Would you all be into having an Anonymous Rate Survey?
- Yes, I’d participate in an anonymous wage survey.
- No thanks.
Would you all be into having an Anonymous Rate Survey?
4 posts were merged into an existing topic: Logik Anonymous Wage Survey
Anonymous or public, I’ll participate.
Agreed. I think honesty and openness about rates can only help us all advocate for ourselves and each other in the future.
In hindsight, after reading the response data, I have some thoughts on the survey, despiite replying that I did not.
Normalize the rate to an hourly number. Divide day rates by 10, and convert all currencies into whatever the user specifies. The fundamental goal (I would think) is to make everyone understand how much they should charge given their skill level, and everyone’s base rate should be their hourly rate. Hourly rates are the best metric because we have CRAZY hours, so day or week rates gloss over that.
The skill levels are unclear: is an on-set supe a higher rank than an in-shop supe? I usually do both, so I clicked both AND the senior label. Limited to one, I’d chose in-shop supe since that is the on-the-box-run-the-job job that I feel is the apex of Flame operation. On-set supervision is a different skill entirely, even if many of us do it all.
Great feedback. I went back and forth a ton on the very things you mentioned. One reason I kinda think its interesting to NOT normalize the rates into hourly is because it also adds another kung-fu level of knowledge, and that is, what are in fact people’s pay structures? Also, don’t forget, us commercial jerks are often hourly, sometimes daily, but some in the features world are weekly or monthly. I think. As I’m sure you are already aware, this survey is inspired by the /r/VFX Anonymous Wage Survey, which, I love, but for me is a bit too much.
I also debated whether or not to put the skill levels in, but, I think it is helpful to have something in there. Granted, it is a bit difficult to navigate for those of us with ridiculous amounts of slashes in out titles… Flame Artist/VFX Supervisor/Head Hibachi Chef…but, then again, you can always fill it out multiple times…one for you as an artist, one for you on set stupervision.
There is, me thinks, a fine line between…umm…whatchamacallit…the difference between being easy and inviting more responses and having a super precise no-holds-barred data fest but with far fewer entries. I’m probably over thinking it.
As I was completing this I was reminded of our time together back at The Till and how messy all of this shiza is. People and titles and roles and salaries is always just hard and messy. It’s never tidy and is never as convenient as it should be.
It’d be nice to possibly add some COVID related stats…how was your business impacted due to COVID, etc etc.
It’s far from perfect and suspect it will never be. But if its helpful, then winner winner frickin dinner.
Thanks @andy_dill for the feedback. And to the contributor that requested ‘less vague numbers,’ I agree…but does everybody know their precise utilization statistics? I’m guessing no, but clearly you and I do. Thanks for the thoughts. I could amend the percentage ranges and invite precise numbers. Thank you anonymous contributor.
Adjusted some numerical fields to be more specific.
Added a place to add COVID-19 specific wage pressures.
Added some information to the Welcome page.
I think it would be helpful if there weren’t required fields. Not because I don’t want to give information but because there are things that just don’t easily apply to me and I don’t want to mess up the data with an answer that’s basically false or gives a wrong impression. Like annual income - I do non-VFX related work too so, do I just include that or subtract it? Either way, it’s going to give a false impression to people who are trying to figure out how they compare to someone else who works solely as a Flame artist.
Another thing that’s complicated is that “freelance” can really be a range of things - since a lot (of US, at least) companies are making us work as temporary employees, that makes a big difference in terms of how much you actually take home. So, somebody working from home as temp employee without being able to deduct their expenses and QBI making (for instance, 100K a year) could be pocketing 20K less than somebody who’s billing the same amount as a contractor. And that’s not just people remoting in, I have places I’m working on from home on my equipment and software that don’t want me to be a contractor. All this is to say that there just may not be a simple way to say “A Flame Artist with X type of experience makes Y amount of money”.
Thanks @greg for the feedback. I’ve significantly reduced the number of required fields, added some specificity to the income question (yearly pre-tax income from Flame-related services, e.g.), and added separate fees for in-house and remote.
How about some info about your business setup? Like, are you incorporated, specifically.
Related, if you’re freelancing and unless your clients explicitly dissuade you from doing so, you should really incorporate, imho. For business expenses alone it’s worth it.
Additional good questions might be “how many hours do you work in an average week?” and “How many hours do you work in a bad week?”
Question about including gender. At first I was hoping that gender data would be helpful…but…is it too difficult to remain anonymous?
the survey is a great idea, its hard to read though. is there a better format rather than a xcel sheet?
The money is always an interesting part of this but the more valuable thing we all need to be aware of is how well these c ompanies treat our time. The overtime hours and whether we are able to charge for them. Over the 5 companies i work for they all treat that VERy differently. How i have no idea, labor laws wise. its kinda crazy that we as a community have been unable to form some sort of union or band for protection! a legal firm for advocacy! something. I like more data on whether companies pay properly for the hours we put in. id like to know if most people are being forced to be employees or can keep this a business if we use our own kit, etc.
It is hard to read. I’ll start to chip away at some sort of improved delivery of it.
Theo, you bring up a huge point about freelancing, especially in CA with the crazy laws there about staff vs freelance status. Whilst I am all about connecting people and helping people get the information they need, I do have some pretty significant concerns with getting company-specific on a platform like this as It opens me to some pretty substantial risk. I’m probably overthinking this, but, let me think about it some more. At the very least, I think we might be uncovering some additional needs of our community and, well, that’s why we are all here. Some additional groups might be handy for this kinda thing. I have a Chicago Flame Artist group. We could have geography-based groups of artists so at the very least you have a precise place to ask precise questions.
Any of this helpful?