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Mark Andrews

Shooting past wrap time.

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There is one person on the callsheet that can keep the day on schedule. Your DOP. More often than not they overcomplicate nearly every shot on lower budget productions. And have their a** kissed while pondering...

The wrap party will be a thinly veiled coronation of the camera department of whom you will probably never hear of again.

We do a job. And a surprisingly thankless one at that. Stand your ground.

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At the end of the day, getting an occasional hour of OT is not going to change your life. Production paying that hour to (nearly) everyone on set will keep them on their toes. If they have you for a flat day, they really have no motivation to make things move along.

Then again, when you have significant overtime day after day, it can add up.

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I usually do a verbal agreement that includes a flat rate for my OT on lower budget stuff. Producers never have a problem agreeing but I have had to explain my invoice for OT a few times. The key is to be non confrontational but firm when discussing OT and there is no confusion.

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I usually do a verbal agreement that includes a flat rate for my OT on lower budget stuff. Producers never have a problem agreeing but I have had to explain my invoice for OT a few times. The key is to be non confrontational but firm when discussing OT and there is no confusion.

Verbal can be very risky. Get it in writing or it doesn't exist.

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I usually do a verbal agreement that includes a flat rate for my OT on lower budget stuff. Producers never have a problem agreeing but I have had to explain my invoice for OT a few times. The key is to be non confrontational but firm when discussing OT and there is no confusion.

Deal memo! At the very least you should have emails acknowledging the agreement.

I appreciate that you can work with verbal agreements and handshakes, but bad things can happen when productions run out of money and they scramble to cut their losses. Let alone, when you run across shady creeps.

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If they have you for a flat day, they really have no motivation to make things move along.

This is really what it comes down to and the reason for never agreeing to a flat rate. Only on very rare occasions in unique, documentary situations (far off the beaten path) have I agreed to flat rates. For normal productions, they are a no-no, imo. As is often the case with jwsound, there is already such a wealth of good advice by the time I read a thread that my contribution seems superfluous. Diplomacy, managing expectations, being specific, and the rest of it... "Amen". Lots of great stuff there.

I will add this wisdom from a recent conversation with a colleague of ours:

Production, "We don't pay overtime."

Crew person, "Oh, that's okay with me. I'm fine with not working any overtime."

And another response I felt was wise.

Production, "Can you just waive this meal penalty?"

Crew person, "I just put down the actual hours I work on my time card. Are you asking me to lie on my time card?"

Or some tactful variation of that. I am all about being friendly and tactful in these rare situations, but please remember that it is, in fact, against state law in CA to ask an employee to lie on their time card.

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Depends on the situation as I understand it most network cameramen working overseas are on a 24 hr buyout so no overtime past 10 but if you bill for your overtime on the same principle.... it could be I double my rate after 10 and it does not matter how many extra hours you planned to slave me for. >:D

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