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Do you charge for wireless?

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#1 Jameson Johnson

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:13 AM

Hi all,

I've read that some ops simply include wireless video in their kits, but some others charge for it. I haven't purchased a wireless system yet, and I'm liking what I'm reading about the bolt. At that price point, it seems like it could be an include, just like a channel of BFD is for some. Then again, if I can make it work, I'd like to own a Boxx system, but that seems really expensive to just include it.

So my question is, who charges for which wireless and who includes which wireless?

Do some include a basic option but charge for a more expensive option?

How does production react to a request to pay for a more expensive wireless option?

What other comments have you about charging or including wireless in your rate?

Thanks everyone!
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#2 Brant S. Fagan SOC

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 05:21 PM

Yes, specialty items like a Boxx Meridian HD wireless system are an additional item and constitute an additional rental. Check the pricing to purchase a system like this; you'll see that forms a large percentage of the rationale for making it an additional item. Never use the term 'extra' as a producer will view that as just that: something that isn't probably necessary and therefore less likely to get paid for. Try it out. Never make things harder for yourself when making arrangements up front by using the term 'extra.'
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#3 Erwin Landau

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:10 PM

Additional Equipment...

Base rental: It used to be rig (sled, arm, vest, cables) including FF and wireless transmitter (sometimes receiver) and car mount (sometimes also additional depending again on negotiations and how high your base rental was). More gear also justified a higher base rental...

Additional rental (if you had them) were: Gyros, Superpost (if not negotiated into base rental), Low-mode bracket if not included from the rental house, Video-tap (XC-75/77, XC-999) and or adapters for some "odd" cameras.

The new additional rentals were down converters (before HD rigs and HD transmitters/receivers, now they are a necessity for guys like me that still hang on to there SD sleds/monitors), remote iris, remote zoom, FX-box, second FF, etc.

And now HD Transmitters if you want to spend the cash and shoulder the responsibility of it working in the field. (If you end up trouble shooting interference and poor reception more often then you can spend with the DP, Director, Actor discussing the shot, you might want to walk away from that headache.) Everybody will remember that guy that never was listening to the directions that were given to him, because... he was never there... busy trouble shooting his faulty gear...

I usually tell the production that I have the means of transmitting comfortably SD and if they want HD they have to rent it them selfs which they most often do to begin with. Also if they insist on the HD and don't want to spend the extra cash, they have to do with SD as I don't tether during the shot (I will give the DP the chance to light but once the camera rolls, the cable goes bye-bye.)

I got UPM's in the past that called me and asked for my rate and rental. After I told them they complaint and wanted to push my rate, but later were like: "Okay and how much for the FF on top of the base rate and for the Transmitter and for the car mount, etc" and ended up doubling my rental... go figure.

Whatever you do, don't compromise your operating, meaning: make sure that you get everything on set that you need to do your job properly. For example: ending up tethered, or using the productions lousy cheapo FF, or the like is not in your best interest. Don't make it harder on yourself as it should be...
Make sure you have all pieces on Set and are comfortable with what they pay you. Then you can forget about the money and concentrate on operating and not thinking that they took advantage of you... makes for a lousy work day / production and you will not do your best work... IMHO. Which results in not getting asked back for the next one... and we all work for the next one.

Charge fair, don't compromise on your gear, Fly safe!

Just my 2 cents.

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#4 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:56 AM

What Erwin said!

My Canatrans is included in my kit rental but I charge extra for the CamWave. I prefer the Boxx but am not willing to spend the capital on it for the slower rate of return so I sub rent them when the signal has to be rock solid.

As Erwin implies, at some point someone who came before us decided a $30,000 Preston system was included in kit rental and now we're all stuck with that monkey on our backs though I'm more and more often charging extra for it on jobs since production always wants a "discount" if they have their own. I don't cut the rate for not using the Preston though.

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#5 thomas-english


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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:08 AM

I refuse to give a rate over the phone and give an itemised quote by email.

You have to understand that when they are ringing you they have a slot in their spreadsheet you need to fit into by the end of that phone call. When they receive an email the nature of that spreadsheet has to change until they have spoken to you or worked out what your quotation means. Whilst your figure in that box might only be temporarily higher than it needed to be because they need to get it down. There is a point for an hour to a day when other figures in that spreadsheet need to change to accommodate the higher figure.

Most PM's also don't have a clue what you are talking about. They don't know what any of this stuff is. So if you negotiate on the phone you are negotiating different shopping lists. Your negotiating for all these bits and bobs and they are negotiating for robocop to turn up and clear out craft services.

Itemise everything and email.
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