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**LA ONLY** Freelance Editor's Day Rate Help!

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Kaypatch
**LA ONLY** Freelance Editor's Day Rate Help!
on Jan 2, 2008 at 7:18:51 pm

Hi guys!

I'm an editor from Ohio that just moved to LA to work. Back in Ohio there are rarely any freelancers out there, and I worked with a production company for 4 years and never had to worry about my rate. Here it seems very difficult to look for work cause a lot of people ask for a day rate(or hr rate). So what is an average day rate for an Editor (Jr.) out here? I'm not sure how you figure that out. I don't want to shoot out a number too low to sell myself out (Ohio is cheap living), and I don't want to go too high to scare off the employer.

If you are an editor, can you please help me out! I would be really grateful.

Thanks!
-Matt-


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Emre Tufekci
Re: **LA ONLY** Freelance Editor's Day Rate Help!
on Jan 2, 2008 at 8:57:55 pm

I recently moved from LA to DC but my rates as a junior editor was $75 an hour and as an senior editor it varied from $160 to $200 an hour. Don


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Mickie Shaw
Re: **LA ONLY** Freelance Editor's Day Rate Help!
on Jan 3, 2008 at 6:13:32 pm

Hi,

When I was looking for work as an assist. editor, the highest I heard of for entry level or newbie to LA with no LA credits was $25.00 hr. There is A LOT of competition for jobs. The shifts are often graveyard, and you may never move up into a full editor position at some shops. I was surprised at how many shows, that had budgets, were offering $10.00 hr or would want the work for free because some college new grad. said they would do the job for credit only.

Good luck and hang in there.

Mickie Shaw
Editor and Videographer
DIgital Mogul Media
digitalmogulmedia.com


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Patrick Ortman
Re: **LA ONLY** Freelance Editor's Day Rate Help!
on Jan 4, 2008 at 9:04:10 pm

A friend in the guild tells me he's $50 an hour for friends and between $100 and $160 an hour otherwise. :-)

---------------------
http://www.geniusmonkeys.com
(818) 653-9144


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Mickie Shaw
Re: **LA ONLY** Freelance Editor's Day Rate Help!
on Jan 4, 2008 at 11:09:25 pm

That rate is because your "friend" is in the UNION. Their rate is any entirely different matter all together. If your buddy can get you into the Editors Guild or you are already a member than more power to you. The guild has THE best editing rates. But don't expect those kinds of rates from a cable show or an indie production that is non-union.

Mickie Shaw
Editor and Videographer
DIgital Mogul Media
digitalmogulmedia.com


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Matt Capocci
Re: **LA ONLY** Freelance Editor's Day Rate Help!
on Jan 4, 2008 at 11:43:42 pm

I've seen a report show that Video Editors in the Los Angeles region make $22.70-$44hr., but typically $30hr. or a $200-250 day rate. Does this sound reasonable? Do companies negotiate if the rate is too high or do they run away and find someone else?


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Patrick Ortman
Re: **LA ONLY** Freelance Editor's Day Rate Help!
on Jan 5, 2008 at 12:32:41 am

Hi Mickie,

We're neighbors, how about that!

Actually, he really is my friend. Not my "friend" :-). And he is in the guild, yes. But he does a lot of freelance stuff around town and he never makes less than $50/hour, even on small indie projects.

Just like everything else, you can go with someone who'll cut for far less. I've heard of folks who only charge $15 an hour. Of course, you get what you pay for.

It's interesting to me that some people mention higher rates, from less expensive cities. After all, Los Angeles is a very expensive place to live.

I read an article a long time ago that said if you're a freelancer, you can take your hourly rate and multiply it by a thousand- that's about what you can expect to make in a year after expenses and overhead, etc. So, our hypothetical freelancer who only charges $15 an hour makes about $15K a year.

That's pretty pathetic, no matter where you live.

Now, I'm not talking about people who work a "job", and can count on 40 hours of consistent, paid work a week every week. I'm talking about freelancers, which is what this thread's about. As a freelancer, a certain amount of time and money is spent on overhead- setting up jobs, finding clients, investing in yourself, etc.

I didn't believe this formula when I first heard it, but it held my first year as a freelancer. My own situation has changed a bit, I actually employ people now. So I have no idea if the formula was just a blip or if it is something more than that.

I guess what I'm saying is, when you set your rate you really ought to think about what kind of lifestyle it'll buy you. If you're happy living in a cave and eating ramen noodles all the time, then yes by all means go for the lowest rate out there. I've never had a problem finding work, and I can tell you we certainly would never compete only based on price. And often, while we're never the cheapest bid, we get the job. It's about quality and the added value that working with us hopefully brings the client.

This helps us attract a better quality client, which allows us to do a better quality job, which then leads to still better clients... it's kind of an upward spiral.

It makes things a lot more fun, too.








---------------------
http://www.geniusmonkeys.com
(818) 653-9144


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Mickie Shaw
Re: **LA ONLY** Freelance Editor's Day Rate Help!
on Jan 5, 2008 at 1:09:23 am

If you can get someone to pay $50 an hour or more to asst. edit more power to you. You should post some names that will pay the rate you speak of so our fellow COW member and others can apply. That way they won't wast time with other outfits.

Mickie Shaw
Editor and Videographer
DIgital Mogul Media
digitalmogulmedia.com


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Patrick Ortman
Re: **LA ONLY** Freelance Editor's Day Rate Help!
on Jan 5, 2008 at 1:14:05 am

Ah, maybe I misunderstood. I'm not talking assistant editor. I'm talking editor.


---------------------
http://www.geniusmonkeys.com
(818) 653-9144


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Andrew Kimery
Re: **LA ONLY** Freelance Editor's Day Rate Help!
on Jan 5, 2008 at 7:31:18 am

Of course there are a lot of variables, but I'd say $2k/wk would be on the low end if you were doing a TV show. I know some editors who cut "behind-the-scenes" pieces for big films and were getting upwards of $50/hr (typically working 50/hr weeks). There's a lot of money in promo/trailer work as well. I don't know much about the other markets out here (corporate, wedding, etc.,).


-A


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Matt Capocci
Re: **LA ONLY** Freelance Editor's Day Rate Help!
on Jan 5, 2008 at 8:14:09 am

promo/trailer work is what I eventually want to work in. I really just want to get back to work, Period. I've been doing this non-stop for 4 years, and when I moved here I've spent a month looking for work (course it was Holidays and that sucked). If I can't get back on the controls soon I might go insane. Why can't companies just say how much they are willing to spend. It would make finding a job so much more easier.



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Steve Wargo
Re: **LA ONLY** Freelance Editor's Day Rate Help!
on Jan 6, 2008 at 7:31:59 am

[Matt Capocci] "Why can't companies just say how much they are willing to spend."

Here in Phoenix, it's common to list a spread of "$xxx to $xxx" depending on experience. They need to see your level of creativity, smoothness, ability to work without supervision among other things. They also need to make sure that you send everything out with correct spelling.



Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 has arrived and it's fascinating.


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