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Kenny Williams

Calculating O.T.

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Hello all! I am still relatively new to all of this, and I'd like to think I have a general idea of overtime rates and things of that nature,but usually I just fill out timecards. I just wrapped a 19 hour shoot day and have absolutely no idea how to fill out this invoice. I've done it before but do you actually write in OT somewhere? Because you're just putting days you worked not times. I'm a PA and worked a gig with a 230/12 rate and worked 19 hours. 2pm - 10:00 am. 1st meal at 5pm second meal at midnight. Is there a producer or literally anyone who can show me a template I can use to be able to calculate this type of stuff and make sure I'm getting paid correctly?

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On time cards, I've never indicated where O.T. begins, that's the job of the payroll department. Some people want to figure it out for themselves based on their deal (such as "1.5X after 8 hrs / 2X after 12 hrs." etc.). But often I've heard that P.A.s don't have a deal for O.T. You should ask the payroll accountant.  Either way, I've never heard of marking when O.T. begins on a time card, just meal breaks, in/out time, etc.

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California labor law says you're in OT after 8hrs, so 4 hours out of your 12 are already being paid at 1.5x. Normally, hours 14 - 16 would be paid at 2x, and anything over 16 paid at 3x.

$230/14  (8 hrs + 4 x 1.5 = 14) =$16.42 ph

As David says, you should check with your production accountant.

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Are you making up an invoice or filling out a timecard?

With a timecard, you just put your daily in/out times and production fills out the rate info. Usually, crew rates are on 10 or 12hr days but CA labor law is supposed to be OT after 8. So there’s always numbers that the accountant has to fudge to make the math work. If you write in the rate boxes, they’ll just have to amend it or fill out a new one for you anyway.

With an invoice, I put my normal rate, OT, and Double OT as separate line items. For example: 

                       DESCRIPTION                       RATE         AMOUNT
3__DAYS____Director of Photography__$100/10____$300.00
2__HOURS__Overtime (1.5x hourly)_____$15/hr______$30.00
4__HOURS__Double Overtime (2x)______$20/hr______$80.00

 

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Of course, with an invoice job, all the rate details should have been worked out in advance of the with the producer who hired you. But if your deal was for a 12hr day, then that assumes OT after 12. Not sure if double time would then start at 14 in your case - here in the Bay Area that would generally be the deal. But it’s best to get these details in writing/email when signing on to your next job.

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10 hours ago, Satsuki Murashige said:

Are you making up an invoice or filling out a timecard?

With a timecard, you just put your daily in/out times and production fills out the rate info. Usually, crew rates are on 10 or 12hr days but CA labor law is supposed to be OT after 8. So there’s always numbers that the accountant has to fudge to make the math work. If you write in the rate boxes, they’ll just have to amend it or fill out a new one for you anyway.

With an invoice, I put my normal rate, OT, and Double OT as separate line items. For example: 

                       DESCRIPTION                       RATE         AMOUNT
3__DAYS____Director of Photography__$100/10____$300.00
2__HOURS__Overtime (1.5x hourly)_____$15/hr______$30.00
4__HOURS__Double Overtime (2x)______$20/hr______$80.00

 

Ughf, rates are getting tough out there these days! 😉

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11 hours ago, Albion Hockney said:

Ughf, rates are getting tough out there these days! 😉

Lol, I knew someone was gonna give me grief about that...

I guess I shoulda put ‘dog catcher’ or something, but the reality is even PAs make $300/day up here!

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Stuart is spot on and I want to expand on what he said:

The hard part about calculating OT is that gigs are given out on a day rate basis, usually $$$/12. Figuring out OT requires your hourly rate. But, that $$$/12 already has four hours of OT in it. That means you'll have an incorrect hourly rate if you divide $$$ by 12 hours.

The best way, in my opinion, to calculate OT is to find your hourly rate from the initial offer (for example $500/12) and then multiply that by the total hours worked after converting the OT into regular hours. What OT is depends on your country and then state/province. Let's assume we're talking about California, USA.*

In CA, overtime is 1.5x after 8 hours of work, 2x after 12 hours of work. Source

To calculate your hourly rate, first convert the OT hours into regular hours. If you did a standard 12 hour day, then that means anything after 8 hours is at 1.5x. So, you did 4 hours of OT at 1.5x. Multiply 4 hours by 1.5x and those hours are actually 6. That means you worked a 14 regular hours after converting the OT. Now you can divide the day rate ($500) by the total regular hours (14). Here's the math:

$500/12

8 hours regular, 4 hours 1.5x

4 * 1.5x = 6 hours regular

8 hours regular + 6 hours regular = 14 hours regular

$500 / 14 hours regular = about $35.71/hr

Now that you know your hourly rate from the initial offer, you can then use that to calculate OT. Again, it's about multiplying the hourly rate by the total regular hours after converting the OT. Let's look at another example with the same rate:

Initial offer: $500/12
Actual shoot day: 14 hour day

//Calculate Hourly rate from initial offer:

8 hours regular, 4 hours 1.5x

4 * 1.5x = 6 hours regular

8 hours regular + 6 hours regular = 14 hours regular

$500 / 14 hours regular = about $35.71/hr

//Now convert all OT hours into regular hours

14 hour total day = 8 hours regular, 4 hours 1.5x, 2 hours 2x

4 * 1.5x = 6 hours regular

2 * 2x = 4 hours regular

8 hours regular + 6 hours regular + 4 hours regular = 18 hours regular

//Calculate final pay
$35.71/hr
18 hours regular

$35.71 * 18 = $642.78

It's a shame that the industry, at least in my experience in the non-union world, doesn't offer gigs by saying it's $$$/hr. But, it's nothing too unusual and, like David mentioned, it's rarely something you need to calculate yourself if the job is paying you through a payroll company. As long as you accurately report your in/out times on the timecard you'll be paid according to state/country law.

---

* - This all changes when it comes to gigs that don't pay through payroll. If you are classified as an independent contractor, then it's all up to the agreement between you and the production. OT applies to labor and not independent contractors because, by definition, an independent contractor is a business and not an employee.

The subject of independent contractors vs employee is becoming quite an issue in CA with the passing of Assembly Bill 5 (AB5). Currently (11/23/2020) the law is interpreted by the courts to mean that paying crews as an independent contractor is illegal because the productions are incorrectly classifying them. By the current interpretation of the law, crew members are considered employees of the production and must be paid via payroll. If a production doesn't adhere to this, then the production will face stiff penalties when they file their taxes (not the crew member). This issue is still very young and the CA courts are still defining what the law means, who it applies to, and if it's even legal.

At the end of the day, if you're hired on a non-union production, get it in writing on your crew deal memo that OT will be honored and what specifically that OT is.

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With regard to AB5, I have noticed that out of state and international Prod Cos are still paying via 1099 instead of payroll. CA based Prod Cos are all doing payroll now in my experience.

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23 minutes ago, Satsuki Murashige said:

With regard to AB5, I have noticed that out of state and international Prod Cos are still paying via 1099 instead of payroll. CA based Prod Cos are all doing payroll now in my experience.

I've noticed that too. I asked my CPA about AB5 and he said it basically boils down to where the production will be paying their taxes. If they're filing in CA, then the state will find out who was mis-classified when the cast/crew submits their 1099's to the federal government. That's when CA will penalize the production, which apparently is hefty.

Before and even after the lockdown I've still done a number of non-union gigs that pay via 1099 in CA. There's no risk on my end because the penalty only applies to the productions who incorrectly classified me. BUT, this is the first year the law is implemented and whether or not it follows through come tax time in 2021 is yet to be seen.

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