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day rate or hourly rate


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#1 Alan Rencher

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:31 PM

Do most of you charge a flat day rate (not including rentals) or an hourly rate with a minimum number of hours? I seem to get better results on low budget work when using an hourly rate to derive my day rate. This usually avoids any overtime debacles, or discussions over ten and twelve hour rates.
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#2 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 12:14 AM

It's not uncommon for a job to be generally discussed in terms of day rate but I make it clear in the conversation and on my Deal Memo the hourly rate, minimum hours, OT rate, DT rate, daily kit rental and cleaning fee (if required) as well as payment terms and a request for a Certificate of Insurance.

All of us, other than a few corporate ops are independent business owners and may approach it in a different way. The same goes for different specialties within Steadicam where there are "norms" that were established or allowed to be established by those who came before us. For instance, kit rental on live shows can range from $600 to $750. On commercials it can go $1000-$1500 or so but the equipment / AKS requirement is a bit different.

YMMV

Robert
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#3 Alan Rencher

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 03:24 AM

Thanks for the reply, Robert. What are some normal overtime scenarios? Do you usually charge after 10 or 12 hours. Do you go straight to double time?
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#4 Philip J. Martinez SOC

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:18 AM

I thought we were keeping rates off the public forum. The rental rates you quoted for live TV are lower then the standard in New York.
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#5 MarkKaravite

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:44 PM

Alan,

All IA contracts specify when you click into X1.5, X2, etc... It sounds like you are doing some non union work, but it still makes sense to discuss this ahead of time with the producers, and get it in a deal memo.

Normally (at whatever the prevailing hourly rate is), you are straight time for 8 hrs., X1.5 until 12, then X2 after 12. 6 days in a row are X1.5, and 7th day is X2. If you are a distant hire, then you might go into X2 after 14 hrs., but you are paid portal to portal. I'd never consider a flat rate. They could work you for 16 hrs. and you'd have no recourse (or no one to blame but yourself).

You are correct to use the hourly rate to derive the day rate, and to separate the labor from the equipment rentals. Specify whether your equipment rates are on a 3 or 5 day week. A 3 day week is better, because once you work 3 days, they owe for the whole week. On a 5 day week, say there's a holiday during the schedule and you only work 3 days, then they would correctly pro rate your rental for 3/5 of a 5 day week. Less money for the same time frame.

As Robert states, always get the insurance before your gear leaves it's home. I add that production is responsible for replacement value, and all deductibles should there be any loss or damage. I heard a nightmare story of an op who's rig was destroyed on set. The producer had a $25,000 deductible, and the op got stuck for the $25,000 to replace his rig. In business, you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate for.

If you don't put terms into a deal memo, when there becomes a question, the producer will almost always err in their favor.
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#6 Jameson Johnson

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:55 PM

I feel like I'm reading your equipment rental section incorrectly. Are you suggesting that a 3-day week is billed at a full week rate, or that a full 7-day week is billed at a 3-day rental rate? I'm a little confused by this because there are production houses that I work with that rent, for example a 7-day week for a 3-day rate, but then others that charge based on production days rather than the rental term. From what I've read elsewhere on the forum and other ops, it's typical to charge 1:1 for rental and days worked, since the gear is actively being used by the operator. Could you clarify please? ...and perhaps this is another situation where things are one way in a certain market, and different in another.
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#7 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 09:28 PM

I thought we were keeping rates off the public forum. The rental rates you quoted for live TV are lower then the standard in New York.


Glad you're getting a better rental rates for live shows Philip. I've worked pretty much all over the country, trading and swapping and filling jobs with a lot of the other live ops and those are the rates I've seen across the board. Sometimes in corporate live work there's more.

If the mods want to hide the post to keep the rates secret that's okay with me but we've got a lot of new people that come here and a lot of new guys who come to my business class and they are starved for good rate information both on rentals and labor. Then we wonder why they get into the bad habits. Everyone is free to strike their own deals. I'm probably as good a negotiator as anyone here but live show rates seem to have been well established way before I came around.

Regardless, we need to help the new ops with straight answers so they can get a proper start.

Robert
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#8 Philip J. Martinez SOC

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 07:27 AM

I have no problem with talking about rate's out in public. I too think it is a good idea to share info with newer ops.

In New York City "Book" rental rate for NBC, ESPN, All Mobile Video, ect... has been $800.00 since 2009 when I did my 1st "live" shoot.
That was Sled, Vest, Arm, batts, and focus. TelePrompTer is extra.

Mods please feel free to delete my post if we want to keep rates off forum.
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#9 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 10:33 AM

As a new op, rate is one of my first questions when I meet other ops. Not that I want to compare or gossip, but because I want to figure out how to talk to prods and work without breaking the market price.
As of right now I a considering upgrading to a larger rig and I am working on my business plan and rates are important.

Thank everyone for being open and sharing with us?
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#10 Kevin Andrews SOC

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:11 PM

As a new op, rate is one of my first questions when I meet other ops. Not that I want to compare or gossip, but because I want to figure out how to talk to prods and work without breaking the market price.
As of right now I a considering upgrading to a larger rig and I am working on my business plan and rates are important.

Thank everyone for being open and sharing with us?


...and then there's the catch of, rates and policies can vary depending on your market and client base. If I demanded an insurance cert on every job, I'd be sitting at home watching my gear collect dust. They would ask, "well don't YOU insure YOUR gear?" And the rig rental rate, forget about it. "I thought you owned your gear, why is there a rental rate on this quote?" I have found that average production companies are aware that Steadicam equipment is expensive. Then they say, you must have like eight grand in all that?

I may need to grab one of Robert's classes to see if I can streamline things.
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#11 Alan Rencher

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:41 PM

Thanks for all the input. I'm not in the Union yet, so I am not used to getting quite what some of you do, but I do fight for what I deserve. I regularly turn down refocus offers, but I also work with producers to negotiate a rate that works for both of us. I try to start at IATSE minimum wage for most gigs, given my four years experience, and I go from there.
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