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Wanting to clarify Australian freelance rates

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David SeeWanting to clarify Australian freelance rates
by on Aug 17, 2009 at 7:25:13 am

Hi all,

I was wondering if someone could clarify what the current freelance rates are for someone shooting with their own HD equipment, sound and lighting kits here in Australia.

Full-day, half-day and hourly rates, please.

I am getting different "opinions" on this, probably depending on what someone wants to pay. LOL

Cheers,

DS


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grinner hesterRe: Wanting to clarify Australian freelance rates
by on Aug 17, 2009 at 8:54:32 pm

The different opinions are a result of the different rates. They range from nada to infinity. While the average may be between 500 and a grand a day, those who make that know what their services are worth before charging it.
In a nut shell, you'll charge what you must until you charge what you can.



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David SeeRe: Wanting to clarify Australian freelance rates
by on Aug 17, 2009 at 10:23:02 pm

Cheers.

It appears the general rule (if you shooting freelance News in Australia, for example), appears to be $495.00 per half day + GST or $795 per full day + GST. These prices are with your own equipment. Not sure about operator-only, as I haven't done that for years and doesn't really apply to my situation.

Corporate rates are different as far as I can tell. Might be wrong on this.

Unless you are in the "click" of freelancers in the city and in demand for some reason, I am not so sure experience counts for much as far as charging is concerned.

Apologies for my "green-ness" on this, but I have been shooting news for nearly 20 years and have just recently been dropped back in the world of corporate video out of necessity.



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Bruce BennettRe: Wanting to clarify Australian freelance rates
by on Aug 18, 2009 at 1:55:56 am

[David See] "I have been shooting news for nearly 20 years and have just recently been dropped back in the world of corporate video out of necessity."

I'm sorry, David, but I find this statement somewhat insulting to a guy who has been in the corporate production world for about the same amount of time that you've been doing news.

If you have just been "dropped back" in the corporate video world, you are, hands down, worth less than those who you are now competing with. An established Videographer rate is comprised of much more than the going rate for "a guy/gal with a camera." If I were you (especially after being 2 decades out of corporate production world) I'd worry about establishing relationships more than getting the most money you can out of your day rate.

Cheers to you!
Bruce

Bruce Bennett
Bennett Marketing & Media Production, LLC

Creative Inspiration
Documentaries for those who love to create … and to be inspired.


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David SeeRe: Wanting to clarify Australian freelance rates
by on Aug 18, 2009 at 3:20:04 am

Certainly wasn't meant to be insulting by any shake of the stick. Probably a bad choice of words and my apologies for that.

What I should have said was that News had been the majority of my workload for nearly twenty years. During that time I had done some corporate work, but it had not been as dominant as news. The last five years of that time I had been contracted to a particular network and had been out of the "freelance loop" for that time, and on returning back into the world of freelance out of necessity (the supporting budget for our services at that network had been removed) found it difficult to confirm what the real rates where. I had different people telling me different things, whih was confusing when trying to quote on jobs.

"Oh, you should have charged more" and "I think you might have quoted too much for that".

All I am trying to do is get it right after being out of the loop for some time. Not quote too much so as to not get the work, but charge what I should be charging so as to not do myself out of money and fairly compete with others who will be tendering for the job.

Again, apologies.



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Ron LindeboomRe: Wanting to clarify Australian freelance rates
by on Aug 18, 2009 at 3:42:30 am

As Grinner points out, this question is so open-ended that it could be from nothing to infinity.

Nick Griffin over the years has pointed out the value in knowing who you are going to pitch and building your case for your rates around what you are going to bring to a specific need they have.

Don't know what they need?

Than you haven't done your homework and you cannot expect a passing grade -- or to get the job -- if you don't do your homework.

The market is getting tougher and tougher.

There are two kinds of buyers: transactional buyers and relationship buyers.

Transactional buyers buy the lowest price when they need something and once they find a lower price than yours, they are gone without a word.

You do not waste much homework and study on transactional buyers. They simply are not worth the effort.

It is the relationship buyers that you want. They do not change suppliers like changing their daily uns.

Relationship buyers are worth the time it takes to learn about them and problems they may have which you can solve and make them look good. If you really can, you just may have a client for a long time.

