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Day Rate? (and a dollar short)

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Jeffrey F. KrepnerDay Rate? (and a dollar short)
by on Aug 4, 2005 at 2:31:11 pm

I just wanted to run this by the group to get some opinions. I've returned from a shoot in Vegas (Thurs - Sun) and the client said "just send me an invoice." Basically, I had a half shooting day on Friday and a full shooting day on Sunday. Those are easy to figure out. But on Saturday, there was nothing scheduled but I was still away from home and working, sort of. I have to charge them something for that time, but I can't see charging them normal shooting rates.

How do you guys/gals bill for down time such as travel and non-shooting days that are associated with a multi-day shoot? Is there travel rates?

Thanks in advance.


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Andy StintonRe: Day Rate? (and a dollar short)
by on Aug 4, 2005 at 3:53:34 pm

First things first. Deposit? Contract?

Depending on the client and the other work that maybe involved ( editing) . I charge as little as half my day rate for travelling and hanging around, to as much as my full day rate.




Andy Stinton
Corporate Video
Live & Stage Events
Business Practices


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galtRe: Day Rate? (and a dollar short)
by on Aug 5, 2005 at 6:34:52 am

First off, I negotiate it ahead of time so there is no fuss. At a minimum, they have to pay my expenses, including hotel, some decent meals and some fun money. If I am working (meetings, waiting for them, etc,) I charge my usual rates. It might cost them more for me to sit in Iowa in January than Vegas. But the important thing is I negotaite ahead of time as part of the whole job.


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jeffrey f. krepnerRe: Day Rate? (and a dollar short)
by on Aug 5, 2005 at 5:38:38 pm

I agree 100%, always get the money & contract stuff agreed upon up front. This is a new client I usually just do post for, but they had a shooter cancel so off I went to Vegas to cover their butts. They'll basically pay whatever I ask and they are already taking care of the expenses.

Half of me wants to send them an invoice for one sum amount and give them no breakdowns, thus completely avoiding the issue of billing for the "hangout" days. Sometimes giving the client too much info gives them the chance to nit-pick on the bill. On the other hand, it's good to give them a detailed breakdown so they can better schedule me for future shoots.

Thanks.


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galtRe: Day Rate? (and a dollar short)
by on Aug 5, 2005 at 6:21:10 pm

For new clients I can think of two approaches (for me), if I liked them enough to want to retain them as clients.

1. One line-item bill, as you suggest. Explain that it was high because of the dead-time, without breaking it out.

2. Go explain your dilemma, your usual practice (whatever that is going to be). Tell them that you should have discussed it up front, but did not in order to respond quickly to their need. But you want to be as fair as your can to both you and them, so is your "usual billing practice" a problem for them? (or something along those lines, I think I could say it better with more effort.)

I think #2 creates a better long term relationship and more referrals. Or else you find out the guy is unreasonable and then always have a written agreement in the future.


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jeffrey f. krepnerRe: Day Rate? (and a dollar short)
by on Aug 6, 2005 at 2:56:16 pm

I see your point, Galt. I think I managed to combine both #1 and #2 in my invoice to my new client. I gave them a grand total, then proceeded to break down the shoot line-by-line without giving actual individual prices. Seems sort of dumb, but I think it might work and if they have issues I can give them the separate day rates. I put:

Thursday: travel day
Friday: half shooting day
Saturday: competition day (technically I was off on sat)
Sunday: full shooting day
Monday: travel day

Total: xxxxx


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TimRe: Day Rate? (and a dollar short)
by on Aug 10, 2005 at 3:09:09 am

Hey Jeff,

After almost 20 years of doing this type of work...I do not do half days.

If you are away from home...or even in town...half days do not make good business since. If a client calls and wants to book me for an 8am call and shoot until 12:30 or 1pm...do you think they would be comfortable with me scheduling a second shoot at 1:30 or 2pm? I think not. Try telling a client that you are walking off of their set at straight up 12:30 to get to your next gig.

Regardless...they have killed your day and any chance for additional income. Your time is money...get what you are owed...you are owed for a full day of potential income or the loss of the chance for it.

As far as the "dark day", which is what I have always heard "down days" in the middle of a shoot called, are always billed at a full day rate. It is not your fault that the client can't book contiguous shoot days, but it is their fault that you are not at home...building or billing for business that you "potentially" could have had.

Don't sell yourself or the industry short...two many guys do half days way too much and it hurts everyone, as these clients and production companies traverse the country. What you charge in your area...effects what I can get in my area...keep that in mind too.

That is not to say that I do not do half days at all. The one time that I do half days is on some of the Audio/Visual gigs that I do. But, that is for travel days only...and only if I am traveling for less than 5 hours.

Tim Baker
Chameleon Mobile Video Productions
(239)849-3295
"It is not the light at the end of the tunnel that we should seek...it is the courage to take the next step in the dark that we must find."


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galtRe: Day Rate? (and a dollar short)
by on Aug 10, 2005 at 3:22:34 am

Hey Tim,

Great sig quote!!!


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TimRe: Day Rate? (and a dollar short)
by on Aug 12, 2005 at 1:12:30 am

Thanks man...about the sig...I actually say that I came up with that one. I have yet to find anything similar and I really thought it lent itself to our business and our lives.

I came up with it a few years ago when I was working with a teens group that I mentored.



Tim Baker
Chameleon Mobile Video Productions
(239)849-3295
"It is not the light at the end of the tunnel that we should seek...it is the courage to take the next step in the dark that we must find."


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Jeffrey F. KrepnerRe: Day Rate? (and a dollar short)
by on Aug 11, 2005 at 3:02:47 pm

Tim,

Great points. Part of this was a learning process for me and my clients to see if this system would work, so I went low, but not too low.

I like you idea about not using half day shoots very often. I mean, if I have a shoot at 9:00 - 12:00, I really can't booking anything else that day because A) the first shoot could go long and B) it's just too tiring and stressful to be running all over town doing multi shoots in one day.

Thanks again.
Jeff


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galtRe: Day Rate? (and a dollar short)
by on Aug 11, 2005 at 5:20:18 pm

I use half-day rates for things like b-roll, second location/supporting footage shoots, and sometimes even for primary production. I only shoot a few days a month anyway, so its no big deal for me to schedule half-day of production and a half day of editing/marketing/ prospecting/sales, or the million other things I do besides shoot. If I had bigger operation and full-time camerapeople, I would be more strict.


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