Home Your Ad Here

Go Back   IndieTalk - Indie Film Forum > Making The Film > Pre-Production

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-08-2017, 09:19 AM   #1
dlevanchuk
Basic - Premiere Expired
 
dlevanchuk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: seattle
Posts: 1,814
Paying Actors

Oh man, feels like I haven't been here in ages

Ok, got something I need help to wrap my head around.

I'm a freelance filmmaker, making short videos for companies. I have a set $ rate for my services and every time a company contacts me to make a video, I give them an estimate how much each video will cost to make, and we go from there.

Now, when I hire an actor, I would assume that they are a self sustained business. They provide my company with a service and brings their own name, brand, fan base etc. However, the actors don't have "charging rate" but wait for a filmmaker to dictate how much actor's service will cost.

I understand that typically we normally write in certain $ amount for the actor into the budget, but I just don't understand why don't actors set their own rates? I'd think it would be much easier for an actor to plan their business if they set their own rates.

Providing an actor with my rate is the same analogy to me as if I went to a hair dresser and told them "I only have 10 dollars to get a haircut, can you cut my hair?"

So... why don't actors set their own rate and treat themselves as businesses?
dlevanchuk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Today   #1A
film guy
Basic Member
 
Posts: 17

 
Old 05-08-2017, 10:08 AM   #2
directorik
IndieTalk's Resident Guru
 
directorik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: hollywood
Posts: 9,228
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlevanchuk View Post
I understand that typically we normally write in certain $ amount for the actor into the budget, but I just don't understand why don't actors set their own rates?
Because your assumption is incorrect. Actors are not a "self sustained business".
So is your analogy. As a director you don't walk into the actors "business" look
at the quoted price and and say "The job is your yours." You will audition many
different actors and pick the right one, not the one with the best price.

In all transactions someone starts; with actors they go second. YOU set the rates,
audition, pick the one you want and offer the job at the rate. They then accept or
ask for more. When you big for a job you go first most of the time. You know that
sometimes you are asked if you can do a project for (this amount). In that case
YOU go second - accept or ask for more.

There are actors who are a "self sustained business" and have their quote. Usually
an actor with a recognizable name. Often working actors without that "name" will
have a number will bot go below. But in general an actor will not start with a set
number because too many producers will not even look at them if the number is
too high.
directorik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2017, 10:20 AM   #3
dlevanchuk
Basic - Premiere Expired
 
dlevanchuk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: seattle
Posts: 1,814
Hey directorik, thanks for the answer!

"As a director you don't walk into the actors "business" look
at the quoted price and and say "The job is your yours."

I agree, you don't hire an actor based simply on the quoted price. As a director/producer it would be in my best interest to hire an actor that fits my project if I want my project to succeed and make money. But I can see how this "get the cheapest actor possible" mentality can be applied if a someone want to keep the budget low and don't care if the project make any $$$.

Makes sense

Thanks!
dlevanchuk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2017, 10:34 AM   #4
directorik
IndieTalk's Resident Guru
 
directorik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: hollywood
Posts: 9,228
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlevanchuk View Post
But I can see how this "get the cheapest actor possible" mentality can be applied if a someone want to keep the budget low and don't care if the project make any $$$.
Even then you wouldn't post a job offer asking for a quote and hire the actor
with the lowest one. You would post an audition notice and offer $50/day, then
pick the actor who is best. And actors know that. An actor who would rather
get $200/day may audition for (and even take) the $50/day gig because they
like the part or the people involved. An actor at that level would be foolish to
offer a starting quote of $200 to a producer/director who can only afford $50/day.
They are not in the drivers seat - the producer/director is.
directorik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2017, 12:37 PM   #5
dlevanchuk
Basic - Premiere Expired
 
dlevanchuk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: seattle
Posts: 1,814
I guess so.
I just don't see how we can help actors or any crew member to make any financial decisions (or any decisions at all) in their life if one week they get offered $2k and next week they only get $100.

There is gotta be a better business model to provide cast and crew with sustainable planned income than current I-hope-someone-with-a-budget-hires-me "plan."
dlevanchuk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2017, 12:40 PM   #6
theconnorwilliams
Basic Member
 
theconnorwilliams's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Idaho/LA
Posts: 216
What directorik said..
I have a daily rate. I will however read a breakdown even if it's lower than my rate. I have submitted in the past with a note saying, I can't book this job at your rate but i can do it for X. I have booked two jobs this way getting my rate. Of course many projects have passed on me doing it this way. But, if I like the premise I want to at least be in the discussion.
theconnorwilliams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2017, 12:43 PM   #7
dlevanchuk
Basic - Premiere Expired
 
dlevanchuk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: seattle
Posts: 1,814
Quote:
Originally Posted by theconnorwilliams View Post
What directorik said..
I have a daily rate. I will however read a breakdown even if it's lower than my rate. I have submitted in the past with a note saying, I can't book this job at your rate but i can do it for X. I have booked two jobs this way getting my rate. Of course many projects have passed on me doing it this way. But, if I like the premise I want to at least be in the discussion.
And I think that's perfectly fine. I've done that many many times before myself. It's just surprising for me to hear that most actors don't have a set rate.
dlevanchuk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2017, 01:11 PM   #8
directorik
IndieTalk's Resident Guru
 
directorik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: hollywood
Posts: 9,228
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlevanchuk View Post
I guess so.
There is gotta be a better business model to provide cast and crew with sustainable planned income than current I-hope-someone-with-a-budget-hires-me "plan."
Actors and crew are very different. As a director you don't care about the
age, gender or race of a grip or PA. But those things matter with your cast.
An experienced Key Grip can set a rate and you can accept it or find
someone else who gives you a cheaper quote. Actors can't set a rate like
that because YOU don't cast that way.

There is a different (maybe "better") business model; the unions and guilds.
If all filmmakers agreed on a set range for actors then actors could stick
with their sustainable planned income model. But as long as YOU can only
afford $100/day and I can afford $250/day and someone else can only afford
$50/day, it wouldn't make sense for actors to do exactly the same thing as grips.
directorik is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.


©IndieTalk