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  #1  
Old 08-13-2011, 02:03 PM
Nemosonic Nemosonic is offline
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Default Freelance Sound Designer/ Mixer rates

I am being given the opportunity to go freelance as a TV sound mixer/ sound designer meaning that there is a producer (within a TV broadcaster), interested in employing me on a freelance basis. This is something that I was interested in doing for some time now. But I am not entirely sure how to charge people. And none of the colleagues that I know work as freelancers. I live in London.

Would anyone tell me what is considered to be a reasonable daily rate?
Or should I be opting for an hourly rate instead?

I am sure it will be a combination of both, depending on the job. But if someone could give me the a rough starting point that would be great.

I wouldn't like launching out a freelance career overpricing clients. And I definitely wake up one day that I have been the cheapest dude in town!
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  #2  
Old 08-13-2011, 05:50 PM
KMcK KMcK is offline
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Default Re: Freelance Sound Designer/ Mixer rates

I would suggest finding out what the daily Union rate is for that kind of work, and then going under by a good 30% or more. Basically if they're hiring you they're saying they want to stay clear of Union scale and the payouts that go along with it, so if you're too close to that rate they'll feel like they might as well pay the full scale and get a real pro.

Just my 2 cents (er, pence)
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  #3  
Old 08-15-2011, 08:22 AM
friendlybunny friendlybunny is offline
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Default Re: Freelance Sound Designer/ Mixer rates

This is something that you will need to figure out based on many different factors.

You should be looking into how much it costs to run your freelance business. e.g. cost of equipment, upgrades, rent, media etc. Then you need to find out how much you want to earn. This will be of course based on how fast you can work and how much experience you have.

If you can keep your overhead low, than maybe you can charge a low rate. But that is hard to do in this field.
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  #4  
Old 08-15-2011, 09:01 AM
RecRoom RecRoom is offline
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Default Re: Freelance Sound Designer/ Mixer rates

Quote:
Originally Posted by friendlybunny View Post
This is something that you will need to figure out based on many different factors.

You should be looking into how much it costs to run your freelance business. e.g. cost of equipment, upgrades, rent, media etc. Then you need to find out how much you want to earn. This will be of course based on how fast you can work and how much experience you have.

If you can keep your overhead low, than maybe you can charge a low rate. But that is hard to do in this field.
Indeed. When I started freelancing I charged a pretty low rate. I had some experience, but I was pretty unsure of my skills. Confidence goes a long way in this business, so I encourage you to consider your competition, your market, your expenses, AND your skills/experience. Don't just charge what the other guy is charging.
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  #5  
Old 08-15-2011, 09:43 AM
froyo froyo is offline
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Default Re: Freelance Sound Designer/ Mixer rates

Hello. My advice on this subject is to charge as much as the market will bear. Sometimes in business we may make decisions for the short term that affect everybody later on in the long term. Make sure you don't come up with too low of a rate.

Sometimes it's easy to begrudge somebody charging say $200 an hour; you may think to yourself 'man that's a bit steep', etc. But hey, if somebody is paying that person $200 an hour, that means there is a market for it and maybe some day I can charge $200 an hour. However by undercutting that rate today I am ensuring that no one, including me, will get that rate in the future.

Charge a fair rate for the professional services you will provide, and charge as high as the market will bear. This very often is different from region to region, so do check in your region to see what's happening there. Good luck.

P.S. KMcK had great advice on the -30% union.
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  #6  
Old 08-15-2011, 12:19 PM
Nemosonic Nemosonic is offline
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Default Re: Freelance Sound Designer/ Mixer rates

Cheers all for the feedback. The union advice is really good and I'll start making inquiries first thing tomorrow.

But the fact that I don't know any other freelance editors makes me think:

Is this a field that in the UK there is market for? Are there any other London based sound mixing freelancers in this forum? Every single person that I know either works for a post studio or for a broadcaster.

