Jump to content
joaohpc

Rates in UK / Europe

Recommended Posts

Hello to everyone,

 

Was hoping to get some feedback about how much are the rates for work + equipment in the UK. Im a brazilian sound mixer based in Rio de Janeiro, and everytime i work with international productions and try to negotiate rates i get the argument that in UK the mixers earn 350 pounds a day for all-in (multitrack recorder, boom, 2 to 4 lavs, wireless audio on-camera and maybe even timecode lockit boxes). This is the second time i work with an UK production, and although the production company was not the same, i got the very same argument from both. I want to find out if that is true, as i received a call for a 3 week job and now they even want a discount because it is a large period. Im brazilian and is hard to find that kind of international information. Actually i found this chart (https://www.bectu.org.uk/advice-resources/library/2244), and it says 350 pounds for a 10 hour day, but i keep asking myself if it is with or without equipment.

 

Had a lot of trouble negotiating extra hours (they still dont want to pay me) and timecode lockit boxes as extras on the last job.

 

Also i received the same argument when worked with a german production back to the Olympic games last year. In that case, the rate was considerably lower - 300 euros (not pounds) a day, but they didn't ask for timecode and it was just 1 camera.

 

How much should be a week rate for 10h/day doc? In UK or Europe.

 

I hope this is the appropriate board, and sorry if its not. I would be happy to have any kind of feedback.

Thanks to all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At least for Germany I can tell you that the rate should be at least €390 depending a bit on the job. That's definitely without gear. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everything that is based on hours (10hrs) would be labor only. Cause it implies that there might be paid overtime. Never heard of equipment getting additional fees if going over 10hrs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PSC sound recordist TV Factual, Documentary, Corporate, News
10h £340 without equipment
12h £408 without equipment
I've messaged you with additional information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, pindrop said:

PSC sound recordist TV Factual, Documentary, Corporate, News
10h £340 without equipment
12h £408 without equipment
I've messaged you with additional information.

This is right. As per bectu (i'm a member). The 5 day rates are essentially a pro rata extrapolation of the daily rates (which is wise because on a weekly booking you'll end up putting extra hours in anyway).

I structure my daily rates a little differently from bectu but with a similar outcome. Eg for 10 (+1, for lunch) I'm 340 + kit, (which averages at £34/hr), but i'm actually charging 30/hr for the first 8, 45/hr for next 4, after that it should be 60/hr. I did this because I have a young family and wanted to encourage shorter days. 8 hour days aren't so applicable in broadcast or scripted scripted drama but for corporate clients it works well. Eg. for 8 hours i get 350 inc kit (8x30=240 + 110 for kit (633, 2 boom mics, 2+1 radio mics)), I'll even do a 5 hour rate when appropriate. If a broadcast PM is trying to get you on an 8 hour rate (for a 12 hour day, squeezed into 10 :-), they are taking the piss. On longer gigs I will agree to some kind of B.O.s to hold my take home, but only on agreement of a set minimum amount of recovery time (wrap to call) ideally 12 hours. If they can't do this then we have to look at other things. eg a hotel even if the work is considered local to my base etc. This last part is usually the deal breaker/maker for these type of gigs because they either have hotel options going on for some of the crew anyway so not so painful for them to add you to it, or they don't, in which case they'll go for the guy who sleeps in his van :-) or after the commute has less than 8 hours to wash, feed and sleep themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Daniel interesting way of structuring the rates but for 10h first 8 @ £30 = £240 plus two @ £45 (£90) that makes a total of £330 not £340?

Lots of people myself included don't do half days (5 hours), as the travel time and prep time are not halved, apart from not being able to do another half day on the same day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, pindrop said:

Daniel interesting way of structuring the rates but for 10h first 8 @ £30 = £240 plus two @ £45 (£90) that makes a total of £330 not £340?

Lots of people myself included don't do half days (5 hours), as the travel time and prep time are not halved, apart from not being able to do another half day on the same day.

yes, oops, typo. corrected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the rate in Brazil doesn't have to be the same as in Britain, as general costs of living can differ significantly, so for foreign productions I think it's sensible to charge on the upper end of what you would charge for a local production. Now for the equipment, prices should be similar in all the world, as prices for buying the equipment are similar too. 

That said, I think 350 pounds including kit is too low.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's usually at least £100 of kit on top of that.   For a number of reasons our kit rental rates seem to be considerably lower than those I've seen charged in the US.  You may need to hire radio mics in locally, there are quite specific license requirements here.

Actually with the kit quoted I'd be charging over £500 with that for a 10hr day 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you should charge whatever you normally expect in your locale.  What UK mixers charge isn't particularly relevant, although they're lying if they say that everyone charges £350 all in.

