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spencer

cameramans pay

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In response to your first question, working all summer at Skydive New Mexico I was paid a flat rate for doing video, flat for stills, and flat for both. The money was put directly into my club account, as if it were a paycheck. My jumps were paid for, however. But being a club and a (relatively) slow DZ, there isn't really the opportunity to build up a usable balance. I usually fun-jumped all day saturday and worked my account to a deep negative balance, then worked all day sunday to pretty much come out even on the weekend. I thought it worked out nicely, but again I was not trying to earn an income off it.

And as far as "adding fire" to anything, I tried to be the guru who could find a fairly recent topic on this, but failed miserably. I know it's here somewhere....

I feel that for the work I did/do, I am paid a fair wage. I am not the 'primary' video guy for tandems, although I was for AFF, and felt that I was treated, paid and manifested fairly.

I don't have multiple rigs, I almost always packed for myself, and I pretty much use the same tape or two the whole time. I land, put my cameras on a charge, pack, do it again.

I did edit my own videos, which became very quick and easy after the first few. But for those first few, I felt I should have been paid double what I got.

I am sure there are plenty of people here who work as full-time video guys who will have more useful input on the subject, and more concrete opinions.
It's all fun and until someone loses an eye... then it's just a game to find the eye

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Up until this year, it worked exactly like that at my DZ. Video was independent from the DZ and the video guys got all the revenue for video. This year, it's similar except that the slot price for tandem videos went up to $32, so the DZ basically gets an extra $10 for each video. But aside from that and standardized pricing and packages, the video guys are independent from the DZ. Provide our own equipment, supplies, editing, packing, etc.

Dave

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Sounds suspiciously like a whine is starting here.......:P

I've been paid many different ways as a Tandem camera flyer and guess what? In the end I make a profit.

Camera flying is expensive to get into, and the DZ exists to make a profit, so I have no problem with them getting a cut.

My favorite scenario is when the DZ handles the editing and I simply get paid to do the jump (and buy film).

I can't really imagine why a DZ would do as you're suggesting.
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You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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The DZ I'm at basically splits the money with me for video. I do my own editing, packing, buy my materials (tapes/DVDs, etc), my equipment (cameras, gear). The DZO doesn't care about the pictures so I can charge as I feel appropriate. I only sold a few photos this year as I didn't add a still camera until late in the year and didn't feel comfortable selling pics until I got the right settings figured out. Had a few bastard weekends where I would have liked another camera guy there. 10 jumps in a day at a 182 DZ is pretty rough on one's body. Overall, I feel I got a very fair wage for what I was doing. I'm not the most experienced guy at this yet, although I am doing way better than I was even 50 jumps ago. I'm seriously thinking about a new DZ next spring (turbine madness setting in) where I can be more than just a weekend warrior. There is defenitely lots I have yet to learn and will be the junior camera flyer elsewhere, but will also learn more having other camera guys around to pick on me.

Oh, and as this is basically subcontracting we're doing, I have no problem with the DZ taking a cut of the pay. They are the reason we get to work anyway; well, tandem and AFF at least. The one exception to that would be fun jumpers. And even then I would not do it for free. Unless it's my hot Austrailian sister-in-law....

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I dont have a problem with a DZ making a profit, I pay my slot, do not tell me a DZ does not make a profit on fun jumpers, and alot more with tandems, you just have to look at the way fun jumpers are pushed aside to make way for tandems. One DZ refused to let me film someone I knew, for free,; would have payed my own slot,they wanted them to pay the full DVD cost. I dont fun jump, this is my fucking job, yes I chose to get into this sport, No one pushed me, But if all you muppets are happy to keep getting fucked over by greedy DZ owners, we will all still be getting payed the same in 10 years time, it does not take a genius to work the maths out. I have never known a bigger bunch off back stabbing fuckers, they smile at your face, the hand shake in the plane, but when it comes down to money, everybody trys to fuck you over. Buy the way I have met some nice people in the sport, but few and far between.

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I dont have a problem with a DZ making a profit, I pay my slot, do not tell me a DZ does not make a profit on fun jumpers, and alot more with tandems, you just have to look at the way fun jumpers are pushed aside to make way for tandems. One DZ refused to let me film someone I knew, for free,; would have payed my own slot,they wanted them to pay the full DVD cost. I dont fun jump, this is my fucking job, yes I chose to get into this sport, No one pushed me, But if all you muppets are happy to keep getting fucked over by greedy DZ owners, we will all still be getting payed the same in 10 years time, it does not take a genius to work the maths out. I have never known a bigger bunch off back stabbing fuckers, they smile at your face, the hand shake in the plane, but when it comes down to money, everybody trys to fuck you over. Buy the way I have met some nice people in the sport, but few and far between.



