PAYMENT FOR PREPARATION
Directors’ preparation time is almost never paid for, but it is usually about as long as rehearsal time. A major production can easily take 12 weeks to prepare and rehearse, sometimes more. Spread over 12 weeks a fee of, say, £5000 would be worth only £416 p/w. Even a £6000 fee would only be £500 p/w – about the same as a labourer gets doing 37.5 or 40 hours a week! (Directors frequently work 50 or 60 hours a week.)
In our 2014 Fee Survey we asked directors to add up carefully the time they spent (a) in rehearsing and opening a show, and (b) on working beforehand with the writer on the text, on personal preparation of the concept and on production and design meetings, casting sessions, marketing meetings, etc, and visits to the production after it opened.
Single days or part days worked were added up to make up complete weeks of 5 X 8 hour days, This produced some astonishing data (HERE). which validate our claim that the director’s prep period is often as long as rehearsal – and sometimes longer.