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Maxx/663 = Eroded Gear Hire Charges


chris_bollard
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So Tom, respectfully, if I had chosen to bring my Nomad over the 442, I should have recorded everything for free? Wouldn't that set up a pattern of "the last guy showed up with a recorder, X wireless mics, camera hops and IFB for $YYY".

I would have preferred to use my Nomad even as just a mixer on that job for every reason except battery life. If I had brought it, I would have felt silly for not pressing record. They would have absolutely wanted those files after something that happened with the A mixer's gear.

I found out later that this company *just* started using a recorder and previously only used mixers direct to camera. I'm guessing that's why the person that called me asked my rate, then said "this is all we have budgeted, but they are only asking for a basic mixer package so maybe that will work for you". For me and a basic kit, it was a fair price.

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I never operate a flat rate.

 

What does the job need me to bring?

 

Equipment

My labour

Vehicle

Batteries

 

Yep I negociate if I need to but all jobs are different and so are all budgets

 

Certainly do deals for regular and good clients.

 

Had a NT producer contact me recently about a 10day job in Vanuatu

 

Chat, chat  $100 per day for me and the gear!

 

No thanks

 

mike

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Charging 1% of purchase cost/day for kit, the price of renting a TC recorder mixer set-up has been getting cheaper for a while.

Eg in UK:

£30/d for a 633 or a 5 channel SQN with no recorder of any kind.

£45/d for a 644 or 744.

£27/d for a 552.

£60/d for a nagra 6 (or HHB portadat w/TC!)

£75/d for a 788.

 

 

Dan.

Always wondered why is gear rental so cheap in the U.K compared to other European countries ? The cost of buying is more or less the same .

 

a 788T in Spain rents for 160€/day ( 136GBP)

a 744T for 80€ (70GBP)

 

http://www.ovide.com/es/productos/audio/grabacion

 

and if you look in France, a bit cheaper but still miles away from UK prices

 

http://www.tapages.fr/spip.php?page=rubrique_thelia&id_rubrique=23

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For the sake of the argument I was referencing one of the best value rental houses in the UK (richmond film services). In the UK you will find folks charging up to twice what they do for mics and accessories (closer to 2-3% of purchase cost) and very few that will offer the range of recorders and bigger items but probably less variation on those prices.

I imagine a busy rental house, making the right decisions about kit and pricing sees kit paid for quite quickly (perhaps in the first few bookings) and employs enough engineers to keep the stock earning for a few years after. They still rent (list) a good range of Nagras including the D/DII! Maybe there is more work here so the business model is more secure or economies of scale mean their purchase prices are different?

 

The prices you put for a 788 in europe is more like what people charged here for a cantar or deva (and neither of which are part of RFS's) fleet. 

 

Are your personal rates similarly more?

 

Dan.

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So Tom, respectfully, if I had chosen to bring my Nomad over the 442, I should have recorded everything for free? Wouldn't that set up a pattern of "the last guy showed up with a recorder, X wireless mics, camera hops and IFB for $YYY".

I would have preferred to use my Nomad even as just a mixer on that job for every reason except battery life. If I had brought it, I would have felt silly for not pressing record. They would have absolutely wanted those files after something that happened with the A mixer's gear.

I found out later that this company *just* started using a recorder and previously only used mixers direct to camera. I'm guessing that's why the person that called me asked my rate, then said "this is all we have budgeted, but they are only asking for a basic mixer package so maybe that will work for you". For me and a basic kit, it was a fair price.

 

To be fair to the production, they knew what they wanted and were willing to pay a fair price (maybe?) for it.  It is you that decided to bring gear over spec.  I personally would have brought a mixer and met the demands of production.  The job I'm on now, though negotiation, doubled the equipment rate in order to satisfy both production's requirements (in this case, for wireless hops) and my own business responsibilities.  A lot of us are purchasing multi-track recorders and then subsequently trying to create a demand for them.  There's still a lot of work out there that simply needs a competent mix recorded on-camera.

 

Me personally, if I failed to negotiate a rate commensurate with a Nomad package, and brought one anyway, once on set, I'd use 100% of my abilities and 100% of my gear capabilities to do the best job I could do.  If there is any blame to be placed, it would be squarely on my shoulders as ultimately I'm the one who chose to bring a recorder.  I'm just not the guy who's going to withhold recordings as some sort of retroactive method for post-negotiation negotiations.

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Er, they may not get "given away" but if you were starting out now or a rental house looking for a machine that could go out on small to medium jobs what would you buy? Charging 1% of purchase cost/day for kit, the price of renting a TC recorder mixer set-up has been getting cheaper for a while.

Eg in UK:

£30/d for a 633 or a 5 channel SQN with no recorder of any kind.

£45/d for a 644 or 744.

£27/d for a 552.

£60/d for a nagra 6 (or HHB portadat w/TC!)

£75/d for a 788.

 

Sooner or later its going to get harder to hire a 744 and external mixer to a production for the price you were paying-off for it at. Unless production are hiring you to carry 8 wireless as well, why would they pay all that extra for a 788 either (cos i insist on using it?). We can enjoy the ignorance of others for a while (633s for 788 rates) but i can't see that lasting for long (because the difference is so big) and maybe some folk will have to hire their 788s for 633 rates when production only want to 4 tracks. 

Isn't this why the 633 is destined to be a newbie and rental house favourite?

