Message from The Australian Camera Department | December 8th 2017

Official eNewsletter from the Victorian Branch of the Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS VIC).

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The ACS supports this initiative below from The Australian Camera Department regarding the production of an industry Rate Card for the camera department. We ask that you read the information and give it your consideration.

Dear Australian Camera Department Personnel,

Many of you will be aware, though some of you may not, that I have been working on a national rates card over the last few months. I write to most of you now, some 500 of you from across Australia, DOP's, Camera Operators, Steadicam Operators, 1st AC's, 2nd AC's and DIT's to share an update, and to humbly ask for your feedback and support one last time. I will try and be brief.

There may be others still that do not see this, and I can only apologise to those who I have missed now and also in previous communications about this matter. If you know someone who has missed out please share this with them. For those that do not wish to receive these updates, I apologise, and if this is the case please inform me and I will see to it that you no longer receive them. This kind of communication however will be a rarity.

For all of the DOP's, although there are no rates listed for you in the card, I thought it would still be beneficial to have you informed on this matter, and to have your support is greatly appreciated.

For those that may be hearing of this for the first time, the idea behind this initiative was to:

a) Bring the camera department together as a unified group with the aim to...

b) Protect our rates for the future, and also our industry by making work within it viable for all of us. This includes achieving fair rates for all.

c) Establish a transparent and standard method for charging.

d) Educate newcomers, producers and productions as to how we value ourselves.

e) Create a standard 10hr day rate across the board for commercial productions, and hence eliminating the 10 for 8 deals. (Please note that this specifically requires some compromise from all of us, but I believe it is worth it).

A website has been made as part of this process, and a forum is accessible on that site for all camera department personnel to join and discuss all things camera related, including the rates card. On the forum (not in public view) is a current updated copy of the proposed recommended minimum rates card.
For ease, I have also attached a copy below for you all to view.

I would like to stress that this is a recommended minimum rates card and therefore nothing is binding in anyway. If we stick together on rates though, we all stand to benefit, however there may be compromises along the way that are necessary, and I am aware that there may still need to be amendments. Again all feedback is welcome on this matter.

Also on the website and at the bottom of this email is a link to a petition you can sign to show your support for this initiative. We currently have over 100 signatures, and I'd like to thank all of those people for their support thus far. I'd also like to thank all of you who have provided feedback already or assisted me in any other way regarding this process.

I feel however that we need more signatures in order to continue with this initiative. I would like to invite those that haven't signed to consider the positive outcomes that may be achieved, even if the rate card isn't agreeable with you at this time. If we can show that enough of us support the initiative we will be in a better position when we present this to producers and others. In the meantime we can work on what needs fixing.

The next steps moving forward are these.
Once enough support is attained, shown through signatures on the petition, the MEAA will be used to help facilitate a meeting with SPAA to share the rates card with producers and production companies. In the meantime I will endeavour to update/ change/ fix and improve the card according to what feedback I receive and what the general consensus is amongst the community. I know not everybody is in the union or wants to be, however I believe having more of us involved in it will also be beneficial with this process.

The rates card will then be made public on the website as a reference for all camera department personnel and productions seeking crew across Australia. A timeline for implementation will also be worked out at this point.

Unfortunately, no further action will be taken by myself until there is sufficient support, even though I would love to present this before the year is over.

For anyone not happy with anything within the rate card, there are compromises to be had, but it will also always be hard to please everyone, and at some point we need to at least give something like this a try.

IF for example, a majority of camera operators aren't happy with the listed minimums, then their category can be removed from the card if that is what needs to happen.

I would love any other feedback on the rates listed. If there are categories I have missed that should be included, let me know. All other concerns, questions, suggestions are welcomed, and do not hesitate to contact myself at this email to discuss any of the above, or join the forum so we can all discuss together.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Apologies again, if I have offended or overstepped the boundaries in any way by emailing everyone, or by making anyone unhappy in the process of putting together this rate card.

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and safe travels.

Kind Regards

Scott Wood
Sydney 1st AC

Email The Australian Camera Department »
View the Rate Card V1.12.17 »
Visit the website for more information »
Sign the Petition »

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