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Overnight hours shooting rates

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Greg BallOvernight hours shooting rates
by on Apr 24, 2011 at 1:35:08 pm

Just wondering how you all deal with shooting video overnight, say from 9PM to 6AM. Sometimes a client does not want to close their retail business for a shoot, and risk losing sales. But from my perspective shooting overnight is difficult for everyone(crew, talent, client) involved. I would think that since nobody can realistically work the following day on another project, we should charge a two-day rate for everything. Does this seem reasonable? How do you folks handle this? What if it's a two day shoot, and we have to set=up and break down equipment twice?


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Chris TompkinsRe: Overnight hours shooting rates
by on Apr 24, 2011 at 4:14:04 pm

I agree you need to charge more, what a hassle.
At least a 1.5 day rate.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Bill DavisRe: Overnight hours shooting rates
by on Apr 25, 2011 at 3:14:07 am

If you want to pitch this idea to your clients, feel free.

However, in all the years I've been doing work for large retail clients, overnight shoots have been a constant part of the mix.

No retailer will willingly take the loss of revenue necessary to give over total control of their retail space to a video production operation. Sometimes, you can use a PART of the store during regular business hours, but if you're doing work that requires blocking aisles, creating customer hazards (flying cameras, lights or jib work) or if you're working in high traffic areas such as a cash register line - after hours shooting is the standard.

No company I've ever worked with finds this anything but "business as usual."

In fact, long after hours shooting is pretty much the standard retail shooting mode in my experience.

Actors and good talent understand this. Heck, most plays and performance situations are schdeuled evening to late night, so for actors, you typically get a "wider awake" performance booking them at 9PM rather than 9AM!

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Conner


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Greg BallRe: Overnight hours shooting rates
by on Apr 25, 2011 at 1:36:25 pm

[Bill Davis] "Actors and good talent understand this. Heck, most plays and performance situations are schdeuled evening to late night, so for actors, you typically get a "wider awake" performance booking them at 9PM rather than 9AM!
"


That's true for actors who do this on a regular basis. Not once a year. And a typical video crew doesn't do this normally either. In my experience of doing this for a large corporate retail client as an in-house crew for about 15 years, there was a point where there was a decision to be made on paying the crew extra or absorbing the lost sales in the establishment. It was never "business as usual" in my position. Normally I would take the next day off from work. I'm just not sure how to charge for this.



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Scott SheriffRe: Overnight hours shooting rates
by on Apr 25, 2011 at 5:24:59 am

I don't charge extra for after hours gigs. They are almost always less hassle then trying to shoot during business hours for a variety of reasons.
Bankers hours are for bankers.

Scott Sheriff
Director
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com

I have a system, it has stuff in it, and stuff hooked to it. I have a camera, it can record stuff. I read the manuals, and know how to use this stuff and lots of other stuff too.
You should be suitably impressed...


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Greg BallRe: Overnight hours shooting rates
by on Apr 25, 2011 at 1:30:40 pm

I hear you. I'm not saying we don't work after hours, I understand the less hassle part. I'm asking about RATES. After all, my crew, the acting talent, and I can not realistically work another gig the next day during normal business hours. Frankly, if I'm a DP, an audio engineer, a make-up artist, a director, a grip, or a PA, why would I woks for a 1 day 10 hour standard rate and lose a chance for another day of work somewhere else, because I need to catch up on sleep?



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Chris TompkinsRe: Overnight hours shooting rates
by on Apr 25, 2011 at 2:15:23 pm

If I got work outside Normal Business Hours I need to be compensated for that.

And Ya, If you can't work the next day, that is like a travel day. Fold some extra in the charge for the late nite work.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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David Roth WeissRe: Overnight hours shooting rates
by on Apr 25, 2011 at 3:11:21 pm

Sorry guys, but in this business you don't get extra compensation for missing your beauty sleep. If the same company schedules you to work the very next day after a night shoot, without a proper turnaround, i.e. 12-hours off in between, that's another matter. But, night shoots are part and parcel of this business, as Bill Davis first mentioned above.

For the record, this stuff isn't just made on the fly; there are long-standing industry standards and practices that most professionals in this business typically adhere to. Despite the fact that you may not be in a union, and you may not work in New York, L.A., or Chicago, this business as a whole is based upon the established industry practices laid out long ago in those places.

And, don't confuse travel days with night shoots... If you're on location or traveling to or from a location, it is physically impossible to work another job, and thus you are entitled to compensation. But working a night shoot isn't the same; it may be tiring to work for another company the next day after working all night, but not impossible, and that's why you get paid the big bucks.