 

It doesn't change what we can charge for the other stuff. And if I dump my mixer and/or my stand alone recorder to buy a mixer/recorder then it will be going out on most jobs. If production say they only want a mixer i'll probably charge them £5-10/d less for kit cos i'm not data wrangling but i will also advise them that If they do ask for recordings during or at the end of the shoot, i'll be sure to have them and will charge a modest premium for the convenience of them being able to change their mind during the shoot. Eg. £10/recorded GB plus cost of card, in cash to take the card home on the day or send files on receipt of purchase order - Ie NO handing over files (and media) to folks without compensation or purchase order. Unless pressing record compromises something they have asked for on the PO what's the harm? You have a chance to sell them an extra service for a premium and even be a 'hero'.

 

Dan.

 

This feels too cheap to me.  Obviously I don't live in the UK or EU nor that familiar with the standards over there, but a 1% hire rate seems about half of a fair price for a commodity that is not a mass market item, we are specialists after all.  Going back to the rental car model, one might pay $300 a day for a $30K (wholesale) luxury vehicle and maybe $50/day for an economy.  These rates probably range from half a percent to 1% for the premium line... it doesn't make sense that our rates would be in the same ballpark as an industry that enjoys much higher demand and turnover.

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If the client requests backup audio, or double system sound, then you charge for the machine as a recorder.  If it is a straight to camera gig and the client requests a basic kit then you charge for a basic kit.

 

I don't tell clients anymore what gear they are getting for basic shoots.  If they ask for a basic kit to camera gig, its a Sound Devices mixer, 2 wires, boom and cable to camera.  If they ask for a recorder with Iso tracks, then its a Sound Devices Recorder, 2 wires, boom and cable to camera.  Charge accordingly.

 

A $4K-$5K camera hop system is not the same as as a $250 cable to camera.  Charge accordingly.

 

 

 

 

"You don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate"

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I don t talk rental money with most of my clients anymore really. I like to have a steady hi rate. Sometimes i use more, sometimes i use less. I always work with my nomad and lectros and have a backup kit. I don t make a big deal if i record or not. I ve charged similar good rental $$ for single or double system shoots.

I feel that it s good for business to not talk about technicalities too much unless they bring it up.

All i want to know is what are we filming, where are we film, with what camera, with what approximate schedule?

I never bring up the $ subject unless they ask and i setup technically the way i think is the best for their project unless they request anything special.

It happened to me that i sent an invoice that was higher than what they were expecting to pay but they always paid me and apoligized for not taking the time to discuss before. On the long run i believe these (lowballers) clients and i wouldn t work together much anyway so all is good.

My golden clients, those i pick up the phone quick and always say yes without much details are the ones that let me do my thing, appreciate that i don t bug for details and never say a word on my invoices and pay.

Keep it simple and worthy and i'll do the same with my service and equipment.

My 0.02$

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If the client requests backup audio, or double system sound, then you charge for the machine as a recorder.  If it is a straight to camera gig and the client requests a basic kit then you charge for a basic kit.

 

I don't tell clients anymore what gear they are getting for basic shoots.  If they ask for a basic kit to camera gig, its a Sound Devices mixer, 2 wires, boom and cable to camera.  If they ask for a recorder with Iso tracks, then its a Sound Devices Recorder, 2 wires, boom and cable to camera.  Charge accordingly.

 

A $4K-$5K camera hop system is not the same as as a $250 cable to camera.  Charge accordingly.

 

 

 

 

"You don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate"

Agreed.

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dom: " I feel that it s good for business to not talk about technicalities too much unless they bring it up...  I never bring up the $ subject unless they ask "

unless it is a regular established client with agreed on rates and charges, I always make sure we have the $$ clear.  Some of the technical aspects need no discussion, beyond gig requirements, and with regular clients they are typically established, too...

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I dunno, I see both sides of this issue.  

I always hit record.  It's cheap insurance.  Even if the files end up on a drive on my network for a month then get wiped...

I just don't make a big deal about it.  

 

If they're asking for ISOs and timecode, that's a different level of kit.  I can and do charge for that.  If they ask for them after the fact, again, I can charge for that but only because they exist. 

If they don't ask for ISOs and I'm just feeding the camera and the button is just sitting there staring me in the face all day, what's the harm in hitting the button a few times then wiping the files if they're not needed? 

 

 

I was on a show last year and the host was on a horse (I friggin hate horses) both cameras were setting up their next shots when the horse decided he'd had enough and threw my host off.  He broke his arm and the new cast and bandages had to be written into the show.  The only coverage we had was two cameras spinning around to try and get it and the audio on my backup recorder.   The ops were fantastic and got there quickly but missed the actual impact.  I was rolling and got the whole sequence.  Combined with the cameras just getting into focus as he was rolling over on the ground, they had a show.  I saved the day and was well rewarded with a permanent spot on the show (which won a regional Emmy this year).

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My 788 is my primary kit, and 442/302 my backup. I always use a wireless camera hop, unless its a days sit down interviews, so having some kind of back up makes me more relaxed. There has been some pressure here, Australia, from production companies to have soundies include the camera link as part of the standard kit price; coming from the practice of some supplying the link for free.

I'm happy not charge extra for my own peace of mind and convenience (broadcast audio only in the camera). There have been lots of jobs where I have been able to charge for recordings, voice overs, sfx and sync on gopros, when the client asked if I had the gear to do it. (Same goes for other gear too - if you have it with you it's available to value add).

I'm with the idea that it doesn't matter what the recorder is (Nomad, 788,664, 663.....) rather it should be charged at a similar rate - not some 1% of cost; of course this depends on your ability to negotiate.

The actual ROI for my different pieces of gear is something I've been meaning to workout for some time; if I get time tmrw I'll get my accounts software to work it out.

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