On Set Supervision - Rates (U.S.)

Hello fellow users, I did a search on the subject w/ no results.

What is the going rate these days? (day rate)
As expected, I am hearing some varying answers but the range is huge.

curious what the response from this group will be :wink:

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I believe our company charges $1500/day + travel expenses.

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Yeah $1,500 is pretty standard, at least in LA.

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Yup. What can be difficult to get is travel days (not just travel expenses) and down days it there are breaks in the shooting schedule and you are from out-of-town.

1500 is what I thought it was, tho a little low in my opinion.

Also RE: Travel/Down days… I bill my days off as Half days and will not bend, even at that it’s low. Working or not, I am losing on a full billable day just to wait to do their job.


I’m staff now, so it’s a moot point for me, but when I was independent I didn’t charge for down days if it was local, but charged full rate if I was working someplace that was not within commuting distance, and charged full rate for travel days. And for what it’s worth, I never had a down day. The night before, they would always ask if I could join them for meetings, or be available on lighting and set-up days.

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Are you asking what a vfx supe should charge or what a studio charges it’s clients?

A couple years ago major U.S. studios would charge around $2100 per day + $400 a day lodging.

As a freelance shoot supe, I charged $1750
2 years ago, and now during covid I charge $2050. I also charge for travel days and down days are depending on duration and where they fall on the weekly calendar.


Yes, I was referencing the Freelance Supe rates.
I’m getting aa consensus closer to 1500, although it is almost not worth it at that price.
Tim, I read you loud and clear on the days off on Travel, I have never had a day/night off as mentioned. I will be asking for 100% moving forward.

And as for rate, I will probably be following in Randy’s footsteps as Covid Regulations have made an already stressful job that much harder.

thanks for all of your input.


Yeah $1500 is way low for commercials in my experience and opinion for on set work. One can easily make $1500-$1600 a day on average with OT working as a flame artist and a machine fee added on your own flame.

Likely I’m on the high end but still.


I’ve probably undercharged for the commercials I’ve done. I forgot to factor in the insecure directors.


Just my 2c here:

$1500 is a bit low, in my opinion. I personally can’t remember the last time I was on-set for less than a 12 hour day. Factor in all the e-mail correspondence, writing up detailed VFX notes, shooting and stitching HDRIs/light surveys, etc…

Not to mention, you’re an advocate for the VFX house that hired you. That’s worth something. Especially if you’re saving them money by coming up w/ creative solutions on-set. Ounce of prevention, pound of cure type stuff, right?

Also, you gotta make it worth it for you too. If I can take a two week booking doing straight flame work vs. maybe a three day shoot with a shifting schedule…? Not saying you should charge $5k/day or anything, but yeah…


Bang On Eric.
There’s not a single thing I disagree with here.

I have always understood that I am the one to set the rate for ME, but knowing what the majority is doing is always important… whether we choose to follow in those footsteps or not. Knowledge is power and knowing where you fit in…but make no mistake, I am not under the impression that I have to “fit in” anywhere.

What I gather is that most are undercharging for this… and I will continue to be on the higher end of the asking table.

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Also, don’t forget about the anonymous wage spreadsheet. If you are a flame artist and vfx reviser, you can absolutely fill the form out multiple times for your different roles. As in, one entry for Flame, one entry for vfx supe.


There is no reason to hide this stuff from each other.
The guys hiding rates are usually the ones undercutting the rest of the crowd… let them, they work a LOT harder for their money, and in most cases aren’t very good.


I don’t factor in a damn thing. I charge them a half day for pre-shoot meetings and a half day for data wrangling in addition to the shoot. If they want to have more than a half day of meetings, or more wrangling, I’ll let them know what they’re spending. I also charge for my kit, which can be camera rental, measurement equipment, and a computer rental to do the uploads and downloads.

Nice. That’s good to know. Would be good to also know how many people like to itemize things out, or just wrap it into an overall dayrate, all-inclusive. Hope you weren’t thinking that I was responding directly to you, telling you how to factor in your variables or anything. Just giving thoughts to the overall thread…

Personally, I just give a single dayrate that I think will fairly cover all my costs, save for travel/off days etc… Has anyone haggled you over itemized costs/ line-items or have people been pretty good about it?

I just give them the prices up front. Sometimes they want me to roll it in. I don’t like taking a bunch of phone calls for free. So I let them know I charge for it.

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