I’m happy to hear from you! I’m based near Stuttgart, Germany and work around the globe.
My journalist visa for the USA is valid until July 2027.
Documentarian / Director
Day Rate (10h): 700€
½ Day Rate (4h): 500€
½ Day Overtime: 70€/h
Overtime is billed in ½ hr increments. Overtime on a ½ day is billed until the full day rate is reached.
Sound recordist incl. basic Kit
4 x wireless lavs
1 x wireless camera hop or IFB/headset
1x Multitrack recorder
1x Timecode sync boxes for 2 cameras
Day Rate (10h): 650€
½ Day Rate (4h): 450€
½ Day Overtime: 60€
Overtime is billed in ½ hr increments. Overtime on a ½ day is billed until the full day rate is reached.
wireless lav: 50€/day
camera hop: 50€/day
Timecode slate: 50€/day
Timecode sync box: 20€/day
Double-MS for DOLBY SRD: 50€/day
Triple-MS for DOLBY ATMOS: 90€/day
ORTF-3D for DOLBY ATMOS: 200€/day
Canon C300 Mark II EF mount: 150€/day
Canon C300 Mark III EF mount: 200€/day
Canon EF 24-105mm f4 L IS: 20€/day
Canon EF 16-35mm f4 L IS: 20€/day
Sigma EF 18-35mm f1.8: 20€/day
Sachtler aktive8 flowtech75: 35€/day
Parking: All parking expenses are paid by the client unless other arrangements are made.
Transportation: Travel within greater Stuttgart is not charged. Travel outside this area (roughly 1 hr travel time or 100km) is billed at 0.60€/km.
Travel: Travel days with no shooting are billed at 50%. Travel days that include shooting are billed at the full day rate.
Archive Retrieval: Re-send lost sound files: 50€
Missing SD Card: Audio that is delivered on a SD card without the SD card being returned is subject up to a 200€ charge.
Details of my equipment can be found on my Gear page.
Generally speaking, if you hire me as sound recordist, I include all the equipment I own in my standard kit with the exception of special equipment for surround or 3D audio recordings (e. g. Dolby Atmos) and my non-sound equipment. This is a very fully featured kit that is more than enough for most doc work.
At least one week of advance notice must be given for complex shoots with additional or specific equipment needs. Bear in mind that if I can’t handle your shoot with my existing equipment alone, you will probably need to add a boom op as an additional crew member. Shoots with medium or large crews, five or more characters, or three or more cameras are generally too much for a one person sound department.
By request, I can condense my sound kit into two cases to keep air freight to a minimum. This kit does not sacrifice any core capabilities, but it does severely reduce my ability to handle unusual situations and broken equipment, so any trips that require air travel should be discussed beforehand to ascertain what shooting situations can be expected and to make backup plans in case of critical equipment failure.
I offer several different techniques for synchronization, depending on your needs and preferences. If you have any doubts about what kind of sync you need, please arrange to have me speak to your editor or post supervisor, as they will be the ones directly affected by the sync method we choose.
Unless otherwise requested, my default choice is Timecode (sync box). Where possible, I also provide a scratch track.
Timecode (sync box only)
Requires that all cameras have a timecode input. Best option for small crews that want to move fast without the interruption of slating. Every camera gets a wireless sync box that inputs timecode from my audio recorder into camera. Usually, I will also add an audio scratch track as a backup sync option and for ease of screening dailies.
Timecode (sync box + slate)
Requires that all cameras have a timecode input. Every camera gets a wireless sync box that inputs timecode from my audio recorder into camera. Additionally, a timecode slate is used so there is a visual indication of what the timecode was when the slate was clapped. On request, I can run timecode to an audio track if a camera lacks a timecode input, but I require sign-off from post — the process of syncing via a timecode audio track is a bit cumbersome, and may be unfamiliar to some editors. Usually, I will also add an audio scratch track as a backup sync option and for ease of screening dailies.
Timecode + Genlock
Requires that all cameras have a timecode and genlock input. The most reliable, comprehensive option. Cameras stamp the timecode just at the beginning of record and then run on their internal clocks. But this clocks may drift over time, especially if takes take longer than 20 min. Cheap and very old cameras could have imprecise internal clocks. Until now I never had such drift issue, but for the sake of completeness I want to mention it here.
Audio Scratch Track (wireless camera hop)
Best option when cameras don’t have timecode input. The camera gets a wireless receiver that records my “mix” track to one of the camera audio inputs. This track is used to synchronize with the rest of the tracks from my audio recorder using a utility like PluralEyes or similar functionality built into most editing programs. I do not monitor the camera recording, and it may be subject to wireless interference or dropouts. It is not intended for use as the final production audio. However, frequently, it is of high enough quality that it can be used in production if none of the iso tracks are needed. This technique works well for dialogue and interviews, but it does not work well with ambience or B-Roll tracks. If synchronized B-Roll audio is desired, I strongly recommend using one of the timecode options.
Slate Only (no timecode)
A visual slate (with no timecode) is the only sync reference for each shot. Generally a poor choice, but sometimes necessary when using DSLRs or Mirrorless still cameras with no audio input, or if the addition of a wireless receiver on the camera body is too cumbersome. Often, on-board audio may be used to sync using PluralEyes, but this is unreliable and should be not be counted on. As with the Timecode (slate only) option, diligence is required to ensure that every shot is slated.
