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Daily rental rate for movie cars ?


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I have been asked to supply two antique cars ( 1931 Chevrolet and 1929 Ford pickup ) with drivers to be included in a film / movie. Can anyone tell me what the going daily rate would be ?

Thanks in advance. Wayne

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30 years ago I was in a film with two cars, $200 per day per car, plus $100 for me as an extra.

Personally I think a $500 per car per day isn't outrageous, remember you're taking the risk, your regular insurance probably won't cover a money making endeavor with your old car.

A few years ago I was offered $15k plus all expenses to bring my Pierce to Louisiana for one month, for a major movie that turned out to be a flop. They wanted a Pierce for the main car, and when they couldn't get it, put an Archer hood ornament on a Model A and called it a Pierce! I considered it until the fellow I was dealing with told me they'd have to drill holes in the frame to support a camera platform, that killed it for me.....

Edited by trimacar (see edit history)
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Yes, you must be VERY careful when renting your car to movie makers. They do not know how precious our babies are to us and they may do some "alterations" in the name of film/art. On the other hand, they may just want to park it in a background shot.....you never know.

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Nothing less than $500 per 8hr day, plus food, plus expenses, with the stipulation that you are the driver (another $200) with a set minimum. Review the agreement closely to specify what they can or can't do in the way of "makeup" or modifications to the car. Understand that these artistic types couldn't care less about what happens to your baby.................Bob

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Nothing less than $500 per 8hr day, plus food, plus expenses, with the stipulation that you are the driver (another $200) with a set minimum. Review the agreement closely to specify what they can or can't do in the way of "makeup" or modifications to the car. Understand that these artistic types couldn't care less about what happens to your baby.................Bob

Very unlikely you could get that much unless you have a specific and rare vehicle they need for the plot. I have a customer who rents antique ambulances and has had them in several major pics and he gets only a little more than what you are suggesting.

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Background era-specific cars, parked or driving by a scene are still getting minimal offers of $250/day plus $125 or so for the Picture Car Driver.

When a production company wants something specific, especially for a "HERO CAR" which will have a significant role in the production, I have them write a multi-day contract, typically at $1,500 to $2,500/day, with a specified minimum number of days, and they must indemnify ME , and supply me with their insurance policy, with liability insurance with a minimum of $2,000,000, plus insurance for double the value of the vehicle. You do not get the perks if you don't ask. If I'm in wardrobe, the costs increase.

My contracts also specify that I eat with the CREW, or the cast (not the extras), and that only I can drive the car. In the event that the production requires a lead actor to drive, I teach them how, and generally am in the car (not in the shot) to oversee all activity, and of course the costs escalate proportionally.

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The prior owner of my '72 LTD was paid $200 per day to park it on the street in front of Fenway Park in Boston for the movie that Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore were in. Can't remember the name of it. The receipt from the movie company came with the car when I bought it. Unfortunately, the scene the car was in was cut from the final print. Must be 12-15 years ago.

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Not worth it unless you are renting them beaters cause that is the way they will be handled.

It all depends on how you handle your agreement with the production company.

I've always been treated well, and so have my cars. There was once a minor mishap, and it was handled promptly and properly.

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Hi,

We have been involved in several movies here and as per the comments here BEWARE!!

The film company hires your car on a daily rate and treats it as a normal rental vehicle. They don't care if they damage or alter it. If they want it a different color, they will paint it as a blow over, without asking you and then offer to have it blown over when finished, but they will not pay for a rebuild. And then try to get them to pay for it, there will be many excuses.

They tell you it's insured by them, but get a policy from them AND confirm with the insurers that it IS paid up, and what is it covering.

Most film companies expect you to drive it as an unpaid extra and because they rent your car PER DAY, they expect you to be at beck and call all day, we had one movie here where we were on set 22 hours, when we complained they just said we pay you a DAILY rate.

When King Solomons mines was filmed here the company wanted to hire our clubs 1920 Albion fire engine at $100 day, they didn't want a driver, when we asked what they were going to use it for, we found out it was going to be blown to smithereens with a ton of dynamite on the back. Oh and we will compensate you for the loss.

