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Rates in UK / Europe

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4 hours ago, Frido Beck said:

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 450 including basic kit, 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. 

 

That's not too terrible. Or, rather, it's fairly similar to how it is in Germany

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I think that the Market for TV/ENG stuff here in Berlin is quite destroyed. Rates can go as low as 150€ per day but are mostly between 160 and 180, without equipment. Standard kit would be a mixer, boom, 2 lavs for also between 100 and 150 Euro, sometimes more. 

This would be for bread and butter normal TV stuff like sit down interviews etc. I think this has also an Influence on the bigger documentarys, that are not that complicated. 

 

And It is also becoming very popular here to call these guys on commercials! Thats why I thnik that this market is also crumbling (at least here in Berlin). I was once asked about my rate for a commercial and quoted the minimum bvft recommendation for tv commercials (as I mostly do other stuff) which is about 500€ + Equipment and had to hear, that they haven't planed to spent that much money including(!) equipment. And that was for a tv commercial of a big shampoo company.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Philipp Sehling said:

I think that the Market for TV/ENG stuff here in Berlin is quite destroyed. Rates can go as low as 150€ per day but are mostly between 160 and 180, without equipment. Standard kit would be a mixer, boom, 2 lavs for also between 100 and 150 Euro, sometimes more. 

This would be for bread and butter normal TV stuff like sit down interviews etc. I think this has also an Influence on the bigger documentarys, that are not that complicated. 

 

And It is also becoming very popular here to call these guys on commercials! Thats why I thnik that this market is also crumbling (at least here in Berlin). I was once asked about my rate for a commercial and quoted the minimum bvft recommendation for tv commercials (as I mostly do other stuff) which is about 500€ + Equipment and had to hear, that they haven't planed to spent that much money including(!) equipment. And that was for a tv commercial of a big shampoo company.

 

 

Thanks Philipp for posting this informative but rather depressing news, at those rates it has to mean two things, one, it will put experienced people out of business, and two, quality will suffer. Then as the skills required become hard to source, and many production companies have bad experiences, the realization will dawn on them that trying to save too much money, will cost them a lot more, it has to come around.
"You think hiring a professional is expensive wait until you hire an amateur"

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Well, many commercials here will adr the lines anyway when they do the rest of the voice overs and the person is availabel for that.

Who knows if that is only a stylistic decision or reflects also the recorded material. 

 

When you get to the level of fictional tv stuff it gets better, which is also due to the work of our union here in germany. 

Have not done cinema jet so can not comment on that.

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4 hours ago, Philipp Sehling said:

Well, many commercials here will adr the lines anyway when they do the rest of the voice overs and the person is availabel for that.

Who knows if that is only a stylistic decision or reflects also the recorded material. 

 

When you get to the level of fictional tv stuff it gets better, which is also due to the work of our union here in germany. 

Have not done cinema jet so can not comment on that.

 

I don't work in fictional TV stuff, but as far as I know the Ver.di FilmUnion rate is not really good. its around 300/10 for a Sound Mixer, without equipment. 

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

 

The only real solution I see is to try to organize as many collegues around you to keep the rates up, or even get them up, and hold the line if producers go shopping.
I for myself only recommend people I know will match my rates and dont sell out. And I try to add to that list, making people aware.

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5 hours ago, Philipp Sehling said:

I think that the Market for TV/ENG stuff here in Berlin is quite destroyed. Rates can go as low as 150€ per day but are mostly between 160 and 180, without equipment. Standard kit would be a mixer, boom, 2 lavs for also between 100 and 150 Euro, sometimes more. 

This would be for bread and butter normal TV stuff like sit down interviews etc. I think this has also an Influence on the bigger documentarys, that are not that complicated. 

 

And It is also becoming very popular here to call these guys on commercials! Thats why I thnik that this market is also crumbling (at least here in Berlin). I was once asked about my rate for a commercial and quoted the minimum bvft recommendation for tv commercials (as I mostly do other stuff) which is about 500€ + Equipment and had to hear, that they haven't planed to spent that much money including(!) equipment. And that was for a tv commercial of a big shampoo company.

 

 

Really?? I thought Germany would be a lot better. I cringed at the 250 euro (working with gear provided by production company) TV guys get here in The Netherlands. Since I heard that number, I didn't want to attempt to do TV anymore. The money is with the corporate stuff... but still not too great.

 

Did a fiction TV series for Nickelodeon Netherlands as 1st Asisstant Sound / Boom operator for 250 a day though..

