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"Polishing" a director's cut for a feature film?

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Arturo García
"Polishing" a director's cut for a feature film?
on Mar 29, 2016 at 5:13:22 pm

Hello CreativeCow community,

I was hired as an assistant editor for a feature film with a ≈3 million dollar budget. The film was edited with a "more experienced" editor in Spain who I know charged 18,000 dollars to cut the film. The director is not happy with the cut and they now want to go over the entire film and "polish" the edit with me, in my edit suite, as they've liked two teasers I edited for them.

My questions are:

1. Would there be an extra credit for me in the film aside assistant editor?

2. Salary range in the US for "polishing" the edit for a feature film this size in your home studio?

Many thanks!

My life needs editing.

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Todd Terry
Re: "Polishing" a director's cut for a feature film?
on Mar 29, 2016 at 6:29:50 pm

I would say that you definitely deserve a credit. Whether it be "Associate Editor" or "Additional editing by..." is up to whatever you can hammer out with the producer. Obviously the credit shouldn't hint that your role was "corrective" in any nature, that'd just be bad form. Keep in mind that there may be a contractual obligation that requires the original editor to be solely credited. If so, then so be it... that happens all the time on movies (especially with screenwriters). Often there's a whole boatload of writers and re-writers and script doctors that don't get any mention at all, because there's a contractual obligation to list the original screenwriter as such. Just comes with the territory.

As for money... I'd say it is irrelevant that the film has a $3M budget, or knowing what the original editor was paid. That's not going to affect the quality of your editing or the amount of work involved (or at least it shouldn't). Just charge whatever your usual hourly editing rate is.


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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Mark Suszko
Re: "Polishing" a director's cut for a feature film?
on Mar 30, 2016 at 1:37:04 pm

Todd is right on the money here, on both counts. "Associate Editor" or "Additional Editorial by" sound like options for your title.

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