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Old May 1st, 2004, 08:39 PM   #1
Regular Crew
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Posts: 152
What constitutes a "half-day" rate?

I started working as a camera operator for a series a few weeks ago. The series is on a shoestring budget and I'm working less hours than I had initially been lead to believe.

Anyway, my employer has finally asked for me to submit my hours (it's been three weeks), and she mentioned that she knew I had a few "half-days" in. I confirmed that my daily rate was $150, so I assume a half day would be $75.

Anyway, I was just wondering what the cutoff was for a half day. I haven't worked more than 5 hours in a day yet, and I would hate for all of my days to be classified as a half day--it would barely be worth the commute if that were the case.

Speaking of commute time, is that a factor in any of this? Next time I'll know to work out all the details before production begins.
John Lee

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Old May 2nd, 2004, 07:00 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
In my business a half day may only run 1/2 the hours but is generally 60% of the price.

In other words, for example, say my day was $100 (it's not but say it is) and that is for an 8 hour day by the clock. That includes downtime, lunch what ever, 8 hours is 8 hours. Now for my 1/2 day, 4 hours, I would charge $60.00. Why you ask? Good question. First, I probably am done for the day, no chance of doing anyother work for the day and 2nd, perhaps an incentive for the client to set a better schedule and hire me for the full day.
Everyone I know typically charges a little more than 1/2 for a half day rate in this area.
For something more than a 1/2 day in most cases I charge the 1/2 day and then an hourly rate which is slightly more (like 10%) than if you took my day rate and divided it by 8. In other words, again saying my day rate was $100 and 1/2 day was $60, and I worked 5 hours, I would charge 1/2 day plus 1 hour at $11 (1/8th my day rate plus 10%) so my total bill would be $71.00

The reason for the differences is simple. If someone hires me for the day I want them to feel that they are getting some sort of discount or special rate for hiring me for the day.
I know it sounds crazy and they all know how it works but that's how I've charged out for over 20 years and it's worked for me.
Hope that helps a little and yes, next time make sure you and the client discuss in a little more detail about things like that. They expect it and you need to know.
Best to you,
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 08:01 PM   #3
Hawaiian Shirt Mogul
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: northern cailfornia
Posts: 1,261
1/2 day rate should be more then 50% of your day rate.

IMO there are no 1/2 days booked in advanced.
the only times i worked 1/2 days was when somebody called me the night before and i had no work the next day then i would give them a 1/2 day rate.
if somebody wanted to book me for july 3 for a 1/2 day they would have to PAY me for the FULL day.
why ? i can't take any other work on july 3 because the producer cannot say for sure that the day will go from 7am - 12noon . i have to still be available to the project if it runs over the 4-5 hrs.
next time a producer want to book you for a 1/2 day in advance and says you'll be done by noon tell him great and that you are booked for another shoot at 1pm so you'll be leaving with equipment at noon - no if's or butts ...
IMO the only 1/2 day booked in advance is a travel day...

BUT i have to admit that when one is starting off in the business one will take any/most work ..so my POV is from being established in the business.
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