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Scott Witthaus
Rate Q
on Feb 18, 2014 at 6:59:20 pm

Hi all -

Have a former student asking me what beginner shooter and editor rates are. He is good at both (PP and FCP7 as far as editing goes) and located in the Seattle area. I figured it's a day rate for a shooter and hourly for editor. Any ideas? Been a long time since I was a newbie and I don't hire shooters or editors. Thanks in advance.

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Shane Ross
Re: Rate Q
on Feb 18, 2014 at 7:38:02 pm

I can only quote Los Angeles prices. For an editor, they range from $30-$65 per hour. $30/hour is an EXTREME low end...what they call a "junior editor" rate...beginner editor. But many people don't hire kids out of school to edit right away...we still have assistant editors out here, and only hire editors if they've assisted. Because there are many things that need to be learned about editing for broadcast before one can jump right in.

Oh...and I am coming from a broadcast world. I'm sure corporate video is different. Not sure about those rates. I do those on occasion, but quote the same rate I do for TV.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Shawn Miller
Re: Rate Q
on Feb 18, 2014 at 8:20:36 pm

[Shane Ross] "Oh...and I am coming from a broadcast world. I'm sure corporate video is different. Not sure about those rates. I do those on occasion, but quote the same rate I do for TV."

Good point, Shane. I'm the opposite, coming from a corporate background. I'm sure broadcast is different... though there probably isn't anywhere near the amount of that kind of work in Seattle (compared to corporate).

Shawn



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Shawn Miller
Re: Rate Q
on Feb 18, 2014 at 8:09:10 pm

Depends on the job and how much experience he has. For a 'beginning' editor, anywhere from $25-$60 an hour (I think $30-$35 is the sweet spot though). If he goes through an agency, expect to get about half that. For a shooter, again depends on the job and whether or not he has his own gear (also what that gear is). I wouldn't quote anything less than $700 for a full day, or $350 for a half day... that's assuming that he has a basic video, audio and lighting kit (DSLR, FS100, AF100, lower powered lights, etc)... add 20-30% markup over anything that he has to rent (assuming he has to pick and return it). If he has a better package (Red, F3, HMI's ect), add an additional $300.

Lastly, these rates depend heavily on his reel and how he comes across to the clients. A good reel+confident, positive attitude can equal greater perceived value on the part of the person looking to hire for services.

Hope that helps.

Shawn



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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Rate Q
on Feb 18, 2014 at 9:25:50 pm

[Shawn Miller] "I wouldn't quote anything less than $700 for a full day,"

jesus shawn ye have it good. as good as I'll get is around $580 for the day off a minted client.
broadcast UK freelance for short form is well lower than that too.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Shawn Miller
Re: Rate Q
on Feb 18, 2014 at 9:52:23 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "[Shawn Miller] "I wouldn't quote anything less than $700 for a full day,"

jesus shawn ye have it good. as good as I'll get is around $580 for the day off a minted client.
broadcast UK freelance for short form is well lower than that too."


Wow, that's surprising. I would have guessed higher rates, because of the quality of work expected.

The higher rates here might be due to the cost of living. I think the average 1 bedroom apartment in the city is around $1,200 US. Also, corporate gigs tend to pay pretty well here... not sure what broadcast pays. :-)

Shawn



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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Rate Q
on Feb 18, 2014 at 9:57:44 pm

sure you're charging what you're worth there shawn. fair ball!

you're fully minted 3d/2d mograph with editing tho right? that is somewhat the holy grail to be fair.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Shawn Miller
Re: Rate Q
on Feb 18, 2014 at 11:37:23 pm
Last Edited By Shawn Miller on Feb 18, 2014 at 11:51:03 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "sure you're charging what you're worth there shawn. fair ball!

you're fully minted 3d/2d mograph with editing tho right? that is somewhat the holy grail to be fair."


Yes that is true, though I do a lot more editing than anything else these days. :-) In regards to why I think a shooter's rate in this town should be in the $700 range... maybe look at it this way. This is an area where several multibillion dollar companies have offices... many of them also have video needs. In the past, it wasn't that unusual for companies like that to pay several thousand dollars a day to produce simple, short, talking head videos. Obviously those days are gone, but (luckily) the notion that these videos have value has remained. So for many of them, $1000.00 for a full day of video production work isn't that big of a deal. $350 for a half day of work almost seems like free labor to them. In short, if the folks who hire you feel that you're qualified to do the work, then they shouldn't balk at that rate (it's usually not that much to them), that's why I say that $700 a day isn't that steep if you're bringing your own camera, lights and audio package. :-)

Lastly, I'm a fulltime, salaried employee right now. However, if I went back to freelance work, my rates would be somewhat higher... mostly because I have a pretty good idea of what big companies will spend on video production services.

