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Overtime

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Greg BallOvertime
by on Mar 1, 2016 at 5:33:05 pm

This may be a strange question. But when I hire a crew they give me a rate that includes their gear. But we seem to have a disagreement about overtime. They want to charge OT for themselves and gear, yet I think it's more reasonable to charge for their man-hours time, NOT their gear.

What do you folks tend to do here?

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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Mark SuszkoRe: Overtime
by on Mar 1, 2016 at 5:48:38 pm

I can see their point, in that once, committed to a gig, there's an "opportunity cost" associated with the gear not being available for someone else.


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Greg BallRe: Overtime
by on Mar 1, 2016 at 8:52:41 pm

Thanks Mark,

You're helping me all over the Cow this week. Much appreciated.

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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Ned MillerRe: Overtime
by on Mar 1, 2016 at 9:57:23 pm

No way! I've been a freelance shooter since 1979. No way you charge OT for the gear if you're a freelancer. I hire shooters all over the country and I would never put up with that. That's treating you like you just fell off the turnip truck.

Say the DP and his kit for a ten hour day is $1300, and of that $700 is labor. Then you would take the $700, divide by the ten hours ($70), multiply that by 1.5 since OT is time and a half and you get OT at $105 a hour. Simple as that. Forward my reply to the gougers.

I bet they're charging portal-to-portal too?

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


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Mark SuszkoRe: Overtime
by on Mar 1, 2016 at 10:10:38 pm

Portal to portal is how we still do it. Some of this is that we just have different situations and ways of working. Some of it relates to the strength of one's negotiating skills. Really, I'm not trying to pick a fight, I can see both sides of the argument.


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Ned MillerRe: Overtime
by on Mar 1, 2016 at 10:21:14 pm

I love when I can charge portal-to-portal but in the non-union world it is now extremely rare. Many of us live in the far flung suburbs so our kids could attend better schools, so we can't penalize clients by charging them the moment we leave our doorstep.

Some exceptions are when I work for spin offs of certain TV shows such as Dr. Phil, where the staffs are composed of former NBCers who expect to pay portal-to-portal as a remnant of their old union contracts. To them it's normal so I won't educate them otherwise. The only other place where it's considered normal is when various crew members go to a production company in the morning to then leave for a location, called a launching pad, so these companies charge portal-to-portal from their production company door. But for us freelancers it's very rare to get portal-to-portal. Too bad...

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


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John BaumchenRe: Overtime
by on Mar 8, 2016 at 4:26:29 pm

Well, Just to throw my $0.02 in..

As a freelancer, your time is what the client is paying for. If you're traveling an hour across town because that's where the client wants to shoot, that's 2 hours of your time, (round trip), that you can't sell to anyone else, spend promoting the business, conducting sales, networking...... Why wouldn't you charge for it? If the client was a steady one, I'd certainly cut them a discount for it, but hey, time is money.

As for the equipment, If you're charging a certain amount for a certain number of hours, and the day is extended, that means putting more wear and tear on your gear. Why wouldn't you charge for that?


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Ned MillerRe: Overtime
by on Mar 9, 2016 at 1:50:41 pm
Last Edited By Ned Miller on Mar 9, 2016 at 1:52:33 pm

Nah, I've written many hundreds of checks to crew over the years and OT is always based on the labor rate. Perhaps a production company that sends out people with gear under one price may try to get away with charging OT on gear but I have never come across it.

As to being asked to drive two hours from your house, assuming you don't live "way out" from the center of your market area (as I do), it's customary to drive about 30 miles or so before complaining and wanting to charge travel time. For instance, in Chicago the epicenter is considered the intersection of State & Madison downtown so distance starts from there, that was a union rule from the Old Days. So imagine if you, like me, have to put a crew together of 4-8 people, they all live all over the place including far flung suburbs, are you saying each one would have their own start time based on where they live? That would mean each person would enter into OT at a different time depending on where they came from? No, that's not how it works. If the location is in a far flung area I will tell the client we need to be done in a 9 hour day, instead of a 10 hour day because of all the driving, and I may add everyone charges another $10 for gas and tolls. Also, in the Chicago area, what may be a 30 minute drive at 3AM with no cops around can become a 2 hour commute at 8AM with rain or snow, so time really means nothing in terms of crew arrival and the determination of OT.

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


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