Jump to content

Gaffer rate for ultra low budget feature


Landon Hill
 Share

Recommended Posts

I couldn't find any specific post about this. In May I will be gaffing a feature with about 12 shooting days with a budget around $30,000. I've worked for this director before on a bigger budget feature, but only as an AC. He always pays on time. I'll be working on the film no matter the rate, because principal photography isn't that long, because I want to continue to work with him, and his features keep getting more and more budget (John Debney just scored his last feature, the one I worked on). But he's just doing this one for fun. What would I charge for my day rate as gaffer with a budget like this? Any help or input would be appreciated. This would be in addition to any equipment rentals.

Edited by Landon Hill
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe the only question (to ask yourself) is how little can I afford to make for 12 days to maintain the working connection with this Director? Is this a SAG production? How many cast, how many crew?

 

$200/2400?? Almost one tenth of the budget for one position? Guess the cast and crew won't be fed on this shoot.

Edited by JD Hartman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

if you have to lower your rate considerably they should show you the budget and you can then negotiate together how much the production can afford to pay you, eg. what is a fair rate considering what the budget is.

 

it is difficult to say how much it would be in a low budget indie feature without seeing the budget and discussing with the producer or production manager

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member

You can't afford a gaffer. Your can't afford any real crew or gear at that sort of level. What you can probably do is afford someone who one day wants to be a gaffer, and if you look around, you may be lucky enough to find someone with at least a bit of book knowledge and a few days experience on no-budget music videos and the like. Sometimes, such people can be very good, but you shouldn't expect too much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't book a "gaffer" at that budget level cause there's likely no need. No electrical distribution. No tie-ins, gennies etc. Probably all house power with a handful of units and no real steel or rigging to worry about. Better off with a few experienced swing. All ya need are hands at that point to keep things safe. Probably no math or "middle management" involved.

Edited by Michael LaVoie
Link to comment
Share on other sites

it saves lots of time and money if you have experienced people around, so I would definitely book a experienced "gaffer" who is fast and innovative and can thus do great job with the resources available. even if the whole lighting/electric crew is only that one person I would do just like that to make sure to stay on schedule. otherwise the DP has to do the gaffer job which eats lots of time and they will probably hate it.

 

you can probably save 30-40% on lights if you have experienced and innovative people using them so it is also most likely cheaper option :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess I should add that I'll be doing a couple other crew positions as well. I am an experienced grip and electric swing so I'm not worried about any of that, but I'll probably be pulling focus among other things. It'll be a very small crew with minimal locations. Mostly interior, so I can probably get away with only a few smaller lights and maybe a shiny board or two. I've done features with a rate lower than $200/day so I'm not really worried about it since it's only two weeks. I'll be getting all the lighting equipment from a really good friend who owns two 10 ton grip and lighting packages, and he gives me a really good deal every time I rent from him, so we will be able to save money that way.

Edited by Landon Hill
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

Forum Sponsors

Film Gears

Serious Gear

Metropolis Post

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

VidGear.com - Broadcast Video Warehouse

Visual Products

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International

CineLab

Wooden Camera

Cinematography Books and Gear



×
×
  • Create New...