I'm working on a bid for some short spots. I've been given a budget for lighting around $2000 per day. Will it be possible to hire a quality lighting director and still have money leftover for some light rentals or a pa?
I'm sorry, but to properly budget lighting, one must know exactly what the job entails.
Staffing could be anywhere from one person to a crew of twenty, depending on the scale of the shots, type of equipment and power and cable run required.
It is foolhardy to say any amount is adequate without knowing more.
As far as labor, typically an DP/LD is anywhere from $600-1000/10 hour day, portal to portal, unless in a studio within the zone, where travel is not included. A gaffer might be $400-500, Best boy $350-450 and electricians 450/day less. Some jobs will require additional grips for rigging at similar prices.
It's a good idea to rent a grip/lighting truck. Depending on your job, you could choose a 3-ton, 5-ton or 10-ton and tungsten, HMI, Kino Flo and/or LED lighting package.
As lights come in all sizes from 100 watts to 20,000 watts a suitable package should be selected on a tech scout if justified.
Generator power and cable and distro might be required, and condors or scissor lifts to reach highs for mounting and rigging, and don't forget cable crossovers.
If one were to name a figure that is adequate with out knowing what's in store, I'd recommend $25000 per day. Otherwise it's a good idea to budget specifically to the job at hand.