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Old November 29th, 2009, 09:22 PM   #1
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Editing Job Price Quote Help

Not sure if this is an ok forum topost this. But here it goes.

I film a lot of events, weddings, plays etc... However, I have never taken an editing job only. I have a prospect that has about 105 hrs of professionally shot footage and wants it edited down to a 2 hour film. Its a documentary project. All footage was logged so so it shoulndt be a mess.

The prospect said he can pay for the job several ways.

Pay for the time only
Pay for royalties only
or
Pay for time AND royaties

its all up to me.

Obviously getting paid for time and collect royaties would be a great deal. But my problem is, I have never quoted for a job like this so Im not to sure what the standard rate schedule is.

Anyone have any comments on how much they normally charge for a job like this?
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Old November 29th, 2009, 09:27 PM   #2
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This question has been posted many times before and the answer is always the same: it depends. You need to calculate your expenses and desired profit margin using one of the many free calculators linked to here in the TCB forum, and figure out your hourly rate. Mine or anybody else's won't be the same as yours.

Don't count on ever seeing any per-unit cash, so if it were me I'd charge an hourly rate plus a per unit fee, assuming I'd never see the latter. But it all depends on your personal situation, where you are in your career, how well you know the client, etc.

Last edited by Adam Gold; November 30th, 2009 at 06:50 PM.
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Old December 5th, 2009, 09:49 AM   #3
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The way I read a client's curiosity around this style of compensation proposal is:
- they will pay hourly IF they can't find someone who will take a percentage ONLY (leaves them the least on the hook financially if the project is a flop);
- they probably EXPECT someone to go for the hourly plus (and expect to have significant mitigating factors to lower the percentage/profits);
- if someone is willing to get paid AFTER the fact, based solely on sales, the client is MOST likely to go for this model. They have cash on hand BEFORE they are required to pay a cent.

If I were pursuing this project, I would only consider hourly or hourly plus percentage. Why? I know I'm getting paid SOMETHING.

If you go for points, you're essentially becoming a project partner, albeit a very silent one. If you have enough faith in the project AND the team marketing this bad boy AND can afford to never see a penny past the hourly if the whole thing derails OR the client turns out to be a flake, go for it.

If you go for hourly, expect the client to take the editor that is willing to get paid on the back end IF such an editor is available.

How much do you want to do THIS PARTICULAR project, how much time do you have to commit to something that may or may not ever pay out and how much do you need the money are the factors in this equation. The weight YOU give each factor should determine your approach.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 07:59 AM   #4
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I always ask to get paid for the work I do.
I estimate how much time I will need and then make a fixed price. If the project and amount of work changes during the process - we talk about it and agree on a modified price.

No IF's - no maybe's.

I want to get paid for what the work is worth.

When the film becomes a huge success - great, I don't expect to get more money.

If I want to become a partner in the project it is different. But most requests I get to become a partner is because the people have no money which means, there will be no money to promote or sell the film, ultimately flopping. From all the projects that I have been asked to participate in such a fashion, all of which I declined, none of them ever became successful commercially.
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Old January 18th, 2010, 06:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver Neubert View Post
I want to get paid for what the work is worth.

When the film becomes a huge success - great, I don't expect to get more money.
A lot of what follows is my RECOLLECTION of an interview I read well over a decade ago so forgive me if it isn't ENTIRELY accurate:

Canadian Singer Songwriter Alanis Morrisette had a hit with a song called "You Oughta Know" in the '90s. She hired Red Hot Chili Peppers bass player Flea to play on that one song and used her regular guy on the rest of the album. "You Oughta Know" was a runaway success that launched Alanis' career. Flea was interviewed later and asked if he was upset he didn't get part of the royalties as his bassline became a more substantial part of the finished song than was originally anticipated. His response was something like "I made triple scale. I've been paid."

A class act, if the story as I recount it is true.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 12:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Michael View Post
All footage was logged so so it shoulndt be a mess.
And I have some wonderful development property I'll sell you in Flawda reeeaaallll cheap!!

Seriously, 105 hours of footage is a mountain if you're used to sifting through 5-10 for a wedding. Charge for your time, have realistic goals spelled out in your contract, and don't be afraid to say no.

Food for thought:
If this project had a decent budget to pay an editor, I doubt they would be considering an inexperienced wedding videographer for the job. Don't take offense at this, I'm just trying to be realistic. There are hundreds of highly experienced editors all over the country who are starving right now because of the recession who would gladly do the job for a pittance. The last thing you want is to be in way over your head for $10 an hour plus royalty only to find out your not qualified for the job and won't see a dime because you can't finish the project, and in the mean time you've had to turn down 3 other well paying jobs you could have made a nice profit on. I'm not saying this is the case at all, I don't know you from Adam. I DO know how easy it is to see a chunky project like this and forget about being realistic because you really want to do it. I sincerely hope everything works out.
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