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Scarlet Operator with PKG - How much should I pay???

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Robert DeMaio
Scarlet Operator with PKG - How much should I pay???
on Aug 6, 2012 at 8:09:13 pm

Hi everyone. First off I apologize for being fairly ignorant on this topic, but I figured I would rather pose this questions to professional RED users first before inadvertently insulting a bunch of CL-ers with a bogus rate.

So to cut to the chase, I will be looking to hire a RED Scarlet Operator with a camera, support (tripod, shoulder rig, etc.), and a small but substantial lens package (note that my standards aren't too high, so "substantial" for me would be as simple as two Canon L-series zooms). I'll be on a low budget but, again, I don't want to insult anyone and I would rather reach a little farther into my pocket for a good operator than spend less money on someone who doesn't know what the hell they are doing.

So how much is a low, but fair day rate for someone/something like this. After looking at local rental houses, I figure I would probably be willing to spend somewhere around $500. For the right person/pkg, I might be willing to stretch that to around $700.

So am I being realistic, or am I totally nuts?


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Angelo Lorenzo
Re: Scarlet Operator with PKG - How much should I pay???
on Aug 7, 2012 at 6:09:20 am

I'd say $700 is probably a really good hook-up rate from someone you don't know. I see body-only rentals at $300-400 in Los Angeles and more substantial rigs with EF lenses at upwards of $700-800 with no operator.

I'm not saying you won't find someone who will do the job for that price, but Scarlets and Epics are working right now so why take a cut rate job? It may be worth it to look into a cheaper package like a Sony F3 or a Canon C300 if you don't need 4K. The Canon is more manageable because it has a EF mount and uses standard CF cards so if you don't have a DIT, the off load process is still manageable for a 2nd AC or PA to cover.

If I were renting my camera for that low of a rate, I'd require an insurance cert to cover my gear. You don't want an accident on set to bone you or them.

Angelo Lorenzo
Fallen Empire Digital Production Services - Los Angeles
RED transcoding, on-set DIT, and RED Epic rental services
Fallen Empire - The Blog
A blog dedicated to filmmaking, the RED workflow, and DIT tips and tricks


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