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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old July 26th, 2007, 02:27 PM   #1
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First professional shoot and don't know what to charge

I just got word through a friend that a professional music video is being shot in HD this weekend and he's recommended me to the producers and they're interested in having me operate the second camera, which will be my own camera(Canon XH-A1). The thing is, they're asking me for what I want to charge, and as a student, this is my first professional job in the industry and I'm clueless as to what I should charge.

Does anyone have experience in this realm who could shed me some light on what rate is comfortable for me to offer to them in exchange for being the second camera operator and them using my camera in the shoot? I'd greatly appreciate some insight.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 02:39 PM   #2
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If you have never done professional work (getting paid) before of this kind, I would do it just for the experience and to truly say next time that I have experience in Music videos.

I have been doing videos for over 25 years and occasionally I do some free or very low pay work to gain experience in a field that I have no experience.

How mush would you pay to learn what a pro has been learning for years in one day?
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Old July 26th, 2007, 04:04 PM   #3
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as much as I HATE doing anything for no charge I have to agree with Douglas on this one.
Perhaps they can cover expenses, tapes maybe $100 for editing stuff like that - but to charge a full rate when you have neot done that kind of work and are new to the business might not go over so well and could actually cost you the job.

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Old July 26th, 2007, 04:25 PM   #4
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I agree with Don, I wouldn't expect this to be a real money-making job but they are obviously willing to pay something so at least take something.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 05:30 PM   #5
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Agreed. They wouldn't have asked for your rate if they weren't willing to pay you something. You'll learn a lot by doing this, so that in itself is another form of payment.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 05:49 PM   #6
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If you know your camera well and have done other shoots that you can show them that are quality - I'd say go for an acceptable price - wouldn't do it for free as they're willing to pay, just be cautious of being cocky.

IMO $250 for a day rate is minimum wage and is commonly paid to students - wouldn't be too humble as HD cameras can be a pain to look for cameraman on a budget at times.

If your fearful of overcharging or having them walk - I would say if they aren't willing to pay $200 or above, then you really haven't lost an important contact.

I would say present it like this..

"Well a common rental price for this camera is $XXX.XX (look it up) - is that acceptable for you as it comes with an operator and not just the camera?
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Old July 27th, 2007, 06:55 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. Looks like the gig is dead in the water though as I was told I'd get a call about it today and the shoot is on Saturday, and so far nothing and they left me no contact numbers. :/ Oh well.

Thanks for all the suggestions, they'll definitley help me out the next time around.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 07:50 PM   #8
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Honestly - you're probably better off LOL - other people's narrative/music videos etc - drop in the water for your career, lo-pay, and most importantly,
you have no guarantee it'll EVER be completed or any good.

Career wise, you're best doing every corporate/documentary/live event gig you can find or pass off as a class project, put it online and do your best, so you have something practical to show.
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