How do you make money editing?
I see more people talking about how hard it is to make money as an artist these days. The business models have changed rapidly because of the internet. We're all part of one huge experiment where the variables are changing before we can conclude our analysis of what is working or not. You can't make money streaming and with ad revenue like in the early days of YouTube oh 10 years ago. Tech is cheaper and information is more widespread, which leads to more competition. Social media is noisy and depressing.
The area I live in has a poor economy and the local TV stations dominate business video market offering commercials for $200 bucks or less. I can't compete with that. Nor do I want to because my best work is in documentary, music videos, and wedding videos. With the wedding videos, I also can't find a way to compete with the established high-end wedding video producers. The music videos are few and far between and usually $200 - $300 each, which isn't enough.
My goal is to supplement my part-time teaching job with freelance, remote video editing jobs, but it's extremely difficult finding jobs. I simply don't now where to look and how to be selected for the job over others.
I'd like to move into editing narrative short films, but I don't know if people get paid for that work and how well. Thoughts?
Really struggling here, any advice, or resources you recommend I am open to it. Thanks for your time.
State your rate, do a better job than anyone else can, then go to the bank.
Don't try to compete with the local TV station in a game where they hold all the winning cards. I'd say forget broadcast TV altogether, but, if that's an area in which you want to try and work, ad spots have no margins for you unless you're also a salesman for the time buys. Instead, look for specialty niche areas where the station can't compete or chooses not to compete. Locally originated programming, sports, info-mercials, that kind of stuff, where you bring producer director and editing skills in, and shoot in places where the Tv station doesn't already have sets and equipment. Stuff shot on location. Now that still requires a time buy to get it on the air, so what you need is to partner up with an ad agency in order to get their agency discount on the time costs.
I'd say as a general statement to forget broadcast though, and concentrate on stuff for the web. There, the playing field between you and the local TV is much more level, and the expenses are low. I'd suggest talking to people at the local newspaper, because most papers are building up their online operations and are always hungry for fresh, fast, cheap content that attracts eyeballs. Not just clickbait, but USEFUL clickbait.
If you can do the equivalent of a 3 minute TV morning show interview/demo piece, and turn it around overnight, the paper could probably use you, at least in a freelance capacity. You could shoot local high school and college sports, which is of high local interest but not something a local TV station or wide-circulation paper has time to handle in depth. More local radio stations are adding a web video component as well.
But also you could go around to local events, city government meetings, etc. and cover those "beats" as an independent freelance reporter would. You could do profile interviews of local people involved in the community, an easy and popular one that also has potential sponsorship money available would be a health series where you interview a medical expert on something they specialize in at the local hospital. Senior citizen issues are another area that carries growing viewer interest because of demographics. A lot of this kind of stuff used to be covered in local access programming, and local radio, but now you can also find an audience for it on the web, and make money by having a newspaper or a hospital, etc. link to the content you're generating.
Don't fight the TV station: BE THE TV STATION.
Thanks for the insightful comments. Leaves me a lot to think about and I agree, it's not smart to compete with TV stations. -Reid