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Forums Field Production Day Rates for Cameramen in Network TV

  • Day Rates for Cameramen in Network TV

     Charlie Centimole updated 5 years ago 6 Members · 13 Posts
  • Danny Dodge

    December 22, 2011 at 3:08 am

    Hello everyone, I’m a freelance cameraman/cinematographer for Network TV who films reality and adventure TV. So that we’re not all getting short changed in this economy I’d like to get a range of what day rates are being paid, with and without gear. This way it will help standardize things a bit more for those of us who don’t like to be undercut on price. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this.

  • Nick Griffin

    December 22, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Nice idea, Danny, but…

    Response to this request for information sharing needs to stay small and very low profile. Otherwise it begins to border on violating the anti-trust laws regarding price fixing. You can survey a group of shooters on their fees and publish the results, you cannot get a group of shooters together and set a price you will all, by agreement, charge.

    That said, a friend of mine working in Washington doing network news gets $1,050/day with gear. Without gear it’s $450 for an 8 hour day.

  • Danny Dodge

    December 22, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Thanks for the input Nick. My aim is not to set prices, but instead to see a range of prices so that those who are charging a dollar an hour can come to a realization that all they’re doing is making it impossible for folks to make a living in this industry. We all have the option to set our own price, and I seriously doubt I have the influence to cause folks to do otherwise 🙂 That said, I’m getting $450 a day with gear. Thanks for letting me know I’m getting taken advantage of.

  • Danny Dodge

    December 22, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Just as an FYI here’s a sample of what I’m producing for that rate:

  • Nick Griffin

    December 22, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    VERY nicely done, Danny! I haven’t gotten to the end yet, but if you’re the editor, or contributed to the editing you are to be doubly congratulated.

  • Danny Dodge

    December 22, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Thanks Nick. I did do the edit, but I prefer not to edit…. accept for national ads (thirty seconds works for me). I just go stir crazy sitting at a computer for long periods of time. I spent the last three years pushing myself to edit shows and I finally said enough is enough. Now, and since last January, I’m just a field producer/shooter, and love it.

  • Chris Tompkins

    December 23, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    You don’t mention what market your in but $450 w/ gear IS really low.
    Unless a complete newbe.

    Chris Tompkins
    Video Atlanta LLC

  • Danny Dodge

    December 23, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    I don’t really have a market. I have companies based in Denver, LA, Nashville, etc. hiring me. Now that I know my rates are low I get the fun of having to break the new to them that I’m raising them. That should be a lot of fun…. NOT.

  • Thomas Miller

    December 23, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Just for some perspective, our rates for a two-person crew range from $1,650 to $2,250 – depending on the camera package we use. But that’s with 25 years experience, very high end equipment, and lots of bells and whistles. Also, we almost always go out with a highly experienced sound person. I’ve never heard of a 450 rate with gear, unless shooting with an iPhone! Even then, that’s way lower than my rate without gear. Advice – don’t give your services away! It’s a slippery slope that will follow you your entire career. Be the best, not the cheapest. You will find that you will attract the best clients as well. That being said, there is always a need in any business for a Walmart – if that’s what you want to be. Good luck!

    Tom Miller
    Big Pictures Media
    Denver, Colorado

  • Chris Tompkins

    December 23, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Well, at least it’s end of the year time.

    You can use that as a reason for a rate increase.

    If you feel you need a big increase – do half of it starting Jan. 1st 2012 and another jump July 1st 2012.

    Chris Tompkins
    Video Atlanta LLC

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