To return to Grinner's point: the transactional buyers are more the ones towards the "nothing" side, while the relationship buyers, as you may guess, are the ones closer to the "infinity" side of the equation.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint Exupéry






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David SeeRe: Wanting to clarify Australian freelance rates
by on Aug 18, 2009 at 4:06:41 am

Ok, I am going to re-word the question:

If I am asked to quote on a shoot only as a camera-operator, what are the current, acceptable rates for freelances in Australia with their own broadcast HD equipment/kit?

1/2-day and full-day I have been told $495 and $795 + GST respectively by some, but others tell me more and others tell me less. All around the same amounts, just different.

Is there an Australian standard?

You know, for half a day of news as a freelancer, you get $XXX, for a full day you get $XXX





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Ron LindeboomRe: Wanting to clarify Australian freelance rates
by on Aug 18, 2009 at 4:24:58 am

Why people are not giving you an easy answer, David, is because there is none.

There is no standard anymore.

Your job lay-off is proof of that, as experience is no longer as valuable as it once was.

The easy money -- that is, the jobs that are gained by posting a price for the price shoppers -- is gained by newbs just out of school or the kid down the street armed with a pirated copy of Final Cut and his Sharp DV camcorder.

The real money takes a strategy and a gameplan and the rate at that point is open to whatever you can get.

As Grinner told you, the base rate could be between $500 to $1000 a day -- if you can get it. If you can't, you can advertise those rates all day and they will not do anything.

Gone are the days when in all of Sydney there were a few real production and post production facilities and the market paid their advertised rate and got in line and awaited their scheduling.

That has given way to the school systems instructing class after class of those who want to be the next Spielberg and they have now glutted the market.

Your experience is an asset. Build a gameplan around it and sell that. If you make it about price, you are already out of business and just don't know it yet.

Sorry to be hard on you but that is reality.

The real price is in your story and your ability to sell it within the context of a real relationship buyer's need and how your experience is going to fix their problem.

Short of that, plan on advertising $30 an hour so you can compete against the 600 new students that graduated this year from the local high school who all fancy themselves filmmakers because there is no real industry left to give them jobs in the fields that fed their fathers and grandfathers.

I can't make it any straighter than that, and I tell you that for your sake, not to hurt you.

If you think that the market cares one twit about people who open a door and hang a sign based on a hourly rate, you have been in isolation within the news realm for far too long, I fear.

I will leave it to others to be more diplomatic than me.

Ron Lindeboom


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Gav BottRe: Wanting to clarify Australian freelance rates
by on Aug 19, 2009 at 6:26:09 am


Give a couple of local crewing agencies, full production shops, or gear hire houses a call.

Ask them roughly what they would charge you as a Prod for a day or half day cam op + HD kit.

You'll get the local picture quickly, and be able to specify the kind of job you are talking about.

They might tell you to get stuffed, but if you have a go at a few you'll get what you need.

The Brit in Brisbane
The Pomme in Production - Brisbane Australia.


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Glen HallRe: Wanting to clarify Australian freelance rates
by on Aug 31, 2009 at 2:47:18 pm

Hi David.
Are you talking Aussie dollars??????????????
If so, I reckon you are about half way there if you are seriously talking about broadcast HD.
Aussie industry standard for broadcast HD with equipment, about $1350 full day.
Including sound?????? definitely not





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David SeeRe: Wanting to clarify Australian freelance rates
by on Aug 31, 2009 at 6:27:32 pm

Thanks for that.

I am talking about a camera operator with his own Broadcast HD Kit and doing own sound. Complete pack, ready to go. 20 years experience (does that count?)

I can't see how it could be different for different operators - there MUST be a standard otherwise some would be getting more work than others based purely on their rate. Especially if we are talking freelance ENG.

At this point in time, for ENG, I am gathering rates are as I stated for the example setup I used above, ie: $495/$795.

Well that's what the networks are telling me, anyway.

Would be great to clarify this so as to avoid being ripped off.



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David SeeRe: Wanting to clarify Australian freelance rates
by on Aug 31, 2009 at 6:45:10 pm

I also meant to add that one of the networks in particular attempts to pull the old stunt of "if you work for all four networks today, then we will all share your fee" In other words, they expect they should pay 1/4 of my rate each.

I understand there is an industry-standard discount for multiple-sales, but not that much.

Additionally, if we consider the rates I listed as examples, we are not being paid much more now as freelancers, than we were 10 years ago.



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