The mere mention of the word “overtime” on a video shoot can send both the producer and client into a panic. Why is that? Stick around to see on this episode of Video Answers as we explore “overtime” and how to avoid overtime during video production.

Last time we talked about the number of hours in a typical shoot day. This may have you wondering, “What if our shoot needs more hours?”
And along with that, there’s actually a larger question, “Is overtime really needed?” and if so, “Is it worth the extra cost?”

30 years ago, when I was just getting started in this business, I was a tape op on a large video shoot. This shoot already had some technically difficulties, but we also started with an ambitious production schedule, and not to mention, a first time director. This was a recipe for disaster, I mean, overtime.

For all those reasons and then some, our scheduled 10 hour day quickly became a 12 hour day, which then turned into a 14 hour day, before stretching into a 16 hour day and if my memory serves me correctly, we finally called it a day at 18 hours. Can you even imagine being on a video set that long? We’re talking from roughly 6am-midnight. Now that’s a long day!
That shoot taught me 3 invaluable lessons that I’ve never forgotten. I have learned that overtime:

  1. can kill your budget
  2. is almost never productive
  3. can usually be avoided

The lessons learned from that shoot have meant that in Comprehensive Media’s 25 years of business, I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve gone into overtime.

What is Overtime?

Overtime is defined as the additional time worked beyond the schedule. If a full day is up to 10 hours, then anything beyond 10 hours is considered overtime.

There are 3 levels of overtime:

  1. 10 – 12 hours is billed at time and a half
  2. 12 – 14 hours is billed at double time
  3. 14+ hours is billed at triple time

Working with Comprehensive Media and Overtime:

When it comes to overtime, here’s what our clients should know about working with Comprehensive Media:

  1. We don’t schedule overtime unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  2. If we change the schedule on-location and it causes overtime, we’re responsible for the cost of that overtime.
  3. If the client changes the schedule on-location causing overtime, the client is responsible for the cost of that overtime.

Yes, sometimes the weather or schedules can cause overtime. But by the time your talent and crew have been on set for 12 hours, you’re not getting the most out of them. And by the time your crew has been on set for 18 hours, it’s not only unproductive, it can get downright dangerous.

Add that to the extra costs involved and the lost productivity and I would say that overtime is almost never worth it.


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