I scripted a TV ad with an agency and they required me to work through the night on the shoot as opposed to during the day as I usually would. Should I charge a premium rate for the inconvenience of the work being at night time? Is it standard practice to do so?

  • An excellent question, and one very dependent on the industry. Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 14:22
  • Is the agency located on the other side of the planet? Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 10:39
  • Knowing the TV industry only as an audience member, I can see why writing through the night might not be considered "hazard pay," because weekly shows (and daily soaps, for that matter) work on such a tight shooting schedule. So while I can see both sides of the question, I have no experience in the industry to know what standing billing practices are. Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 11:35
  • This question remains unanswered, please attempt to answer if you find this question. Commented Oct 9, 2012 at 14:35
  • 2
    Sounds like something that should be in your contract regardings terms, deadlines, compensation, etc. Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 18:07

2 Answers 2


For anyone ever wondering, I got some solid feedback from two freelancer friends that work in advertising and for advertising freelancers, no matter the discipline or hourly fee dependent on weighting; here's what they advise.

If you work on a Friday outside of regular work hours - normal hourly rate. Saturdays - X 1.5 normal hourly rate. Sunday - X 2

It's justified based on the value of the personal time it's cutting into. Friday is still considered part of the week and so, normal rates apply. Saturdays and Sundays are your downtime so the rate is greater. Sunday is the highest rate because it's considered by some to be sacred and for others, the day you have to prepare for the upcoming week. These rates conditions are somewhat similar to other industry practices e.g. Legal. The rates are justified by the the reputation of freelancers supplying an extremely fast turn-around in emergencies.


I think the answer to this depends almost entirely on what your terms of contract are with the person or company commissioning you to do the work. If your terms of contract are for work performed in normal working hours, ie 9 - 6pm Monday to Friday then any over work demanded outside those hours would attract a premium hourly rate. Particularly if the over work is not due to an error on your own making.

The rates you mention in your own answer are about industry standard. Time after normal working hours and Saturdays is time and a half, Sundays and Bank Holidays double time.

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