 

Tell them that it doesn't matter what UK mixers charge, they're not in the UK now, they're in Brazil and will have to pay whatever Brazilians charge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Lancashire soundie said:

I think you should charge whatever you normally expect in your locale.

 

agreed, why should a german production company pay different rates in brazil for local work then a turkish production? if they hire a taxi driver, they will pay brazilian fares too and not german/turkish fares.

 

but personally, I don't like flat rates without paid overtime. too often it ends up in really long days and everybody is in a bad mood because it's basically unpaid work. expensive overtime helps that production tries to keep things efficient and days reasonably short - and if they are incapable of doing that then at least you get some extra money.

 

chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone for the feedback.

 

I know i shouldn't charge differently depending on what country the production company comes from. That would be right in a perfect world. It is a very large story to put in this thread, but actually in Brazil our unions don't have representation with producers, so what is the value we have on our union charts and what is supposed to be the right value for our labor and equipment is never followed. We don't earn the right for the equipment we use ( quality-wise of what producers ask), and what you see happening a lot at Brazil are old (age) sound recordists that couldn't save money for their retiring even working their whole life. That is because our city is very expensive - believe it or not, almost as in London - but also because we don't get paid enough for our equipment. So when things do break - and you guys know they DO break ALL the time - everything saved is re-spent on what was not enough paid. Equipments here are taxed in 100% - yes, im serious. We need to pay 2 times the amount you guys pay for your gear, pay an expensive international shipping and cry if something breaks, because there's almost no local technical assistance. And if that wasn't enough, we don't earn as much as you guys for the very same gear.

 

If we follow this logic you can't even get enough money to buy new gear if you don't happen to have a wealthy family, so what happens here is 70% of the mixers work with Zooms or Tascam-DR680s, even for cinema / drama / fiction. That's a whole other world and don't wanna go inside that, also don't have any intention to make a drama here, but just to say to @Lancashire soundie and @chrismedr is not that a simple moral question (or so easily logic) as you think, and it actually is quite unfair.

 

This makes me think of what @Christian Spaeth said about equipment being a regular rate worlwide. It  makes all sense. I wouldn't be complaining if that was the case. And actually, that's what i try to make happen. I don't ask the same rate as you guys because i consider the labor rate should change for each country - YES -, so i charge an inbetween of local / international rates. Also it makes less sense to go with me rather than a sound recordist from crew's country if we're charging the same, even though there are flight and hotel costs.

 

That being said, i'd appreciate a little more help from you guys if you can let me know how much you charge for a basic kit:

 

- Multitrack recorder with timecode

- Boom

- 2 wireless mics

- 2 wireless utility (extra lavs or wireless sound on-camera)

 

Also, how much would it cost for:

 

- Extra lav

- Timecode lockit box ( each )

 

Based on that info i can get to a fair rate.

 

@pindrop, @Constantin, @daniel thanks for the original feedback, and would love to hear more from this point.

 

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh, I wasn't talking about morale at all, sorry if it sounded like that.

I was more talking from the business side, like if I were on the other side and hiring a sound mixer I would probably think I'd pay them the same as what they usually get since that is the norm.

 

But It sounds to me from what you describe that the brazilian market is pretty messed up and most people are working at minimum wages. so if a UK production company doesn't know the rates or just feel they should pay their crew properly, and you can negotiate a higher rate, I cheer for you ;-)

 

If they tell you that in the UK or Germany a sound mixer usually works for 350GBP including gear and unpayed overtime, they either come from low-budget productions or they flat out lie, thinking that people in Brazil will be happy to work for that.

 

chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, chrismedr said:

oh, I wasn't talking about morale at all, sorry if it sounded like that.

I was more talking from the business side, like if I were on the other side and hiring a sound mixer I would probably think I'd pay them the same as what they usually get since that is the norm.

 

But It sounds to me from what you describe that the brazilian market is pretty messed up and most people are working at minimum wages. so if a UK production company doesn't know the rates or just feel they should pay their crew properly, and you can negotiate a higher rate, I cheer for you ;-)

 

If they tell you that in the UK or Germany a sound mixer usually works for 350GBP including gear and unpayed overtime, they either come from low-budget productions or they flat out lie, thinking that people in Brazil will be happy to work for that.

 

chris

 

Also sorry i got the wrong idea! But i've seen a lot of people discussing this subject, and the moral side always seems to be one of the focuses. But yea, things are pretty much messed up around here, and also yea, its the second producer that tells me in UK they earn 350p/ day with equipment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, joaohpc said:

 its the second producer that tells me in UK they earn 350p/ day with equipment.

 

well, you do find people that work for that amount of money over here, but definitely not experienced talented folks with quality gear.

