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Discounted Rates

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#1 Jameson Johnson

Jameson Johnson

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 05:26 PM

Hi all - I've seen posts about this from varying points of view. When discounting a rate for a non-profit, charity, student film, etc. what should actually be discounted? I've worked deals from many different angles, but I wanted to get a better sense of what everyone else does.


I've read to only discount the gear, but maintain the labor rate - I've seen to discount the labor because they should at least be renting the gear - and of course there's the "if they can't afford it, then don't do it" argument.


Also, it seems that the general consensus is to offer discounts for later or "future" projects rather than firsts. However with established clients that occasionally need help making budget, what would you do? Perhaps it's market based also?


What say you?

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#2 GrantCulwell


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Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:36 PM

I usually go with discounting my gear. That way, if production goes into OT, I haven't discounted my extra time on set. Also, talk to a tax accountant about tax laws in your area but you should be able to set it up so that when you discount/donate your gear to a non-profit you could be eligible for a tax write off.


I've gotten plenty of the low budget job offers with "future" projects down the line. I tell them if they pay full rate up front that I'll add to my contract the discount they are seeking on this supposed "future" project. So far, no one has bit but short of doing the way I suggest to productions, I see no way to guarantee they would call for the "future" project.


I'd recommend making sure you invoice every job, even if they do not request it. Put the breakdown of what everything and you should cost and then factor in the discounts. This way they see what you are worth and know what a deal they received and won't be shocked when they call you next and you can't offer the same low rate.


my two cents...

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#3 Erwin Landau

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:55 PM

Doesn't matter what anybody says...


At the end of the day it's what do you think you are worth...


As it has shown over the years, if somebody wants to work with you, they will. They will somehow figure out a way to make it work for both parties. Find the money to make it worth your time and effort. If people only call you when they have no money... look how quickly they will find a replacement after you say no.


I helped out many people when I was starting out. I did not have the experience to be paid full price and they didn't... but when that same producer calls you almost 10 years later and expects you to work for the same rate... I would say walk away. That's what I did.


At the end of the day you have to be comfortable with the money you are making. You will work as hard and be beaten up as much, no matter how much they pay you. It's up to you to determine how much you go home with and if you can live with that and also can live in the eyes of other operators at the same time (nobody likes to be called Lowballer). Production will not go easier on you or treat you any better if you make $1000.- a day or $2000.- a day... at least if you get the $2K, you will live nicer, be able to pay off your rig faster and if you do enough of those $2000.- days... you will be able to say "no" easier... and as long as you can say no, you are in charge...  


You have a limited amount of working days in you... make'em count! You can't log that thing around for ever!

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