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I just watched the Wexler doc on FB posted by this website. He and the reporterette interviewing him state there's a bit of a problem of industry people working over 12 hours.

 

Is this true?

 

The handful of gigs I've had over the last three years have usually been half day affairs.

 

Anybody with insight?

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I've had plenty of 14 and 16 hour days (and some longer on occasion). It happens. It's not great. The overtime is nice, but it is difficult to drive home; downright dangerous a lot of times too.

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Here in Italy we have a national contract for 10 hours/day (including 1 hour meal break), or 7/8 hours per day with no lunch break, with 11 hours of "rest time" between days. This is what usually happens on tv series. In feature films it's not unusual to have overtime at the end of the day, and in commercials those extra hours are very common. (worked on a commercial a while ago where we worked 18 hours on the 1st day, 16 on the second, 18 again on the third and last day).

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You clearly haven't worked all that much if you have generally seen "half day affairs."

 

For a TV series, which is most of my experience, a 12 hour day is the shortest you can expect with 13 or 14 being more common and more, up to 16 or 18, happening sometimes but not every day because that's not sustainable for weeks or months on end. I've only worked less than 12 doing second unit or an additional camera where you're wrapped at 8 hours whether you're still needed or not.

 

I haven't done enough union feature work to really comment on any kind of average. I think it depends a lot more on the people involved than it does with a TV series that has a tight turnaround and even tighter schedule.

 

For music videos, they always want to keep it to one day (even though the shotlist generally calls for more) so very, very long days are very common if not just the norm. I don't think I've done a music video of less than 14 hours and I did one that went 25 hoursph34r.gif.

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Back in the day I was sleeping on stages. Sometimes on a pile of sound blankets next to my car (surreal stuff). I'd go home, catch a four hour nap, come back, repeat, rinse. I remember 14 to 18 hour days. As a 20-something kid I thought it was cool and real fun. As an adult I want to go back to media and do more, but I'm not a teenager nor in my 20's anymore.

 

Wexler seems to have been around though, and according to him and his group there's a problem with working excessive overtime. I'm still out of the loop, so I'm wondering what the state is right now.

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What Chris said:

 

Last job I worked 12 hours was basically the minimum. MAYBE ther was an 11 in there somewhere. I think 12 was where double OT kicked in, so they would usually work us right to 12 since it was budgeted for.

 

 

So yeah, you want to work in the business, deal with 12 hour days, or sve yourself disappointment and get out.

 

 

 

Trust me, you'll never see an 8 hour day in the US doing this professionally. . .

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What Chris said:

 

Last job I worked 12 hours was basically the minimum. MAYBE ther was an 11 in there somewhere. I think 12 was where double OT kicked in, so they would usually work us right to 12 since it was budgeted for.

 

 

So yeah, you want to work in the business, deal with 12 hour days, or sve yourself disappointment and get out.

 

 

 

Trust me, you'll never see an 8 hour day in the US doing this professionally. . .

Well dang, I've got to get back in shape then.

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It just depends on the type of job. I get a mix of commercial, industrial, doc and occasional narrative.

 

I had a couple available days, so I hopped on this low budg documentary. I was on a 10 hr deal, and they simply weren't paying overtime. So at hour ten, I walked. The producer was a little shocked, but that was the deal...and she ONLY ever did work like this, so I wasn't worried about losing a client. In the end it was fine, she was just in the heat of the moment...even though I warned her at hour 7, 8 & 9.

 

We simply have to put our foot down sometimes, especially when a low budget job may be under the impression that they own you for as long as they need you.

 

Bigger budget jobs, with above scale rates, and awesome crew and a client I want to keep. I'll work a 16 hour day, why not. The compensation is there, and there are usually adjustments for a decent turnaround time.

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