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The Salary Thread Modular Synthesizers
Old 31st August 2008
  #1
Gear Addict
 

The Salary Thread

Come on, this is what everyone wants to know.

I expect almost no one to subscribe here honestly besides the anonymous, but I know that MANY have a HUGE curiosity as to what others make. Would LOVE to see the salary spectrum. This is not meant to be a dick-swinging contest, but just a range of what mixers make, so there's no need to be specific. I, for one, would love to know broadly what L.A mixers make versus me here in the Southeast.

My question is how much the average mixer/engineer makes, of course, depending on their exact line of work. And of course, this varies considerably. And I only expect those with anonymous names to reply, but I hope that you big-time movie mixers with the big salaries would at least provide a RANGE so we can see what the rest of us might aspire to. And perhaps the rest can provide just a range of money. Studio owners can chime in if they wish, but their range likely trumps the average mixer tenfold. I'm interested in a broad range for the average mixer/sound designer and freelancer. I have an idea what we all should make and want to see what the real average is for us all.
Old 31st August 2008
  #2
freelancer in London

3 years experiance

assistant sound editor, recording engineer, back-line tech all at around £200 ($400) per day
Old 31st August 2008
  #3
Gear Head
 

i make 0 cause im still trying to break into the industry, so whereever i plan on staying either new york or LA, would still have to intern for awhile so that 0 will prob be the same for the next year
Old 31st August 2008
  #4
Here for the gear
 

I think this should provide a good starting point for the minimum wages people in different crafts make.

Motion Picture Editors Guild - Wages
Old 1st September 2008
  #5
Gear Head
 

Hey soundfx

The salary issue is something that I've been thinking about recently. I'm just starting out in the business, aspiring to write/produce music for TV spots, film etc. but also considering a more stable position, such as yours.

If I wanted to get myself on a career track such as your own, what would the starting point be? What is the skill set one needs to acquire to mix for TV; s-
Old 1st September 2008
  #6
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jahtao's Avatar
I think I remember Broadcast magazine did a feature on salaries in the industry, and the figure listed for Senior Dubbing Mixer was 50k, UK pounds.
Old 1st September 2008
  #7
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Henchman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jahtao View Post
I think I remember Broadcast magazine did a feature on salaries in the industry, and the figure listed for Senior Dubbing Mixer was 50k, UK pounds.
Good example as to why I left vancouver.
I was making WAY less than that as a Senior Dubbing mixer in Vancouver.
Old 1st September 2008
  #8
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mintmix's Avatar
 

something to consider as posters replies trickle in. There is a difference between what we as editors and mixers SHOULD get vs. what we take to pay the bills.

Also, in the case of a freelancer. One might have an hourly rate of $50-75 per hour, but if your out of work for a week or 2 every month or so you could be earning close to half your market potential.
Old 1st September 2008
  #9
When budgeting/pitching for sound editorial for films one thing I did that has been a huge help to me is to go back through the last dozen films that I have done and work out what percentage the total sound editorial budget is (ie Supervisors, FX editors, Dialogue editors, assistants & foley editor + Protools studios for all) relative to the total budget of the film. In my case films range from US$1mill -> us$45mill... and percentage doesnt vary that much, although is obviously somewhat dependant on content....

When a producer cries poverty (or equally pitching for a large scale film) it helps to have a very real reference point, so that the sound editorial budget is not scaled disproportionally but also, & in some ways more importantly, to insure a large scale project is not under-budgeted... On large scale films the biggest concern for me is insuring we have the resources to deliver what is asked for.

I know this isnt answering the question asked, but I havent worked for salary in 15 years and I am very happy about that! 4 weeks holidays a year? I'd rather work my butt off for ten months & then be unemployed for 2 months!! If it suits your personality freelance rules!!!!
Old 2nd September 2008
  #10
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starcrash13's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad S. View Post
I think this should provide a good starting point for the minimum wages people in different crafts make.

Motion Picture Editors Guild - Wages
Keep in mind that these figures are guaranteed minimum wages and not the norm. Most union editors and mixers that I know get paid a higher rate than that (some much, much higher). Also, note that their are different tiers for different budgets. Low budget films fall into a different wage agreement.
Old 2nd September 2008
  #11
In France a feature film mixer is around 600 € per day. There is then 20% to be deduced for various social security things et al. The top guys are over 700 € per day.
The problem though , is that there is no union minimum wage determined for the rerecording mixer. The rate was sort of agreed upon by mixers and producers some time ago, but outside union boundaries . A cinema production mixer has a minimum wage of 1660 € WEEKLY, which makes a much lower salary than a rerecording mixer.
Old 2nd September 2008
  #12
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danijel's Avatar
Interesting thread so far....

