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Day Rate for First Job?


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#1 Mark Sunderland

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 12:15 AM

Hey everybody!

 

First of all, I love that this forum is here.  I appreciate the idea of knowledge share very much.

 

Ok, a little backstory.  I have been studying Steadicam Operation since the beginning of September from John Drop at the Savannah College of Art and Design film school.  Since then, I have logged 100 hours of class time, plus set time on student sets.  I estimate it at around 50 hours of actual suit time.  I am now the TA for the undergrad steadicam lab class, and in that capacity I do all of the demo's as Prof. Drop teaches the new students.  I performed one take of an impromptu move (Follow-->Pass by to 360-->Position 2 Lead) as a demo for a class period last week, and posted that to my Facebook. (Shadow Rig: Built out Red One, 35 mill Cine Lens, Preston Follow Focus, Position Two Monitor, Wireless Monitor Transmitter). My intent was to reach out to smaller production company's to generate a paid demo reel and continue to get more suit time.  

 

My Goal was realized, and I have had several folks ask for my Day Rate based on the move I posted, and I was wondering what you folks thought of what I have drafted as a response.  Please let me know what you think!

 

Mark

 

"Thanks for making contact!  I have two day rates currently depending on the system needed to bear the camera load.  

 

 
Up to 20 lbs (Fully Built) I can bring my own system. (Pilot or Zephyr)  So the day rate there is $600 a day(10hr) for myself, the system, and an assistant.
 
Above 20 lbs, a Shadow System rental would be necessary, so assuming the rental expense is factored in to your budget, the day rate would be $500 a day (10hr) for myself, an assistant, and the travel.  And if you wanted me to rent the system, it would be the $500 plus the rental fee for the system required."

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#2 William Demeritt

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 12:31 AM

You should contact Brian Freesh, he's a fellow SCAD guy. 


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#3 Mark Sunderland

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 12:33 AM

I actually met him last quarter I think...  Super nice guy.  How do I get in touch with him?


Edited by Mark Sunderland, 31 January 2014 - 12:34 AM.

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#4 Brian Freesh

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 12:39 AM

Mark, you can PM me.  I'm in LA, graduated over 8 years ago. So unless you made it out here last quarter it wasn't me ;)

 

You walk in the footsteps of giants doing the demo's for Drop. Hope you're doing us proud.


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#5 Mark Sunderland

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 12:43 AM

My mistake!  Must have been another Brian..  Ok will do thanks!


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#6 Mark Sunderland

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 12:50 AM

Any insights are greatly appreciated!


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#7 brett.mayfield

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 02:44 AM

Brian you went to SCAD?! Thats where I grew up! Ok...not as romantic a place as Savannah, but Hotlanta's my hometown nonetheless.

 

Anyways, to the question at hand-

Check out more of the Steadi-Newbies and Business Practices forums, they might have some answers already in there.

Just so ya know, specific rates arent typically discussed on the forum, so just understand that there may be some hesitancy and nebulousness in the answers from anyone here. That being said, it is still a field I am navigating a bit and I always find the information here useful. So without being specific and only citing your numbers, Ill mostly talk about strategy and your included response.

 

Depending on who is contacting you for work, it is likely that they do not know the weight of the camera system that they are asking you to fly, so I would mostly abandon the weight-specific language, as it is on you to determine and then inform them of what gear youll need to provide, not them.

 

Also, you could divide your day rate and your equipment's rate. Maybe your response could be "My day rate is X, and my kit rental ranges from Y to Z based on the camera package and shoot." This way, youre making a buck no matter which rig you fly, and then they have an understanding that the gear required for a C300 is going to be cheaper than the gear needed for a 435 (obviously depending on the build).

 

As gearheads, we all love the differences between a Zephyr and a Shadow, but your producer does not, so I dont see any reason to go into which system youll be pulling out for them until they ask you for a gear list (which should be based on your conversation with the producer or DP). You dont really need to let them know that you will be renting gear that you dont own. We all often beg, borrow, and rent from each other, but I havent told my producers "this vehicle mount isnt mine" or "Im borrowing my buddys recorder."

 

It is fine to let production know what your rate and kit fee includes, as you did (assistant, travel, etc), but the rest you should know, they dont have to. The first step is to have a constructive conversation with the head honchos about their expectations for the shoot, and then you can give them an educated estimate and finagle from there. Then, on set, it should all seem like magic.

 

fly safe and have fun. I am dearly missing my humid home. But not this weeks icestorm...

 

 

nota bene: get rid of the word "assuming." And as a life note, dont assume.


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#8 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 06:06 AM

What Drop time does Prof Drop advocate ?

 

 

Sorry   :P


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#9 Mark Sunderland

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 03:36 PM

Thanks so much for the insight Brett! I appreciate your time very much.

Sanjay, Drop advocates a quick 3, and he has students EVERY quarter who think he invented the Drop Test and named it for himself!
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