Hello Students,

There’s obviously quite a popular assignment going around at the moment involving setting a budget for a short film or documentary – so I have had quite a number of emails asking about rates etc.

To save myself time I am going to redirect any other inquires I get similar assignments to this post.

Rates in TV / Film do vary but the BECTU rate card is here http://www.bectu.org.uk/advice-resources/rates/sound-rates
Those rates do not include kit so you should work out what you will need and and check a kit hire company website for a good idea of what this will cost you. A sound recordist bringing their own kit may be cheaper.  Companies do regularly try to get freelancers for below the ratecard but in my humble opinion you should not be doing this in a paper exercise for college!

Be aware that the rate is for a set amount of hours – overtime will be at 1.5T and there will be mileage and subsistance costs also.

I gather some colleges are marking people down if they go by ratecard rather than asking freelancers. Have lecturers considered the amount of email this generates for those freelancers that rank high on google?

If you are emailing freelancers, be polite, make it clear this is not “a real job” and check their website / CV to make sure that you are asking the right person – that they actually do the sort of work you are asking about. They will also need some information about “your film” in order to answer your question properly, to know what equipment they would need etc. Some people might prefer to comment on a sound budget you have prepared rather than a vague question like “what’s your rate for 3 days”. Three days of what? How long are the days? Am I bringing kit too? What do you need? Is this an observational doc, a short film with a cast of two, an epic set on the moon with a cast of 500?

Students, I was a student once as well you know so – if someone writes you a nice reply with some info they really appreciate it if you then say thank you. It’s a small thing, but the fact it hardly ever happens is one of the reasons I / (it can’t just be me)  don’t always get around to answering…

Feel free to comment! In fact I would love it if you did. How is film student life nowadays?

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