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Old October 20th, 2009, 10:23 PM   #1
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What Are Current Basic Cable Freelance Rates?

This isn't a "what should I charge?" thread, it's a "what should I pay?" thread.

I have been a cameraman for a few years. A couple of years ago, I shot on a basic cable reality show as an operator for $450/ten hour day. And that was operating a HDCAM.

Now I am working with a producer to put together a budget for a reality show pilot proposal, and after doing mostly industrial video for several years (and having that rate fall big time since 08), I want to make sure what we are paying (as a NON UNION rate, of course), is fair for what people are seeing in the current freelance reality show basic cable world today.

So, a few years ago, it was $450/day for camera and $350/day for audio. Is this still the case?

The gear would be EX-1 and standard audio package (mixer/3 lavs/boom). I need operator rates, as kit rentals would be handled separately. Also, these would be 5-6 day shoots, so standard multiple-day discounts on rates may apply.

I want to offer real pay to hire guys with cable reality experience, I DO NOT want to Craigslist it. On the other hand, it won't be major network union budget either.

Thanks for your help....
Brian Mills, Videographer/Editor
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 07:57 AM   #2
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shooters go for $500 to $600 and soundies for around $400.
This is for experienced people. You can find lower prices anywhere and you can also find overpriced people around too. I do some of this type of work and get no arguements from main line companies at $550 for 10. No discounts on labor for multiple days unless you are talking a month. Many of us won't go for labor only. I know I won't unless I get some rentals. Doesn't have to be camera, I don't own every camera in use today. But I'll get support gear, HD monitor, lights, maybe audio and bring up my rate several hundred.
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