At that time I looked into others who had problems. One guy in USA hired them his concourse 1940 Buick for 3 months, at the end he kept being told it had some minor damage done to it and they were sorting it out, a year later he still did not have his car back and the movie got released, they had deliberately rolled the car for an action shot.

I could go on, my advice, if your car is a beater hire it to them, or better still sell it to them with a buy back clause when they are finished. If your car is treasured then DON"T hire it to a film company.

Best regards

Viv

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I have been asked to supply two antique cars ( 1931 Chevrolet and 1929 Ford pickup ) with drivers to be included in a film / movie. Can anyone tell me what the going daily rate would be ?

Thanks in advance. Wayne

I've done a lot of work with the movies out here in Vancouver. The daily rate for a vintage car is $500. I always get hired as an extra to drive the car. That pays an hourly rate which goes into overtime after 8 hours. In January I took home $480 for the day as an extra plus the $500 for the car. I've always found the movie people to be very respectful of my car and they always asked permission if they needed to do any alterations. Even putting the windshield down.

Here is my car on the set in January. post-83955-143143086191_thumb.jpg

I wish that was me sitting next to red....

Ken

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I have had some good experiences renting cars to movie production companies in the past. I too have heard the horror stories. In my experience there are a lot of regional variation in the daily rates. In the movie industry there you are dealing with a production company that may have varying levels of experience with old cars and with very different types of people involved. I would hesitate to rent a perfectly restored show car that I was really nervous about the possibility of any damage. I would not hesitate to rent a car that I was not as nervous about. I would agree that you need to verify their insurance coverage on your car. You should always be present to protect your interest. Making movies is an interesting thing to watch or participate in once. After that it can sometimes become a very boring experience. There is no industry wide standard or an industry wide predictable level of care shown with antique cars. The people of the production company are just people. Some are nice and take good care of your car. Some are not nice and don't care about your car. You have to be there and be willing to say no if necessary and be willing to get in your car and drive away from the money if you are not happy about what they plan to do with your car or how they are treating you.

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Matt touches on a subject that isn't often discussed about making movies, the boredom. Marty remembers, I spen three days on set in New Orleans with two cars, and I'd bet the actual filming time was less than 2 hours. Of the scenes I and my cars were in, maybe 15 seconds in the final movie itself. You do a LOT of just standing around and waiting.

I happened to be standing next to Jack Warden during one of these breaks, and asked him if making movies for a living was always this slow, take a one minute shot then wait two hours for the set up for the next take. His answer "Yes, but it has it's moments!".

And, I guess that's true, great memory of the few days, from Marty sweet talking a lady cop out of a "leaving the scene of an accident" ticket (I'd borrowed a long trailer, turning one corner the rear of trailer hit a parked car, I couldn't block the narrow New Orleans street so left a note that I was at such and such place in the Quarter making a movie, the policeman was amazed I'd done so), to meeting a few celebrities, and driving a 1909 Sears AutoBuggy down St. Charles in period costume, and having to brake for the young man in a sailor outfit rolling a hoop across the street)...

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I too had 3 good experiences. One as a background car in Hulk Hogan's "Thunder in Paradise" for $400 a day plus food. A Puma Shoes poster shoot for $400 @ day and a catalog photo shoot for $150 @ hour. The catalog shoot was my favorite. It was a German department store catalog and my 35 Ford pickup truck had 3 girls in blue jeans and bra's draped on its fenders. (Not hard to watch) Then they packed up, thanked me, paid me and said they were off to another location on the beach to shoot the underwear pages. I volunteered my cars but they had somebody else lined up for that shot.

The interesting thing with the catalog shoot was that the German photographers were given drawing of exactly how the photo should look and they staged and shot it with only a few exposures. When I saw the catalog it looked exactly like the drawings. When the American photographers shot 34 Ford Tudor in a Puma Shoes poster with Jim Rice they shot hundreds of exposures. I guess the Germans reputation for precision is justified.

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.......3 girls in blue jeans and bra's draped on its fenders. (Not hard to watch) Then they packed up, thanked me, paid me and said they were off to another location on the beach to shoot the underwear pages. I volunteered my cars but they had somebody else lined up for that shot.......

