Martin Kittappa ✭
- Martin Kittappa
- Last Active
is it me or am I seeing more and more posts on SMU asking for half day rate quotes. Since there is no way I can book work for the other half a day then surely there is no such thing as a half day rate. Add travel to and from shoot, wether you are shooting four hours, six, ten or twelve, it's still the only thing I'll be doing that day.2
This traveling to work as a local I feel is a downward spiral. Productions should be traveling crew and paying the per diems. It's how it used to work. Now I'm seeing posts about shoots in so many backwater places all looking for locals, and people are just playing into the hands by paying out of pocket when productions should be budgeting to travel the crew that they need to do the projects they want to make. You can bet that the producers and all the above the line folks are getting their travel paid for, and you can bet that the executives are getting richer because they are pocketing money that should be invested in their crew. By doing this out pocket we are in effect paying to work. I am actually saddened that we are having this conversation. People willing to be put themselves up in cheap hostels is a sad indictment of the state of this industry at this time.2
I do totally get when a show out of, say New York is shooting a quick interview in Los Angeles. They fly out the segment producer and find a small two man crew to shoot the interview. I've actually got a ton of work that way being the local on the West Coast. I understand having local PAs who know the area to do the driving and shop for all the little art and other accessories that might be needed, and the fact they probably know the best places to eat in town as well is a bonus.
My frustration is that I would think the production sound mixer should be one of the key crew, but this is always the first job that is pushed aside when trying to save pennies, and is often the area that post has the most issues with (so I hear from my post friends) when dealing with varying quality of deliverables, file structures etc. Not only that as a sound guy on smaller doc style shoots I often end up being the guy to help move lights, and assist camera in various ways. After a few days of working with the same DP it does become a very efficient relationship so why not take advantage of that rather than having the crew figuring out how to find their groove in every different location.3
I wouldn't risk staying with my expensive sound equipment in hostel, no how, no way!4
Under the labor laws you do have to pay him for his time, despite the fact he screwed up royally. Maybe you could hold back on paying the gear rental because the equipment failed, perhaps split the $400 into two $200 labor/ $200 gear and just pay him for his time. This would depend upon how the deal memo was written. This sounds more than an equipment failure, and you unfortunately were working with someone who was not competent in the job, but legally you still have to pay him for his time, unless he chooses to waive his salary.
We've all had things go wrong- In my ten plus years as a sound mixer, I have only had one incident where a catastrophic equipment failure ruined a part of a day's shooting. On that day I invoiced labor only and discounted the entire equipment rental despite the fact we only lost one small, but important scene.
This kind of thing is why I am strong proponent in traveling a crew you know and trust whenever possible, although I totally understand for a couple of quick interviews it might be more cost effective to use a local crew.1