I dont know how this works outside Europe, but in Holland and most other European countries you have to negotiate about your dayfee and all the other terms and conditions.
Since we dont have a Union, or anything like that, we all make up our own rules. Some are very logic, some are required to protect yourself against exploitation (! yes, really!)
And, the dayfee discussion, which you have to have everytime you land a job. And defending yourself, because there is never enough money. Collegues who will work for less and less, just to get the job.
How do you feel about this? Do you speak up? Defending your own rules and personal limits? Confronting your collegues?
i know how it makes me feel, hungry for rules and regulations! Sometimes frustrated and angry. For me, the downside of working in film.
Well here goes nothing! In the US, we obviously do have a camera union, which is how I base most of my rates and terms... On the northeast coast of the US, its roughly $820/10 as a commercial 1st AC - obviously that number has room to nudge... There are a couple of assistants in my market who are usually successful in negotiating above that, but I usually have to end up around $700-800/10 as a focus puller. Any lower than that, and I would be undercutting a fellow camera assistant - sometimes I do for friends, or for a favor, or whatever the case may be, but that's atleast where I start.
In terms of overtime and all that, for invoiced jobs I add all of that at the bottom of my Quickbooks "Estimate" - that way the producer just has to view one document and once they approve it, we're all on the same page about the money and what my needs are. As a base guide, I'm usually billing for 10 hours straight, with 1.5x after 10 (in 1/4 hour increments), 2x after 12, and 3x after 15. I will deduct lunch if and only if we break by or before 6.25 hours into the day, meaning if we break 6.5 hours into our day, I will bill straight time - so a 7am call time and a 17.5 wrap time but with really late lunch, would be 0.5 hours of 1.5x OT. The flip side is production could totally run a 10 hour straight day without breaking the way I have it currently written, but honestly if we’re wrapping early or people want to use my words against me, more power to them 🙂 I also make sure to get a certifcate of insurance for any gear I provide on the job, listing the replacement value and also having my LLC listed as the "certifcate holder", "additionally insured", and "loss payee".
For equipment rental rates, I try to take the replacement value and divide it by 30 - thats a good place to start, and then I cross reference that with my local rental house and price match them, if not a little lower as usually rental houses will automatically add a 20% discount for commercial jobs.
Most larger commercial are all union under the AICP contract, and we have separate IATSE contracts for TV shows and movies - the movies and shows are really where the Union memebership matters as I think we'd be entirely helpless without eachother and I can't imagine a world without them behind us... In my opinion, commercials are really easy to hold your own as you're usually negotiating with producers who are in it for the same reasons you are and rarely are people there to take advantage of you - we're all in it to pay our bills... But narrative world is just so entirely different and I've interacted with some really vile people acting entirely in self-interest with no regard for anyone's happiness or health and thats really where the solidarity shines.
Well, here in Spain is more or less the same, we don’t have unions or such things... at least we don’t have organizations with enough power to “protect” the technicians against the abuses of production houses. And what it’s pretty frustrating is that there are a lot of people in the business that seems to be ok with it, meaning that they don’t feel the need of an organization of any type. They prefer the “jungle situation” in which we live in nowadays. Nevertheless I think now it maybe a good moment to start one or strengthen the ones that already exist. With the new platforms such as Netflix, HBO or Amazon, nowadays there is a lot of demand of good technicians. In my opinion that could trigger a win win situation where it can be created an organization that select and certifies the work of the technicians and at the same time guarantee their rights. It certainly need some more thinking, but it’s definitely a good moment. Hopefully people will take action before another crisis strikes, otherwise we all are in big troubles...
Everything you just said bugs me 2, YOU ARE SO RIGHT Roos ! and i don't even do the same kind of jobs you do ( as in size of project/crew/budget etc) but i feel we need some sort of guideline or a union of some soort. as you said to bad some new boys and girls will always do it for less and less... :(