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#41 DeanB

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 12:26 PM

I was asked to shoot a promo for a dive shop in Lanzarote a while ago.. It was for people I knew so I did'nt want to take the piss and as it was my first 'job' so to speak, I'd give them a deal.

I said I would do it for: free holiday and diving and £50 a day. So your looking at around £650 tops as they have their own accommadation. With that I'd film, edit and write the music. This was going to be sent to all BSAC schools around the U.K and a shed load of PADI schools. So it would either sink or swim for them (ha,ha)

Bearing in mind this would cost me a weeks wages from my own job I was losing out in money terms.

'STILL TOO MUCH' apparently.

Oh well..

Dive safe

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#42 Drew

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 02:05 PM

Let'em get a holiday shooter who'll do a hokey job. They'll end up either paying someone pro to do it over again or have an ok DVD which impresses no one.
Actually I just watched a filmmaker friend's doco with clips from Africa. He had the worst narrator and script but was beautifully shot. He still hasn't replied to my critique :) Point is he's a fantastic shooter but can't put together a package deal. And now he's going to work for a big time film as a shooter, his strength.
If a company can't afford to get a full pro promo package, then they'll have to live with the homebrew stuff. It's ok for some starting out but sooner or later if they grow, they have to go pro.
Nick in answer to your question about the pricing:
With any ops with a boat in Phuket for example West Coast or Sea Bees, $1200 for an entire package with DVD promo but you retain original rights on tapes used. Or you can call Joel and see what he's chargin' :D
Is he still on Phuket?
There are many factors. Set a flat fee labor rate and go from there. If they want to use the video at tradeshows and the store front and are local, you only need 1 day of shooting with your stock library you've built anyways. But if you say have to fly to Bali, then obviously you'd have to charge labor, transport, lodging etc. Or you can call scubazoo and ask them how much they are charging. :)

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#43 DeanB

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 02:22 PM

Funny I've seen an excellently shot film with the filmakers own choice in music which did not go with it at all... And the voice over was the usual tell it like it is stuff. Totally ruined the whole feel.

Pity...

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#44 Nick Hope

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 08:10 PM

Yes, the choice of music very often lets down an otherwise nice movie.

The last dive shop promo I quoted for I ended up going in at over $9000. There were numerous trimix dives involved and loads of editing because they wanted a funky feel. I didn't get it.

#45 CamDiver

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 03:34 AM

Hi all,
Well I guess there is quite a quandry facing those starting out, trying to get productions under their belt. Whether thats a full blown documentary or to provide a dive shop with a promo. Before jumping in and lambasting people for reducing salary expectations for others I think it a good idea to weigh up the whole situation.

I'm not afraid to admit that when I started out I was looking for to build stock images with a view to sales at a later date. I touted myself as a videographer looking to produce promotional films for dive shops around the World. I only ever landed two jobs. One of which I will use as the model for this argument. I had landed a deal to produce a promo for a dive shop in Fiji, I was at the time living on Tenerife, Canary Islands. The agreement was that I would get myself to Fiji, along with a camera assistant and support photographer. We would then be hosted by the dive shop for 6 weeks for a comprehensive and solid filming and photographic duration with which to accumalate the required imagery for the promo. The dive shop was footing the bill for everything except the airfares.

When we were done in Fiji I had a few hours to myself before going to the airport so, out of curiosity I sat down and figured out what this would have cost if we were a production company on a shoot in the same place at the same time given all the rates for the accomodation, food, diving and excursions etc remained the same. The total was a mind blowing $37,000.00.

This got me to thinking that if I had just cold called this dive shop with a proposal to produce a promo with a price tag of $50k, my fees and pay for the other two loaded on the the $37k, what would there reaction have been? Would they have gone for that deal, not knowing me from Adam? I doubt it. As it was I came away with having 6 great weeks of diving, copyright ownership of the stock imagery and a bunch of new friends. The promo was delivered on time, the owner was more than happy with the product and we all enjoyed the whole experience enormously.

I'm not trying to defend the actions of anyone who decides to go this route, I just hope its as a way to get his or her career on track where they then would, at a later date, adopt a solid and industry acceptable rate card scale. Needless to say this does effect the hard work others put into their work. As a means to get going I can understand people doing this.

In the dive industry today there are seemingly only a handfull owners/mangers out there looking for quality promotional items. Most dive shop owners would readily accept footage from a guest diver who throws a video housing around the reef if they: A) Don't have to pay for the footage and B) receive full allowances to sell that as their dive shop promo DVD. Invariably the shooter gets a small percentage and feels happy that his/her name is attributed as the Underwater camera operator for an official promotional item.

How do we change this, how do we survive.....?? Thats the big question. Anyone mention the word Union???? I can only suggest that seeing as most of the posters here do seem to have some modicum of professionalism that we can, as we encounter them, try to advise and coach those seeking a way into the world of underwater video the best way to approach all and any work opportunities that may cross their paths.

True that free agents drive the price down. BUT the doors of opportunity these days to get any kind of gigs, promotional or production, does exist. Its just a matter of finding the right combination to open it.

