Post Production and Low Rates

Posted by Joe Riggs 
Post Production and Low Rates
June 03, 2017 03:34PM
Why is it that post production jobs usually get the short end of the stick?

Certainly all jobs are subject to low ballers but the offers I see
on the typical online sites for post production are downright criminal.

A production is usually more willing to spend dough on a DP,
camera, lights, etc...(and I love a gorgeous looking film)
However, a argument could be made that if a production's
story/acting/sound are good one could see more benefits
to the finished project by hiring experienced post people
from the editor on down.

Let's say your average indie feature film shoots 30 days, so most
production folks are on that job for a month when an editor could be on
that same job for 6 months to a year.

What do you think contributes to the low rates when it comes to post,
is it because on set jobs are more tangible, while post production can
be an invisible art?

Is there a way we can solve this dilemma with a potential client?
Re: Post Production and Low Rates
June 03, 2017 03:51PM
What Unions are for. But as long as someone is willing to take the low pay, there is not much you can do about it.

Michael Horton
Re: Post Production and Low Rates
June 03, 2017 04:23PM
And one day I hope to join that union but for those of us freelancing or are on indie projects not backed by a mid to top tier production company, what are ways to convince clients who are amenable that post is a worthwhile expense (obviously some clients will never see the value)?
Re: Post Production and Low Rates
June 08, 2017 12:33AM
[Is there a way we can solve this dilemma with a potential client?]

If you're lucky to get hired by a couple of clients who understand the editor's value, that becomes your standard rate for new clients, and you should be able to build on it as time goes by and you have a larger reel, or more stuff on your YouTube Channel.

Be courteous in your request, show interest in the assignment, even throw original ideas into the discussion, (sort of "make a deposit" before taking a withdrawal); show how engaged you are. Most clients appreciate a can-do attitude. (Even while thinking to yourself- a 12-monitor video wall? How hard could it be?"winking smiley After this, let the client bring up the rate.

There may be other factors to weigh besides your top rate. But always be just as courteously prepared to walk if it doesn't meet your needs.

Unions and guilds have always been a useful structure to give you a predictable baseline, even a health plan, a pension, plus training opportunities in new tools. But listing on a union roster is not a guarantee of employment. And they haven't organized and signed everybody in every branch of media. Ultimately, in this Gig Economy many of us find ourselves working within, you network, you get introduced to producers and discover decent-paying opportunities to deliver and grow. If you find yourself talking to a union signatory, you may have an important entry.

And factor the investment of a new iMac Pro into the mix so you'll be ready for that 4K 12-monitor video wall render!

Best, as always.
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