Shawn



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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Rate Q
on Feb 19, 2014 at 12:50:30 am

[Shawn Miller] "In the past, it wasn't that unusual for companies like that to pay several thousand dollars a day to produce simple, short, talking head videos. [breaking in here, reality just broke] Obviously those days are gone, but (luckily) the notion that these videos have value has remained. So for many of them, $1000.00 for a full day of video production work isn't that big of a deal."

oh good baby jesus. does anyone under forty in london want to get in on this one.

where are. my. cufflinks.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Shawn Miller
Re: Rate Q
on Feb 19, 2014 at 2:46:05 am

[Aindreas Gallagher] "[Shawn Miller] "In the past, it wasn't that unusual for companies like that to pay several thousand dollars a day to produce simple, short, talking head videos. [breaking in here, reality just broke] Obviously those days are gone, but (luckily) the notion that these videos have value has remained. So for many of them, $1000.00 for a full day of video production work isn't that big of a deal."

oh good baby jesus. does anyone under forty in london want to get in on this one.

where are. my. cufflinks."


lol - I could show you invoices that would BLOW.YOUR.MIND! :-)

Shawn



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Paul Neumann
Re: Rate Q
on Feb 19, 2014 at 12:55:26 am

My favorite overheard price negotiation:

"Oh, and we don't have a really big budget."
"That's OK. We're not very good."

And the money materialized.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Rate Q
on Feb 19, 2014 at 1:10:14 am

that negotiation might not exist.

"Oh, and we don't have a really big budget."
"That's OK. I'm going to say something pompous internally as a fantasy, then I'll maybe try and get it to work."

no... wait. or.

"That's OK. I'm going to declare that we're not very good, then the entire conversation ends. because I'm a moron."

And the money materialised, in some fashion.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Paul Neumann
Re: Rate Q
on Feb 19, 2014 at 3:24:35 am

The client was Showtime and it was all done in good fun, but it certainly got the point across. Designers just poking at each other.

Though I like your version with the money materialising (with the s instead of a z). Makes it seem more classieriest.


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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Rate Q
on Feb 19, 2014 at 1:59:44 am

LA Promo editing - hard to go out for less the $600/day. That's at the client's facility. I never work hourly. Day rate or a flat fee based on a week or more. Me on my system at my place on my own schedule: varies wildly, usually a flat rate. Edit and produce: more than $600, for sure. But less than hiring a writer/producer and editor separately.

I would expect a camera operator + camera + minimal portable 3-point lighting to go for no less than $1000 a day plus another 500-600 for a first assistant.


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James Culbertson
Re: Rate Q
on Feb 19, 2014 at 6:49:18 am

[Scott Witthaus] "located in the Seattle area"

When I was starting out editing in the Seattle area in the mid-90's, I got $25/hour which very quickly went to $35/hour. Microsoft (as one example) paid around $300/day in the late 90's (to start). Now I get anywhere from $500/day to $700/day for corporate gigs ("8" hour day). A common hourly is $65 to $75/hour. I've heard of editors who are making higher day rates... but I like my clients, I can work from home for the most part, and the income is good relative to the cost of living up here (at least for where I live).

I'm probably a bit too zen about marketing myself and pushing my hourly rate.

I don't shoot much anymore, but $2500/day is the most common day rate I have heard recently amongst the pros I know (depending upon the camera). Don't know what the low end does these days.

James


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Scott Witthaus
Re: Rate Q
on Feb 19, 2014 at 3:00:58 pm

Thanks all!

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Jason Porthouse
Re: Rate Q
on Feb 20, 2014 at 10:03:29 am

Feck. I need to move. Rates are still about £250-300/day for broadcast editors in the UK, same as they were 10 years ago - at least in my experience - but it's hard to gauge because we don't talk about nasty topics like what you earn in the UK...

_________________________________

Before you criticise a man, walk a mile in his shoes.
Then when you do criticise him, you'll be a mile away. And have his shoes.



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