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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old November 2nd, 2006, 11:38 PM   #1
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Freelance editing for weddings

Hi guys,

I recently was hired by another videographer to edit his weddings. I was wondering if any of you guys have done this and if so what you charged. Currently, he is paying me $250.00 per wedding. However, it isn't really any heavy duty editing and everything is pretty straightforward. I usually finish in about three days. Also, still gathering up the nerve to post some of my work finally on this site. Maybe this next wedding. Thanks guys, as always appreciate all your help.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 02:50 AM   #2
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IMO you're not being paid enough...to me, the editing is the MAIN chunk of what we all do...the actual filming is the easy auto-pilot bit!
When you say it's straighforward, what do you mean? 1 or 2 cameras? how many hours of footage? snazzy intros, transitions? or will you literally just put the footage onto DVD with music and a few fade-dissolves?

but then on the other hand, how much does he charge the customer? i suppose he still wants to make $$$ too, so you can't blame him for charging as little as poss.

Personally I think you should get at least half the package amount for editing it....but then i'm sure people will have varying opinions.

cheers
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 03:30 AM   #3
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Editing rates (freelance) are going to vary a lot depending on the price of his package.....geographic region, hours of work, amount of tapes shot, your experience as an editor..

Let's not turn this thread into an argument on what one should be paid as an editor....rates were beat to death with camera op's a while back.

I think 250 is low for (3) days of editing but, consider the above mentioned.

What it always comes down to is.....what are you willing to do the editing for $$$????? .....and what will the company pay you$$$?????


I would edit someone elses wedding footage for 250.00 cash under the table, but only if it took me a day to complete it.

With my workload now days.....this will not be happening anytime soon.

I am counting on some posters claiming one should be making 50.00 plus an hour to edit wedding footage like yours......for another company.......sure, keep dreaming.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 05:34 AM   #4
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I realize that the cost of living where you are is likely much lower than Honolulu, but if you work six days a week with no vacation, you will only make $26,000 a year. The median income for Iowa in 2003 was over $40,000. Are you willing to work for 6 days a week at a highly technical job and get more than $15,000 less than the average household income?

Joe pointed out that weddings don't pay like big-budget movies. The reality of weddings is that the budget is only a few thousand dollars or less and paying the editor half of that is not viable for any company. Regardless, working for three days for $250 is a barely livable wage in most parts of the country. You either need to do the type of edit that can be done in a day or get paid almost twice your current rate.

I'm guessing you are paid as a contractor and don't get benefits?
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 07:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Mahoney
....I usually finish in about three days...
Ben, are those 3 full days of editing, or just parts of 3 days? Just curious, because if you're doing the editing in your spare time, like after work or on weekends, then that might not be a bad rate for a part-time job.

Also, would like to see your work, but I think before you post videos on a public website of someone's wedding, you should have their okay.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 09:30 AM   #6
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Hi guys,

Thanks for the feedback. The footage is about three hours. As well as those days are not full days of editing. If I sat down and got after it, I could finish in a day. It's also not in depth editing. Just cleaning up, adding some music, transitions, nothing really to major.

I am also doing this as supplemental income. I do make somewhat of a living off of my own weddings. I have yet to really dive head first into the industry because I am still in school. However, I am graduating in December from the University of Iowa and am looking to do this as well as other freelance work for a living. So, I was just curious as what was good to charge for freelance work as well as editing freelance weddings. I was also curious of if any of you got into wedding videography right out of college and how that is working out for you? Thanks guys, and I will definitely obtain permission if I post any weddings.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 04:41 PM   #7
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I don't think $250 is unreasonable for 3 hours of footage. Especially if it's just a side income. If you're editing because it's a side income then 250 is probably a great price for both you and the person hiring you. If your doing it because you have to make x number of dollars to afford a standard of living to met a average medium in your area, then that might not work in the long run. But looking at the entire situation as you described it, it's probably a great oppourtunity.

If you're going to graduate and do freelance work full time then you're already doing something that's really important to any freelancer: meeting and maintaining a relationship with a client. Build up a good working relationship with the person you edit for because it can pay off later. Doing quality work for every client will only benfit you.