I hear there are nice bowlers. Maybe they'll let you video them.

I've said this once before. Its their sandbox and they can rake it anyway they want. If you don't like it, tough shit. It's their dropzone, their aircraft, their pilot, their overhead, their libility. When you want to buy into a DZ you can and have the right to do what you want.

I agree with you, it was an asshat move not to let you video your friend.

You knew what the job was when you took it, you new what it paid, and you knew what your responsiblity entailed, if you are no longer happy with that.... There's always truck driving.

I love shooting video, I love doing tandems. Ive worked at a few different DZs along the way some paid better than others. I never bitched about what I was being paid because they never paid me less than what they promised. I wanted more out of life then what I was making skydiving, so I went back to school. I make great money now and I shoot video and do tandems when I can...

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this is my fucking job, yes I chose to get into this sport, No one pushed me, But if all you muppets are happy to keep getting fucked over by greedy DZ owners, we will all still be getting payed the same in 10 years time, it does not take a genius to work the maths out




If this is your job, how about having a contract? How about taking action if the DZO breaks the contract?

It's your responsibility to work out an employment agreement that your happy with. If you cannot come to such as agreement with a certain DZO, you need to move on and find a DZO who meets your requirements as an employer.

I ended up getting a raise at my DZ last year. My pay remained the same, but the video consession took on some materials costs that I previously covered myself, so I saved myself that money.

Maybe just find another place to work.

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getting fucked over by greedy DZ owners,



If this is in regards to your DZO not letting film a tandem for free, that's your problem, and not something I think most of us have to deal with.

If it's about the DZO getting a cut of the video money, I think you're missing a few numbers when you do your 'maths'.

Who pays for the advertising that brings the tandems and students to the DZ?

Who pays the office worker that collects the money from the studetns? If your DZ accepts credit cards, who pays the fees related to that?

Do your DZ accpet checks? Do you get paid before those checks clear? What if a check bounces? Does the DZO take your pay back from you, or does he handle the loss on his own?

Who pays the electric bill for the power you use to charge your batteries, and run your TV/computer/editing equipment?

There's a lot of shit that comes with running a business. Be happy that DZOs are willing to take that shit., and just let you do your job and collect a check.

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When is the last time you took some of your profit and contributed to the advertising budget for the DZ? The property taxes? The the airplane cost? The hourly wage for manifest? The rent?

Oh yeah and when is the last time you went into a Denny's and got a free meal because you said "I'm with him?"
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You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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I dont have a problem with a DZ making a profit, I pay my slot, do not tell me a DZ does not make a profit on fun jumpers, and alot more with tandems, you just have to look at the way fun jumpers are pushed aside to make way for tandems. One DZ refused to let me film someone I knew, for free,; would have payed my own slot,they wanted them to pay the full DVD cost. I dont fun jump, this is my fucking job, yes I chose to get into this sport, No one pushed me, But if all you muppets are happy to keep getting fucked over by greedy DZ owners, we will all still be getting payed the same in 10 years time, it does not take a genius to work the maths out. I have never known a bigger bunch off back stabbing fuckers, they smile at your face, the hand shake in the plane, but when it comes down to money, everybody trys to fuck you over. Buy the way I have met some nice people in the sport, but few and far between.



I understand what you are saying... but I would like to at least defend my own club DZ in that we are such a minimal staff and small club DZ that any price hike ripples through everything. Our budgeting is not private info, we all recognize why our jump tickets are significantly higher than anywhere else. Nobody likes it, but we get it.

I will already point out that from what I have read I get paid more than a lot of camera guys. But on the flip side of the coin, we have 8 tandem students on a busy weekend, and a full day of filming AFF is doing 4-5 Cat A's. It's all give and take........
It's all fun and until someone loses an eye... then it's just a game to find the eye

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To answer your original questions, no, I don't know of any DZ that runs that way.

Every DZ pretty much does their own thing. About the only constant is that the video flyer has to buy his own stuff. But it's all variations on a theme. For instance, the DZ I currently work at mandates that as a video flyer you must utilize a digital video camera and a digital still camera to work there. At the beginning of the year, I didn't have a digital still, but this requirement forced me to get one. At the time, I wasn't pleased, but in retrospect, it simply forced me to update my equipment that needed updating anyway. So in effect, the mandate actually did me a favor, and I'm thankful.

From your posts, it does sound like your particular DZO is, shall we say, less than stellar about the way he treats you. However, that said, it is his bat and his ball, and he can play the game any way he wants.

