When I was on my first feature, we went into overtime. I spoke to the producer about paying for it. His response to me was, "Oh, well we're not a union show so we don't pay overtime." In this case, I believe it was pure ignorance, but this is how crew gets taken advantage of. I went on to explain how overtime was calculated and he was very curious and interested. Had I been ignorant as well I could have thought, "*Oh, that's right... I'm not union... so maybe I don't deserve to get paid overtime." *The truth is, **overtime is a California labor law.... it does not matter if you are union or not.** If you have hours worked, you should be paid for it.

**Quick Links**

Here are the topics we are going to cover in this article

**1. Why is it important to know how to calculate your rate?**

Not all producers are bad, but there are some out there that if you give an inch, they'll take a mile. Part of their job is to keep costs low, but some producers just take it too far. I've worked with enough bad producers that I feel this article and information is important to share. **The more knowledge you have, the less likely you will be taken advantage of.**

**2. How do I calculate my hourly rate?**

This math is based on **California Labor Laws**.

**Question:** How do I calculate my hourly rate if I am quoted ____/10 hours? ____/12 hours?

In the film industry we work on "guaranteed" hours which means despite if you work less than the quoted hours, you will be guaranteed typically 10 or 12 hours of pay. Travel or idle days can be 4 or 8 hours guarantee.

NOTE: Some producers will quote you by the "day", such as $750/day. **Make sure to clarify** if you are on guaranteed 10s or 12s.

**Generally speaking here is the rule:**

Quoted a 12 hour day =

**divide rate by 14**Quoted 10 hour day =

**divide rate by 11**

Weird right? Let's break it down. California Law says that the following:

The first 8 hours should be the base hourly rate

The 9th to 12th hour should be 1.5 times the hourly rate

After 12 hours, it's 2 times the hourly rate.

Make sure to check the __California Department of Industrial Relations__Â for the latest laws regarding overtime. Here is the __PDF__Â that you can reference.

**Note: **Most recently, union contracts are implementing 3 times the hourly rate after 15 hours for the first five days of the work week. More details on the Basic Agreement and Video Tape Agreement in __this__ article.

__BREAKDOWN OF 12 HOUR DAY__

So, with knowing the first 8 hours is at 1x the hourly and the last 4 hours are at 1.5x the hourly for a 12 hour day... this is how the breakdown works:

8 (1) + 4(1.5) = ?

8 + 6 = 14

So although you have 12 actual hours worked, you are going to bill for 14 hours due to the last four hours being your hourly rate multiplied by 1.5.

__EXAMPLE 1__

So if your rate is 500/12, to get your hourly you divide 500/14 which equals $35.7143/hour.

__BREAKDOWN OF 10 HOUR DAY__

Let's apply this knowledge with a quoted 10 hours.

8 (1) + 2(1.5) = ?

8 + 3 = 11

__EXAMPLE 2__

So if your rate is 500/12, to get your hourly you divide 500/11 which equals $45.4545/hour.

**Mini Pop-Quiz!**

If your rate is 750/12 what is your hourly rate?

If your rate is 350/10 what's your hourly rate?

If your rate is 1000/12 what's your hourly rate:

Answers: 1) $53.5714 2) $31.8181 3) $71.4286

**3. How do I calculate overtime?**

__EXAMPLE 3__

If you worked a 14 hour day (with 30 of those minutes being lunch), how much overtime are you paid?

Call: 6:00am

Lunch: 12:00pm - 12:30pm

Wrap: 8:30pm

Your first 12 hours of labor will be 500, but after that you need to calculate two times your hourly rate.

So let's go back to your hourly rate at 500/12 which is $35.7143. This is your breakdown:

**Hourly rate**: $35.7143

**1.5 x hourly: **$53.5714

**2 x hourly: **$71.4286

**3 x hourly: **$107.1429

1. The first question is, how many hours did you work with subtracting your lunch hours?

*.** 14 hours of work minus 30 minutes of lunch = 13.5 hours*

2. How many hours extra did you do over your quoted rate of 500/12?

*13.5 - 12 = 1.5 hrs*

3. So now take that amount of hours and multiply it by your 2x hourly rate because after 12 hours its 2x.

*1.5 x $71.4286 = $107.1429*

4. $107.1429 is how much extra you are earning after your quoted 12 hours. If you want the gross wages, add the quoted daily rate.

*$107.1429 + $500 = $607.1429*

NOTE: This scenario also has a meal penalty because from 12:30pm - 8:30pm without a break is 8.5 hours of work and you are supposed to break every 6 hours of work, just FYI.

**4. Let FreeMe Calculate Everything For You**

Did you get the mini pop-quiz answers right? If you want a little more convenience, FreeMe calculates your hourly wages and overtime for you. Additionally, as you add jobs to FreeMe, it keeps track of your work history so you can refer back to it whenever you want. FreeMe also exports both invoices and timecards to help save you time when getting paid.

Available on the __App Store__ and __Google Play__.

*Have you ever encountered a situation where you weren't paid overtime? Do you have any other tools or resources that can help with calculating wages and managing your work history? What's worked best for you? Let us know by filling out our *__contact form__*. We love hearing from our readers!*

Disclaimer: FreeMe is not a legal firm and should not be relied on for legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Readers of this website should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter.

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