I can just imagine the disappointment in your eyes Paul! :o

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Matt touches on a subject that isn't often discussed about making movies, the boredom. Marty remembers, I spen three days on set in New Orleans with two cars, and I'd bet the actual filming time was less than 2 hours. Of the scenes I and my cars were in, maybe 15 seconds in the final movie itself. You do a LOT of just standing around and waiting.

I happened to be standing next to Jack Warden during one of these breaks, and asked him if making movies for a living was always this slow, take a one minute shot then wait two hours for the set up for the next take. His answer "Yes, but it has it's moments!".

And, I guess that's true, great memory of the few days, from Marty sweet talking a lady cop out of a "leaving the scene of an accident" ticket (I'd borrowed a long trailer, turning one corner the rear of trailer hit a parked car, I couldn't block the narrow New Orleans street so left a note that I was at such and such place in the Quarter making a movie, the policeman was amazed I'd done so), to meeting a few celebrities, and driving a 1909 Sears AutoBuggy down St. Charles in period costume, and having to brake for the young man in a sailor outfit rolling a hoop across the street)...

Great memories David,

In that production of "Hobson's Choice" - a CBS "made for TV" movie, as David said, we met Jack Warden, and also met Lillian Gish, Sharon Gless, and Richard Thomas (John-boy Walton). I was also on-camera multiple times, but the only portion which made it to the final version after the cutting-room floor, was a brief shot of me in 1914 period costume carrying a picnic basket and escorting a young lady across the streetcar tracks on St. Charles Avenue in fron of a mansion purportedly belonging to the character played by Miss Lillian Gish. Miss Gish was an absolute delight to speak with.

This is another benefit of dealing with quality productions - meeting and eating with some of the most outgoing and generous stars and personalities. My daughter had done several days of shooting in "Ray", the Ray Charles movie, as well as several other productions. Even as a youngster she could drive a stick-shift. There is film somewhere of my little girl dancing down Oak street in New Orleans, dancing with Charles Durning and singing his big song "OOOOOH, I Love to do a Little Side Step" from when he played the Governor in "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas". She also had lunch every day for a week or so with James Gandolfini here in New Orleans and in Morgan City, LA during another production.

Just last year the 1914 Buick had a minor role in an episode of American Horror Story for a couple of nights, and the Bud Light people paid a very substantial amount for the Chicago Bulls Mascot "Bennie the Bull" to ride around Downtown New Orleans in our '41 Caddy.

When Brook Shields was the little girl in "Pretty Baby", she sat between a couple of older "hookers" in the back seat of our blue 1934 Buick - even then she was a sweet kid with good stage presence. Our '54 Caddy was the car in the initial "trailers" for the then-upcoming TV show Memphis Beat, leading the "Elvis" parade.

Another benefit of dealing with "quality" companies is that when you dine with the crew and the cast, you eat like a king - often fine dining, excellent caterers, and exceptional food.

The production companies have always treated me and my cars with great respect, even going back to the 1970s.

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Edited by Marty Roth (see edit history)
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My 1965 Studebaker Wagonaire has been in a couple of commercial advertising shoots. I got paid $200/day for the car. Mostly, I drove it into position and they took still photos or video. Once, the "models" drove the car for a photo. I was nervous, but it worked out OK. I did it less for the money and more for the fun of it. The video commercial was for Casual Male XL where they wanted to show a "tailgate party". Of the final 1-minute TV commercial, I think the car got about 5-10 seconds. The other shoot was for a McGregor clothing catalog for Europe to highlight American life. The final catalog had lots of great shots of my car and their clothing, but no words because of the international audience. The female model was beautiful, but about as bright as two short planks, as my British friends say. I'm ready for another movie or advertising role, as the car survived OK.

