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Freelance rates as a BMD shooter

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  • Freelance rates as a BMD shooter

    ok, I don't know if this is taboo to talk about but I wanted to try and get a current (2015/16) discussion going about rates and what freelancers and indies are commanding out in the field with and without BMD gear. Also, how you charge/ quote your clients. I see so many different methods from hourly to day rate, project price, etc
    If your comfortable, please feel free to post your rates, location, gear and/or links to your work. All the rates I found researching on different sites are mostly old (2005) or its the "contact for pricing" at the end.

    Gear:
    Ursa Mini 4.6k on order! (#8 in pre-order line at Adorama)
    BMCC
    BMPCC w/ speedbooster
    canon 24-70 2.8L
    Canon 70-200 2.8L
    Canon 50mm 1.8
    Sigma 17-55 2.8
    Tokina 11-16 2.8
    MatteBox w/ Century Optics 4x4 filter kit
    A ton of vintage glass and some anamorphic stuff.
    GoPro Hero4 Black w/ gimbal
    2 Canon 6D's (if needed for shooting)
    DJI Ronin w/ arm and vest cinemilled adapter
    BM video assist on ronin
    cinegears wireless follow focus
    Nyrius Aries Pro Wireless Video
    Hand held wireless Directors Monitor
    2x Aputure Lightstorm LS1's and a bunch of small Neewer LED lights
    Edelkrone Sliderplus 2ft slider
    2x sennheiser Lavs
    DV ProMix3 Field Mixer
    H4n
    H6n
    Audio Technica 897 shotgun w/ boom pole, dead cat
    C stands, light stands, etc

    Editing Bay:
    MacPro 3 Ghz 8 core Xeon
    64 GB Ram
    10 TB Pegasus2 R6 for editing
    Synology DS1513+ Onsite Backup
    I edit primarily in Premiere CC and and have some skills in After Effects
    I color in Resolve when its a big project and shot in Raw.

    Here are some links to my work.
    https://youtu.be/e69jTBHjLi0

    https://youtu.be/Te9h2vdpZ7M

    https://youtu.be/jCI_prTFpiY

    https://vimeo.com/113219464

    https://youtu.be/pHSxVLMg9vM

    https://youtu.be/xMMSBS0qwPk

    https://vimeo.com/128043879

    I have alway done a "project price" but I am wondering if I should be doing a day rate sort of thing.
    Something like this?
    Freelance Rate - includes camera, gimbal, lighting, operator.
    $375 - half day
    $700 - full day

    Editing rates
    This is where is don't know the going rates. After Effects and Resolve for example.

    Anyways, thats my stuff, I hope this can be an informative and ongoing discussion and you don't need to be as elaborate as me with your gear etc. I figured I would just start it off.
    I am located in Las Vegas

    Thanks!
    Last edited by cmckinlay; 11-11-2015, 02:30 AM.

  • #2
    My wife charges $1K / day for full light / shoot using her kit. Not sure if that helps but...

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    • #3
      Originally posted by bscenefilms View Post
      My wife charges $1K / day for full light / shoot using her kit. Not sure if that helps but...
      Thanks for the input bscenefilms.

      Comment


      • #4
        There is no such thing as half a day..
        Haavard Helle

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        • #5
          no 1/2 days

          because I'm in the union, there are minimum day rates. For non-union you have to figure out what you are worth and there are some formulas for that that take into consideration expenses and such. In my opinion, an experienced DP should be making at least $400/day plus gear rental. $600-800/day is normal and highly experienced and in demand DPs can make anywhere from $1-5K per day plus gear.

          Gear is negotiable but try to keep your rates at close to normal market value so you don't get pigeon holed into being cheap. sometimes hard to go up from there. If you're taking losses on your gear all the time then owning your own gear may not be ideal.

          There has been a race to the bottom mentality across the industry so it's up to those doing the work to respect themselves and what they bring to the table to keep it from totally bottoming out.