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3 hours ago, NickFriedrich said:

 

I don't work in fictional TV stuff, but as far as I know the Ver.di FilmUnion rate is not really good. its around 300/10 for a Sound Mixer, without equipment. 

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

 

It's both right and wrong. It needs to be qualified. 

In Germany (don't know how it works in other countries), you can either work as temporary employed or as a freelancer who invoices (you cannot chose entirely freely, certain criteria need to be fulfilled). 

If you chose the employed route, the daily rate is a bit more than 300€. Please bear in mind that this is the union rate, which is minimum rate for beginners. 

Inlcuded in this rate are various benefits, which I don't all want to list, but one of them, as an example, is part health insurance.  All these benefits the employer has to pay on top. 

For freelancers the argument is that they don't get any of these benefits, so the employers actually save money by hiring freelancers (which is why there are restrictions for doing so). As a freelancer you are expected to ask for some of those benefits reflected in your rate. That means you won't get health insurance, but you can ask for a 25-30% higher rate. Virtually all producers know and expect this, it's just a question of how high the percentage is. 

So if you invoice your rate should be at least  around 390€. The before-mentioned BVFT recommended rate reflect these differences between employed and freelance. 

And I think to compare rates between various countries it's more appropriate to use freelancer rates

 

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3 hours ago, NickFriedrich said:

 

I don't work in fictional TV stuff, but as far as I know the Ver.di FilmUnion rate is not really good. its around 300/10 for a Sound Mixer, without equipment. 

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

 

The only real solution I see is to try to organize as many collegues around you to keep the rates up, or even get them up, and hold the line if producers go shopping.
I for myself only recommend people I know will match my rates and dont sell out. And I try to add to that list, making people aware.

 

Well, it is at least a starting point. Also what Constantin said is also absolutly right and needs to be kept in mind.

What would be your starting point Nick? 

 

And to specify again what I mean with TV/ENG-Guys as I don't know if it is the same in other countrys:

The Position is mostly called 'EB-Assistent', sometimes 'EB-Ton' (EB standing for electronic broadcast) and you would be part of a 3 person Team with camera and editor) Doing sound is just one of the things that you would have to do. You would also drive the production car, carry the tripod, help with lighting things, keep the discs or cards in order, have something white for white balance and some cloth to clean the lense. Most of these guys will later start to do camera work and never touch a mixer again. I see very rarely someone over 30 in this position and the few I see work as employees for our public broadcasters.

(I started out in this field and still sometimes work these jobs as winter can be rather empty of big productions.)

 

 

 

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On 27.10.2017 at 7:08 PM, Frido Beck said:

Feature film guys get 400-500 ex gear, so 700-1200 including gear. 

 

You can charge 700 € per day for feature gear? I'm movin' to the Netherlands baby!

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7 hours ago, Christian Spaeth said:

 

You can charge 700 € per day for feature gear? I'm movin' to the Netherlands baby!

Some do. like one or two. Because they are the only ones who can do certain big films. Most is in the 700-900 range including gear i suspect.

 

I had two weeks ago a multicamera corporate project where I charged 800 gear a day (350 for 1st assistant sound) but that was only two days. But many of it was rented so yeah..

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It's both right and wrong. It needs to be qualified. 

In Germany (don't know how it works in other countries), you can either work as temporary employed or as a freelancer who invoices (you cannot chose entirely freely, certain criteria need to be fulfilled). 

If you chose the employed route, the daily rate is a bit more than 300€. Please bear in mind that this is the union rate, which is minimum rate for beginners. 

Inlcuded in this rate are various benefits, which I don't all want to list, but one of them, as an example, is part health insurance.  All these benefits the employer has to pay on top. 

For freelancers the argument is that they don't get any of these benefits, so the employers actually save money by hiring freelancers (which is why there are restrictions for doing so). As a freelancer you are expected to ask for some of those benefits reflected in your rate. That means you won't get health insurance, but you can ask for a 25-30% higher rate. Virtually all producers know and expect this, it's just a question of how high the percentage is. 

So if you invoice your rate should be at least  around 390€. The before-mentioned BVFT recommended rate reflect these differences between employed and freelance. 