Wild / No Sync
The only real reason to do this is to record ambience or foley effects for the post edit.
Publicity and Confidentiality
Although I retain an archival copy of everything I record (feel free to come back to me if you need a backup!), these archives are kept secure and private, and will never be shared publicly or re-used for any other project. Generally speaking, I do not treat the general content or concept of the projects I work on as strictly confidential. I like to talk about the work I do, and I’ve had many wonderful experiences on set that I like to share. If I work on a worthwhile project, I like to help spread the word.
If you require a higher level of secrecy, please request a Non-Disclosure Agreement, and I’ll be happy to keep it on the down low.
I reserve the right to be public about who I work with and what projects I work on. You and your project may end up mentioned on my résumé or website, especially if I had a good time working for you. For unannounced projects, I’m happy to keep your project quiet until you announce it publicly, but I do not usually hide my involvement in projects after they become public knowledge.
If your project has credits, please credit me as “Felix Golenko”.
For documentary projects only, I like to blog about my experience on set. I’m proud of the documentaries I work on, and I like to help get the word out. I will not blog about your project without asking, but I will ask, especially if I’m passionate about the subject matter. If I do write about your project, I do not publish immediately; when I publish is at the discretion of the producer — some producers like the exposure as the film is being shot, others prefer to wait to build buzz around the release date. My only request when writing about your project is for the producer to help circulate the post to fans of the film when it is published. This is part of what makes it worthwhile for me to write about the projects I work on: Other filmmakers hear about my involvement from the pieces I write.
Travel days with no shooting are billed at 50%. Travel days that include shooting are billed at the full day rate. A travel day is any day when there is no shooting scheduled but I am required to be away from home or otherwise unable to accept work from other sources. It may include time actually spent travelling, or it may simply be a day off in a remote location.
All travel must be arranged and paid for by the producer. If I am expected to bring my own vehicle, I charge a transportation fee per km as outlined in the rates section.
For air travel, my equipment occupies two cases, plus one bag of personal luggage. One of these cases must be hand luggage. Everything is kept very small and organised for this case. Producers should consult with me directly so we know in advance what challenges and risks I need to expect.
While travelling, producers must either supply or cover the cost of all meals. This includes travel days. Alternately, a reasonable per diem can be supplied for travel days. Where possible, an effort must be made to supply vegetarian options.
It is the producer’s responsibility to arrange and pay for accommodation while travelling. I do not book or pay for my own accommodation, even if the producer is willing to reimburse me after the fact.
I do not have any specific requirements for what type of accommodation I except. I expect that my accommodation to meet the same standards as other key crew. If the director is camping, I’ll happily sleep in a tent. If other crew are sharing rooms, that’s just fine with me — I just don’t want to be the odd man out.
I require access to power so I can charge my equipment overnight. For distant / remote locations without access to grid power, I may charge an additional fee to bring me solar system.
On set requirements
This is what I need from you to do my job effectively on set.
I need a variety of technical information before I show up on set to make sure I’m prepared for everything we are shooting, and to ensure that workflow in post flows smoothly. Most important are a script / concept document, sync method, and number / type of cameras.
To collect this information, I require all producer to fill out the simple form below with the production specs before the day of the shoot. This ensures there is a written record of the project requirements, and makes sure nothing gets forgotten.
I require a call sheet, e-mail, or phone call with details about the shooting schedule and location before 6PM at the latest on the day before the shoot. If I don’t hear from you by 6PM, you can expect a polite call asking for details.
I prefer vegetarian. When you are planning on set meals, I would like the veggie option.
I do not require insurance from small shoots that last three days or less. However, for productions that have it, myself should be named as additionally insured (your insurance agent can provide a generic letter to do this). I will supply a complete gear list with replacement values on request.
For shoots lasting four days or more, insurance is a requirement, and productions that cannot name me as additionally insured will be charged a fee to cover the cost of insurance.
These are your options for getting your audio after I’ve recorded it. My preference is always to transfer audio on site at the end of the day, but I offer several other options as well.
Transfer on Site
Producer must supply laptop. Audio is transferred to producer’s laptop at the end of the shooting day, or, optionally, at the end of the week. Audio is recorded on SD cards, and while I supply a USB 3.0 reader, producers may want to bring a SD reader with a different interface if they need it.
I will supply a digital download link within 24 hours of wrap, typically the same evening. Audio is guaranteed to remain on the server for 30 days. Producers may request a faster deletion if desired.
Producer can take a SD card with all audio with them at the end of the day. The card must be returned within two shooting days, or within 7 days of the end of the shoot. Producer is responsible for all shipping costs of returning the card. Producers will be charged for SD cards that go missing.
I deliver all audio with a digital sound report that is automatically generated by my recorder. This contains useful metadata: Shot name, track labels, character names etc, but only contains comments on an as-able basis. Frequently, documentary shoots move to fast to provide full commented documentation for every shot. Producers that require detailed, in-depth sound reporting should request a boom op to allow me the time to create in-depth reporting.
Note that when primary production audio is recorded to camera, the audio reports may not capture every camera recording, as the reports come from my backup recorder, not from camera.
I archive everything I shoot permanently, so if anything goes wrong with the audio in the edit, I can always re-send you the original production audio files. I charge a small fee when retrievals are needed more than 30 days after wrap.