          Comment


          • #6
            It's also important to consider and define what a "day" is for you. 8 hours? 10 hours? Do you charge overtime at 12 hours?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Connor_R View Post
              It's also important to consider and define what a "day" is for you. 8 hours? 10 hours? Do you charge overtime at 12 hours?
              A very good point. I always put that in the terms. You never want to end up working a 20 hour day and getting paid for an 8 or 10 hour day. Make it clear what constitutes a normal day and when overtime kicks in (and the rate).

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              • #8
                With camera glass and support I'd say at most $450/day assuming you're bringing the 4.6k add an extra hundred for the gimbal. That's for indies in LA I'd do 1200/day for medium sized commercial work. Any more then that unfortunately your client is gonna want an epic. That's been my experience in SoCal your mileage may vary depending on your location.

                Comment


                • #9
                  the general flat rate for gear such is this is $1000, thats what i find anyone charges production no matter what they got, seems to be a nice round number everyone agrees on. as for your rate, i would start close to that as well for 10, then let them negotiate you down.
                  i would separate it like that, because after your hired, the client can always say, well, we want to shoot on red, or alexa, or we need a phantom now…then you can have them put in the number for them to rent that pkg through production, but your rate as a dp wont change.

                  when i get paid union scale for a commercial its 1150 for 8, if its scale for a tv show i think its 900, this is with no gear, keep it separate.
                  400 is very low union minimum camera assistant rate.
                  Last edited by JLdp; 11-11-2015, 09:43 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for all the input guys. I wish some bigger productions would pick up on BMD cameras so we can get some street cred. I have almost thought about going RED with the RAVEN just to be able to have clients see the "RED" name which of course commands more $$$.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by haavard View Post
                      There is no such thing as half a day..
                      Care to explain? I see half day rates everywhere. Union gig, I get it ,no half days. But your own freelance work? Even for simple quick job you charge a full day? Not all jobs require 8- 10 hours of shooting time. I would imagine clients to question a full day rate when they are only shooting for 3 hours.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cmckinlay View Post
                        Thanks for all the input guys. I wish some bigger productions would pick up on BMD cameras so we can get some street cred. I have almost thought about going RED with the RAVEN just to be able to have clients see the "RED" name which of course commands more $$$.
                        its a good idea, i ordered one and just by saying im getting a red next year i already have people making plans for me to shoot stuff with it, no one cared i had a BM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cmckinlay View Post
                          Care to explain? I see half day rates everywhere. Union gig, I get it ,no half days. But your own freelance work? Even for simple quick job you charge a full day? Not all jobs require 8- 10 hours of shooting time. I would imagine clients to question a full day rate when they are only shooting for 3 hours.
                          I can relate to your point. I did some half day work but ended up going much over since I have no control over some of the production changes that I have to stop and hang around until the camera group can start up again. But that could be taken up with a base 1/2 rate plus per hour rate thereafter. That can become a bit complicated so I will say just figure out on a good day rate like everyone suggest.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cmckinlay View Post
                            Care to explain? I see half day rates everywhere. Union gig, I get it ,no half days. But your own freelance work? Even for simple quick job you charge a full day? Not all jobs require 8- 10 hours of shooting time. I would imagine clients to question a full day rate when they are only shooting for 3 hours.
                            its because once you except a job, you cant take another job, so your day is paid for, your whole day.
                            but that being said, every job is negotiable, so if its an easy job then you can give them a break on your rate, but no one likes it when you call it a half day rate.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JLdp View Post
                              its a good idea, i ordered one and just by saying im getting a red next year i already have people making plans for me to shoot stuff with it, no one cared i had a BM.
                              This is now making me think. I have my BM Cinema Cameras but was contemplating on getting the URSA Mini 4 or 4.6 this coming year. But come to think of it, it might be more advantageous to get a RED Raven to have that advantage. The thing about getting the URSA Mini is that I can use my existing lens collection; while I'll need to invest more on lens and accessories for the Raven. I'll hold off on the Mini and just wait and see, maybe advertise with RED equipment and if push come to shove a RED client knocks on the door, I'll rent first.

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