   #22
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I've heard the average day rate for a PA out in SoCal is 150.00.

Just out of curiosity, what is the typical rate for the rest of the country, anyone? I worked for free on 2 gigs just for the fun of it.

Found out I have a talent for keeping the boom mike just the right distance from the talent, even when they are moving, I've been told it really helped in post, even when they had to to AR. I'm also not above simply picking things up and keeping things in order/neat, what ever needs to be done at the moment. Hold the reflector, move the gobos, get coffee, report crimes to the police (yes that really happened).
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Old March 28th, 2005, 12:44 PM   #23
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Joe,

If you're in Boca this summer, let me know.

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Old March 30th, 2005, 01:05 PM   #24
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Being saddled with an incompetent assistant on a shoot like that is a nightmare. Who was monitoring sound and didn't hear the absence thereof when the mic was off? I'm assuming the same guy. Hopefully you've canned him by now. An experienced soundman would be worth the money on that kind of shoot.
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Old July 20th, 2005, 01:27 AM   #25
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I agree with you Bill. But a sound tech used on audition and family b-roll backstory shoots is becoming very rare these days, especially for DV shoots. A sound tech is always worth it but these production companies are absolutely streamlining everything to save a dollar. The worst part is that we are proving that it can be done even though it's pushing the limits and it's setting a precedent. But, if we say no, we need a sound tech, they'll just get someone else so you have to do it. They're even getting field producers to shoot city b-roll on the way in or out of a location to prevent the shooter from going into OT on the actual shoot day. A couple of shows that I have worked on hire the shooter as the DP and audio tech. It's not so bad if you will be in one place such as an interview and there is not alot of surrounding participants in the scene but it does ad stress worrying about levels. The shotgun gets the others but not as clean as a lav. Chris, I know exactly what you mean about having to manage p.a.s but that's just what they are in most cases, p.a.s. I think it's the DP's responsibility as the supervisor to ulitimately make sure that all critical operations get done correctly. I would have a p.a. prep something but I would definitely perform final checks myself before rolling because the client is going to look at you, not the p.a., when it comes to answering for mistakes.

Your p.a. made out like a bandit, especially for his performance that you described, 40%, wheeew!! P.A.'s get between 150.00 - 200.00 per day in the Atlanta market. That's typically for a 12 hour day with OT on some projects. I would definitely agree that you should define the responsibilities to whoever you hire if it's not a key position. That way there is no question as to what is expected of them. I am not a slave driver but I can't stand seeing someone screwing around when things need to be done, especially critical things like charging batteries.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear that you worked on a network show. Just make sure your terms are clear as far as your rate and the hours before OT, tape stock and extensive travel are extra. Make it sound like you have done it many times before and more than likely they will not try to put one over on you because if they detect a great deal they will stick it to you.
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