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Bob Andren
Rate for editors?
on Sep 14, 2009 at 1:15:06 pm

Hello. I'm putting together a budget to be included in a proposal for an hour long show, which I'll be sending to various educational networks (PBS, History Channel, etc.) and was wondering what the hourly/daily rate for an editor cutting on either FCP or an AVID would be for this.

I know rates vary from person to person, and are dependent on how much footage I will have and other variables, but I'm looking to get a general idea for a rate to include in the budget for a project like this. Most or all the footage will be HD.

Thanks.



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Shane Ross
Re: Rate for editors?
on Sep 14, 2009 at 5:23:42 pm

Location location location. BIG thing is, where are you located? Editors in LA, NY, CHI command more than the ones in OHIO...even if it is for PBS or History Channel. Cost of living thing. I can tell you that in LA, the average rate is $500/day. Average.

Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Glen Montgomery
Re: Rate for editors?
on Sep 14, 2009 at 7:45:20 pm

Shane, why do you have to use Ohio as the example for bottom of the barrel? We have enough problems with the Bengals to take abuse from you too.

Kidding aside, I think an important question is where you are looking to cut this, in a post house or in the home of a show staff editor? A budget from a company with more overhead to pay will probably end up in the $150-$250/hr range


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Bob Andren
Re: Rate for editors?
on Sep 14, 2009 at 9:52:28 pm

Hi, thanks for the response. If I don't get $ from a network, I will be looking to find an editor with an editing set up in his/her home. If a net comes through with money, I'll go wherever they want me to edit.


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Shane Ross
Re: Rate for editors?
on Sep 15, 2009 at 7:32:39 am

Hee...just picking middle of the country. I should have said MONTANA and poked fun at my own state.

NYC...then my range is about the range. But then you have to rent their equipment.



Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Bob Andren
Re: Rate for editors?
on Sep 15, 2009 at 5:20:46 pm

Thanks again Shane.


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Bob Andren
Re: Rate for editors?
on Sep 14, 2009 at 9:50:14 pm

Hi, thanks for the reply. I'm 30 min. outside of NYC.


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grinner hester
Re: Rate for editors?
on Sep 15, 2009 at 2:51:59 pm

As you mentioned, it depends on the editor and of course it depends greatly on market. The natl average for a freelancer is 50 bucks an hour. The average edit suite with editor is $175/hr.
This is more in LA.... less in Oklahoma.

I can tell you my rates are a bit skewed. My freelance rate is 75 an hour and my in-house rate is now just 100 per hour. It's because I now work out of my house, my Avid is paid for and I'd much rather edit unsupervised in my underwear than put on dockers and drive to a supervised gig that pays less.



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Bob Andren
Re: Rate for editors?
on Sep 15, 2009 at 5:20:11 pm

Thanks Grinner. I can relate to editing in underwear, much more preferable.


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Nick Hrycyk
Re: Rate for editors?
on Sep 16, 2009 at 9:31:51 am

Now that's a scary visual!

Nick Hrycyk
Digital Image Studios


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Joe Widmer
Re: Rate for editors?
on Sep 16, 2009 at 6:32:54 pm

Hi everyone. I'm Joe, a new guy. Been lurking around here a long time and just now decided to um, post some stuff.

Grinner, wow! People sure get their money's worth out of you. What a bargain . . . I've seen your work!

Looking forward to communimacating with you all.

Joe


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Ed Cilley
Re: Rate for editors?
on Sep 17, 2009 at 3:07:45 am

[Bob Andren] "and was wondering what the hourly/daily rate for an editor cutting on either FCP or an AVID would be for this.

I know rates vary from person to person, and are dependent on how much footage I will have and other variables, but I'm looking to get a general idea for a rate to include in the budget for a project like this. Most or all the footage will be HD."


Bob,

A couple other points. Once you determine the hourly/daily rate, you will need to estimate how many hours/days the edit will take. That can vary widely. Of course, the more projects you create like this, the more accurate your estimate will be.

The other thing to consider is the speed of your editor. I've had clients cut down the number of edit days because of a fast editor (which is good and bad - something we could talk about at some length). However, if I were you, I would be looking for a fast editor who can keep the project moving forward and the budget on target.

As far as all HD footage, that really doesn't change the edit time - but does affect render time. The edit itself shouldn't take any longer for HD vs SD. Of course there are many variables to take into account when dealing with a mix of video flavors, i.e., uprezing SD footage, handling progressive and interlaced, etc.

Hope this helps a little,
Ed


_________________________________________________
Anything worth doing at all, is worth doing well.
- Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield


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Bill Davis
Re: Rate for editors?
on Sep 17, 2009 at 6:43:27 pm

I'm going to say it again with the hope that it starts to catch on...

