How much to charge for video editing

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Adam in Babylon, New York

76 months ago

I've been editing videos for fun for about 6 years and recently a relative of a friend has asked me to do some professional work for his business and wants to pay me accordingly. The job would be to edit 4 hours of video down into 1 hour. It's to be a promotional piece for his medical practice. The forums seem to suggest charging $25/hr. Can anyone suggest what a project like this would normally cost overall?

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Peter in Haddam, Connecticut

73 months ago

I have been thinking about doing this, but how do I publicize it to people?

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Adam in West Babylon, New York

73 months ago

Well first of all I think you need a customer. The first one will help you via word of mouth if you request it. I started simply by making them for free for friends (.. but that was easy because I took the video myself with friends while on art history trips to various countries in Europe). Friends and family of those on the trip were impressed with my work and have asked me to do anything from simply conversion from VHS to DVD to revamping old videos of family events that were poorly done by professionals.

I'd suggest you go to the people that you know and ask them to suggest you to their friends, family and business partners. Once you get that going, start a corporation so that they can make checks out to your company. You'll find more potential customers that way since they'll be able to write those checks off their taxes as a business expense.

Get a website up too. You'll create an image that will draw more work if you have a place to advertise with rates and samples of your work that anyone in the world can access from their computer at home.

Good luck to you!

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Adam in West Babylon, New York

72 months ago

I'm afraid you'll have to ask someone who lives much closer to you unless you plan on coming to America. You should do well over there though. Make sure you have an Apple Computer and the program Final Cut Pro. Let me know how much you make... maybe I'll move to India (I do like the food!).

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Ricker in Valrico, Florida

45 months ago

You DON'T need a Mac anymore!!.. This isn't the 80's!!!

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LouTheArtist in Cherry Hill, New Jersey

44 months ago

I produce TV commercials out of my house. I have been doing that back to back on a dell laptop for the past 2 years. And it has been not the greatest experience. Now I have a new 17" macbook pro and it's like going from bullxxxx to total awesomeness!!! Video editing works well on a PC that is specifically built for it. But on a mac is like being in a dream! lol... And this is my Third mac and my 5th pc, and that last laptop I got 2 years ago, that was my last pc ever! No more PC for me. And the only reason I got it was because at the time I could not get a new mac. I was FCP on a G4 before this pc.

Anyway I found this discussion while looking for what to charge for this edit that I'm about to do. Because all the commercials I do are like a full production price and this edit that I'm about to do is going to be per hour.

It's a pageant that was shot from 3 cameras. Luckily all 3 cameras were the same. I'm pretty sure this edit will take about 40hours including creating the poster for the DVD and the Graphics for the disk as well as all the text titles and all that good stuff. It should be about an hour and a half DVD when I'm done.

So I'm going to charge him $25/hr just because it's such a time consuming project. I'm thinking "Quantity of hours lower price" kind of theory.

The last pageant I edited from a 3 cam shoot took me 60 hours with all DVD graphic work included. But I'm back on a mac now so it should help speed things up :-)

What do you guys think about that price for 40 hours?

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Mydezine in Bronx, New York

44 months ago

That's pretty good for 40 hrs, but if you've already done several similar projects, I'd charge $35 -$40 per hour. Don't sell yourself short in this economy. Your experience is worth the money and remember, your clients don't have to know how much easier it is for you on your Mac compared to the PC you used to have.

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LouTheArtist in Cherry Hill, New Jersey

44 months ago

yes you're right, I'm not going to drop the price that low.
I know they are getting something good that they will be satisfied with so I'll bump it a few dollars. Thanks for the feedback.
Lou-

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tjdavis in Stone Mountain, Georgia

43 months ago

LouTheArtist in Cherry Hill, New Jersey said: I produce TV commercials out of my house. I have been doing that back to back on a dell laptop for the past 2 years. And it has been not the greatest experience. Now I have a new 17" macbook pro and it's like going from bullxxxx to total awesomeness!!! Video editing works well on a PC that is specifically built for it. But on a mac is like being in a dream! lol... And this is my Third mac and my 5th pc, and that last laptop I got 2 years ago, that was my last pc ever! No more PC for me. And the only reason I got it was because at the time I could not get a new mac. I was FCP on a G4 before this pc.