My 2c.........oh no its a bit longer than that so ..........4c worth.
Cheers,
Mark.

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#46 Steve Douglas

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 08:20 AM

Hey Dean, this is a bit off topic but .....is BSAC still a viable organization? Back in the early and mid 90's I owned a dive shop with 2 partners, one an expatriot from the UK. BSAC sent over a few national directors and trained/certified us as BSAC Advanced Instructors. We were the first BSAC charter in the U.S. The dive shop closed around 98 and I am sure my instructors rating is probably lost. I met some BSAC folk at a DEMA show several years back and they said they would contact me about renewing, but they never did. I have no interest in instructing anymore but wondered whether there was anything in place.
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#47 DeanB

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 08:47 AM

Hi Steve,

I myself am a BSAC advanced diver, but I'm not in a 'club' and have not been for a while now.. there are about 10 of us who meet once a month for a pint and a meal and plan dives. So I'm not up to speed..There are thousands of people with the usual PADI vs BSAC arguments and they both have their merits I've just come back from filming with a very experienced PADI trained diver who was telling me that all BSAC divers were 'snobs' and thought they were 'above' everyone else. She did not know my qualifications and did not even ask (although I checked hers) maybe that tells you something, maybe not.

Anyway (ha,ha) back to the subject...Maybe someone more into club training and politics etc.. can help. :lol: Did I just lose the plot. :rolleyes:

Dive safe

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#48 DeanB

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 08:52 AM

and thanks for the thoughts Mark..many a true word. There is alot of divers out there with camcorders and even more with stills, so its only going to get worse.

But as I said before "you can hand a monkey a spanner"...

Beeb man just rang me to 'let me know they haven't forgot' and we are now meeting in early August.

Dive safe

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#49 Drew

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 09:30 AM

Mark
Actually your logic is abit askew. If you were working for Resort A and they charged you for using their resort while shooting for them, then really you'd have to question working for a resort like that. I've never heard of a resort charging accomodation and boat fees for shooters they hired to shoot for them, believing they wouldn't be charged back somehow. :rolleyes:
Now if you are trying to compare a location shoot whereby you were commissioned by someone to go to Fiji then your numbers make sense. That's part of the costs and entirely different. I doubt however a dive resort in Fiji would send you to Tenerife to shoot marine life there for a Fijian dive resort. :wub:
As for the dive shop who want free customer shots to promote their resort, well then we will usually see the results in the video. Always exceptions to the rule and to the lay person, a colorful fish is a colorful fish.
The point is that for general stuff, producers would rather buy than send a team on location. But it's a special shot, say a WOO special on cephalopods and they wanted an argonaut shot, then they would send a team. But if decent clips were available and the guy who shot it has not experience in the industry and charges $300/min :lol: then the producer lucked out.
Anyone who wants to join any industry would obviously research rates etc. That's why this question was put forward in the first place. Prices have inevitably fallen as broadcast equipment is available for the masses. Look at stock photography prices in the last 5 years. The market will usually sort itself out, and usually lower prices.
As for starting from scratch, a blonde girl came up to a photog and asked " Do you shoot for National Geographic?" "No..." he answered. "but I've been published in Nat Geo Kids?!?" he pleas as she turns and walks away unimpressed toward the Imax crew.

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#50 CamDiver

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 04:03 PM

Dru,
I think you got the wrong end of the stick on this one. I never mentioned anything relating to someone being charged by a client whilst in the process of producing a promotional item for that same client / resort etc. I was just weighing up the financial implications of the whole shoot had it been a production cost for the producing entity.

The comparison regarding a dive shop in Fiji sending someone to shoot in Tenerife for a promo of Fiji is really off whack, condescending and bears nothing to the context of my posting !!!

Unfortunately I, as many others without the social luxuries of being able to skip this working environment, have seen the bare bones realities of the dive shop / promo production industry. Seeing what some dive shop owners / managers will accept as promotional materials and under what conditions really doesn't paint a nice picture or bode well for those looking to get a foot in the door at ground level of this particular genre of filming.

I feel that whatever people decide they need to do to get along there will always be purists looking to classify them as subversive and detrimental elements to the industry as a whole. That may well be true and I hope those people realise at the end of the day that they are not winning the hearts and minds of their peers and will, eventually, change in their attitudes. Until that happens the battle continues, the mud slinging escalates and wars are declared.

Its down to the individual to make those calls. They can ask for advice from others but at the end of the day its the need to put food on the plate and the settling of bills that dictates whether or not they accept any of the advice offered. This is not a perfect World, if it was it would be too easy.

Cheers,
Mark.

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#51 pmooney

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 05:44 PM

As someone who has a number of tourism based shooters ( video & stills ) out every day this thread has been of interest to me.

Marks logic is fair given that he is rationalising his experience, and in turn placing a value on the experience, opportunity and the stock footage for his library that he gained by arranging a low-cost dive holiday - great for him and the team , great for the dive-shop. It is good for him to appreciate the $ value of his experience and acknowledge that .