And I think to compare rates between various countries it's more appropriate to use freelancer rates

 

You have to add that as an EB assistant the normal price here in cologne is 160,-€ to 180,-€ as a freelancer. No social insurance included. So if you want to compare the union wage of 307,-€/10h to the 160,-€ an EB assistant gets you also have to reduce the 160,- by 30%. That would be something like around 125,-€/10h. It's modern slavery. 🤢

 

 

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On 31. Oktober 2017 at 9:06 AM, astro said:

You have to add that as an EB assistant the normal price here in cologne is 160,-€ to 180,-€ as a freelancer. No social insurance included. So if you want to compare the union wage of 307,-€/10h to the 160,-€ an EB assistant gets you also have to reduce the 160,- by 30%. That would be something like around 125,-€/10h. It's modern slavery. 🤢

 

 

 

Yep, totally!

 

And on the topic of equipment: my experience is that the rental houses will give you big discounts on long projects so you would probably have to match theire numbers. So you might just get 350 for you 700 Euro kit on a shoot with 50 days, or something.

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New situation:

 

now a new production is coming to Brazil to shoot a "branded content" - cause they don't feel like calling it commercial, right? - for 2 major brands, where they gonna have 2 really famous guys to play Footvolley for cameras while shooting brands clothes and shoes, and whatever giant outdoors with brands.

 

So production says its not a commercial, and they want me to do £350 for multitrack recorder with timecode (to send to 2 cameras), boom, 3 lavaliers, audio sent to 2 cameras (i could send by cable, but tell me how i could do that on a sports shoot with cameramen walking opposite directions all around) that means 2 wireless audio on camera.

 

After i accepted that, as the rate is higher than most situations in Brazil and im also earning half a day travel rate, i sent an email to client and local producer (fixer) worried about my equipment. Its a sport shoot on a sand court with 2 players jumping, falling on the sand, sweating. And worse of all, its a footvolley match, so the guys need to use their breasts to receive the ball at the starting point, shortening my options of lav-positioning if i don't feel like having lavalier pâté for dinner. I asked if production gonna pay for any damage to my equipment, which can easily happen on this case. Got a call 5 min after questioning how did i dare ask about that, because they never paid for that, and that is the mixer's responsibility to pay for his equipment insurance. I don't feel like they're right. Read so many stories about equipment breaking during productions and production company paying for it, which seemed to be the norm for me. 

 

Also feel like im not being paid properly. But that's the story of our lives, right? The producer told me she "always do the budget making DP and sound earning the same", to which i answered her that's not true, as i know DP is gonna earn more and he doesn't get to bring US15.0000 of equipment for free as i am doing. Don't know whats gonna happen next but...

 

oh man... Its always like that...

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Production has to have insurance, they are not a production company if they don't.

Offer to arrange separate insurance for the sound kit but tell them you need to pass the cost on.

If they're not paying what you want for kit, don't bring it or use it - I'd take out the camera hops and give them the recorder files - wireless scratch tracks to camera are a luxury (they pay for - right?). If they want audio to camera, bring the cable and unplug as soon as it's a health and safety issue.

Have they offered you a contract and payment schedule? Are you supplying a car?

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11 hours ago, Philipp Sehling said:

 

Yep, totally!

 

And on the topic of equipment: my experience is that the rental houses will give you big discounts on long projects so you would probably have to match theire numbers. So you might just get 350 for you 700 Euro kit on a shoot with 50 days, or something.

 

Did you ever get €700 a day for gear? Please let me know which production company, I'd like to work for them, too!

If they don't have insurance (and they do often take it out on a per shoot basis), they should get it asap. In my experience they can do it either as a flat fee, where you just need to give them the grand total (as in buy new value) or you have to list every single item incl its replacement value. I'd recommend sending them a proper quote incl. your conditions, as set out by Daniel above, and whatever else you think should be in it, incl. the insurance thing. Make sure it says that the prod company is responsible for 100% of your gear. Don't just say they have to insure it, as they often have a deductible which they will try to offload on you. 

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On 4. November 2017 at 7:57 PM, Constantin said:

 

Did you ever get €700 a day for gear? Please let me know which production company, I'd like to work for them, too!

If they don't have insurance (and they do often take it out on a per shoot basis), they should get it asap. In my experience they can do it either as a flat fee, where you just need to give them the grand total (as in buy new value) or you have to list every single item incl its replacement value. I'd recommend sending them a proper quote incl. your conditions, as set out by Daniel above, and whatever else you think should be in it, incl. the insurance thing. Make sure it says that the prod company is responsible for 100% of your gear. Don't just say they have to insure it, as they often have a deductible which they will try to offload on you. 

 

Ha! I wish. I was just useing the same numbers for an example. 

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