Travel Time & Travel Days

Travel Time and Travel Days are important factors to consider when working in the film industry, as they impact both your schedule and income.

Valuing Your Travel Time

It’s essential to value the time spent traveling, whether it’s by car, train, or air, to reach a job site. While short commutes are normal, particularly in big cities, longer commutes may warrant charging an additional fee.

Charging for Extended Commutes

In some areas, such as Los Angeles, there’s a designated “studio zone” that outlines when additional charges should apply for lengthy travel times.

Travel Days: Compensation for Time Spent Traveling

A travel day is a day dedicated to reaching the workplace, usually via air travel. If you fly in the night before and start work the following morning, you are entitled to a travel day fee.

Calculating Travel Day Fees

Travel day fees typically range from 60% to 100% of your labor rate, accounting for transportation, hotel check-in, and gear preparation.

Distinguishing Travel Days from Work Days

A travel day is NOT a work day. If you’re expected to start filming upon arrival, it’s considered a shoot day instead.

Charging for Travel Days: Loss of Opportunity

Charging at least 60% of your labor rate for travel days compensates for the “Loss of Opportunity” – the potential income missed while traveling for a job.

Charging for Gear on Travel Days

Consider whether to charge for your equipment during travel days. If your gear is unavailable for other jobs during travel, charging a fee may be appropriate.

Exceptions and Negotiations

For long-running traveling jobs, you might negotiate a weekly rate, covering gear rental throughout the shoot. Assess each situation on a case-by-case basis.

Importance of Clear Communication

Always ask questions, especially for travel jobs, to ensure you’re paid fairly for your labor and gear. Miscommunications can impact your ability to receive fair compensation.

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