Working in film industry is mostly fueled by the passion to become a Celebrity. While famous directors, producers and actors enjoy a potential windfall of cash, there are thousands of others behind the scene who make up the majority of active workforce. It is more difficult to evaluate the average film salaries because most of the workers work on a contractual basis. The film industry is mostly contained in and around Los Angeles and New York. There is a high demand for support actors and other film crew which makes it easier to locate a job if someone is willing to offer their skills for on location on the move sets.
Without getting into specifies, it will be easy to evaluate the industry by some statistical figure. In 2009, the average salary of everyone in the film industry is approximately $43000 per annum. While this figure provides a basic idea it doesn’t include the many high paying salaries of most prominent celebrities and many others who work by enrolling in one or two scenes, once in a while.
Unions and Other Workers
The Screen Actors Guild is the most significant union in the industry which negotiates with these Mega studios to set a minimum wage for their members. It is precisely for this reason that most aspirant Wannabies would love to enroll in one of these Unions which is evident by the fact that most upcoming actors are its members. Each member of SAG earns at least $2634 a week for a five day work.
In stark contrast the average weekly salary of most film and video crew was $600 per week, in 2008. The average salary for all producers and directors working in Hollywood is $37 per hour while camera operators, editors, screen play writers and editors earn on average $20 to $26 per hour. The video, lightening and sound crew makes at least $17 per hour.
Salary comparison to other industries
To gain a better perspective into the film salaries, it will help to realize that more than 375,000 individuals are directly or indirectly working with the six major production studios. Most successful film crew are those who are flexible, willing to take risks and ready to move wherever the movie set goes. A closer look will reveal that beyond the Hollywood hype most jobs pay similar to the other industries. According to the US labor of Statistics, the average salary for a theater producer is $45000; average salary for technical manager is $57,000; salary for directors of TV and motion pictures is $58000; income of film editor is $45000.
Disney – A Case Study
A glance at these figures provides a much broader picture of the income generated by an average film worker. As discussed, most workers are employed on contract basis therefore it takes skill, persistence and networking to be able to achieve the status of a celebrity. Still a good example in this regard will be the workers of Disney who always complain that their salaries are relatively low compared to other companies but its directors and other top management are paid significantly higher than the industry standards. Moreover, when it comes to total compensation, very few at Disney are paid exorbitant amounts.
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