I’m about three years into the professional sound mixer world, which means the last couple of years I have been rapidly increasing my rate. And in doing so I have had a decent bit of client turnover. Just recently I lost a client who was easily 1/3rd of my income last year. The producer would often say things like “the union doesn't care if the producer gets paid.” I certainly don't think producers have as much trouble getting paid as we do, but I have been thinking a decent bit about what is a fair payment for the job.
Personally I have started thinking of my rate card as the amount that you have to pay me not to be interested in the business side of the work. That is to say, if you pay my full rate I don't care how much money you are going to make or how much you were paid to create the work. I will work hard and be happy with the amount I was paid.
When a client can't pay my rate card I want justification for why I should work for them. If what I’m doing is not being paid at the market value, I’m in a way investing in their project. And like any investor I want transparency and justification for my investment. Now obviously as projects get bigger being seen as an “investor” becomes less realistic but I feel that the concept still applies.
I’ve tried to map out full budgets myself for smaller productions and thought about how much I would pay my sound mixer if I was a producer of a small Interview/Recre based TV show. All of that just becomes a bunch of numbers and percentages so I dunno if this forum is the best place to post it, but I would gladly share it if anyone was interested.
Has anyone else worked through a budget for projects or been on the “other side of the desk”?