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Old January 23rd, 2008, 10:17 PM   #1
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Price for taping a surgery

I have the opertunity to video tape a Open heart surgery for this Doctor with my FX1. he has rented my camera out a few times before and now he wants me to do the filming. I'm not sure what would be the going rate it's a 3 hour surgery and I would be right next to him filming so I'm sure it's not going to be easy. He told my Ex that he would give me 150.00 for doing this and I said no way I think It's worth more then that but again I might be wrong so I'm wondering what would be a fair price. Thank's for the help.

Chet
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 10:18 PM   #2
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do you have insurance in case you drop the camera?
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 10:43 PM   #3
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no but I'm sure I won't drop the camera it will be secured on my tripod but I have thought about what if senerio. My Camera will not be over the patient at all. The one thing I would be worried about is me passing out lol.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 12:01 AM   #4
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Having filmed several operations, it is a lot easier if you can change the viewfinder to Black & White.

Bob
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Old January 24th, 2008, 01:06 AM   #5
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One of the biggest problems in taping a surgical procedure is that the surgeon and his/her audience is typically wanting to see the nitty gritty details of the actual procedure. This means a camera mounted somehow directly above "the hole." For insurance reasons, and just general common sense, you don't want to be standing right next to the surgeon while he/she is working. You are in a sterile field with equipment that is hardly sterile (even with major precautions taken to wipe down and wrap the gear in plastic). Honestly, I'd be shocked and concerned if a surgeon or hospital would allow such an arrangement, actually.

When I've done this in the past, it has meant using a jib arm with a small camera mounted high above the patient. Using a remote control back at the bottom of the jib for focus/zoom/iris control, this is a very good way to get the shot without violating the sterile field. A second camera on sticks directly opposite the surgeon is a good idea to cover yourself as the close-up camera is subject to being blocked by the surgeon or their assistants' head from time to time. A third camera for catching cutaway shots of imaging scans, meter readouts, and other general goings on is also not a bad idea, but certainly not necessary.

The best thing you can do is talk to the person who runs the operating room area. Ask them if you can set up early, and where you'll best be out of everyone's way, while still being able to get what you need. Communication is key in this environment.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 07:08 AM   #6
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Thank's for the replies. I have never done this before and I would rather just rent him my camera like before but he really wants me to do this. When the last guy used my camera he was right next to the Doctor with my Tripod. I'm sure they took the precautions he is a very well known surgeon but again I don't think what he offered is worth it anyway. Thank's again for the replies
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Old January 24th, 2008, 10:03 AM   #7
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Eric, I shoot surgeries all the time, of course hospitals allow this.

get the tripod up real high so you can shoot down on the procedure. You don't have to be standing right next to the surgeon to get the procedure. That's why you have a zoom on your camera.

The Surgeon my want you to be right next to him, that's up to you and him/her as far as where you place the camera. Some of the surgeons like me to set up right next to them others don't. Either way I'm always able to get the shot of the procedure.

Insurance is up to you. However make sure the patient signs a waiver/release form for for you to shoot. The hospital is going to make them sign one for sure. Send over a copy to the hospital PR person so the patient can sign both before the surgery.

BTW...it's not the sight of blood that will get you, it's the smell from the incision that will. Breathe from you mouth and not your nose...trust me.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 03:11 PM   #8
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Thank's Mark for the reply. Yea the smell thats what I heard I guess thats the worst part of it. The problem with getting consent is he calls me up the night before to ask me to do this and I don't think he will give me the patients name to do that. This Video is for him he shoots with a camera on his head but it's not that good quality and he likes my camera. I think he said soon they will be installing cameras in the operating room now thats a job I would love to have being in another room working the cameras lol. Do you think 150.00 for 3 hours is worth it? I'm just not sure what to charge. Thank's again for taking the time out to post it's much appreciated.

Chet
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Old January 24th, 2008, 10:45 PM   #9
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$150 is a JOKE -- he's taking advantage.

Ask for 10% of his fee for the surgery. Make very sure he has permission from the hospital to have you do this and have him accept all liability.

The nightmare would be for something to go wrong with the surgery for which you might be blamed and sued. It would be a very difficult situation to be in.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 10:53 PM   #10
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For single day, single set up HD shoots I charge $395. That includes camera, operator, tripod, mics, lights etc. That rate isn't fixed though, in the case of the surgery, where you probably won't be setting up lights or mics, I would give a discount. Especially if the camera is going to be at one single location and not move.
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Old January 25th, 2008, 09:36 AM   #11
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Chad, Even if you can't get a release form in time the hospital should be able to get one, I know you're working with the doc, but honestly you need to contact the media relations director at the hospital. The doctor works for the hospital, and there are a ton of legalities, so you do need consent. If anything ask the doc who's doing the surgery to provide you a copy of the release form that he has, or make him get it from the patient. It doesn't matter if the video is only for the doctor, the patient has to give permission regardless.

As far as your fee is concerned. I wouldn't take anything less than $300.
That's $100 an hour and that's fair. Remember he's not only hiring you but renting your gear for the shoot. At $300 he's getting a deal trust me. Let him call around if he thinks your rate is unreasonable.
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Old January 26th, 2008, 03:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Solo View Post
Thank's Mark for the reply. Yea the smell thats what I heard I guess thats the worst part of it. The problem with getting consent is he calls me up the night before to ask me to do this and I don't think he will give me the patients name to do that. This Video is for him he shoots with a camera on his head but it's not that good quality and he likes my camera. I think he said soon they will be installing cameras in the operating room now thats a job I would love to have being in another room working the cameras lol. Do you think 150.00 for 3 hours is worth it? I'm just not sure what to charge. Thank's again for taking the time out to post it's much appreciated.

Chet
$150?! Terrible! Ask him how much he's charging for the surgery! (not literally, just making a point). I would also ask at least $300, not worth even showing up for less IMHO.

Great God! A DOCTOR trying to get a deal!

I'm working out my own rates as I speak, and I know that is really low especially with your nice camera!

Good luck.
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Old January 28th, 2008, 10:43 PM   #13
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If the doctor is doing this surgery for free then $150 may be alright
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Old January 29th, 2008, 06:43 AM   #14
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150$ is a joke, Ive done surgery fitting pace makers and gallstone removal using an endoscope, Its a tiring and intense I'd charge about 500$

Russ
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Old January 31st, 2008, 05:04 PM   #15
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Rip off!

I wouldn't even do it for double the $150. It's not even worth it.

Things to consider and put an actual dollar amount to are:

1. Time driving there and back
2. Liability (risk vs. reward)
3. Wear and tear on the camera
4. Set up time

These are things that you can plug real dollar amounts to. Like liability would be the biggy for me. If you knew you had just 1% chance of getting into some lawsuit over this, how much would it take for it to be worth it to you to run that risk? (Kind'a like when you are getting your auto insurance. Is the $25 you'll save every month worth the extra cost a $1000 deductible would cost you vs. $500 in case of an accident. In this example it would take 20 months to pay for itself and then you'd be coming out ahead.)

Everything has a value to it. I'd say the liability part, at least for me personally, just to get the risk-to-reward ratio where I'd be willing to take that risk, would be $500 (assuming there is no insurance). PLUS all the other time, rental, etc.
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