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Old March 15th, 2007, 11:53 AM   #1
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How much to pay

I am a parent volunteer with the school here and often tasked with taping performances (music, dance, drama, etc). Sometimes the events are free and the taping is only for archival; often there is an admission fee ($ 5-8 per person) and the DVD of the event can be sold. When that happens, the DVD is usually sold at a price of $ 10-25 per disc.

A lot of times I will need an extra camera or two in order to produce a quality DVD. Most of the time I am taping on 3CCDs camcorder and plan to upgrade to HDV cam.

Question: How much should I pay for a second or third shooter with their own cams?. The job is simply to tape the events and hand the tapes to me at the end of the program. I will do the editing and DVD authoring. I am not paid and whatever money I make (if there are any) will come solely from the sell of the DVDs. The job will usually take 2 hours (for the program, does not include setups).

Please advice. Thanks!!
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Old March 15th, 2007, 01:19 PM   #2
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How much should I pay for a second or third shooter with their own cams?
You can hire videographers anywhere from $0 - $300 / hour. The $0 end sounds crazy to normal folks, but the time-for-reel folks really are out there. Where I live, $75/hr will net a skilled professional sans equipment.

However, for children's plays, I would ask another parent to shoot the B camera and then train them in videography.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 01:55 PM   #3
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As a reference point for you...

Assuming you provide the blank tapes, the location isn't too far from the house, (30 min or less drive time), and it's a week night. I'd arrive early for the setup, shoot for the 2 hours, then help tear down...for maybe $200.

Hope this helps you!
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Old March 15th, 2007, 09:26 PM   #4
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However, for children's plays, I would ask another parent to shoot the B camera and then train them in videography.
That's what I did; however, the results usually are not good, especially when the cams are not white-balanced, or the pics are very shaky.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 09:29 PM   #5
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As a reference point for you...

Assuming you provide the blank tapes, the location isn't too far from the house, (30 min or less drive time), and it's a week night. I'd arrive early for the setup, shoot for the 2 hours, then help tear down...for maybe $200.

Hope this helps you!
Mark, thanks a lot.
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Old March 17th, 2007, 12:01 AM   #6
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However, for children's plays, I would ask another parent to shoot the B camera and then train them in videography.
I would never ask parents or friends or do-gooders to shoot. That's really asking for trouble. Your reputation could sink faster than the Titanic.
Allen W
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Old March 17th, 2007, 01:14 AM   #7
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I would never ask parents or friends or do-gooders to shoot. That's really asking for trouble. Your reputation could sink faster than the Titanic.
Allen W
I agree. It's kinda difficult to tell them what need to be done and how to do it. Most of the time I found two different types: the first ones are those who think they know how to shoot while the footages prove the opposites. On the other end are those who keep saying they do not know how to handle the cams and do not want to learn because it's too difficult. Either way, it usually causes more work on the post pro.

That's why I am thinking if I can get some people, do not have to be pro; but people who want to keep their skills sharp and do not mind to be paid $ 30-50 per hour.

I checked with one store in my area and found that they rent out a Sony PD-150 with shotgun mic at $ 175 per day. Their half day (4 hours max) is $ 400.

Is $ 30-50 per hour is way way too low? What do you guys think?
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Old March 17th, 2007, 12:00 PM   #8
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One of the post here said the two cams were not "white balanced"?

That problem is the fault of the producer....
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Old March 17th, 2007, 12:13 PM   #9
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One of the post here said the two cams were not "white balanced"?

That problem is the fault of the producer....
Ron, that's the problem.

There are times I cannot white balance the cams either because the cam used does not have WB feature or have hard time trying to explain or do it to the parent operating that camera. Some will even argue that the footages on their camcorder look better than mine.
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Old March 17th, 2007, 06:34 PM   #10
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Ron, that's the problem.

There are times I cannot white balance the cams either because the cam used does not have WB feature or have hard time trying to explain or do it to the parent operating that camera. Some will even argue that the footages on their camcorder look better than mine.
Even if the cameras are white balanced, unless you're using the same make, and sometimes the same model, don't expect the pictures to match.
Each manufacture has their own idea on how a picture should look. Some are warmer (Sony), some are cooler. They will also handle lighting differently. Under the same light conditions, one camera may blow the picture out while the same picture looks great on another. The parents camera may kick up the gain, creating a horribly graing picture. Forget about the auto focus that focuses on everything but the main subject. As the lighting goes down so does the color on those parental single chip cameras.

The only problem that can be contributed to the producer is making a foolish decision to hire amateur help to save a few dollars.
Allen W
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Old March 17th, 2007, 07:19 PM   #11
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The only problem that can be contributed to the producer is making a foolish decision to hire amateur help to save a few dollars.
Allen W

Ok... back to my question. What you guys will ask for this kind of shooting?
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Old March 17th, 2007, 11:29 PM   #12
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Ok... back to my question. What you guys will ask for this kind of shooting?
For short programs like this, I pay my additional videographers up to $150/hr, minimum 2 hrs. plus tape stock.
Allen W
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Old March 20th, 2007, 11:32 AM   #13
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OK.. thanks for the inputs.
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