As I see it, you have two choices:

Keep taking it on the chin and shut up.

Find another DZ that treats their video staff with more respect.

If neither one of these is palatable, or possible, then I would recomend a PRIVATE, professional conversation with the DZO to see if you can both find some middle ground, while each trying to respect the other's position. If a solution is arrived at, get it in writing - then make sure ALL staff have copies of it.

However, I would discourage making a personal, and private agreement with the DZO. When word of that gets out, and it will, it simply generates ill will with the rest of the staff and makes it increasingly difficult to work.
Mike Ashley
D-18460
Canadian A-666

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I didn't have a digital still, but this requirement forced me to get one.



And how much extra pay per jump are you getting for being "forced" to fly stills and the added risk to.....

1. your health
2. loss of investment
3. return on investment
4. future image sales (C-rights)
you can't pay for kids schoolin' with love of skydiving! ~ Airtwardo

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That's an irrelevant question. And by the tone, hostile, too, but I'll let that pass.

But to address the issue: I came to the DZ, was provided the opportunity to examine the requirements of working there without any pressure. I reviewed the pros and cons as I saw them and decided that it was in my interest professionally and personally to invest in the new camera and accept the terms of the arrangement. I also had the choice to go to other local DZs with my existing equipment and work there.

This was MY choice to do this. There was nothing forced.

1. My health is not negatively affected. The reality of having to carry both cameras all the time has had the opposite effect. I did something that I should have done years ago, and that was to reconfigure my camera set up to allow for a more balanced setup, and thus much less stress on the neck. Neccessity is the mother of invention.

2. My investment was paid for before the end of May. There was no loss here at all. This is a cost of doing business. And, as I pointed out, it was inevitable. This was simply a matter of timing.

3. See above. All business after May was bonus.

4. My chances of future returns are increased because now I carry the stills on every load, regardless of what I'm shooting. Therefore, more chances of getting cool shots for the magazines. In fact, I've submitted more to the publications this year than I ever have before. They all haven't been printed, but that does not matter. More chances = more exposure. More exposure = brand recognition. I won't be the next Mike McGowan, but I WILL be the next Mike Ashley. :P

Finally - my pay rate is between the DZ and me. If I didn't think it was fair, I wouldn't have taken the job.

I think its a good rate for me. It might not be for other people. That's fine. If you think it would not be good for you, (assuming you even do video)that's also fine. But do not presume to say that its not a fair deal for me. That's not your call.

I came into this with eyes open and made an informed decision. I'm content that the decision was a good one, and it's my intention to continue to work there next year if they have a place for me.


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I didn't have a digital still, but this requirement forced me to get one.



And how much extra pay per jump are you getting for being "forced" to fly stills and the added risk to.....

1. your health
2. loss of investment
3. return on investment
4. future image sales (C-rights)


Mike Ashley
D-18460
Canadian A-666

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The DZ I work at works like this:

We are all shooting digital stills, so the videographer pays for all of their CF cards, etc. The DZ provides 2 computers for us to DL our photos onto after each jump and to burn them to CD (Takes about 1.5 min, and can be done during the edit).

The DZ provides all Mini DV tapes and archives them in case of the need for re-edits, etc. I think that's pretty cool myself. Only one person so far is shooting to chip on a CX7.

Videographer obviously provides his/her (multiple) rigs, maintenence, packing, and all other associated personal gear.

The DZ Pays for the slots, including spec jumps.

The DZ provides ALL editing equipment, including DVD and CD media, minus your personal iPod if you roll that way. Not to mention a separate room for the videographer's gear and for them to work in/out of.

The DZ/manifest handles all of the money, arranges all appointments, etc.

We get paid the same for every video jump, as stills are "complimentary with video."

When the DZ steps up and shoulders the responsibility for equipment, media, etc., it lets the videographers focus on doing their job as professionals, and providing great customer service, which for some reason many professional skydivers don't seem capable of doing. Our "students" are first and foremost our CUSTOMERS, and they have just shelled out a lot of money to jump and get video, so yeah, you better treat them with respect, and do your part to make sure their experience is the best it can be!

Some DZs do more than others in terms of videography. The smart ones realize that the videos that leave with the customers are the SINGLE biggest and best form of advertising you can get... UNLESS YOU DO A SHITTY JOB AT MAKING SURE THE CUSTOMER ENJOYS THE EXPERIENCE! In short, the videographers are a pretty integral part of the continued success of the business, and that's why it's better to not sell a video than to sell a shitty video.

/soapbox.

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