 

but just to add on the point of local rates:

imagine what would happen if a production from say Hungary would make a film over in L.A. and ask the sound mixer if he could work for 200USD per day since that is the common rate in Hungary? I'm pretty sure you'd hear a solid "no, here you'll have to pay three times that".

So it's kind of understandable that a US production filming in hungary would expect to pay 200USD if they can get a qualified person for that money.

 

if this is fair or not is a completely different discussion in my view and extends way beyond filmmaking.

chris

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fair to ask what gets paid in uk market and splitting the difference between the 2 seems reasonable. Btw BECTU PDF you link to says 340/10; 408/12 (*PSC rate, sorry for confusing the issue) - which does NOT include kit, but I can see how a producer might make these 'slips'.

Something I consider when renting my kit is what it costs to source a replacement if something gets lost or damaged and whether this is even possible. Eg, if it can't easily be replaced then more redundancy is needed (therefore more rental from somewhere), if local rates for kit are more expensive then charge more, from what you say I can't imagine it's cheaper. If the work is broadcast or big corporate client, 10-12 hour day min etc. you've got to hold out for what you consider a proper rate PLUS kit. There's no excuse for them not to pay. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, joaohpc said:

- Multitrack recorder with timecode

- Boom

- 2 wireless mics

- 2 wireless utility (extra lavs or wireless sound on-camera)

 

Also, how much would it cost for:

 

- Extra lav

- Timecode lockit box ( each )

 

Based on that info i can get to a fair rate.

 

@pindrop, @Constantin, @daniel thanks for the original feedback, and would love to hear more from this point.

 

Cheers

 

I'd say 250-300 ish (€) for the basic kit, given you offer 4 wireless kits. Extra lav at least 50 €. Maybe others will chime in so you can get a good average.

 

By the way, speaking of producers, I sometimes get the feeling some of them will always try to negotiate on labour rate but will often accept equipment rate, both regardless of actual price. 

 

And if we talk about proper commercials, prices are generally higher.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say it depends...

 

21 hours ago, joaohpc said:

- Multitrack recorder with timecode

 

Zoom F8 or SD 633 type?

 

21 hours ago, joaohpc said:

- Boom

 

Rode NTG3 or Schoeps MK41? 

 

21 hours ago, joaohpc said:

- 2 wireless mics

- 2 wireless utility (extra lavs or wireless sound on-camera)

- Timecode lockit box ( each )

 

Sennheiser G3 or Lectro?

 

21 hours ago, joaohpc said:

- Timecode lockit box ( each )

 

Ambient Lockit Network or Tentacle? etc.

 

but generally for equipment, check the prices or typical rental places and charge accordingly. here's a rough price list from Kortwich:

http://www.filmtontechnik.de/fileadmin/tontechnik/Mietpreisliste/PL-Kortwich_2017.pdf

 

chris

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, chrismedr said:

I'd say it depends...

 

 

Zoom F8 or SD 633 type?

 

 

Rode NTG3 or Schoeps MK41? 

 

 

Sennheiser G3 or Lectro?

 

 

Ambient Lockit Network or Tentacle? etc.

 

but generally for equipment, check the prices or typical rental places and charge accordingly. here's a rough price list from Kortwich:

http://www.filmtontechnik.de/fileadmin/tontechnik/Mietpreisliste/PL-Kortwich_2017.pdf

 

chris

 

 

Thank you for the link, it helped a lot as an international reference.

 

It's just amazing how things work at Germany. Found it very interesting that you have small variations of price for each piece of equipment. Most producers in Brazil don't care if you have a Sound Devices, Tascam or Zoom. They just want a multitrack recorder, as well as a lav mic or boom, be it Sennheiser ME66 or Schoeps CMIT, be it Senn ME2 or DPA4071. We sure have a few high end producers who ask for a Sound Devices, but its the minority. And then what happens is: they want the high end equipment paying for prosumer gear, and won't hire you unless you have what they want.

 

Made a brief calculation of my gear - SD 664, Lectrosonics SRB with 2 SMQv, Sanken CS3e, 2 Sony UWP D11 as extra lavs or audio on-camera - and didn't count the timecode set. That list goes for 220 euros, or 824 brazilian reais, which is the rate we earn labor + gear. Also, when considering drama / episodic, i've seen many jobs paying that amount for 788T, 2 booms and plug ons, 6 wireless mics, audio on camera and sometimes timecode lockits. We sure must consider you always give a discount for larger jobs - i.e, 3 to 4 weeks. But you get the idea. 