Anyway I found this discussion while looking for what to charge for this edit that I'm about to do. Because all the commercials I do are like a full production price and this edit that I'm about to do is going to be per hour.

It's a pageant that was shot from 3 cameras. Luckily all 3 cameras were the same. I'm pretty sure this edit will take about 40hours including creating the poster for the DVD and the Graphics for the disk as well as all the text titles and all that good stuff. It should be about an hour and a half DVD when I'm done.

So I'm going to charge him $25/hr just because it's such a time consuming project. I'm thinking "Quantity of hours lower price" kind of theory.

The last pageant I edited from a 3 cam shoot took me 60 hours with all DVD graphic work included. But I'm back on a mac now so it should help speed things up :-)

What do you guys think about that price for 40 hours?

ok! I want to know i'm a amature in this feild someone wants to video me but i don't have a clue how much should i charge for this because i never did no kind of video with a producer. i did something at my friend video shoot and the producers that was there like what i did and told my friend to call and ask me to do a video shoot and they will pay me because they like me. so please someone respone

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LouTheArtist in Merchantville, New Jersey

43 months ago

hi tjdavis, it depends on what you do, and how you do it. Then we can tell you how much to charge.

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DAArenas in Parsippany, New Jersey

43 months ago

Haha this forum is awesome, it's like the "All you need to know about the commercial business, which computer is better for editing videos" forum! So this potential client told me that he wants to do a commercial, because he saw some of my editing videos samples here---->( www.youtube.com/DiegoAMedia ) and liked my style, it's going to be my first commercial (I have done other videos with people in it, and made it look like a movie not just graphic fx). This forum taught me a lot! and someone should thank you guys, and that would be me, thank you guys! I do have 2 questions though, I am very creative, and the idea that I pitched to the potential client really liked it, so I'll be directing the commercial, as well as editing it, so should I charge more? and another question! what if I wanted to put a song that goes perfectly with the commercial without the artists consent? (but it was sampled to fit with the commercial) or should I just simply contact the company and try to work something out with them because of the art licensing?

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PC GUY in Nesconset, New York

43 months ago

Gene in Yonkers, New York said: oh quite the contrary Mr. Yes, you CAN do this on a PC but everyone in the graphics industry knows that Mac is KING. PC's are for accounting and Microsoft Excel. Not art stuff.

I have a PC for $500 dollars that I bought. 8gb processor decent video card and I am able to do WAY more than I could imagine. I work visual effects and run after effects, illustrator and photoshop. no i cant run final cut, but i still have premiere and the "other" industry standard, Avid. So go ahead and shell out $2500 dollars for your precious mac book but i could have 5 computers for that same price and have 5 people working on those computers at once. SO suck it mac ;)

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Mydezine in Lindenhurst, New York

43 months ago

You get what you pay for. In the time you've bought 5 PCs or upgraded one 5 times, the same Mac is still working just fine. A PC is a less expensive option and I enjoy the interface just as much as anyone else. The fact remains that the industry standard means nothing if you don't like the system. I happen to prefer a Mac and since I started this thread, that's the platform the consensus is likely to concur with.

Now, how about answering the initial question which this forum was created to answer? How much should a video edit charge a client?

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pricanles@gmail.com in New York, New York

42 months ago

I have my own equipment, 5 years experience editing small jobs, my own. How much should I charge for a Teaser of 2 mins. The footage was given to me, therefore I had to make a story out of it. It took me a week because, the people who wanted this teaser were not clear as to what they wanted exactly. I did come up with 2 mins for a website, used motion as well. So, how much should I charge?

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pricanles@gmail.com in New York, New York

42 months ago

I forgot to add: MAC PRO and edited with FCP7. A week =50 hrs. Any feedback will help.

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victor in Norristown, Pennsylvania

42 months ago

Hey hi everyone i was just wondering how much should i charge my uncle for editing some videos he had in total it came up in 4 dvds and well this are my first video editing and i don't know how much should i charge, ( i didn't actually edit the video i guess i just put a menu in all dvds and in one of them a slideshow lol) how much should i charge anyone please!!! thank you.

