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Found 9 results

  1. I told the first UPM that inquired within 48 hours of having wrapped a little movie that my kit had gone up 1/1 and that I needed $500/week kit for my team. Crickets. Told the next one a month later 1) I wasn't hungry and 2) about the 1/1 raise thinking she'd also disappear after flying it up the same flagpole. Crap. The answer was, "Yes." I was so surprised and paralyzed I couldn't get to the above contract or anything else after she told me what there wasn't for expendables. Lessons? Keep notes on the next deal you want near for emergency consultation; and It's OK and even a good strategy to buy time. I should have asked to call her back once it became clear that the conversation was going to go my way so I could get centered and collect my thoughts. A FB thread written by José Frias caused me to think seriously about what I should do to grow in 2018 so the numbers were fresh on my mind having also consulted with my regular team about what they thought they'd be happy with kit-wise. I was ready-ready for the first call and not in the right mood for the 2nd. Always be ready.
  2. Fellow sound mixers! I wanted to get your feedback on Los Angeles non-union rates. I recently upgraded and bought more gear. So I wanted to share with you my gear and see what you guys charge. That way I am not under cutting other mixers or being offered less then a fair rate by clients. So again what would your labor rate and kit rate be? Also what would your kit include before you start charging a la cart? Thanks for your time with this. Below is what I currently have (1) Sound Devices 664 6-Channel mixer/recorder (3) Zaxcom TRXLA2.5 transmitters (2) Zaxcom QRX200 & QRX235 ENG receivers (3) Countryman B6 Lav mics + all mic accessories (1) Sennheiser MKH-60 Shotgun mic (1) Zaxcom Camera Link Transceiver (2) Zaxcom ERX2TCD IFB/Camera Link Zaxnet Audio & Timecode Receiver (1) ENG Breakaway Cable for Sound Devices 664 with various camera ends (1) 9-ft K-Tek boompole (1) Rycote Softie
  3. I've been working as a production mixer for a couple years and am starting to work with bigger companies and more established productions. I'm looking to my fellow, more experienced mixers to help me with building a sort of formula for what I should be charging for gear (for true productions with an actual budget backed by a network). Wireless systems, camera hops, lockits and the like. What do y'all use as sort of a baseline? Is it a percentage of the actual value of the item? What items do you sort of bundle together? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this. Any input is greatly appreciated.
  4. Hello all, I'm writing today to see the general stance on an 'indie rate'. I have been doing bag work for nearly a decade now and have generally turned down or priced myself out of all the indie flicks that have come my way. What can I say, I like my predictable 10 hour full rate days and have gotten pretty good at it. Lately however, I'm being asked more and more to quote on indie projects. Sometimes from regular 'corporate' clients who themselves are branching out. One thing that gets said to me often is 'you have to realize this is an indie project...'. As if that's supposed to be an automatic discount for my labour and equipment. So far I've held fast to my rates and when the money has been there I've taken the odd indie movie. Recently however, one such regular client has come to me about an indie and the PM they've got negotiating with me is using all the cliche's she has in her arsenal to get me to lower my rate. The problem for me is that I just don't have the equipment necessary to do this project properly without investing in some significant equipment upgrades. I love this group of people and would love to help out, but financially it's not making a lot of sense. I'm probably going to pass on the job and slowly add more gear to my kit so that the next time I'm in this position I might have a little more wiggle room to help out. That leads me to this: is there such thing as an 'indie rate', and when, where and why would you offer one? There are times when I think doing an indie might be fun for a week or when I'd like to help out a really good client who is trying something different. But I have a very hard time deciding when I should offer that rate as I'd hate the idea of losing out on fully paid work or selling myself short in general. I don't have to tell most of you how we as technicians don't have reels and really aren't in this for any sort of glory. So, do you have an indie rate, and how does it compare to your usual film package? Do you ask production what their overall budget is in helping to determine your rate? Should it be a certain % of their budget? Thanks in advance!
  5. Interesting piece on the salaries in Hollywood. They missed out the sound department though! http://www.businessinsider.com/hollywood-salaries-revealed-from-execs-to-extras-who-makes-what-2015-10
  6. I seem to have an increase in calls from producers calling me for half day of work- The call usually goes something like this- 'It's only a couple of sit down interviews shouldn't take more than 4 hours what's your rate for just half a day? What do you guys think of this- I often feel that if I book a half day then it's not as though I can take another gig to fill the other half of the day and so I should be paid a full day. These gigs have pretty much taken me out of the loop for the day anyway.
