$50 Is The New $100

January 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm Leave a comment

I work as a freelance location sound mixer, a.k.a. an audio recordist, on films and video projects. For the most part I get such work through referrals from previous previous employers and co-workers, and during seasonal work deprivation desperation, from various websites that list upcoming productions and their contact information.

Scanning through these websites I’ve become aware of a trend that’s going on, the day rate of pay being offered by people looking for employees seems to be dropping by the month, circling the drain in a death spiral that indicates soon people will be paying a producer to work for them.

Insert your career here, please.

That actually has happened in the past, with crew people asked in essence to also be the producers and invest their own cash in a project with the promise of a “deferred payment” as a R.O.I. to be received when said producer’s P.O.C. (piece of crap) somehow gets sold.

A safer “Return On Investment”

At this point I should mention that in nearly three decades of working in the entertainment business, I’ve never met a real live person who has collected on a deferred payment promise, I’ve only heard 3rd hand stories by someone who knew someone who had a friend that got paid off years after the show wrapped. This is not to say that no one has ever received such a payment, only that I’ve never even met one who has or even someone that’s directly heard of it happening.

The day rate I see offered most often lately on these epics is now in the neighborhood of $50.00 for a day which is usually going to be at least 12 hours, I did the math and I’m sure that I could do better going down to the beach and collecting used aluminum cans to recycle. And as for these producers who could not produce a shadow on a sunny day? They seem to be proud to brag about their project being an “Ultra low budget” production, like that’s some kind of badge of honor or something. Only a few months ago the average was in the neighborhood of $100.00 for a day’s labor which typically will include any privately owned equipment that the worker is expected to supply. Doing this means that they can avoid paying rental to someone else for the gear, which also means they don’t have to pay for insurance for the rental. I will quickly scan by those listings that violate the minimum wage laws in a business that’s in the hands of  low life morons and thieves who post these things trying to take advantage of film school graduates who are looking for a start. I’m in search of ads for productions that actually have thought out their budget and plan to pay people, even when the pay is going to be less than my normal rate. I’ve learned that I need to find work that will net at least enough income to keep my head above water until the next “real” show comes along, I’m aware that even if I was to stay in bed with the covers over my head, I still will have to come up with +/- a 30th of my monthly nut.

I’m writing this between takes, so for an update of this post refresh in a bit to catch the new stuff, more soon, I gotta get back on the set.

N.B., The ownership of any and all photos, opinions, and/ or quotes above (including those of my own) belong to the material’s creator(s). Credit is given when it’s known, but as always, success usually has a million parents and failure is an orphan.

Feel free to ignore any ads that are shown below this advisory, I don’t get to choose them and even more sadly, I don’t make a penny off any of them, so in the holy name of capitalism I rebuke and don’t endorse or support any of them, unless of course they’re made of funny stuff…..  

P.S., check back for occasional updates and rewrites….

FAIR USE NOTICE: THIS SITE CONTAINS COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL THE USE OF WHICH HAS NOT ALWAYS BEEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE COPYRIGHT OWNER. I AM MAKING SUCH MATERIAL AVAILABLE IN MY EFFORT TO ADVANCE UNDERSTANDING OF ENVIRONMENTAL, POLITICAL, HUMAN RIGHTS, ECONOMIC, DEMOCRACY, SCIENTIFIC, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES, ETC. I BELIEVE THIS CONSTITUTES A ‘FAIR USE’ OF ANY SUCH COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL AS PROVIDED FOR IN SECTION 107 OF THE US COPYRIGHT LAW. IN ACCORDANCE WITH TITLE 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107, THE MATERIAL ON THIS SITE IS DISTRIBUTED WITHOUT PROFIT TO THOSE WHO HAVE EXPRESSED A PRIOR INTEREST IN RECEIVING THE INCLUDED INFORMATION FOR RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO: HTTP://WWW.LAW.CORNELL.EDU/USCODE/17/107.SHTML.  IF YOU WISH TO USE COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL FROM THIS SITE FOR PURPOSES OF YOUR OWN THAT GO BEYOND ‘FAIR USE’, YOU MUST OBTAIN PERMISSION FROM THE COPYRIGHT OWNER.  

 
Advertisements

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Playing The Numbers Game Fast, Cheap, and Good?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Calendar

January 2011
M T W T F S S
« Dec   Feb »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Most Recent Posts


%d bloggers like this: