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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old September 10th, 2009, 09:47 PM   #1
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Hiring someone to edit?

Do any of you either pay someone else to edit your video, or edit for someone else. Just curious as to what the cost would be to have a basic wedding video edited.

I know I know, there could be many different circumstances, but lets say to get a final project of 60 minutes with good steady 3 cam video?

Even a ball park figure.
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Old September 10th, 2009, 10:51 PM   #2
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Figure out what you would like to earn for that time (be it hourly or by the project). Then add anywhere from 10% to 50% for the extra time and expense needed to transport the footage, send out reviews, and possibly redo edits.
I think its a slippery slope giving your work over to someone else not within your direct control (aka, an employee). What happens if they screw up? Lose the footage? Create shoddy work and skip town? You would have to negotiate rates for re-editing, high-def options, extra footage, etc. By the time you're done negotiating, you might have been able to complete the edit yourself.
That being said, there are many people who offer their editing services to me for less than the 'cost' of my hourly time. I just don't want to give over control of the creative process, as I enjoy the editing as much as the shooting. Your mileage may vary.
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Old September 10th, 2009, 10:58 PM   #3
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Figure out what you would like to earn for that time (be it hourly or by the project). Then add anywhere from 10% to 50% for the extra time and expense needed to transport the footage, send out reviews, and possibly redo edits.
I think its a slippery slope giving your work over to someone else not within your direct control (aka, an employee). What happens if they screw up? Lose the footage? Create shoddy work and skip town? You would have to negotiate rates for re-editing, high-def options, extra footage, etc. By the time you're done negotiating, you might have been able to complete the edit yourself.
That being said, there are many people who offer their editing services to me for less than the 'cost' of my hourly time. I just don't want to give over control of the creative process, as I enjoy the editing as much as the shooting. Your mileage may vary.
Thanks, I too enjoy editing when I am not swamped. This year I will be fine, I stayed caught up until just the last 30 days, and am now slowing down again. Customers know that there video will be ready in aprox. 90 days, so I will be fine.

I do know I am not as good as some are at editing, and wondered if they could do a better job, faster and in the end costing me less.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 02:45 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Denny Kyser View Post
I do know I am not as good as some are at editing, and wondered if they could do a better job, faster and in the end costing me less.

At the risk of beating a dead horse, i'll repeat the famous quote...

"Good, Fast or Cheap, Pick Two." :)


Basically, you need to find someone you trust, and pay them what you BOTH consider a fair rate... So there's no set-in-concrete answer for this one, unfortunately...
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Old September 11th, 2009, 03:52 AM   #5
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There are small outfits springing up all over that offer editing now. There are also tons of video editors located in Asia. There are LOTS of people locally in most cities that can be taught your editing style and can handle editing duties. Check the local community colleges to start or craig's list.

From a business point of view, you cannot make much of a living editing all of your own material, unless you don't do much or it is a hobby. I know. I do maybe 50 videos a year and it pays the bills, but that is about it.

The studios, etc that make "real" money (whatever that means) have teams, employees or subcontractors in place that handle editing and much of their shooting.

There are pros who make a handsome living doing commercial work, and they do much of it themselves, but they have usually been in the business for years. I know a guy who travels the world making corporate videos, and he is pretty much a one man shop. He has an in-ground swimming pool and gorgeous home in the suburbs, complete with a movie theatre in his home with concession stand for clients.

There are at least a few of these type of professionals who are members of this forum.

The largest studios in my area have 2-3 three full-time editors that churn out videos all day every day. I have a friend who produces several hundered videos a year, not counting the contract he has to produce 1k (yes, one-thousand) funeral home memorial photomontages per year.

In my case I have not learned how to let go and let others do the grunt work. Shooting and editing is for all intents a purposes a commodity that can be handled by any of zillions of creative professionals. The secret is learning how to manage the work, and not letting it manage you.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 10:02 AM   #6
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About $300 in my area, friend to friend, not really free market.

I like the Asia editing idea, I bet you could get stunning edits cheaply if you knew where to look. Anyone have any ideas?

An interesting note: I have a local buddy who was shooting; shorts, events and a very few weddings. He had to get a real job and interviewed and landed a job at studiocenter.com, the largest production house in the USA (with a local office), as an editor. He has been telling me the pace and accuracy (only perfect is accepted) required for professional commercial production is unreal. The editing suites are extreme high tech and real time speed. He has to fully complete/edit several projects per day. They also do all kinds of stuff I never thought of with a 24 hour turnaround. Need series of voice phrases to put on the voice chip for that new action figure line? Thats where it's done.

I think the point I was heading for is that a pro editing house could edit a 3 cam wedding in a couple hours. The only thing is that it would have to be done in another country to be affordable.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 10:49 AM   #7
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I employ a close friend I trust as a full time editor, he does all the syncing, ceremonies, reception footage. I do all the creative work and colour grading. I use use to edit 24/7 and had no life, now we work on a strick time schedual 8-5 and nothing more. We work together well and have a great time editing, making comments and laughing at mistakes. It's important to edit in business hours otherwise you can't put a realistic value on your time, editing your life away is not worth it. I'll never look back and would like to employ another editor as soon as financially possible. I use to think no one could edit the way I edit but you can teach others how to edit and all you do is direct which gives better results. Price wise it's totally up to you and your editor, find someone you trust and negotiate rates, don't just give away money you are the boss you own all the equipment and bring in the clients.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 12:12 PM   #8
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Great information here, and if I could get it done in the $300 dollar range and get it even close to completion I would do this in a heartbeat. I imagine if this is what someone did, every day, he/she would be very fast and good at it.

Its amazing how a 2 minute phone call can set you back so much when editing. I would like to hand the footage over once its put on the timeline, after I have scanned through each cam, checked the audio etc. Then maybe get it back and do the final touches and build my own highlight show.

Glad I asked the question, this could be something I will dig into. I run a business and do not have to take all the credit, if its profitable, I can live with someone else having some creative input.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 01:15 PM   #9
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I remember getting a demo dvd from someone...maybe from India or the Philippines?? I think I got it from WEVA a couple of years ago. As I recall, if you submit your unedited footage together with a sample of your finished work, they'll edit to your style. It was also around or below $300.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 01:26 PM   #10
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I remember getting a demo dvd from someone...maybe from India or the Philippines?? I think I got it from WEVA a couple of years ago. As I recall, if you submit your unedited footage together with a sample of your finished work, they'll edit to your style. It was also around or below $300.
Heck I would not send my finished work, I would find one of you guys on here who ROCK, and send them that. Make my footage look like this.... LOL
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Old September 11th, 2009, 02:57 PM   #11
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I am not really sure about this... I can't think of the time that we should give our material to somebody else to edit, since we have learnt to shoot according to our personal vision on editing (in other words, we kinda edit in our minds while we shoot). I couldn't imagine an "outsider" understanding our footage (be it good or bad, it isn't the point) and working with it as we'd like to. Of course it gives you much more free time, but in this business I knew I had to forgot about that, at least during summer.

But of course, if we're talking about the classic "shoot and run" approach, meaning a)Capture footage, b)Insert titles, c) Quickly remove the real bad footage and d) Burn as is on DVD, well I can do it pretty fast myself! :)
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Old September 12th, 2009, 08:11 AM   #12
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I've been working as a freelancer whilst at Uni and doing regular jobs for one of the local Wedding Production companies who sub-contract quite a few people.

For a basic one camera wedding edit (includes a second unmanned camera for the ceremony) they pay me AU$90 per hour of footage. So if they shoot 3.5 hours its about $300.

For two camera weddings they pay a percentage of the package price to the Primary shooter/editor. The second shooter (usually me) gets an hourly rate.

The company is targetted towards the lower-end of the market so the edits are very basic - Get rid of all the junk, lay down music, colour correct it and add a few fades and some black & white, maybe the occasional white vignette for good measure.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 10:41 AM   #13
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First, you need to determine the type of editing that you need. Do you want someone who just "slaps in" some basic stuff or someone who is very skilled and puts their heart and soul into their work. You're not going to get "heart and soul" from an editing boiler room. Another way to put it is: What type of business are you running? Do you offer a product that is basically just stamped out or do you offer higher end productions? Both are valid markets; only you know your focus and objectives. After you define your product position in the market, you can decide how much the appropriate style of editing services should cost.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 02:16 PM   #14
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I started in this business as an editor for someone else. And I know the all pains of it. Took me aprox. 3-4 projects before I get the style. But every since then there were always issues because I thought I can do that stuff better but it wasn't what the boss wanted really. It takes a lot of patience from the editor and be very flexible to do the best. I'm at the point that I have my own editor to help me out - my wife :-) She's a part of every project and helps me a lot doing all the reception editing. So if your s/o is computer-friendly then ask her for help.

I also found an editing company doing it fairly cheap for besic edits and price of $300 seem very accurate (aprox. 2 hrs of finished product without animations, slideshows, etc).
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Old September 15th, 2009, 04:19 PM   #15
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I am going to get some quotes from a few places in India to see what it will cost for them to edit footage to a final product.

I have had major success with Indian web site editing at crazy low costs. Im going to give one of them a chance to crap out a video and see what it looks like. My video style is "low end" ($2,200) documentary style, so I don't know why they can't duplicate it.

A few sites:

VIDEO EDITING INDIA - Film, Audio, Video & Image Editing Studio in India

Outsourcing Film Services to India

My business goals are to make money and meet clients expectations.
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