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rate question on long shoots


Twade
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a curious question. For arguments sake, let's use a Lectrosonics kit for a month.

Whoever your favourite local (or not) shop is will give discounts for the month. Say, 15 days.

If you're working 20 days for the month and you own that Lectro kit - are you charging the same as your favourite shop? or do you charge for each day of use?

Now, let's say it's a 3 month contract. Do you cut rates overall or do you discount the gear you're using to be in line with the shop? Do you get pressured to reduce rates to be more in line with the shops? Do you hate the shops for offering rates like this? Or do you like them because you can rent something for 12 days a month and benefit from charging 20 days (or something like this)

thoughts?

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The rental departments of the "usual suspect" sound retailers sure do give insane discounts to production companies. The longer the duration the more discount.

Because of that I've been in situations where I'm forced to be competitive on kit rate or risk getting the rental at all.

I'm referring mostly to reality and other over the shoulder type kit, not drama/cart work.

I feel like I'm opening a can of worms..

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Technically we all do.

Think about a pieced out commercial shoot, which might yield upwards of $1000/day for rental. Then think about a narrative shoot with a rental rate of $2000/week (for the sake of argument). We typically bring the same gear to these jobs, but are offering a "discount" for longer term work.

Also consider that most people on narrative are bringing over $100k worth of gear, which if were rented per piece would be VERY costly to production, yet we rent the package at a rate somewhere in the $2000/week range (higher for bigger features). It's really the same thing.

It's all quite tricky, really.

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..

" Do you... "

" Do you... "

" Do you... "

Boy is this a big "it depends".

Of course there is a lot of competition, which varies from one situation to another...

in general, I suspect we all make concessions on longer term projects, and that varies, too, with the circumstances...

This gives me a chance to promote my forthcoming new topic "cutting the grass", about charging properly for equipment. Coming next month, ONLY on jwsound.

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If you are talking 3 day week BS - ABSOLUTELY NOT.

That works for sandbags and c-stands, but not rental cars, hotel rooms, and US.

MF

Well, you actually do get a discount when you rent a car for a week...

And as Robert points out, weekly rentals are part of the negotiation for lots of us. The issue lies with how good a negotiator you actually are.

The mistake is doing a 3-day week on an already discounted "package" rate (unless that's something you're ok with). For instance, $150/day is pretty standard for a 3-ch ENG kit rental (far below what a rental house would give you, I'd imagine), but I wouldn't agree to $450 for a week of that.

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Short answer... yes. My experience is production asking me for my rate and my kit rate. If the rental house blew that away, they don't even negotiate with me. I can only assume they get some kind of inclusive deal that comes with a camera+lights package.

The reality shoots seem to be the worst with the discount rates. They can often get an ENG sound kit thrown in with a camera rental on the one day week rates (not kidding). I worked on a job last year and the sound kits were 552, Lectro UM400/411, Lectro IFB etc (all top notch gear). The sound kits were some crazy deal to sweeten the one day week camera rentals and score the contract from another rental place.

Is it better when production doesn't even try to get that rate out of you? I'm not sure. At least they know it's a crazy good deal and not usual. For that kind of money I'm not sure I would want to bring my own gear and deal with the wear and tear. I guess it depends on the type of job.

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For that kind of money I'm not sure I would want to bring my own gear and deal with the wear and tear. I guess it depends on the type of job.

My thoughts exactly.

Had a PM throw out "We can get a 788 and x wireless for $1000/week". My response was "You should grab that deal, I am not going anywhere near that" No way I would let my gear out on a reality show (even if it is me mixing it) and take that abuse for that little return.

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Thanks RVD for some excellent points on this topic.

I suspect a lot fewer narrative PSM's face the price war competition of many reality shows dealing with complete package rentals from their usual suspects (Bexel, Wexler, etc.)

The completeness of our personal packages, with all of our little widgets, gadgets, and accessories is one of our advantages, and a reason to still get a kit fee / box rental even when the packages are supplied (or explain politely that xxx wasn't supplied).

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Yes, I experience this situation on doc/reality jobs. Never on films.

Though, to be fair I do work on lower budget films, so they often come at me with more of a "this is what we have for sound kit...." type of conversation. Whomever did the budget used a template and did not base it on the requirements of the film. Something you hopefully know going into that negotiation (and all those little things RVD mentioned really do add up). Like I said above, some of those situations also have things like slates and sync boxes listed under camera package, so I can add those to the list of things I provide (and get that rental fee). I have been in situations where I really feel like I am talking to a number cruncher, and not somebody that has any idea why certain gear is needed (or better). All that being said, I've never done a film where they proposed the idea of getting the gear from a rental house. I guess they realize film packages are often unique to the user. maybe?

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You ask what their budgeted rates are weekly for labour, equipment, consumables and vehicle.

You look at a script / treatment and define what equipment is needed.

You work out if it's a reasonable rate for the term and if you want/need the job

That's show BUSINESS

mike

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Seen on Craigslist:

GRASS CUTTER - We have a really brilliant idea for a lawn. We just need a few 12-hour days of landscaping to get it into shape for Sundance. Please send resume and a sample of your sod. You'll need to bring your own lawnmower.

No pay, but you get a picture of the finished lawn. And we'll be sure to call you for future mowings.

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There are producers who have no interest in paying for the "widgets"--they figure that's all your problem, things to make YOUR life easier. These same producers don not pay box rentals for grips or kit fees for assistants either. I noticed when I was on jobs in Third World countries that only rarely did the local workers have any personal gear at all--even a pocket knife. ALL the gear came from the rental house, and the workers were basically pick-up labor for that company (usually one guy). I hope we are not sliding in that direction....

phil p

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