  7. Hi All, I was following the "basic package" - "standard kit" thread from a week or two ago, but didn't see any posts regarding what constitutes a "basic bag kit" and appropriate rates for such in Ontario, Canada and whether it's the basically same as U.S., Aus, U.K. How do ENG, Doc and corporate gigs in Canada compare regarding outlining a basic kit/gear package? Thanks for any discussion...very kind :-) Cheers, Dave
  8. Hi Guys, I work mostly on Documentaries, Reality and corporate commercial type work. Recently I was offered a job for a week long pickup on a narrative show that usually films in Norway for a show on Nextflix. (Not House of Cards). The PM offered me $300 for 14hr day overtime after that. $900 for 6 days of equipment and $150 for expendables. $200 a day for a boom up. This sounds absurdly low to me and somewhat insulting actually. Maybe some of you guys who started off on smaller budget narrative shoots can chime in? Should I turn down the job or just make a counter offer? Is negotiating a more normal procedure on this types of things? For a 14 hr day I would expect at least $700 in labor alone... Or are rates on narratives just lower because you get to work with STAR ACTORS!!!!! Thanks ahead for all input. NP
  9. What are You….Really??? Aaron “Cujo” Cooley Let us not beat around the bush. Things are tough right now. The marketplace is flooded, the jobs are far-flung, under-budgeted, under-funded, scarce, or just plain being run by fools. Add to that the fact that recording technology has advanced by light years in the recent past and it seems that the whole universe is conspiring against you and your efforts to make a living. Equally true though is the fact that there are many in the business that are doing just fine, with plenty of work for the foreseeable future. A fine lesson would be to learn what it is exactly that differentiates one group from another. A common complaint is that wages for a mixer are in the basement. Examples are the countless ads for a “sound guy” for as little as $100.00 per day with all the gear. It might read like this : “Sound mixer needed for a fantastic feature crewing up now. Be a part of a fabulous creative team working in a fast paced environment with all hands on deck. The budget is tight, but we have a fantastic DP and will be releasing this project on the festival circuit. The budget is tight, but we include credits and food with your deal. Pay $100.00 per day with equipment.” It’s a valid complaint, but not a valid excuse. I have no pity for those who take these jobs when they complain what a crappy gig it turned out to be. No professional worth his salt would take a gig like that. Many ask - “How do I compete with that? ”—This my friend, is the wrong question. The real question is: What ARE you? – Depending on what you are is important to the response for this job. Are you a mixer, a recordist, or just a button monkey ? – Depending on the job, you have to choose one. Mixers get paid big bucks, recordists get paid medium bucks, and button monkeys eat tuna subs. Whichever one you pick is fine, and it’s ok to be any or all of these at different times or different days, but understand the parameters of the chair you are sitting in. To be intellectually honest, the ad above is not looking for a mixer, a recordist, or even a sound guy. They are looking for a button monkey to hit record when the camera turns on and hopefully not fall asleep between takes. Sounding good is purely by accident. I would suspect that anyone reading this lesson is past that level of qualification, but you never know. If you are working with a 2 channel recorder, a basic lav, and a boom, yes I guess technically you can mix the two, but really you are equipped and working as a recordist and your pay will reflect that. Depending on your ability, you might even be a button monkey and get paid even less. Fact is, the job that hires for this type of gig doesn’t want a mixer, they just probably don’t know what to call it. You have to decide for yourself if that is what you will be that day and be savvy enough to recognize the difference in pricing for that particular product package. Conversely, there are guys who have a wad of Daddy’s money and gear who claim to be mixers. Life isn’t fair all the time. Deal with it. They might get work that you are qualified to do and they might get paid well for a time, but soon their skills (or lack thereof) will move them on down the line to relative obscurity leaving a hole for the upwardly mobile to move into. Will you be ready ? It is important that you recognize that zero or near zero jobs will never go away. They are as constant as the sun rising and setting. There will ALWAYS be people to fill these jobs. The ONLY thing that changes is who these people are. The reality is this. YOU need to examine YOUR business model and move on the work that is in YOUR realm of expertise and equipment. Know what you are worth, and take the work that applies to you. Chances are that you are not one of the select few that will get a 100 million dollar gig…Chances are equally strong that you don’t need a 100 dollar gig either. Keys from this lesson: Be intellectually honest with yourself Zero or near zero jobs will never go away What is the job --- Really. What are you --- Really. Take the work that is YOURS and don’t worry about the rest. Cheers and happy mixing my friends ! Cujo
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