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What to pay contract videographers??

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ron cournoyerWhat to pay contract videographers??
by on Jul 3, 2015 at 1:32:26 pm

Hi all,

Looking to pick your brains about pay for hire. We will need to hire a few videographers to supplement our team this year shooting sports events. We will either provide equipment, or they can use their own if it fits into our specs.

Wondering what a competitive wage is, based on an either daily rate, or event rate. Days run around 12 hours, while the whole event may be up to 4 days. Some local, some require travel.

Any input would be helpful. As always you guys are the best!!

- Ron


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walter biscardiRe: What to pay contract videographers??
by on Jul 3, 2015 at 2:26:45 pm
Last Edited By walter biscardi on Jul 3, 2015 at 2:27:25 pm

[ron cournoyer] "Wondering what a competitive wage is, based on an either daily rate, or event rate. Days run around 12 hours, while the whole event may be up to 4 days. Some local, some require travel."

Minimum $500/day for the shooter. Probably more like $650/day for 12 hours. That's the person, no gear.

With gear $750 - $1250/day depending on what they are bringing.

Generally with 12 hour days and just a 4 day event, you're not going to get a discount on the rate unless you book them for at least 4 events.

You pay all associated travel costs.

Don't forget the sound tech.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Craft and Career Advice & Training from real Working Creative Professionals

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Nick GriffinRe: What to pay contract videographers??
by on Jul 3, 2015 at 7:09:24 pm

[walter biscardi] "Don't forget the sound tech"

And for everyone, don't forget meals, breaks and plenty of water, soft drinks, etc. In the long run being generous with crew members pays off. You get better work and a higher degree of "buy-in" to the project.


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walter biscardiRe: What to pay contract videographers??
by on Jul 3, 2015 at 10:24:40 pm

[Nick Griffin] "And for everyone, don't forget meals, breaks and plenty of water, soft drinks, etc. In the long run being generous with crew members pays off. You get better work and a higher degree of "buy-in" to the project."

100% agree. Just completed a 5 day shoot where we rolled off 127 Scenes. Had plenty of food and water for the crew and had one of our best shoots ever.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Craft and Career Advice & Training from real Working Creative Professionals

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Ned MillerRe: What to pay contract videographers??
by on Jul 6, 2015 at 9:12:51 pm
Last Edited By Ned Miller on Jul 6, 2015 at 9:17:46 pm

It depends....I am (mainly) a freelance videographer, 30+ years experience and have shot many a sports event, both amateur and pro, and also I hire many freelance shooters.

First off, the non-union industry runs on a ten hour day. This is a given. Presently I have several ads on Production Hub looking for shooters and the starting point is a 10 hour day. By the way, you should use Production Hub rather than CL. So the best way to phrase your ad would be $X for the first ten hours plus $X for the next two hours of OT. If you do not do that the pros will consider it a slave labor situation. To get great cooperation offer to pay at the end of the day, that's common when shooting live events for out-of-town strangers, tell them to bring their invoice and have them fill out a W9 on site. When people know there is a check at the end of the day they are happy. Thirty years ago they would be paid in cash...

You did not mention the type of sporting event. Will the person need to be on their feet ALL DAY, following tight whoever has the ball or puck and racking focus constantly? I assume so since you said it's 12 hours, that implies a tournament? That is extremely fatiguing so if I were you I would pay the main cameraman more, meaning an older, very experienced shooter who knows that particular model camera you are bringing. There would be a premium for that shooter and he or she would be the one you travel. You had said these shooters would be to supplement your team so I assume the more important camera positions will be your experienced pros?

As Walt had said, $500 is a good starting point because it's about as low as a pro would go for a 10 hour day and if it's a big city pro they would have to be hungry. Once you offer below that you are getting more of the recent college graduate crowd that are not trust worthy technically. In the Chicago area, a 10 hour day for someone who will arrive on time, has experience is $500-$650. If they bring their own tripod and camera most shooters will want $250 at least, a nice ENG package with a zoom lens with reach may be $400-$600, but everything is negotiable. An experienced shooter will want a specific amount for labor but will wheel and deal on the gear.

If people are going to be handed a camera they have never seen before you will need to get them there earlier and have your regular shooters run them through the basics, especially media management. I have found that people exaggerate their capabilities, sometimes outright lie, just to get the work. Perhaps send them days before a PDF explaining the camera so when they arrive they can hit the ground running.

When I post an ad on CL I can't believe the desperation out there, people offering to work dirt cheap for experience. The problem with sports is that it is a live event, unforgiving if there's a tech f up, unless you're going for a "highlights" video thing. Other situations like concerts you can throw many, cheap, not very experienced shooters in the mix and still come out with something decent, but not sports, so you're forced to give a decent rate to get shooters that won't mess it up.

Caution: Do not give them coffee in the morning unless you also pass out Depends, since they can't stop what they're doing and hit the porta potty.

So in sum, I would offer $500 for 10 plus say $100-$150 "extra" for the OT, plus lunch and snackage, check at the end of the day, and free parking. Below that, based on my extensive experience hiring additonal shooters, you would be dealing with the "iffy" crowd, unless you luck out.

That's my .02ยข.

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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Damon WelchRe: What to pay contract videographers??
by on Sep 1, 2015 at 10:36:32 am

Good post. Not surprised the OP didn't return to this thread with comment or even a thanks. People jumping in the sports video business because they had a child recently go through it always get a "sticker shock" when it comes to expanding and hiring other shooters.


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Todd TerryRe: What to pay contract videographers??
by on Sep 1, 2015 at 3:57:39 pm

Well it all just goes back to "You get what you pay for"... it's just having to convince people of that.

My biz partner Phil had one of the best quips about that a couple of days ago. He was pitching a new client, a jewelry store, that was wanting better advertising.

The store owner said "For some reason, we've just not been happy with the commercials produced by the cable company."

Phil's response... "For some reason, I've just not been happy with the jewelry out of the gumball machine."

Sadly, he didn't think of that comeback until he was driving back to the studio... a George Costanza missed opportunity.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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