Here in Serbia, feature films are priced 'per project', so no one can actually say what the hourly or daily rate is. But I know of some (what I'd call) medium-budgets ranging from 6k € to 12k € for editing and pre-mixing (one or two guys, anywhere from 20 to 60 day's job), where the producer still has to pay for additional mixing and printmastering at a Dolby-certified studio, like Branko's place, or, if it's an international co-production, sometimes it has to be done abroad.
I don't know any figures for our 'bigger budget' films like Kusturica's productions....


For TV dramatic series (what I do currently) I can get anywhere from 50 to 150 € / day. The lower-profile the production is, the more I get per day, because things get done much faster.

This may sound dirt cheap to some of you, but I'm actually doing quite well (thank you!) compared to my wife who earns 450 € / month as a physical therapyst, which is a pretty standard sallary here, and is a little less than what a sound engineer employed at a TV station would get, doing live broadcast and/or mixing very low-profile reality stuff.

1 € = 1.46 $
Old 3rd September 2008
  #13
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BIGBANGBUZZ's Avatar
 

The going rate in Melbourne Australia seems to be around $50-65 and hour for TV work, TVC's, Doco's, reality etc.
Guys who work on Drama may get more ?
Film guys may get less?? as there doesn't seem to be much of an Industry here, though I'm sure Roger Savage from Soundfirm does pretty well for himself.
Old 3rd September 2008
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

from around 30 euro to 75 euro pr hour.
Old 3rd September 2008
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danijel View Post
Interesting thread so far....

Here in Serbia, feature films are priced 'per project', so no one can actually say what the hourly or daily rate is. But I know of some (what I'd call) medium-budgets ranging from 6k € to 12k € for editing and pre-mixing (one or two guys, anywhere from 20 to 60 day's job), where the producer still has to pay for additional mixing and printmastering at a Dolby-certified studio, like Branko's place, or, if it's an international co-production, sometimes it has to be done abroad.
I don't know any figures for our 'bigger budget' films like Kusturica's productions....


For TV dramatic series (what I do currently) I can get anywhere from 50 to 150 € / day. The lower-profile the production is, the more I get per day, because things get done much faster.

This may sound dirt cheap to some of you, but I'm actually doing quite well (thank you!) compared to my wife who earns 450 € / month as a physical therapyst, which is a pretty standard sallary here, and is a little less than what a sound engineer employed at a TV station would get, doing live broadcast and/or mixing very low-profile reality stuff.

1 € = 1.46 $
Is that rate for just your labor or does it include your studio and PT rig as well? Prices in my area (SF) are all over the map, from Skywalker doing some of the biggest projects anywhere to jobs I've seen people doing on laptops while waiting for a train.
There is no standard at all anymore, that I can see.

Philip Perkins
Old 3rd September 2008
  #16
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danijel's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by philper View Post
Is that rate for just your labor or does it include your studio and PT rig as well?
All inclusive.

EDIT: As an illustration of the costs that I have, let me tell you that I work in a rented flat (40m2 = 430 square feet), a 10 minute-ride from Belgrade's zero point, and I'm paying 200 € / month. I guess I'd have to shell out at least 800-1000$ for that in NY. A haircut is 6$ in a barber-shop

Still, the gear costs the same (or more) :(
Old 4th September 2008
  #17
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BIGBANGBUZZ's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGBANGBUZZ View Post
The going rate in Melbourne Australia seems to be around $50-65 and hour for TV work, TVC's, Doco's, reality etc.
Guys who work on Drama may get more ?
Film guys may get less?? as there doesn't seem to be much of an Industry here, though I'm sure Roger Savage from Soundfirm does pretty well for himself.
Most studio prices are around 200-300+ an hour I believe,
Most of the big studios except for M+E and Soundfirm work on TV commercials.
Old 9th September 2008
  #18
Gear Head
 

how long would you say it would take to get a job as a sound editor at a post house after doing some interning. I'm going back to new york in like a week and im going to start sending my resumes out for some post houses in the city so i was trying to get a round about. thanks
Old 9th September 2008
  #19
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Henchman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigwignjhxc View Post
how long would you say it would take to get a job as a sound editor at a post house after doing some interning. I'm going back to new york in like a week and im going to start sending my resumes out for some post houses in the city so i was trying to get a round about. thanks
Longer than it would if you were in LA.
Old 9th September 2008
  #20
Gear Head
 

i know, i really dont want to go back to new york, i made a stupid decision because of financial reasons.. like i wanted to go home for the wrong reasons but i want to stay in LA. But now im paying for my stupid decision so im gonna be stuck in new york prob till next summer and thats if my gf is gonna want to live with me again. I had trouble finding roommates in the short amount of time so im like i have no choice.. Im gonna be 25 in november and all i want to do is just get my career started. I know going home is such a huge set back but i have to try and find an internship and work hard till i can return to LA
Old 9th September 2008
  #21
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Henchman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigwignjhxc View Post
i know, i really dont want to go back to new york, i made a stupid decision because of financial reasons.. like i wanted to go home for the wrong reasons but i want to stay in LA. But now im paying for my stupid decision so im gonna be stuck in new york prob till next summer and thats if my gf is gonna want to live with me again. I had trouble finding roommates in the short amount of time so im like i have no choice.. Im gonna be 25 in november and all i want to do is just get my career started. I know going home is such a huge set back but i have to try and find an internship and work hard till i can return to LA


You know what?
20 years ago I moved to San Francisco from Holland.
No friends, experience, nothing.
Ever tried to rent an appartment with NO US credit history?

