Film TV Production Crew Rates

Film Production Crew Day Rates

Congratulations! You took the leap and became a freelance filmmaker.

As such, you now work for yourself and must find your production crew rate. This is how much you charge for your work per hour, day, or week.

Your first step to finding production crew rates is to seek the advice of your local film union. Film unions and guilds provide recommended day rates for crew. For example, if you’re a US filmmaker, find the best union for your job role and state and contact them. For UK filmmakers see advice provided by BECTU.

Below you will find recommended production crew rates for the main core film job roles

Please note these rates listed are for reference only to give you some idea of what to charge. However, you can negotiate based on your experience. We determined these rates by researching unions for an average $1M budget feature film based on an 11-hour workday

Above the Line Production Crew Rates

Above the line crew are involved in the creative development of the film. Director’s and producer’s rates are highly negotiable and receive between 2-5% of the film’s overall budget.

Job Role🇺🇸 USA🇬🇧 UK
Producer*2-5% budget*2-5% budget
Director*2-5% budget*2-5% budget
Director of Photography*$700 – $1000*£600 – £800
Production Designer*$500 – $700*£400 – £600
Key * = negotiable

Below the Line Production Crew Rates

Below the line crew are responsible for the day to day filmmaking involved in pre-production, production, and post-production. Here is a quick breakdown of day rates per department.

Production Management

Job Role🇺🇸 USA🇬🇧 UK
Production Manager$430£308
Production Coordinator$433£242
Production Secretary$208£140

Casting Department

Job Role🇺🇸 USA🇬🇧 UK
Casting Director$307£260
Casting Assistant$170£140

Location Department

Job Role🇺🇸 USA🇬🇧 UK
Location Manager$450£385
Unit Manager$401£310
Location Scout$247£264

AD Department

Job Role🇺🇸 USA🇬🇧 UK
1st Assistant Director$337£450
2nd Assistant Director$274£315
3rd Assistant Director$255£220

Art Department

Job Role🇺🇸 USA🇬🇧 UK
Set Designer$441£319
Set Decorator$400£417
Art Director$487£345
Standby Props$354£300
Art Assistant$180£151

Costume Department

Job Role🇺🇸 USA🇬🇧 UK
Costume Designer$437£368
Costume Supervisor$385£325
Costume Standby$342£251

Hair and Makeup Department

Job Role🇺🇸 USA🇬🇧 UK
Hair/Makeup Designer$433£550
Hair/Makeup Artist$387£440

Camera Department

Job Role🇺🇸 USA🇬🇧 UK
Camera Operator $576£580
1st Assistant Camera$535£466
2nd Assistant Camera $410£362
DIT $427£466
Script Supervisor $418£466

Grip Department

Job Role🇺🇸 USA🇬🇧 UK
Key Grip  $433£462
Best Boy Grip$387£440

Lighting Department

Job Role🇺🇸 USA🇬🇧 UK
Gaffer $570£462
Best Boy Gaffer$506£440

Sound Department

Job Role🇺🇸 USA🇬🇧 UK
Sound Designer $564£575
Boom Operator $473£437
Sound Assistant$354£311


Job Role🇺🇸 USA🇬🇧 UK
1st Assistant Editor$353£300

How To Work Out Production Crew Rates

Calculating production crew rates is no easy task. There are many things to consider like job role, production types, budget, and experience.

Here are 5 questions to ask when working out crew rates.

1. Are you a member of a union or non-union?

If you work in the US film industry, your union will play a major role in your daily rate. Union film projects pay much more than non-union. In addition, they will help to arrange your rate and workers’ rights, such as break hours and overtime pay.

To become part of a union, you must meet their terms. These terms typically require several work credits and a certain number of hours on a film set. It can take many years of working in the film industry before you have enough experience to join a union.

2. What’s the production type? e.g Film, TV, Commercial

The project types will also determine production crew rates. For example, feature films and TV dramas will pay more than short films, online videos, and unscripted TV. Once again, your union will decide your day rates for the project type.

3. What’s the production location?

In the US, your union and state will affect your day rate. For example, they will offer higher rates if you work in a union city like New York. Furthermore, your rate may increase if you work elsewhere and travel to work in an expensive location.

If you travel to work abroad for a project, your rate may also change. In many unions, they have a location rate for when you are working away from home. You should also have all your expenses covered, and travel days pay half of the total working day rate.

4. What tier does the budget fall under?

Many unions, including BECTU, class film budgets under tiers. They will have recommended rates for films within a budget range. For example, tier one, feature films between $1 million – $3 million. In general, your day rate will increase the higher the project budget.

5. What is the length of the shoot day?

The recommended production crew rates above are for 12 hour work days with a 1 hour lunch break. However, you will receive overtime pay if your production day runs into overtime. Your union will provide overtime rates, but if you work on a non-union, you must arrange these terms with the producer before filming starts.

Production Crew Rates – Wrapping Up

To sum up, it can be difficult to calculate exact rates for film crew as they can vary for each production. It would be nice if we all got paid the same all of the time, but that’s just not the case. Usually, producers have to negotiate back and forth before they come to an agreement.

Also remember that if you’re expected to provide your own kit (such as camera, electrical, audio, or grip), you should charge extra for the rental. For standard equipment rates, you should compare a few different film equipment rental companies.

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