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Remember the TV series Wind At My Back that was my brass T in the opening of every TV show and every time I saw it it brought back bad memories. They payed me $350 a day the first time but when they took it later in the year they shorted me $100. a day with no prior notice of the pay cut. Then they lost the wood base below the seat cushion and they replaced it with one that did not fit after me chasing them for it. The day they deliver it back it was on an open trailer in a heavy rain downpour. The seats were like a sponge full of water. Then two years latter I spot my T in a different movie I was never told about or payed for. Do not do it unless you are with the car.

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Reading the additional experiences makes me want to be part of a movie sometime. Sounds like a great experience, all the way around, even with the "hurry up & wait" scenarios. I know a friend of mine had a great time on the set of "World's Fastest Indian" at Salt Lake City.

Cort :)www.oldcarsstronghearts.com

1979 & 1989 Caprice Classics | pigValve, paceMaker, cowValve

"Father Time still takes a toll on every minute that you save" __ Clint Black __ 'No Time To Kill'

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Hi,

We have been involved in several movies here and as per the comments here BEWARE!!

The film company hires your car on a daily rate and treats it as a normal rental vehicle. They don't care if they damage or alter it. If they want it a different color, they will paint it as a blow over, without asking you and then offer to have it blown over when finished, but they will not pay for a rebuild. And then try to get them to pay for it, there will be many excuses.

They tell you it's insured by them, but get a policy from them AND confirm with the insurers that it IS paid up, and what is it covering.

Most film companies expect you to drive it as an unpaid extra and because they rent your car PER DAY, they expect you to be at beck and call all day, we had one movie here where we were on set 22 hours, when we complained they just said we pay you a DAILY rate.

When King Solomons mines was filmed here the company wanted to hire our clubs 1920 Albion fire engine at $100 day, they didn't want a driver, when we asked what they were going to use it for, we found out it was going to be blown to smithereens with a ton of dynamite on the back. Oh and we will compensate you for the loss.

At that time I looked into others who had problems. One guy in USA hired them his concourse 1940 Buick for 3 months, at the end he kept being told it had some minor damage done to it and they were sorting it out, a year later he still did not have his car back and the movie got released, they had deliberately rolled the car for an action shot.

I could go on, my advice, if your car is a beater hire it to them, or better still sell it to them with a buy back clause when they are finished. If your car is treasured then DON"T hire it to a film company.

Best regards

Viv

. don't do it! I've worked movie jobs and they could care less about your car, it's expendable.
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  • 4 years later...

My contracts also specify that I eat with the CREW, or the cast (not the extras), and that only I can drive the car. In the event that the production requires a lead actor to drive, I teach them how, and generally am in the car (not in the shot) to oversee all activity, and of course the costs escalate proportionally.

 

Mr. Roth, would you be willing to share an example of well written contract?  Thanks, James

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I used to be a "wrangler" for TV and motion pictures. Supplied a lot of contact's cars and some of my own. Movies, television shows, commercials, music videos.

And, as stated here earlier, it is quite literally hours and hours of extreme boredom, standing around....waiting for the 32 takes of the same car rolling into the same driveway, for 5 seconds of on film action....only to find when the perfect shot is finally captured in take 32 at midnight, some diligent PA views the rushes and notices what looks suspiciously like a booger peeking out of the nostril of the actor. "Wrap it up til 6am and we'll re-shoot it then".....ugh!

The first thing to understand is, while movie people are omnipotent, they are not car people. With few exceptions, they are extremely hard on cars and have little regard for the owner's feelings or post-production whining about damages.

Every prop used is just that, a prop. And nobody (besides the prop master, and he only cares about his own props) cares about any prop, anywhere, any time, ever. I pretty much handcuffed myself to any car I supplied for the entire time of the shoot to keep the cars safe from the scores of PA's and others "below the line" who just assumed they could use treat the cars as a hay bale (which is/was common terminology for cars). A minor but infinitely annoying peeve of mine, was the use of "dullers" on paint and chrome.This is a very common practice to avoid glare and/or reflections and the medium generally used is simple hair spray. Again, ugh!

I was never at a loss to find people willing to offer their cars at absolutely no cost to the industry, just to be able to say "My car was in a movie!" But, honestly, nobody is making any more car movies like Bullitt, Gone In 60 Seconds, Smokey and the Bandit, Christine or even The Love Bug.