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carlos C in Brooklyn, New York

42 months ago

i thoght this was for editing not that stupid mac versus pc crap, that is so stupid when you think of it, if you know what you are doing or study what you are doing you can do it on any dam computer, i have macs but i run windows xp 64 on it and love it so come on guys get with it allready, stop fighting over silly platform crap and tell me how much should i charge for a 30 min. tv show please.

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cory1088

42 months ago

I've been filming/editing as a hobby since I was about 10 years old. I'm 22 now and starting a production co. and don't know how much to charge for an hourly rate...most of the videos ill make will be for small business owners, surf, skate. I don't want to overcharged and not get their business, but I also don't want to under sell myself. Any suggestions?

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Fep3rd in Memphis, Tennessee

41 months ago

I have just start my graphic company and I am leaning more to the editing side...since I have been doing it for 2 yrs for my church, and now I am getting jobs because of it; what do I charge for a 30 minute tv spot and for 3 min commercial to which I am doing all the graphic shots and all? Thank for any help on this.

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videoprof in Walled Lake, Michigan

41 months ago

I always evaluate the company or person first before I throw out a fee. But I do have limits too. Basically, to edit, I charge between $400 and $750 per day depending on projects and company. Hey, hence the "negotiate" was invented.

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DLW1994 in Aberdeen, Washington

41 months ago

Hello, I've been making videos for for a little over 4 years now. I have mastered FCP, and have my own camera,lights,tripods. ETC. I have never been paid for any of my work. (I have started a successful youtube channel.) But mostly I liked edited things like Explosions and muzzle flashes And making titles. all 100% mastered. But I Really want to start making a career out of it, I just turned 17, and i've read that getting into this career path is to hard, and most do not succeed In having a stable income from production, but the only thing that has really got my full attention and effort is production, I LOVE IT! any suggestions on how to make this a career?

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progrocktv@hotmail.com in Broomfield, Colorado

41 months ago

@DLW1994,
17, that's too old!! (JUST KIDDING!) Whoever wrote that most don't succeed in having a stable income in production is full of bull! I know several people who are full time production people, work freelance full time and have RARELY been out of work (okay one guy took a year off but that was his choice). Competitive? Yes. Hard? Not necessarily if you play your cards right. First off you're still VERY young, but what you have going is a good start. (Heck when I was 17....alright I WAS a video nerd at that age, but most people who were my age were most concerned with where they last left the bong, but I digress) Anyways when you are ready to venture out in to "career world" most important is keep a good database of connections. The freelancers I know keep a pool of about 5 or 6 clients they get steady work from on a regular basis. If one of those clients drops out, that's where your other connections come into play to fill the slot that dropped out. But keep 5 or 6 (or as many as you can handle) going and you'll be pretty steady. Second, build a reel (pretty self explanatory) third use your age to your advantage. Volunteer, look to see if your area has a local Public Access cable TV station (A GREAT way to build your production skills, or things to add to your reel), or talk with production houses, Producers, camera people, editors, etc. Many may brush you off and say "eh, he's a 17 year-old kid" but stick with it and show you are serious because someone WILL notice you and at 17 you WILL create quite an impression on someone because you are a young kid showing interest and talent. I should know because this happened to me!

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JC in Salinas, California

40 months ago

Hello, I'm a video editor/videographer I have no idea how much to charge by the hour. So far i just charge my clients depending on how long and how much effects they want on there video.

Here's a sample of my work:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyfctKAebPA

Hope to get s response.

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Lobo Unplugged in Missoula, Montana

40 months ago

It was very interesting reading all these comments about pricing and which computer is best.

All I got to say is thanks to all who shared their price range for projects and congrats on your success thus far. I charge projects per projects and not per hour but I've been asked to do a gig video shoot and that unfortunately can't really be done per project because it is so scattered and the hours I would be spending wouldn't be much, thus hearing how much you guys are charging per hour was quite refreshing actually.

Now, in regards to what computers would work best ... The truth is if we had the money, we would buy the best computers we could and even make sure that they are built for Film, but not all of us have money stashed for upgrades so here is my thought on that - If the computer you have is working for you at the moment and you don't need anything else that wouldn't make your work any greater then be happy with what you have whether you're a MAC or a PC filmmaker.