On the subject of the ever popular " promo video ( now promo DVD ) " I have found a base formulae that has proven viable in quoting and billing such jobs.
It has helped in giving the client an appreciation of the various costs involved and helps them to understand that you are not being unreasonable.

By using the cost of "dry hire" ( no operator ) of the equipment necessary plus expenses ( travel meal etc. ) and then adding a reasonable day rate we have been able to get a fair dollar for such jobs.

We have found that 4 days is the average time a "Quick Little Local Promo " takes to complete.

Using the base of USD $300 for a camera / housing / edit bay package and USD$300 for the shooter / editor . USD$600 x 4 places the "Quick Little Promo " at $2400 for this they get a finished promo mastered and a agreed quantity of tapes / discs suitable for shows , store windows etc.

Anything less than this is not viable in my view.

#52 pmooney

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 06:45 PM

As for starting from scratch, a blonde girl came up to a photog and asked " Do you shoot for National Geographic?" "No..." he answered. "but I've been published in Nat Geo Kids?!?" he pleas as she turns and walks away unimpressed toward the Imax crew.



Dru,

Never a truer word......... we see them every day.

#53 Drew

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 01:05 AM

First of all Mark, I apologise if you find my comments condescending. I was merely making a comparison tongue in cheek. I guess you misread it too. :lol:
As for my reasoning, you talked about coldcalling for $50k etc, while still alluding to the promo job and the stock images collected. I thought I'd clarify a little more. Again, if that offended you, I'm sorry. I suppose the medium doesn't allow for tongue in cheek expressions.
Pmooney, that little story is a true story that just happened last month. We went around looking for the Nat Geo guys to borrow their tshirts and caps, since one cap obviously wasn't enough. :wub: And there's hope as there was another blonde who fell for one of the non-nat geo crew, but he was too much of a snob to go for hippy backpackers. :rolleyes:


The comparison regarding a dive shop in Fiji sending someone to shoot in Tenerife for a promo of Fiji is really off whack, condescending and bears nothing to the context of my posting !!!


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#54 pmooney

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 01:17 AM

Dru,

I am truly serious - we see them everyday - them, and those people who have always wanted be a underwater camera person ................... I've got no experience ( or demonstrable proof that they are really interested in imaging ) but I'm willing to learn !

Next question is how much do I get paid while I'm training.......

#55 Drew

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 01:43 AM

Dru,
Next question is how much do I get paid while I'm training.......

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hehehe if it's a goodlooking girl, shell out for room and board at your place :lol:
If they look like MikeV or worse Giles, toss them out on their butts and tell them to get a real job. :rolleyes:

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#56 Nick Hope

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 04:25 AM

Drew, I must admit I thought $1200 sounded a bit low for a dive shop promo but perhaps realistic for a run-of-the-mill Phuket dive shop. Noting that Peter's up at $2400 (albeit in Aus, where overheads are a bit higher) and one of the others you mentioned is up near $2800 I think I'd be tempted to go in higher than that, even if a lot of stock footage is involved and the editing simple.

#57 Drew

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 04:57 AM

Very true Nick.
If you were to approach West Coast Divers(the bosslady would probably make you pay her to do the DVD :rolleyes:) or Sea Bees(ok holga might be too cheap :wub:) I'm sure it'd be higher than say an ops without their own boat etc. $1200 for a day of shooting 2-3 dives, and 3-6 hrs of editing with existing stock you have is pretty good for one master copy DVD. They'd already have logos done and everything so it's a simple matter of editing and rendering. Then go to Soi Eric and wait for the render to finish. ^_^
I mean seriously, how many different ways can you shoot a leopard shark or the kingcruiser? :lol:

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#58 Nick Hope

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 05:18 AM

Well, if it's a day's shooting plus 3-6 hours' editing then it's different.

Most promo jobs here, if they ever materialised at all, would for sure involve more than a day's shooting. They either own or use more than one boat that they'd like footage of in action, and they'd mostly want some of the shop, some of the filling station, some of the resort (if they have one), a pool session, a classroom session etc. etc..

Of course each job needs to be priced properly depending how extensive it is, but it's good to get some feeling for figures by discussing here.

I mean seriously, how many different ways can you shoot a leopard shark or the kingcruiser? :rolleyes:

Precisely the reason I needed to get my arse over to Indonesia!

#59 pmooney

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 05:30 AM

Most promo jobs here, if they ever materialised at all, would for sure involve more than a day's shooting. They either own or use more than one boat that they'd like footage of in action, and they'd mostly want some of the shop, some of the filling station, some of the resort (if they have one), a pool session, a classroom session etc. etc..
[/QUOTE]

It is pretty much the same here - multi boat very diverse operations. This is why we allow 4 days as a base for our calculations.

I also quoted USD in my previous post. I already converted the charges back into USD to make our comparisons valid.

#60 Drew

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 06:20 AM

IATSE commercial production minimum wage rates for 2005(US National Zone) are:
Camera Operators: $52/hr. 8hr days
DP: $85/hr 8hr days
This does not include location costs blah blah.

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