Here’s the first in a series of posts about how to fail as a freelancer. It’s about the cameraman rate that one member of crew accepted and then moaned about.

We recently hired a camera person for a job. We had in the budget a fee that was below what the camera person charged as their usual daily rate. It was still a fair rate for the number of hours worked.

Anyhow, on the day, we called the crew an hour and a half before the interview to set up. Luckily, we got into the building easily then the lighting scenario wasn’t too complicated, so we were set up quite quickly, leaving time to relax.

The camera person was then heard talking to production staff saying “why was I called so early when I’m on a cut rate?” in front of the end client. Well, the point is we didn’t know we were going to be set up so quickly. And we had agreed a day’s work for the fee available, we had not agreed to fewer hours in return for the lower rate.

cameraman rate

You can image that his comments made a great impression on the production team. So, if you want to fail as a freelancer, complain about your rates audibly, in front of everyone. It’ll guarantee you’re unlikely to get employed by that company again.

If you want to succeed as a freelancer, if you choose to set your rate at lower than usual, then work your day like any other, giving the best you can. By all means invoice for your full rate and add a discount so it’s clear you usually charge more. But make sure you accept your reduced rate with good grace.

More tips on getting work in my book

Gavin Ricketts is a Producer/Director with over twenty year's experience. His courses on finding work in the creative industries has helped hundreds of Film and TV Crew win more work.

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