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splitting rental with the AC?


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#1 nick franco

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 02:23 PM

Hi all, so I'm talking to the 1st AC about an upcoming show and he tells me he will try to get my preston on full time (they only want to pay for the rig on the days it comes out) and that usually the rental gets split 50/50 between the operator and the AC.
I have never heard of this before, am I out of the loop here?
Signed, Confused
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#2 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 03:24 PM

Hi all, so I'm talking to the 1st AC about an upcoming show and he tells me he will try to get my preston on full time (they only want to pay for the rig on the days it comes out) and that usually the rental gets split 50/50 between the operator and the AC.
I have never heard of this before, am I out of the loop here?
Signed, Confused


Maybe I'm outa the loop too, but unless the 1st AC has helped buy the rig there's no 50/50, maybe a little kick back for getting the rig on the show but 50/50. .....

Huh?

Confused also?
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#3 RonBaldwin

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 03:36 PM

sounds pretty crazy to me -- I'd keep it on the rig and save the wear and tear for 1/2 the $$. I've never had an ac ask me that. Maybe you should split HIS box rental? Or bring someone else in?

rb
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#4 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 05:12 PM

From what I understand this is very common for Preston rentals (and other items) that aren't steadicam specific. I've heard of this practice for quite a while. An A.C. actually offered me the same deal before I owned a Preston.
In your case Nick I think I'd just say no.
In the end all this practice is, is bribery....you're bribing them to rent from you and not a rental house or someone else.
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#5 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 05:19 PM

Hi all, so I'm talking to the 1st AC about an upcoming show and he tells me he will try to get my preston on full time (they only want to pay for the rig on the days it comes out) and that usually the rental gets split 50/50 between the operator and the AC.
I have never heard of this before, am I out of the loop here?
Signed, Confused


It's a common practice for non-steadicam rentals. You have to ask yourself if half a rental is better than no rental at all. The AC can probably get a Preston from someone else with the same deal.
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#6 Dan Ayers

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 05:53 PM

Most of the shows I've been on lately the AC's (1st and 2 2nd's) own Prestons and get the rentals. I get the pleasure of using them as back up. I think the wear and tear of taking yours off of the rig and getting used every day is not worth the rental. I'm sure he's not getting full daily rate for a three day week. Now since your not getting a guaranteed rental it might look better but I think I'd pass on the whole thing. Just smells funny.

Dan
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#7 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 06:08 PM

Yeah, that sounds fishy/non-sportmanlike.

If you have the job via the DP or Director (anyone who ISN'T the First AC), then I'd politely decline the opportunity to give him half the rental on the gear you bought and paid for.

If the First AC was instrumental in getting you the job, it amounts to borderline extortion and I'd at least hesitate before handing over half the rental of equipment you bought and paid for.

I mean, what's next? If the First AC has a full Steadicam Rig and gets you a job and insists that you use HIS rig on that day so he can get the rental?

In my opinion (for what it's worth), you're there to provide a service and that's what you're getting paid for. What you use to provide that service is specialty equipment that comes along with you, therefore you are entitled to the "income" from the rental price for its use no matter who actually uses it.

Edited by Brian Dzyak, 16 May 2008 - 06:09 PM.

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#8 Erwin Landau

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 07:27 PM

I used to own a second Preston as a back up that consisted of a single channel box with a DM-1 and the Focus -Iris unit and I made it available from time to time to friends as an emergency unit (if they get paid for it by production, I'll take a cut if not I don't) anyhow.

Last Year a Production Company contacted me for a Genesis Show (Pilot). The DP was working for the first time with that camera and he was told that he should have a wireless Iris set up. The town was busy and they couldn't find one anywhere and they where desperate to make that DP happy. The Company got my phone number from there 1st AC that worked together with a fellow Steadicam op that used the unit in the past... basically making that AC a hero to production... I agreed because of the Steadicam ops involvement and his presents during production on set.

I dealt with the Production and the Line Producer agreed on a price ($750 for an eight day shoot, that's what I was told) made the deal, agreed on delivery and even dropped it of by meeting the 1st AC close to his house. As I met this guy the second thing out of his mouth was: So yeah, how much was the rental, you'll cut me a check for my 50% at the end of the show right?

My answer was Hell NO. All he did was getting pestered by production to find a Focus/Iris unit and by chance got my number... that's as much as his involvement went. I had to squeeze the Production for the money as they wouldn't pay more then $500.- I had to proof that I was a company get all the paper work and the insurance drive 20 miles for a drop off and he wanted 50%...

I told him that next time he get the unit on a show, we could make up a percentage if he would take care, first all, of the unit and the Production etc. Yes then I could get comfortable with sharing the profits with him.

2 weeks later I got a call from him that this DP had gotten another Pilot and would love to keep the Focus /Iris unit for that show as well... but they had less money and couldn't spring for $750... but it could turn into a long term rental... I was okay with that...

5 weeks had passed since I dropped of the unit with that AC. I hadn't seen any money and my phone calls where not returned as he was out of town...

Long story short I finally got the unit back, weeks later... in less then perfect condition, with MANY scuffs and abuse marks, missing parts like Focus rings and cables broken parts like my custom light that I had on made for it etc. Contacted Production with requests for replacement and repair which resulted in some nasty e-mails from the line producer... no help from that AC.

Ended up putting most of the money from the rental back into it for repair and replacement of parts.


And finally after all that I received "MY share" of the rental check... $135.- my "agreed" upon 50%... He claimed he had given them a 70% discount... on my unit, never the less.

He got the glory and my cash...


So my answer is... F#@*'em.


Sincerely,


Erwin


PS: I never cashed the check... It's in my car for the case that I ever cross his path again... I wonder how tasty that piece of paper will taste... better to me then to him... No... I can't hold a grudge... Or can I?
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#9 nealnorton

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 08:12 PM

In my opinion, this practice is both dishonest and may well be illegal.

It is called a kick-back and is a common way that organized crime extorts money.

I have terminated my relationship with 2 a/c's that I thought I knew well, and then tried to jack me up on Preston rentals.

These bloodsuckers are NOT partners and they are NOT due a "finders fee" for your rentals.

Fuck them. Spread the word about them and refuse to work on a show if they are there. Make sure they know you will never see them on one of your jobs again. Send these jack asses back to a life of petty crime and out of Camera.

Neal Norton
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#10 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 09:27 PM

^^yep^^
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