Now, instead of upgrading constantly ... have you ever thought of overclocking to get the best of your PC or MAC? You'd be surprised at how powerful your PC or MAC can be once overclocked and still keept cooled.

I own a PC and if I had money I'd own a top of the line PC and MAC but my PC is fine because it does what it is supposed to for me.

It's good to have a great PC or MAC but you also have to make sure to have a great Camera and if you can afford of course, add the Letuse Extreme as a lenz and your creative mind behind the project and you're truly set.

Great projects have been completed with what the production or small business could only afford at at the time.

I am just happy I have a PC that runs great and is a powerhouse that runs HD really well. And that I have a top of the line Camera that can shoot HD whenever I want. Though I'd love the Letux Extreme as an add on, it will come later on and most importantly; thanks for the price input everyone.

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Tio Pelon in Albuquerque, New Mexico

40 months ago

DAArenas in Parsippany, New Jersey said: what if I wanted to put a song that goes perfectly with the commercial without the artists consent? (but it was sampled to fit with the commercial) or should I just simply contact the company and try to work something out with them because of the art licensing?

Um, hope you didn't do that. I was audio / score / music supervisor guy on an Indie rom-com project and had to secure licensing for two contributing artists. You've entered the can-of-worms zone using unlicensed material. Here's some affordable music: www.reverbnation.com/ericstjohn

But that's not why I visited this page. I, too require competitive ballpark -not "it depends" -bidding so I can land a spot as a regular freelancer doing basic video cutting with an agency that owns its own production studio. They're expanding their stable of editors and I need to appear as if I do, in fact, know what I'm doing. I just don't do the motion graphic thing yet so I realize that's a deficit.

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Tio Pelon in Albuquerque, New Mexico

40 months ago

DLW1994 in Aberdeen, Washington said: Hello, I've been making videos for for a little over 4 years now. I have mastered FCP, and have my own camera,lights,tripods. ETC. I have never been paid for any of my work. (I have started a successful youtube channel.) But mostly I liked edited things like Explosions and muzzle flashes And making titles. all 100% mastered. But I Really want to start making a career out of it, I just turned 17, and i've read that getting into this career path is to hard, and most do not succeed In having a stable income from production, but the only thing that has really got my full attention and effort is production, I LOVE IT! any suggestions on how to make this a career?

To quote another: "If you love what you do for a living, you'll never work a day in your life." Hat's off to ya, young'un. I'm a late bloomer without as much experience as you. (I on the other hand have had to eat for the last fifty years.) You've got a long road ahead of you. Sorry I couldn't give you the answer you were really looking for. I've gathered that the pricing is the standard, "it depends." What a crock.
AND I'M ON A G5 2.3 DUALLY NONFRIKKIN INTEL REAL MAC WITH FCP and PREMIERE PRO. And I ain't lookin' back!

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Larry Smiley-El in Houston, Texas

38 months ago

Thanks for the input everyone. My background is in audio (over 20 years) and I recently upgraded to video graduating in the top of my class at one of the very best communications departments in this part of the country. I shoot with the DVX100b with a Century Precision Optics VS-06WA-DVX 0.6X Wide Angle Adapter Lens, drive an Avid Media Composer/ Pro Tools LE, and built a 3.1GHz i5 Quad Core-8gig RAM-Quadro 1700 FX PC with 2 full HD monitors and HDTV. I use After Effects for motion graphics and Photoshop for a lot of the text titles. I have lights, the pro tripod, an on-location 12 channel audio console, wireless and hardwired lav and stick mics, green screen...
I have TV show episodes on Public Access that I am told is very good, both creatively and technically; I shot some Hip Hop concerts (Candy Redd, Slim Thug, Z-Ro... to name some) and some local Rock concerts, TV shows, reality TV pilots... I've done weddings, youth sports, church videography, night clubs... And I still have the problem of people not wanting to pay me. What am I doing wrong? I charge $500 per song (I produce music), studio time, editing, mixing and mastering included; and $45 an hour for video editing or if I produce the whole project, $500 per day for shooting it, editing it, and doing the finishing (color correction, etc.). What am I doing wrong?