I got a job working at GC, and moved on from there.
If working at Starbucks in the short term is what you have to do, to stay in LA, then that's what you have to do.
Hell, even today if it got to that point, I'd take a job at Starbucks to pay my bills if I had to.

Suck it up, and get a dayjob to pay your rent, and figure it out from there.
If all else fails you can always go back to NY. But I guarantee you moving BACK to NY and then trying to move BACK to LA again, is going to be much, much harder.
Old 9th September 2008
  #22
Gear Head
 

i already move out to LA twice from new york. I have a job that i was suppose to start at apple store this weekend, but my friend decided to go home for alittle bit who i was gonna get an apartment with. so i been crashing at my gfs and her roommate is getting really annoyed that im still here, so she pretty much said one more week to my gf so and my gf doesnt want to deal with the stress from her which i dont blame her. but i cant stay at her place any longer. I have no problem moving back here again its just i would have to start over again and intern. yea life sucks
Old 9th September 2008
  #23
I appreciate you want to stay in LA....
but lets just remember LA isnt the only place films get made/posted!

a very good example
Skip Lievsay
Old 9th September 2008
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by danijel View Post
All inclusive.

EDIT: As an illustration of the costs that I have, let me tell you that I work in a rented flat (40m2 = 430 square feet), a 10 minute-ride from Belgrade's zero point, and I'm paying 200 € / month. I guess I'd have to shell out at least 800-1000$ for that in NY. A haircut is 6$ in a barber-shop

Still, the gear costs the same (or more) :(
In SF it would be twice that, minimum, and be in a down-market area. To be in a nice, hip neighborhood with similar businesses around, cafes etc would be even more.

Philip Perkins
Old 9th September 2008
  #25
Gear Head
 

i know that, but theres alot more work here then in new york, atleast i would assume.
Old 9th September 2008
  #26
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Henchman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by subbasshead View Post
I appreciate you want to stay in LA....
but lets just remember LA isnt the only place films get made/posted!

a very good example
Skip Lievsay

Yeah, you made my point..

Skip Lievsay has relocated to LA. Along with quiet a few other high level post guys from NY.
Old 9th September 2008
  #27
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dr.sound's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by subbasshead View Post
I appreciate you want to stay in LA....
but lets just remember LA isnt the only place films get made/posted!

a very good example
Skip Lievsay
Unfortunately that is a very bad example since the last 6 features on his link were all done in LA
Old 9th September 2008
  #28
Gear Guru
 
charles maynes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by subbasshead View Post
I appreciate you want to stay in LA....
but lets just remember LA isnt the only place films get made/posted!

a very good example
Skip Lievsay
Unless Skip moved, he is in LA....


has been for almost 5 years....
Old 10th September 2008
  #29
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ggegan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
Unless Skip moved, he is in LA....


has been for almost 5 years....
At Warner Bros. to be exact, like about half the top sound guys in SoCal. Kiwi's taking over the post world.
Old 10th September 2008
  #30
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ggegan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman View Post
You know what?
20 years ago I moved to San Francisco from Holland.
No friends, experience, nothing.
Ever tried to rent an appartment with NO US credit history?

I got a job working at GC, and moved on from there.
If working at Starbucks in the short term is what you have to do, to stay in LA, then that's what you have to do.
Hell, even today if it got to that point, I'd take a job at Starbucks to pay my bills if I had to.

Suck it up, and get a dayjob to pay your rent, and figure it out from there.
If all else fails you can always go back to NY. But I guarantee you moving BACK to NY and then trying to move BACK to LA again, is going to be much, much harder.
I grew up in the Bay Area, but back in the early 80's I got starved out of SF and moved to LA. I had worked on some good projects up there, but the down time in between them bled me dry. I was so broke when I came to LA, my wife and I were actually homeless and living in a tent. 18 months later we bought a house and were living the good life. It was luck, timing and perseverance, but the reality is, unless you fall into an elite clique in other cities, LA is the place to be for making movies.

Many of the top people from the SF area come down now and then for work. Gary Sommers moved down a few years back and is now working at Todd AO. Randy Thom used to come down too, though I haven't seen him in a while. It's kind of cyclical, when work gets scarce up North there isn't a lot of depth to the employment scene, so there are a quite a few Norteños that come down to make a few bucks in lean times. Some, like me, realize it's actually pretty nice down here, especially if you can stake a claim and build a nice nest. The surf is better, too.
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