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Johan Grimm

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  1. I've recently been approached by a major production company with decades of credits about adding me to their roster (oh holy day) and little ole me is suddenly finding himself looking down the barrel of negotiating some form of contract with said company. It's my first time going to bat on this scale, and I'm finding myself wondering key things like... Should I expect it to be a freelance-only arrangement? Should I expect a guarantee? Should I push for a guarantee if it isn't offered? Should I use the DGA rate card as a starting place for setting my expectations of compensation? (The company does national commercials primarily) What are important negotiating points that I am not thinking about, beyond compensation and guarantees? Should I expect an exclusive arrangement? Should I ask for one (and more money) if they don't offer it? What length of contract should I be expecting? One year? Any online/print resources I should consult to help prep myself for the negotiation? I'm sure I'll have many more questions, but answers to those above will help me get my head around where I should be thinking when I begin the negotiations. Thanks for any pro tips!
  2. Greetings! I'm coming across the pond next month for a two-week gig that I will need to rent gear locally for. We'll be shooting several locations around Barbican, so ideally the rental house I get hooked up with will be nearby. I'm looking for an FS7 kit, a couple lenses, audio recorder and a small interview G&E kit. Any recommendations for a reputable rental house in that area that will have these items? Thanks! JG
  3. Wow, this thread sure came alive! This has been very helpful for me to gauge where I'm at. TBH, it sounds like I am actually already doing pretty dang good for myself! I suspect the fact that Boston is a much less saturated market is doing me a lot of favors. There are a lot of shooters here, but not that many with as much top tier experience as I have so I've been able to compete very easily. For me, asking price is always a big ? when trying to expand into new markets or fields and I just wanted to make sure I wasn't asking too little for my time. Sounds like I'm already getting towards the upper end of what I can reasonably expect for corporate and non-union commercials. Thanks everyone for throwing in your feedback! On an un-related note, anyone have some thoughts on moving towards joining 600? I assume that it is a similar situation as to the DGA where you earn your days by working movies as AC presumably? Is there a way for a DP to make a lateral move from non-union shooting into union shooting, or is it always starting from the bottom?
  4. Thanks for participating Phil! What would you consider more reasonable rates for work of varying scales?
  5. Thanks for chiming in! Definitely some helpful stuff here. Totally agreed that a GH4 kit sounds like a videographer / one man band stuff. That's what I began my transition into this field with, but as I said, I've DPed eight commercials so far and they all were shot on C300 or an Epic and I had a crew of half dozen or more on each one, so those definitely qualify as DP gigs and that is the kind of work I am looking to pursue. These price points you mentioned for various scale jobs help a lot in placing where I think I fall and what I should be asking for. Interesting points about the kit rental, too. Should I not be offering gear when going out for jobs then? I had assumed that having resources available and a kit that I could rent at less than rental house rates would be a boon, but if that isn't industry standard I'd rather not offer it unless it's requested.
  6. Greetings Cinematography.com! This is my first official post after a few years of creeping from a distance. I am seeking advice for setting my rate for jobs, which I know is of course a very complex question with lots of variables. Bottom line, I'm looking for a rough ballpark figure that I should be trying to get when starting my negotiations. A bit about me... 11 years professional filmmaking experience. Started out in my late teens as a PA on major TV shows and feature films (about 450 days towards DGA, but no thanks). Transitioned into regional commercials first as a PA again and then as a non-union AD. Took a full-time job for a few years as a coordinator and assistant editor at a regional edit facility. Went back to features for one year and ran basecamp on the Governator's comeback film, got taken to Santa Monica for post as the VFX PA. Decided this wasn't the path I wanted to be on and ran away. Spent a few years working for Cornell University as a video producer, which then bridged into shooting for myself for the first time. All during this time, I was hustling my own productions as a director and under that title I shot six music videos, a documentary and one short film. Now, I'm in Boston and have been working as a DP for a local production company for the last year and a half. It started out with me solo or pair shooting corporate and industrial interviews primarily, but I've always intended to angle back into major production. I impressed the production company and when they have gotten larger jobs in the last year I have been their call. In that time I have now served as director & DP on eight commercials where I had a crew of 6-10 working for me. At this point I have a reasonable kit that includes camera (just a GH4 + lots of accessories to make it a faux-cinema cam), gimbal, slider, crane, lights (enough for a solid closeup), c-stands, flags and various miscellania. So... I am now looking to reach out to production companies and agencies here in Boston and to sell myself as a DP for either solo shooter situations or ideally larger crew shoots. Where do you think I should be starting my rate at for just my time, and what kind of kit rental should I reasonably ask for? Or should I include kit rental in my rate? Any and all feedback and advice is greatly appreciated!
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