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progrocktv@hotmail.com in Littleton, Colorado

38 months ago

I wouldn't say it's that you are doing anything WRONG per se, in this industry you will always deal with offers from people not wanting to pay you. I still deal with this ALL of the time. People want quality work, for free and done yesterday. Worse case is when a filmmaker spoke to me about editing his production and offered me the opportunity for ME to invest money in his production for the honor of being able to edit it. I asked what the return of investment on my end would be and explained to me I wouldn't see any of the money back, but I get the chance to work on a soon to be high profile project (I get offers to work for free on "high profile" projects DAILY, and certainly don't need another one!) I followed his project it went nowhere like most of these projects do. If you are doing it for experience, that's one thing, but you seem to be pretty well set up and probably don't need it (unless it's a charity or non-profit and are doing it out of the kindness of your heart). But you'll keep getting these guys and just have to dodge them. If anything I'd up your rate a slight bit. Lower rates can tend to track the "I want my video for free" crowd and if you are pretty confident in your skills, up your rate so show you are serious.

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Larry Smiley-El in Houston, Texas

38 months ago

Thanks. I was actually considering that just last night after I received yet another call from someone asking for my rate for editing. She said she had investors and a budget and I could "see" her eyebrows slam against her hairline when I told her my rate. The TV station is actually giving me the referrals based on my work and the posting I put up on the board. Not sure why they think I'll do it for no money. I raised my rates a when I graduated. People's eyes always gravitated to my achievement wall and commented on my lack of certification. I invested in the certification and now there's another excuse hanging around somewhere and I can't figure out what it is. My wife and I discussed it a few months ago and thought that maybe we needed to break into another network. We have been trying that and no door has opened to my distinct knock.

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Larry Smiley-El in Houston, Texas

38 months ago

And, by the way. I was recently asked for input on a movie, also. I'll just say this: once I read the script I basically tried to talk them out of doing it. I also pulled my music from the soundtrack and told them the script was missing too many of the basic elements that induce people to sit through the movie to the end, all to no avail. There's one character that tells it all. He's a 50 year old doctor who sounds not only like the person that wrote the script, but just like all of the other characters, gang members and all. I just redirected the resources I was going to contribute somewhere else. I would be paid on the back end and get the credit at the least. I don't need that kind of "credit."

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Timtheboy in Union Grove, Wisconsin

37 months ago

Gene in Yonkers, New York said: oh quite the contrary Mr. Yes, you CAN do this on a PC but everyone in the graphics industry knows that Mac is KING. PC's are for accounting and Microsoft Excel. Not art stuff.

Its true, Mac is king but I use a AMD 6 core, 1tb hd, 12 ram, 5770 video card, and black star motherboard and I can make a heck of a lot more quality videos faster and with less lag than my preppy-Mac-ONLY student counterparts who think there's something religious about their Mac obsession.

It's more about the specs and less about the brand in my unprofessional opinion.

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FrankMcG in Belmont, Massachusetts

36 months ago

Regarding the whole Mac vs PC thing: it's not so much the hardware or platform capabilities as it is the mindset of people. I personally dislike Macs (a LOT), but the reality is that the vast majority of people in the industry use them and religiously expect everyone else to use them. Even clients who know nothing about video will expect you to work with Macs because that's just the stereotype they've grown to believe.

You won't know how ridiculous it is until you show up on a set with a PC laptop and see all the looks of utter SCORN from the Mac users. It's a cult and the unfortunate truth is that you're going to miss out on a lot of jobs if you don't fall in line.

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beck in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania

36 months ago

I recently graduated from college and received a freelancing job at an interior design firm to edit 3 videos.
The guy asked me how much I would charge him, but I honestly don't know how much because this is my first freelance project. I've done some projects during college, but only started editing 3 years ago so I'm not an expert but have pretty good experience through projects and internships.

I'm not sure as to how much to charge. I've been seeing that entry levels usually charge around $20-25 an hour. This is the guy's first time doing anything like this too, so he doesn't really understand what I do and how much to pay. Since I'm doing it from home and he doesn't know how many hours I would put into this, how much should I charge daily? Is $200 an hour alright? Thanks.

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Larry Smiley-El in Houston, Texas

35 months ago

beck in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania said: I recently graduated from college and received a freelancing job at an interior design firm to edit 3 videos.
The guy asked me how much I would charge him, but I honestly don't know how much because this is my first freelance project. I've done some projects during college, but only started editing 3 years ago so I'm not an expert but have pretty good experience through projects and internships.

