How much does a ... get paid?

By Benjamin Craig, filmmaking.net

More and more these days, work in the film industry tends to be on a freelance basis, and consequently there are no standard rates of pay.

The fee for a certain skill depends on a huge number of factors including the profile of the person in question, how much they want to work on the project, how much the project is prepared to pay for them, and indeed how much time they will actually spend on the production.

Many unions will have what is often referred to as a basic award, or minimum wage, but the reality is that most professionals will be earning many times this amount. If you are an independent filmmaker, you should negotiate with your cast and crew to determine the level of remuneration they are happy working for (although bare in mind that some unions, ie. SAG, will prevent their members working for less than minimum wage).

If you are a high school student considering whether working in the film industry will be a financially rewarding career, then you are looking down the wrong path. If financial security is your primary career driver, you should consider law, accounting, medicine, or another stable industry with a well defined entry path. You donít become a filmmaker for the money!

Last updated 11-Nov-2004

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