WANTED- Cameraman for XYZ convention to shoot 3 days of footage, must have own quality equipment, must be able to cover all angles of event, edit, dub voice-overs and add graphics within 2 days after the event: Pay-$200 dollars
Sound familiar? If you’re a student filmmaker or a member of a production company it should. It’s what companies who rake in hundreds of thousands or even millions are trying to pay you, and it’s absolutely insane. This kind of work goes so underappreciated and the attention to detail, the cost of sophisticated equipment, and the time involved in producing a high quality project is often overlooked.
It’s not point and shoot goofy…Its light, conditions, angles and sound. It’s sitting in front of a monitor editing until 2 in the morning and guys, editing is the equivalent of reading tax laws in a dimly lit room.
“Well, lets get a student filmmaker to do it! UCF, Valencia and FSU have great film programs; we will get one of those guys to do it!” You can’t blame the students for taking the projects either, they’re scraping by on Ramen, driving a ten year old car, working part time and going to school full time. Listen guys, they’re accepting your low pay because A. They love what they do and B. College books are expensive! I’ve sat with some business people I’ve met and listen to them complain on how their projects didn’t turn out perfectly. Well, you didn’t pay for a perfect project. Don’t expect to win the Daytona 500, when you’re driving a Geo Metro..
Local actors are expected to start off with free projects with gas and food covered. Even when their resumes are full its still good form to take the occasional free job. Filmmakers start off thousands of dollars in the hole. You wouldn’t pay someone to remodel your kitchen for 200 bucks. Let’s pay these people what they’re worth, the return on investment is worth it.