I'm not sure as to how much to charge. I've been seeing that entry levels usually charge around $20-25 an hour. This is the guy's first time doing anything like this too, so he doesn't really understand what I do and how much to pay. Since I'm doing it from home and he doesn't know how many hours I would put into this, how much should I charge daily? Is $200 an hour alright? Thanks.

That's really your call. You are going to have to figure out what your time is worth. The formula I use is in three parts: expenses+time+premium=rate. Me personally, the expenses and my time are not on the table for negotiation. Depending on how a potential client treats me initially determines if my rate will include the full 40% premium mark-up (you'll find this as a standard mark-up in any basic business book)or will be somewhere closer to a 15% mark-up. I also use this part of my pricing strategy as a cushion to negotiate with. It gives me maximum flexibility because I'm OK in regards to what my fee is and the expenses I may incur. If someone needs a break, this is where I can give them one. The trick is you have to find your sweet spot and it's based on what your time is worth to you. Some people are OK with working at Home Depot for $15/ hr. If you're OK with trading your hours for $15 each, then include your charge in the overall rate. The expenses are what they are. If you use an editor like Avid you'll be provided with exactly how much time you spend and what you actually do on the project.

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beck in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania

35 months ago

Thank you!

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Yay in Nyack, New York

35 months ago

Gene in Yonkers, New York said: oh quite the contrary Mr. Yes, you CAN do this on a PC but everyone in the graphics industry knows that Mac is KING. PC's are for accounting and Microsoft Excel. Not art stuff.

Actually Macs are terrible for CGI. PC's make all the 3D animated movies, not Macs. A Mac is just a PC nowadays, but with different drivers and software that protect the components and allow them to last longer. If you knew how the components were working, you could build a PC that blows away any Mac, plus you could use Avid for editing!

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Yay in Nyack, New York

35 months ago

DEAR ALL.....

I have been asked to provide a rate "per finished minute" for editing footage I did not shoot, have not seen, and have not received any information about, other than it is a wedding shot on miniDV. My plan was to find out more about the project (I sent some questions to be answered), then provide an estimate based on how much time would need to be put into the project. Is it a standard practice to provide a rate based on "finished minute"?

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Larry Smiley-El in Houston, Texas

35 months ago

Yay in Nyack, New York said: DEAR ALL.....

I have been asked to provide a rate "per finished minute" for editing footage I did not shoot, have not seen, and have not received any information about, other than it is a wedding shot on miniDV. My plan was to find out more about the project (I sent some questions to be answered), then provide an estimate based on how much time would need to be put into the project. Is it a standard practice to provide a rate based on "finished minute"?

I've seen this before. I have seen rates from $300 to $1,000 per finished minute on the freelance circuit. BUT. When I sat down with a calculator and my rate card it quickly became apparent that these type of rates were or had to be based on a well oiled machine. There's a time-to-production balance that has to be struck to make this price strategy work for you. That's a difficult balance to strike if you're out of your normal workflow or not in control of the way the project was shot. If it wasn't shot with the editor in mind... I did a wedding once that I had to have an untrained cam-op help me with and it didn't turn out as well as it could have because my editing options were limited in relation to the cam-op's footage-that made editing take longer than usual. The only projects that I have successfully used a PPFM strategy were with music videos. Weddings and such? You might only agree to 6 hours, but you may be there for 7. Throws it off every single time.

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Yay in Nyack, New York

35 months ago

Larry Smiley-El in Houston, Texas said: I've seen this before. I have seen rates from $300 to $1,000 per finished minute on the freelance circuit. BUT. When I sat down with a calculator and my rate card it quickly became apparent that these type of rates were or had to be based on a well oiled machine. There's a time-to-production balance that has to be struck to make this price strategy work for you. That's a difficult balance to strike if you're out of your normal workflow or not in control of the way the project was shot. If it wasn't shot with the editor in mind... I did a wedding once that I had to have an untrained cam-op help me with and it didn't turn out as well as it could have because my editing options were limited in relation to the cam-op's footage-that made editing take longer than usual. The only projects that I have successfully used a PPFM strategy were with music videos. Weddings and such? You might only agree to 6 hours, but you may be there for 7. Throws it off every single time.