If you decide to offer your car, my strong advice is to prepare for at least 4 times the amount of time you are told at first. Bring a good book. And never let your car out of your sight.

Greg

 

l&h.jpg

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You might want to have your attorney draw up some sort of contract to protect your assets. One photo shoot that was for something to do with Lincoln, be it a high school or whatever, had 20 something, Lincoln cheerleaders positioned all over this beautiful '40 Lincoln sedan. Well, you can guess what the car looked like when they were finished with the shoot. Dented hood,  fenders and a caved in roof. Also, you might need to ask your insurance agent if there are any restrictions in your policy. One local guy mentioned to his agent that he rented his car out for weddings etc. and had his policy cancelled. I have been approached several times about using my vehicles and always said no.

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Thirty years ago I rented my 1963 Ford pickup for a shoot of the "War of the Roses." I think that I was paid $250 per day. but the money certainly wasn't the allure. The truck was my work truck, recently painted and reasonably presentable but it was what it was-a work truck. If it had been a better vehicle my concerns might have been different, but I said what the hell, and went for it. It was a good experience, but sadly it didn't make the final cut, and I failed to take any pictures.  

 

I enjoyed the movie then, and still do. The theme of the movie proved to be a little more personally providential then I would have ever expected, though.

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On 4/24/2015 at 12:13 AM, KLF said:

I've done a lot of work with the movies out here in Vancouver. The daily rate for a vintage car is $500. I always get hired as an extra to drive the car. That pays an hourly rate which goes into overtime after 8 hours. In January I took home $480 for the day as an extra plus the $500 for the car. I've always found the movie people to be very respectful of my car and they always asked permission if they needed to do any alterations. Even putting the windshield down.

Here is my car on the set in January. post-83955-143143086191_thumb.jpg

I wish that was me sitting next to red....

Ken

 

Is this the set of "When Calls the Heart"???

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I have been offered $300 a day plus meals on set for my car for background work.  Only I will drive the car.  I won't get rich doing it, but will make for a good essay on "what I did on summer vacation".  Getting ready for a full night of nighttime shooting later this week, and a day of street scenes next week.  My first experience with movie production.

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i earned about $750 for my Volare to sit on a lot as a prop in 2014. 3 days  at $250 per.  Did several gigs near that time  and in total earned about $1200 or so. Friend from POC  had a company that found cars for movies, TV shows and comercials. Haven't heard from him for several years now so I don't know what the current rates are.

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My friend handled everything. Never signed a contract or even met a movie person. Never a problem except I once allowed "make up" to be put on my Volare that was to make it look rusty and was supposed to be easily removed. i had to wash it several times and even then I ended up using 'Goof-off to get the last of it gone. So I would suggest not allowing that if asked.

Edited by plymouthcranbrook (see edit history)
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On 6/16/2019 at 11:08 AM, JamesCarGuy said:

Does anyone have a contract they could share or is this negotiated when the deal is made?

 

I would assume that you would negotiate the contract when the deal is made. They would probably hand you their standard contract for this; that's when you take it to your lawyer to review and to add whatever you want for terms and conditions. I would think that you would have to do some research to really understand what you need to protect yourself, as as been discussed in this thread. I have found that it never hurts to ask for the moon in any contract negotiation-the worst they can do is say no.

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Rented out my Duesenberg for $4,000 a day for three days. Sent my muscular son with it to supervise the camera crew -- he told them what they could and couldn't do. It worked out OK but I doubt I would bother with it again. The movie isn't out yet so I don't know if the car will even be seen. 

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On 4/24/2015 at 8:34 AM, trimacar said:

 

I happened to be standing next to Jack Warden during one of these breaks, and asked him if making movies for a living was always this slow, take a one minute shot then wait two hours for the set up for the next take. His answer "Yes, but it has it's moments!".

 

You should have asked him how he liked going for that wild test drive in the '57 Chevy in the movie "Used Cars" or how much of it was a stunt double. I wonder if the owner of that car was happy with the $200 a day after he got the car back.... :o

 

 

Edited by Lebowski (see edit history)
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