Trust me, if you tried to bill overtime to anyone I know for straight time night shoot, you'd be laughed at and labeled a prima donna.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Richard HerdRe: Overnight hours shooting rates
by on Apr 25, 2011 at 4:49:37 pm

That brings up another question about hours. What about the 10-hour convention? What about punching out for breaks and lunches?


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Bill DavisRe: Overnight hours shooting rates
by on Apr 25, 2011 at 10:05:05 pm

Here's my 2 cents.

You build RELATIONSHIPS with your crews. For me, that means keeping a VERY close eye on anything that overly stresses or annoys them. If they see me as a producer/director who has a history of not abusing them, paying fairly and promptly, and taking THEIR comfort and needs into the mix along with those of the clients and sponsors, then they'll typically cut me a LOT of slack when it comes to the rare situation where we have to push an extra hour or two in order to get a shot or make something legitimate in the production schedule work.

If you haven't built those relationships and level of respect, then EXPECT that when you ask people to go "above and beyond" for you, they might do it - but eventually they will STOP doing it - or worse, in my view, the best of them will suddenly start taking OTHER gigs in preference to mine and I'll have trouble assembling the crews I need when I need them.

In my experience the WORST thing you can do in this business is devalue the human relationships that exist between ALL the people working on your projects.

And if you ever let them get a WHIFF that you're using their pain to try to make more or save more of even just keep one party to the operations (clients, execs, whatever) happier to the detriment of the others - you're eventually going to get hosed for it.

My experience, anyway.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Conner


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Greg BallRe: Overnight hours shooting rates
by on Apr 26, 2011 at 12:19:39 am

Thanks Bill,

I've been do that for about 25 years.



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David Roth WeissRe: Overnight hours shooting rates
by on Apr 25, 2011 at 10:43:46 pm

[Richard Herd] "What about the 10-hour convention? "

Actually, as I've mentioned here before, the 10-hour convention is no longer the standard in many states. The federal standard of eight straight is starting to be enforced now. However, the 10-hour convention was adhered to for so long that it's still considered by many as the present standard.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Nick GriffinRe: Overnight hours shooting rates
by on Apr 26, 2011 at 2:43:58 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "for straight time night shoot, you'd be ... labeled a prima donna."

Yup. That's me. Prima Donna all the way. From my limited experience all night shoots, to be done properly, screw up the day before, the day of and the day after. That's why I do what I can to avoid them. (I also don't sleep well on planes so I build in an extra, get acclimated day when flying to Europe. Some people can hop off the plane and do a regular day of business. I find I'm not anywhere close to 100% so I do what I can to avoid being put in that situation.)

The majority of our work is in factories where the machines we're there to shoot earn between $2,000 to $10,000 or more per hour. Therefore when they have to be stopped, or specifically tasked for shooting, it's usually in the middle of the night or the machine's manufacturer is buying the time from the plant. This forces a serious sense of purpose and efficiency on the shoots.

One of my less than satisfactory shoots several years back involved a plant where we were only allowed to work between 3 and 7 am. I came into the shoot after a full day of regular work so by the time we started at 3 am I'd been awake nearly 22 hours and, by the time we wrapped, awake for over 26 continuous hours. In the material the focus wasn't what it should be in places and in other places the edge of a flag got into a couple of shots -- all the kind of stuff that can happen when one is feeling like the walking dead and not paying strict attention to detail. So for me the lesson was to begin shifting one's body clock a day or two before and try to become a night owl who has at least had some amount of sleep.

As to shooting in retail locations, years ago when I did this, on a couple of occasions we shot our wide masters in the store location and constructed a faux store in the studio for the close-ups and medium shots. Probably a slightly more expensive way to go, but a lot less pressure.


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David Roth WeissRe: Overnight hours shooting rates
by on Apr 26, 2011 at 4:17:23 pm

[Nick Griffin] " From my limited experience all night shoots, to be done properly, screw up the day before, the day of and the day after. That's why I do what I can to avoid them. "

That's a whole different discussion Nick... Sure, most of us would prefer to be at home at 3am, warmly tucked into our comfy beds, preferably next to a warm and cuddly person (or dog), but they call what we do for money "work" for a reason... It's not play. Unfortunately, there are simply times when night shoots are unavoidable, as in scripts that call for events that happen outside in the dark.