DON'T SELL TIME!

Really, honestly fight against this.

It penalizes you if you're good and fast. It rewards those who are inexperienced and slow. And it does little to value the experience and skill you accumulate over time.

A good editor who can do things that look great QUICKLY should be paid substantially MORE than someone who is inefficient - and time based billings honor just the opposite.

It's a fine system for accountants and administrators - and DEATH to the creative spirit.

Plus, it's the ONLY billing mode that guarantees that your critical inventory is always trickling away.

Bid the project. Bid enough to be OK even if it takes twice the time to do a GREAT job. Cuz in the end, that's what will make you employable.



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Ed Cilley
Re: Rate for editors?
on Sep 17, 2009 at 7:08:24 pm

[Bill Davis] "
DON'T SELL TIME!"


Bill,

I completely agree with you. Don't sell time. But the point I was making related to the original question, what is the hourly/daily rate for an editor? I know guys who are making $250/day and others who are making $600/day. Who do you want cutting your program? If you say 250, then you know going in that the project will take longer since the editor is most likely still learning the ropes. If you say 600, you are counting on that editor bringing more to the table - including speed and quality.

Since I'm fast, I shouldn't be penalized and make less money, true. But in fact, what is happening is that because I am fast clients are willing to pay more and get more quality programs completed. Is that bad for me? Only if the pool of clients is small and the number of projects limited.

When preparing a budget for an hour long doc, he needs to bill the time accordingly and shouldn't sell time, but the project. And the only way to do that is to know how much time every step of the process takes.

Ed



_________________________________________________
Anything worth doing at all, is worth doing well.
- Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield


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Bill Davis
Re: Rate for editors?
on Sep 22, 2009 at 3:47:27 am

(QUOTE: I completely agree with you. Don't sell time. But the point I was making related to the original question, what is the hourly/daily rate for an editor?)

Clearly, I wasn't clear. ;)

When I said don't sell time. I meant don't sell time. No, not just "don't" do it. Fight against it like you'd fight against a crack house setting up shop next door to your kids school.

And having/posting/establishing/listing on a form or writing on a wall an HOURLY rate is.... yep ... selling time.

OK fine, yes, there are circumstances where clients FORCE you to quote them an hourly rate.

Along with that they will have a great desire to restrict you by budget, by deadline, and by focusing the discussion on the numbers and metrics that define THEIR viewpoint. And their viewpoint is often antithetical to what they really want.

Which is a video that blows the competition away, creates real brand awareness and/or drives some tangible results.

If upon viewing it, they actually LOVE your work - then a client thinking about what any hour you spent creating it cost - or how many of those hours it took to create - it is as rare as hair on a fish.

So here's the secret.

You get to choose the balance of how you apply your brain to your work. You can let half - or even most of your productive time get caught up in pleasing the nice folks in the back office who 's jobs depend on comparing spreadsheets. They are important to keeping the customer, client, or corporation in business after all. But IMO if you go that path, at BEST you'll toil for a long time as yet another producer in yet another company.

Or you can take a shot at being the fine artist rather than the commercial artist.

And to do so, requires thinking differently.

And one part of that thinking, in my experience, is to do everything in your power short of resorting to violence - NOT TO SELL YOUR TIME.

Maybe I'm wrong. But somebody out there right now is getting $10,000 to make a 10 minute video - and someone is getting $250,000 to make a video of the same length.

And I guarantee you the expensive one DOES NOT have 25 times higher costs.

What it likely DOES have is people being paid for their reputation and skill at delivering results - and those cats are NOT working for hourly wages.

Period.

For what it's worth.





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grinner hester
Re: Rate for editors?
on Sep 17, 2009 at 9:18:55 pm

How's that work for ya when a place asks your hourly freelance rate? Some like to stick to that. Ya need to have one. Time is what we sell more oftent han not, like it or not.



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Bob Andren
Re: Rate for editors?
on Sep 17, 2009 at 11:20:57 pm

Thank you Ed, yes it does help. And thank you to the others who responded.


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Ed Cilley
Re: Rate for editors?
on Sep 18, 2009 at 1:49:52 am

You're welcome Bob. Sorry we kind of highjacked the thread. And with that said...

Grinner, How does that work for me? Well, I just got a referral from a fellow editor. The new client called and asked about an edit on his system. After talking with him about the project, he asked my day rate and I told him. He didn't say, Oh my God how much? He said, sounds good. I know I charge more than some editors in the area, but if a company doesn't want to pay it, they'll go find someone else and that's fine. I don't need grinders.

Ed

_________________________________________________
Anything worth doing at all, is worth doing well.
- Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield


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