Thank you for the quick reply. I am wondering if $300-$1,000 is a high rate for a wedding? What if someone wants a 90-minute finished video of their wedding (that I didn't record)? I also don't want to scare people off with a complicated pricing system. Is there a better way to estimate the cost of the project?

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Larry Smiley-El in Houston, Texas

35 months ago

Yay in Nyack, New York said: Thank you for the quick reply. I am wondering if $300-$1,000 is a high rate for a wedding? What if someone wants a 90-minute finished video of their wedding (that I didn't record)? I also don't want to scare people off with a complicated pricing system. Is there a better way to estimate the cost of the project?

What I do is this: I make $500 off the top for shooting, editing, and finishing the wedding. The reception is $100 (unless all a client wants is the reception in which case it's $500). The Love Story is $200. A custom photo slideshow is $50. $150 for each additional camera. $100 for expenses (gas and tapes). You will need to look into licensing issues concerning the music that ends up on tape. Believe me, they'll find you. The thing about weddings that most clients seem to miss from a financial side is that the project is a keepsake. They get it when concerns arise as to whether or not you can do the job better than Uncle Freddie with the Sony Hi8, but when it's time to discuss the price you all of sudden have on a dirty hat, burnt face, red and green sweater, leather glove equipped with knives... Just look around. Weddings run anywhere from $450 (videotape it and hand over the tapes on the spot) to thousands of dollars depending on what it's worth to the client. I personally think $3,501 enters into overkill. I've done one for $600. I've done another for $1,800. The thing that is consistently non-negotiable is my day rate of $500. I'm not coming if I can't at least get that.

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Yay in Nyack, New York

35 months ago

HAHA on the Freddy analogy...

About how long of a video do you provide for those rates usually? 5-10 min? Or a documentary style, minimally edited video of the ceremony? I was referring to $300-$1000 being a high editing rate, especially PPFM. For the whole project, that's low I would agree. Since I didn't shoot the video, would I not charge extra for a second camera (even though that is more footage for me to wrangle)? I don't know if the client was the one who got married, or if he just agreed to shoot the wedding and is left with DV tapes of the footage, but he appears to have budget in the low end of the range you suggested.

I was originally conceiving this as a documentary-style project, but upon surfing the web, most of the videos eliminate most of the audio, and edit together a 5 minute video to a sound track. I am being handed the project by a sound editor/musician, so I am assuming he will be doing the sound editing if the project is of the music-video variety, so no concern about licensing issues. He's not the client, but it would probably eliminate most of the variables of audio/picture quality that I might run into, right? It would also probably be in his interest to do it as a music video, which is why he's asking me for a PPFM rate, but if I'm not doing the audio, do I charge less? Even at $80 PPFM, for a five minute video, that's already $400, which means I start to look like that guy from your nightmares that if you don't wake up screaming, you might not wake up at all....or I'm just charging what I should be charging?

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beck in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania

35 months ago

SO the guy wants a price on the project not an hourly fee. He wants me to create 3 videos, 2 are 2.5 mins and 1 is about 5 mins long. he's going to provide the footage and VO.
I'm not sure what to tell him as to how much the whole project will cost him.
Help? Thanks!

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Larry Smiley-El in Houston, Texas

35 months ago

beck in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania said: SO the guy wants a price on the project not an hourly fee. He wants me to create 3 videos, 2 are 2.5 mins and 1 is about 5 mins long. he's going to provide the footage and VO.
I'm not sure what to tell him as to how much the whole project will cost him.
Help? Thanks!

Now I see why he asked for a PPFM.
Yes. I usually do the documentary style video as I have never been asked for the music video styled piece. I did have someone ask me what I charged for a music video once who wanted a wedding video. Instant hat and red and green sweater. Now that you say that I see now why that question was relevant... Don't get me started about music videos... I like to tell the whole story so I do a lot of things to do that.
First off, I would ask him for the music because essentially it's a music video. That one, I would treat it as a normal editing job, i.e. $45/hr to edit it, and then whatever the expenses will be. I ask what they will do with the finished project to determine what formats to export it as in that if they do it it will probably be unrepresentative of what picture/sound quality I provided. I only render once and that's to whatever formats are needed. I have a custom made program I wrote in Visual Basic that calculates my studio time based on what gear is used, what service I'm providing for what PPH, and the time it takes. I'm not sure what options are available for you in that arena but people will tell you QuickBooks Pro has that feature. I use QuickBooks but it's not as detailed as I needed it to be as far as project pricing is concerned so I made one myself.
I would treat it as a normal editing job because I didn't shoot it. I would ask for the music because my edit decisions would be primarily based on the music. And I would charge my editing rate plus expenses (in this case electricity and studio time).

