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Operators working as locals, etc.

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#1 John atkinson

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 11:04 AM

It seems to occurring more and more, probably as s result of people buying equipment when they have no market for it, or client base.  When I started in the mid 1990's it was a smaller pool of skilled operators and we looked out for each other.


 We agreed not to undercut one another and if we were offered jobs we asked each other if we received the same call etc.


If you buy equipment and invest money in something you have no market for, it will not work.  You need to have a current client base or a local high demand for whatever you are buying.


 Many job calls I am receiving now are comparison calls.  Producers, UPM's pitching a steadicam job and asking how much I am willing to give up to replace, compete against another operator who is traveling themselves, putting themselves up and working as a local.  I give my usual rates and let it marinate.  No job is worth giving up what is standard operating procedure.  I have lost several projects to operators who worked both coasts and are willing to give up a lot to work a particular job or event.


Guys if you live somewhere and are traveling to work outside of the area you live, you are not local.  Don't accept the job, let your work, or reputation stand on it's own merit.  Producers claiming to be your friend, or promising more work are not telling the truth.  They are business people trying to get the cheapest rate they can.  You are short changing yourself and impacting the business negatively.   If you are not working where you live with your gear, move or sell it.



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#2 RonBaldwin


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Posted 05 August 2015 - 06:50 AM

It is bad enough undercutting guys one doesn't know (or take a few minutes to contact) but to knowingly do this to guys in this community is sad. The producers will just laughing at you...and pocket the change while you not only work for peanuts but also piss off the other ops who you will need to save your butt one day. Transparency and communication is key -- and since it's so easy to do both today it really shows ignorance or bad character when his happens
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#3 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 08:39 AM

Well said. Some Ops travel overseas to undercut locals. Its pretty shameful.

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#4 Louis Puli SOC

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 06:28 PM

I have issues with would be operators who don't own follow focus systems ,Transmitter system ,hard mounts etc and then low ball the rate and then get the production to hire in all the extra items .

The production then thinks that this very low rate is or becomes the standard rate if you have all the gear or not .In the end the production pays much more but try and convince them that's another thing .


May I say I find it very hard to help /support them when things go's wrong and in many cases do . 

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#5 Janice Arthur

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 06:47 PM

Hi all;

Louis has it right, hire an op without some amount of essential extras like follow focus and transmitter then the production can control the profit margin on those items via their rental deal with the equipment supplier.

So the production keeps the op from having to invest and they get to dictate rate.

I'm not saying every op does this but it does give the production a wider pool of operators (who might be hungry) and "negotiations" are more controlled in their favor.

It also follows that an op who does have all this equipment is "pisssd" because he/she HAS invested in all the right gear and can't get paid for it.

My thoughts.

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