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Taking Care of Business
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Old May 1st, 2008, 05:29 PM   #1
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Potentially, I might be working on a documentary as the cinematographer (for mostly nature shots.) Operating on interviews will be primarily done by the director.

The director is a friend of mine and has asked me to give her my rates. This is causing me frustration since I have been running my own wedding video business for many years and have never had to come up with a rate for a job outside of my business.

She asked for a gold rate and then a silver rate(which would mean if they don't get the funding/grants that they have applied for).

I gotta be honest in that I don't even know where to begin. I looked around at some threads about rates but they are all over the place.

I would be using one of my own cameras(Canon XH-A1) to operate if I worked on this project.

I want to come up with something fair for everyone. I am passionate about the subject and want to do this right.

I am hoping somebody could offer me some advice on how to solve this?
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Old May 1st, 2008, 05:47 PM   #2
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You could try the relevant union (whether it's for broadcast, corporate use or whatever it may come under a different union), as they may well publish minimum or average rates.
In the UK the BECTU union covers broadcast workers and I believe the minimum rate for a camera operator without kit is around 200 per day.
Hope this helps, not my favourite nor specialist subject area either!
Steve
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Old May 1st, 2008, 05:50 PM   #3
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$400 a day for camera operator + 3% of retail price per day for equipment rental.
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Old May 1st, 2008, 06:10 PM   #4
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Jim, does that mean that you work a certain amount of hours a day to get that rate?

What do people do if they work erratic hours?
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Old May 1st, 2008, 06:20 PM   #5
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Don't know about Jim, be here that tends to be for a 10 hour day. Then you just kind of work it out between yourselves to take into account odd hours, so if you did only 4 hours one day 'cos you were rained off you might do an extra couple of hours on a couple of days to make up. Depends on how friendly you are with your production team, as I think strictly speaking you sign up for those hours and if they don't use you then too bad. Sounds like you have a friendly relationship with your producer and will give and take.
Steve
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 06:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Klatt View Post
Jim, does that mean that you work a certain amount of hours a day to get that rate?

What do people do if they work erratic hours?
There've been several threads on that and there's a lot of variation. The upshot is often a 'day-rate' quote is a minimum amount for "up to" 10 hours. Say your Day Rate is $500. Use me for 10 hours, I bill $500. Use me for 4 hours, I bill $500. Use me for 1 hour, I bill $500. Use me for 12 hours, I bill $500 plus 2 hours of overtime (@ hourly pro-rata). Some people choose to negotiate half-day minimums for gigs that are 4 hours or less but often then the half-day rate that is more than half, perhaps 2/3, of the full-day rate. The idea is that time is a perishable commodity ... if I am tied up on Tuesday for 2 hours on your shoot, that means I'm turning down other bookings that would pay me for the full day and I can't recover that lost time or fill it with other gigs. Meanwhile my overhead for those now non-billable hours keeps eating into my cash-flow. Accepting your short gig purely on an hourly basis would means I'd end up losing money on it.
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