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Assistant Editor's wage

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Sean Marin
Assistant Editor's wage
on Feb 5, 2013 at 1:05:14 am

Hi I'm working on a feature Documentary and am being asked to be the Assistant editor for the project...What is the Recommended hourly rate for that? This is a Indi project please keep in mind. But knowing what a non-indi wage and indi wage's can be would be great.


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Andy jackson
Re: Assistant Editor's wage
on Feb 5, 2013 at 3:43:59 pm

Whatever their willing to pay you.

It`s a buyers market.

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Mark Suszko
Re: Assistant Editor's wage
on Feb 5, 2013 at 4:59:49 pm

You should have a figure in mind based on your experience level and knowing the minimum you can accept to break even. Are you looking at this job as part-time minimum wage work, or your career?

If editing is your chosen career, you should compute an hourly and day rate based on how much you need to make per year, then negotiate jobs at that rate.

Working for lower rates may or may not advance your career - for every story you'll get here about someone working for beans and then getting a big break, - many more people doing the same thing are just taken advantage of, with no career advancement.

Internships are a little different thing, and they often DO lead to getting hired full-time.

But just low-balling a rate to get work as an assistant means you're not likely to ever make a living wage out of the job. You'll have to work a second gig to eat and make rent. Below a hundred a day, you might as well get your spatula, name tag and hair net and work in food service jobs instead. That's just the math.

There is always someone out there willing to do the job for less. Sometimes, it's so much less, they are doing you a favor, by keeping you away from a gig that would actually LOSE you money. Vague promises of advancement and future gigs are often just puffery. Ask for a fair wage, or define the job as charity you're doing pro-bono.

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Todd Terry
Re: Assistant Editor's wage
on Feb 5, 2013 at 5:12:47 pm

It'd be a little helpful to know the scope of the project as a whole. In some realms "indie" or "low budget" means eleven dollars... in other places it means $500,000.

So many indie producers think they are being generous by offering the crew lunch...and that's it. While others are more in line with more acceptible business practices.

You might ask over in the Indie and Doc forum... there might be more folks in there who are likely used to be dealing with this exact thing.


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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Andrew Rendell
Re: Assistant Editor's wage
on Feb 13, 2013 at 2:48:26 pm

A little bit of trivia for you to laugh at: over here in the UK if you want to be freelance in tv/film, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs will only allow you to invoice gross and not have tax/national insurance deducted as a permanent employee if your job is on an approved list. Assistant Editor is not on the list (in fact quite a few assistant positions aren't allowed).

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