Ben
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 08:08 PM   #8
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Ben,

I don't like to see guys work cheap unless they need a reel. It wrecks the industry. If you want a hobby tie flies, or play golf. If you are editing try to get $50 per hour atleast.

Mike
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 08:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike F Smith
Ben,

I don't like to see guys work cheap unless they need a reel. It wrecks the industry. If you want a hobby tie flies, or play golf. If you are editing try to get $50 per hour atleast.

Mike
Someone would have to be really really really good for me to pay them $50 an hour to edit a wedding. $50 / hour is great but most areas won't bear that for weddings.

I don't think you can neccesarily lump weddings in with the rest of the industry. Weddings don't have the mass appeal (per project) that movies, tv, and other types of production have. The same potential to bring in $$ isn't always there.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 10:41 PM   #10
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Here we go again....just like I knew it would in this thread....the ol', YOU should be making 50 bucks an hour for editing. Sure man....like you're getting 50/hr to edit.....

Well, if you want 50 bucks an hour to edit a wedding video....please start by holding your breath.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike F Smith
Ben,

I don't like to see guys work cheap unless they need a reel. It wrecks the industry. If you want a hobby tie flies, or play golf. If you are editing try to get $50 per hour atleast.

Mike
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 11:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Allen Rosenberger
Well, if you want 50 bucks an hour to edit a wedding video....please start by holding your breath.
LOL... I wish I could get a B&G to pay me $50 an hour for editing my own projects. I'm usually very lucky if I average $20-30 / hour. I've really been struggling with the idea of how much couples are willing to pay for stills... and not for video.

It seems with the cost of adequate equipment (couple of FX1's, tripods with 503 heads, cam lights, batteries, more batteries, couple senn g2 mic systems, iriver h320 (with RockBox rocks!), Dual G5 and Powerbook (that needs to be upgraded to MacBook Pro), 2 seats of Final Cut Studio, studio rent, other odds and ends (eartech radios, adapters, cables, etc, etc, etc), cost for assistant shooters and editors, advertising expenses, the list doesn't seem to end.. that it is hardly worth it in the end. I've really been trying to figure out how this can become profitable in the end.. which I believe it can.. it just needs a very strong business plan, strong marketing, and you have to be able to sell the services at the price you need to make it happen... if you don't book weddings, have other lines of revenue......

you know nevermind I'm sure you all get the point and this is getting too far off topic so I'll stop here. Good night. I need to sleep. Good luck all.
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Old November 4th, 2006, 12:28 AM   #12
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put it this way..
i dont get out of bed for less than $500 a day..
I work 18hrs a day and if i dont make $500 in that time, i stay up until i do...How much shoudl YOU charge? How good are you? Wht guarantees do u offer your clients? What backup systems do u have? What viewing processes do u have in place?
What do YOU consider editing? Staright cuts or full on music videos with compositing and hardcore effects? What applications do u use? etc etc etc etc

iiiiNoone an tell u how much YOURE worth.. only u can worl our what u think would be a plausible wage
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Old November 15th, 2006, 02:28 AM   #13
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I am from the Philippines and I do editing job for a wedding video production company based in LA. They have outsourced their editing process because of the backlog they have. So it is a good business decision to have it done outside for efficiency and economic reason.

We usually charge between 160 to 170 dollars for a full wedding video. The rate maybe too small for US based editors but it is good enough here in our country. I guess editing rates are relative to the economy where you are in.


Some of our wedding video samples are here.

http://www.weddings.neerod.com/clips.html
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Old November 15th, 2006, 07:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
put it this way..
i dont get out of bed for less than $500 a day..
Alright Peter, I'm sending you some tapes, you've talked me into your editing services. :}
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Old November 16th, 2006, 12:57 PM   #15
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Interesting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julius Tan
We usually charge between 160 to 170 dollars for a full wedding video. The rate maybe too small for US based editors but it is good enough here in our country. I guess editing rates are relative to the economy where you are in. Some of our wedding video samples are here. http://www.weddings.neerod.com/clips.html
Interesting... how do you handle music licensing? Does the client provide access to their music library? Is the production managed by intermediate meetings and reviews or mostly a hands off approach because they are familiar with your style?

jason
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