Regarding my skills, I am pretty confident. Although I consider that I am at the beginning of my carreer (3 years of solid post pro work - radio production before that), I have mixed around more than 25 shows for an international broadcaster, I've composed music for a handful of promos, sponsorships and some comms, a spanish feature film, a long form documentary and a handful short films. What I makes me a bit insecure, is that I've never sat down next to a top flying sound mixing engineer and learn the secrets of the trade by him/ her (but I would like to put down a different post on that subject at some point). And I've got a decent set up at the home studio (centered around a HD1 Mac Pro).
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:11 PM
friendlybunny friendlybunny is offline
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Default Re: Freelance Sound Designer/ Mixer rates

Quote:
Originally Posted by froyo View Post
Hello. My advice on this subject is to charge as much as the market will bear. Sometimes in business we may make decisions for the short term that affect everybody later on in the long term. Make sure you don't come up with too low of a rate.

Sometimes it's easy to begrudge somebody charging say $200 an hour; you may think to yourself 'man that's a bit steep', etc. But hey, if somebody is paying that person $200 an hour, that means there is a market for it and maybe some day I can charge $200 an hour. However by undercutting that rate today I am ensuring that no one, including me, will get that rate in the future.

Charge a fair rate for the professional services you will provide, and charge as high as the market will bear. This very often is different from region to region, so do check in your region to see what's happening there. Good luck.

P.S. KMcK had great advice on the -30% union.
I don't think charging less than someone else means that you are undercutting them.

I think (experienced) producers, directors, and clients understand the cost of doing business.

If you are working out of your house, then your rates should definitely be lower than a large post house with higher overhead.

There are many projects in both the high and low end of the field.
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  #8  
Old 08-15-2011, 02:52 PM
Pirate Post Pirate Post is offline
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Default Re: Freelance Sound Designer/ Mixer rates

Quote:
Originally Posted by friendlybunny View Post
I don't think charging less than someone else means that you are undercutting them.

I think (experienced) producers, directors, and clients understand the cost of doing business.

If you are working out of your house, then your rates should definitely be lower than a large post house with higher overhead.

There are many projects in both the high and low end of the field.
There are all kinds of experienced Producers. Those that understand the cost of doing business and will pay and those that understand and really don't give a crap if your making a living wage.

Just because you are working out of your house DOES NOT mean that your overhead is lower. Its much harder to turn a profit with a single room. Its harder to accommodate clients and their ever changing schedules. My home studio has a lot of technology. In a larger facility the cost of some that technology is spread out over multiple rooms.
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  #9  
Old 08-15-2011, 03:58 PM
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dr sound dr sound is offline
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Default Re: Freelance Sound Designer/ Mixer rates

Ok, let's talk about going 30% UNDER Union rates:
Let's say the Union hourly is $60 an hour (Union is a 9 hour day)
A Union business would have add a additional 30% to the
$60.00 an hour for taxes, union benefits, state taxes etc
That would make the $60 increase to $78.00 an hour
($60.00 + 30% = $78.00)
Now instead of charging $60 an hour you cut it by 30%
you charge them $42.00 an hour.You get ZERO benefits,
have to pay taxes yourself (they don't), have to buy Insurance
etc. You just lowered the cost to the Producer from $78 an hour
to $42 for an additional savings of $36.00

Great for the producer but not so great for you!

Even if you charge the going Union rate (say $60.00 an hour)
and don't get any benefits they still are saving big money every hour.
When you take an additional 30% off the $60.00 an hour now to $42.00
an hour you are completely screwing not only yourself BUT everyone else.
The bar gets dropped once again.
Take it or leave it but to me you lost it!

Discuss............
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  #10  
Old 08-15-2011, 04:05 PM
mr.armadillo mr.armadillo is offline
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Default Re: Freelance Sound Designer/ Mixer rates

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr sound View Post
you are completely screwing not only yourself BUT everyone else.
The bar gets dropped once again.
+1
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