Work Like Your Day Rate is $5000 and #HelloJetman with DP Phil Arntz

Work Like Your Day Rate is $5k

01:30 – It doesn’t matter what the budget of a project is or what your day rate is. Those things don’t dictate the quality of the project.

02:00 – As a DP, you don’t have control over the budget of the project, how it’s going to be used, or your day rate. What you do have control of is how much you prepare and how much effort you expend.

02:40 – People get into a bad mindset where the amount of effort they put in is related to their day rate. That is a terrible mindset and it’s one that will cause you to burn out or stagnate.

03:25 – I know this because I’ve had this mindset and these things have happened to me several times in my career.

04:00 – You start working a lot and you have a the big projects. Everything that is “lower” than the big projects you don’t spend as much time preparing for and as much effort shooting.

04:45 – Approach every project like your day rate is $5k a day. That is what a high end commercial DP can make.

05:25 – What would you do differently if your day rate was $5k? You would meet in person with the director and make sure they are getting what they want. Same with the producer, the art department, the VFX supervisor. You would put in a lot of effort in pre-production and on set.

06:30 – When you bring that extra amount of effort, that the producers and the directors notice that. And it will make you stand out from the crowd.

09:00 – If you are working all the time and you feel like you can’t give that extra effort to every job: You should look at your career as a 30+ year journey and you should ask yourself where you want to be as a DP.

Then you might realize that you can only shoot so many projects a year. So each project that you take should be a step in the direction of your goals.

To reach your goals you can’t take every project, you need to practice selectivity. You need to make space in your career to be able to say no to certain project, so that you can put in the extra effort on the right project.

11:50 – Early in your career, you take everything to get started and to figure out what you like to do. But after you are established you need to start practicing selectivity and giving 1000% to every project. Spend the extra time and effort in pre-production to make sure that the project will come out as good as possible.


#HelloJetman with DP Phil Arntz

Modern Cinematographer Podcast EP 005 Work Like Your Day Rate is 5000 and HelloJetman with DP Phil Arntz

Phil Arntz WebsiteLINK
Phil Arntz InstagramLINK

Phil Arntz is an extremely talented DP who has achieved industry status as a high speed and aerial cinematographer. He has worked hundreds of hours with the Ultimate Arm and has filmed in helicopters, planes, and other fast moving vehicles. His latest project #HelloJetman is wall to wall insanity. It features two “Jetman” pilots flying along side one of the biggest planes in the world, over Dubai. Phil was tapped to lead a team to safely and beautifully capture this event.

In the interview we talk about Phil’s journey to getting established in this high stakes line of work and how he approached shooting #HelloJetman.


#HelloJetman Film

Production Company: Dubai Film – website
Director: Anthony Augustinack – InstagramTwitter

#HelloJetman Behind the Scenes

3 replies on “Work Like Your Day Rate is $5000 and #HelloJetman with DP Phil Arntz

  • Jed van Dale

    Hey Matt,
    Love your stuff, I’ve learned a lot. I see an address for correspondence as Hull, MA. But, you mention working mostly out of NY. Are you in Hull? I’m in RI and would love to buy you a beer or a coffee if you have any time. I’ve been shooting for 20 years or so, starting back in the days of emulsion and have found my way back to the craft after being waylaid by life. I’m getting up to speed in the digital world and feeling so liberated by everything that the tech has brought us. You mentioned in one of your tutorials ( I think the most recent one for Hail, Caesar) that grammar isn’t your strong suit… I’ll buy the drinks and bring the grammar skills, if I can pick your brain… What do say?

    • Matt Workman

      Hey Jed,
      I live in MA but work in NYC mostly. I appreciate the offer for grammar lessons lol. Join the newsletter above and send me an email back. I might do a MA meet up again in the future. I’m going to be doing some camera test videos and that kind of stuff this Spring/Summer too.

Comments are closed.