 

So yea, actually we work for free. Sound mixers have tried many times to make a strong union that really has representation like camera department has here. But for some reason it never works out, we're not being taken seriously. We frequently earn labor + gear the same as (frequently less) a 2nd camera assistant.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to be clear here:

 

we also have a high end market where mixers earn more, specially when considering big commercials, but i'd say what is the highest rate you can earn around on that niche is 2100 brazilian reais ( 499 british pounds), with equipment included - 788T, 2 lectros, boom and comteks. I see at Bectu chart you earn in that case 457 to 513 pounds without gear, just labor.

 

Also considering Bectu's chart: at films with major budget you guys earn 472 to 530 pounds / day without gear, while we earn tops 1500 brazilian reais ( 356 british pounds) /day with SD 788T or Aaton Cantar, 8  Lectrosonics wireless - 6 + 2 plug ons - with Sanken or DPA lav mics, 2 booms, audio on-camera, 2 timecode lockit boxes and 4 comteks. Another difference - on films we don't do 10 hours, we do 12h as standard. So if i consider your rate for 12h - 520 to 580 pounds - the difference is even more shocking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, joaohpc said:

And then what happens is: they want the high end equipment paying for prosumer gear, and won't hire you unless you have what they want.

 

yeah, I understand the dilemma there - if they on one hand say we don't care what you use, we will only pay a Zoom equivalent anyway, but on the other hand won't hire you unless you have top gear, then something is very wrong. combined with the fact that the high-end gear is expensive in your country if must be quite a struggle.

on the up side, you have much better weather ;-)

 

bit more seriously, the market is getting tougher over here too, it's not uncommon to get asked to work for 250EUR per day including equipment, but that's usually the kind of productions where otherwise they'll just use an on-camera mic or have the intern hold up a stick. In a way there are two separate world, a world where there is still money to pay serious wages and one where you basically work for minimum wage (8.50/h) and have to pay for transport and batteries out of your own pocket. 

unfortunately, the former is shrinking and the later getting bigger.

chris

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, chrismedr said:

yeah, I understand the dilemma there - if they on one hand say we don't care what you use, we will only pay a Zoom equivalent anyway, but on the other hand won't hire you unless you have top gear, then something is very wrong. combined with the fact that the high-end gear is expensive in your country if must be quite a struggle.

on the up side, you have much better weather ;-)

 

And also carnival! ;)

 

1 hour ago, chrismedr said:

bit more seriously, the market is getting tougher over here too, it's not uncommon to get asked to work for 250EUR per day including equipment, but that's usually the kind of productions where otherwise they'll just use an on-camera mic or have the intern hold up a stick. In a way there are two separate world, a world where there is still money to pay serious wages and one where you basically work for minimum wage (8.50/h) and have to pay for transport and batteries out of your own pocket. 

unfortunately, the former is shrinking and the later getting bigger.

chris

 

Seems to be the tendency worlwide, unfortunately... Feels odd every time we work with producers that actually pay correct rates without crying for discounts or threatening you of losing the job.

 

Stay strong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/24/2017 at 2:15 AM, joaohpc said:

We frequently earn labor + gear the same as (frequently less) a 2nd camera assistant.


That is very very wrong! As a mixer (a HoD!) should earn at least similar to what a camera op would earn for his labour. 

And then add your gear rental on top of that.

You must have some kind of local rental houses you can point to? As a reference for production as to what they'd need to pay for gear rentals if they didn't have what you're generously providing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 22.10.2017 at 4:27 PM, chrismedr said:

I'd say it depends...

 

 

Zoom F8 or SD 633 type?

 

 

Rode NTG3 or Schoeps MK41? 

 

 

Sennheiser G3 or Lectro?

 

 

Ambient Lockit Network or Tentacle? etc.

 

 

 

I hope I misunderstood this, but I don't charge for gear based on the actual gear I use. I discuss the needs for a given project and set my rate accordingly (so I can bring the gear needed to get the job done). But I do not offer to use a Zoom instead of a 788 to accommodate a cash-strapped production. And that would be an awful and dangerous trend, because it would probably result in the future in producers telling us to use certain brands of gear, because they know it's cheaper. 

Yes, do charge more if you need to bring, for example, timecode boxes, but don't vary your rate for timecode, just because you bring a Tentacle instead of a Denecke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rates in The Netherlands are terrible. I get with my 633, 3 Zaxcom wireless, 2 Sennheiser EW300 IFB receivers, two timecode generators, stereo/mono schoeps boom kit about 550-650 EURO a day. (350 or 400 labor, 200-250 gear) This is for relatively high-end corporate stuff. Documentary I get max. 550 including gear, sometimes I do it for 450 if i like the project. TV/ENG guys get like 400-450 including gear, some do it for 350 or less (2 wireless, probably sennheiser ew100). Feature film guys get 400-500 ex gear, so 700-1200 including gear. 1st Assistant Sound on TV series and Feature films is 200-300 euros a day. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×