A cogent argument can be made for both sides regarding the increase in filming and photo shoot fees for Sullivan’s Island (“Sullivan’s may triple filmmaking fees,” Nov. 8, The Post and Courier).
Having worked as a producer on large-scale photography print productions for catalogs and advertising as well as ecommerce content, budgets are always allotted in the pre-production process.
This fee increase would not have a particular effect on a company as it considers Sullivan’s Island, as location fees are always allotted for, and overestimated for, in the budget process.
When a production has determined its creative direction prior to the production process, and said creative direction relies upon a specific location (whether stateside or out of the country), it will procure, at much expense, a location, including travel fees, Carnet fees, etc.
The fact that Sullivan’s Island has not increased fees for 20 years is actually quite astounding.
I have worked in many areas of the country, and this is standard practice — much like an annual rent increase. This fee increase would be a paltry sum to any outside production, whether film or print photography related.
The need to mitigate the costs of applying the necessary resources to accommodate larger scale productions is not unusual. It makes perfect sense to have a fee increase to offset the costs of security and public safety and certainly would not deter me from using it as a location.
On the opposing side, to the local community of photographers, the fee of $500 for daily photo shoots could be cost prohibitive. In addition, it could certainly curb the use of Sullivan’s Island for locations for wedding photography and/or local commercial photography purposes.
More than likely the photographers for those genres of photography will have to augment their day rates to cover those increases, and that will have an effect on the client/consumer.
As a photographer I am empathetic to that side of the argument.
One can conclude from all of this, that neighboring Isle of Palms and other communities will be possibly be the new alternatives.
Shell Bilyew Royster
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