Here in LALA Land there isn't a single human being who hasn't worked a night shoot at least once, and as I mentioned before, unless the same company doesn't give you a proper turn-around (12-hours off in between), there's also not a single person who would even think about charging more for a night shoot.

It may sound like I'm being too tough using the term "prima donna" for anyone thinking about adding a surcharge for a night shoot, but that's not just me talking. If there were a production manager forum or first A.D. forum you'd get 100% agreement on this subject.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Greg BallRe: Overnight hours shooting rates
by on Apr 26, 2011 at 6:39:02 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "t may sound like I'm being too tough using the term "prima donna" for anyone thinking about adding a surcharge for a night shoot,"

I'm certainly not a "prima donna" as a matter of fact when I was bringing crews to work overnight, as an in-house director, for a retail establishment I paid the crew more. I didn't think there was anything wrong with that. That's why I asked. So let's quit adding labels to people. Shall we?

Also we've all had horror stories of Murphy's law situations when shooting overnight. Thanks for your help though.



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David Roth WeissRe: Overnight hours shooting rates
by on Apr 26, 2011 at 7:12:43 pm

Greg, don't get your feathers ruffled, I wasn't calling you a prima donna; I was giving you the professional advice you asked for, and warning you that other professionals (your clients included) might well consider you a prima donna. It's clear you don't like the label, which is understandable; I was only helping you to avoid it.

For the record, I have thirty-four years of experience working professionally in Hollywood, and was a working director in the DGA. What I have offered you is not an opinion and it's not my version of reality, it's the reality of this business. Feel free to take it or leave it.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Greg BallRe: Overnight hours shooting rates
by on Apr 26, 2011 at 7:33:26 pm

No problem David. I also have over 25 years of experience. Meaning it takes a lot to "ruffle my feathers".

I appreciate your help and advice. Have a great day.



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Nick GriffinRe: Overnight hours shooting rates
by on Apr 26, 2011 at 9:48:56 pm

And earlier this afternoon when David saw my name on his caller ID he answered the phone "Prima Donna Productions."


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Bill ParisRe: Overnight hours shooting rates
by on Apr 30, 2011 at 5:51:57 pm

As a small production company that often does overnight shoots, I had to throw in my 2 cents.

My take on this: If your calendar is open and your not having to say "no" to any shoots the following day, I say a fair rate for shooting overnight is your day rates per 10 hours. If on the other hand your extremely busy and you know your going to have to move other shoots around and say "no" to other shoots, than charge the client an addition percentage for the overnight project. If I were doing a shoot where travel would eat a day from my schedule this would probably fall in the "Half Day" rate for labor only.

Another point ..... how big is the client and budget. If your doing a national commercial for a large chain, I would think they wouldn't balk at paying an additional fee for the overnight shoot. If it's a small mom and pops store in your community and your hoping to work with them in the future on more projects, you may have to suck it up and do the job overnight for a straight 10 hour production rate.

My take on doing business is to be a "problem solver" for my clients. In the case of shooting in a retail store, I may have suggested shooting overnight to the client so they would not loose a day of business, thereby putting their needs fist and foremost. If I knew at the time of suggesting an overnight shoot that it would cost an additional amount for the crew, I would bring it up in the preliminary discussion and allow the client to weigh the "Cost of an Overnight shoot VS closing the Store for the Day". The important point here is putting their needs first and letting them decide the best alternative.

One final thought...... I see this "point of view" issue come up fairly often in our business. Their are many craft people that have more of a union mentality when it comes to shoots. When the minute hand crosses the 10hour mark, overtime will be charged. There are others (like myself) that try to look at things from the client's perspective and will be a little more flexible. The end result often is a client that's is appreciative and will call you again. In this case you may say to the client....... "We would normally charge a fee for an overnight since the guys can't work the next day, but in this case we know your on a tight budget.... so ....." or you could say "If we do the overnight, my guys will charge a additional half day.... I wish there was a way we could avoid this but... they miss the next day etc."

Hope my rather long rant helps?

Bill Paris
Producer/Director of Photography
Crew Hawaii Television
http://www.crewhawaii.com


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Steve WargoRe: Overnight hours shooting rates
by on May 3, 2011 at 1:34:38 pm

I feel that every situation has it's own set of rules. There are times when extra charges apply and sometimes not. Many times, I will charge extra for my crew and not myself and this tends to go over big with good clients. Of course, this is an incentive to call us in the future and old clients are the bulk of our business these days.

All things considered, you just have to do what's fair for everyone, especially yourself. And I'll take repeat business over a few bucks any time.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
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