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Yay in Nyack, New York

35 months ago

Larry Smiley-El in Houston, Texas said: Thanks. I was actually considering that just last night after I received yet another call from someone asking for my rate for editing. She said she had investors and a budget and I could "see" her eyebrows slam against her hairline when I told her my rate.

Larry, I usually work production, and what I was told by the folks in the Union is that you should always ask for a copy of the budget, and work out your deal in writing, before you do any work. The woman probably thinks you are going to do it for free because it's a public access network. Searching for better circles/clients is probably the way to go. Although it sounds a little backwards, sometimes working for a lower rate to get your foot in the door is worth it, but only if you can see the money in the future, because once people get to know you, they don't want to go through the work of getting to know a new person, and walking up right off the bat and saying you are certified yaddha yaddha might scare them off from working with you, because their budget is low. You might not ever get more money out of the person that hired you, but if they get you referrals, those referrals will have the money to pay you.

Thanks for all your help. I can see how tricky this is now! You can't just offer pricing, you have to put it into words the person you are talking to understands

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beck in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania

35 months ago

THanks for the quick response, and i'm sorry, I forgot to explain what the project will be. He will basically give me photos and random videos to create a quick promotional video for his company. He's going to be playing it in his show room, and sending it to clients and posting it online. VO and footage will be provided. I was thinking $250 for both 2.5 minute videos and $500 for the 5 minute? Is that unreasonable?

Thanks again!

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Larry Smiley-El in Houston, Texas

35 months ago

If there isn't a ton of footage to review, yes, I think that's pretty reasonable.

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SilverFox in Tualatin, Oregon

35 months ago

HD Editor with gear $125 to $200 an hour.
SD Editor with gear $ $85 to $125 hour.

If you are truly are good, skilled, fast and can really edit using proper esthetics and story telling, those are professional rates.

I NEVER charge less than $65 an hour even for my lower paying clients, but I've been editing professional for over 18 years and have a full editing suite.

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eric in San Mateo, California

35 months ago

Gene in Yonkers, New York said: oh quite the contrary Mr. Yes, you CAN do this on a PC but everyone in the graphics industry knows that Mac is KING. PC's are for accounting and Microsoft Excel. Not art stuff.

ur an idiot... ive been editing on PC/AVID for 6 years and it is just as good as MAC/FCP. ur just a geek.

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vaky12 in Ann Arbor, Michigan

35 months ago

I was originally conceiving this as a documentary-style project, but upon surfing the web, most of the videos eliminate most of the audio, and edit together a 5 minute video to a sound track. I am being handed the project by a sound editor/musician, so I am assuming he will be doing the sound editing if the project is of the music-video variety, so no concern about licensing issues. He's not the client, but it would probably eliminate most of the variables of audio/picture quality that I might run into, right? It would also probably be in his interest to do it as a music video, which is why he's asking me for a PPFM rate, but if I'm not doing the audio, do I charge less? Even at $80 PPFM, for a five minute video, that's already $400, which means I start to look like that guy from your nightmares that if you don't wake up screaming, you might not wake up at all....or I'm just charging what I should be charging?newtopshop.net/Pandora-Birthstone-Beads-category-5.html

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vaky12 in Ann Arbor, Michigan

35 months ago

did a wedding once that I had to have an untrained cam-op help me with and it didn't turn out as well as it could have because my editing options were limited in relation to the cam-op's footage-that made editing take longer than usual. The only projects that I have successfully used a PPFM strategy were with music videos. Weddings and such? You might only agree to 6 hours, but you may be there for 7. Throws it off every single time.newtopshop.net/Pandora-Birthstone-Beads-category-5.html

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