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Old April 13th, 2007, 05:40 AM   #1
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What to charge for editing

I've been offered an editing job for a church, basically assembling/editing 4 hours of video shot from one camera and making it into a DVD. This is a once a month thing. But I have no idea what to quote them as far as price.
I want to make it fair and not lowball it, but not blow them out of the water with something outrageous either, so I need a decent idea of what other pros would charge for this?


P.S. I should state that this is my first pro gig on my own. Although I have plenty of editing/shooting experience and do professionally at the place I currently work.
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Old April 13th, 2007, 07:45 AM   #2
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Estimated guess for you ... 70$ an hour for editing
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Old April 13th, 2007, 08:14 AM   #3
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how much do you get at your current job ?
i'd look more in the 20-25hr for a church - unless they are on national TV and/or you now get 50hr to edit ...

you could charge them a flat rate - which you would have to guess that it would take you X hrs to edit and Y hr to make the DVD - give yourself some extra time for those days that it could take a little longer ...
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Old April 13th, 2007, 11:02 AM   #4
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Do you guys include render time and stuff like that in those estimates?
I'd like to quote a flat rate as I think it would be easiest on everyone. But I don't know much about the project other then 4 hours of one camera footage to be made into a DVD. Right now I'm thinking maybe $150-200. That's like an 8 hour day at $20-25 an hour. Plus it's a smaller church. I don't think it would take me more then 8 hours. At least I hope not.

How do you guys deal with revisions as far as pay and everything? If they don't like something or want something changed? You know some people can start directing from afar and want to start adding this or that or whatever.

My current job is getting me for dirt cheap but I pretty much do it just for the benefits, job security, contacts and experience. I've only been doing video work professionally for about 9 months now and this will be my first side work.
Been doing it for 15 years as a hobby/indie filmmaker on my own though. Just never had to come up with a game plan for pay work before.
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Old April 13th, 2007, 11:34 AM   #5
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Four hours to load the tapes unless it's going directly to the HDD of the computer-clean up edit should not take long-I'm going to guess 2 hours or less (clean out long pauses-nonessential stuff) render author burn DVD say another 4 hours (again I'm guessing - workflow will be the determining factor)
At $25.00 per hour you've got $250.00 for a flat rate.
Not knowing the normal rates in the area and not knowing the budget the church has for this why not ask them what they have in the budget for this type of work-that way if they say $100.00 you know you're not in the same ballpark but if they say $200 or $300 then you've got something to talk about.
Of course they'll probably look at you and ask you well what do you think it would be to do it? I would say something like well based on my knowledge of what you want and what you do I would say somewhere in the neighborhood of $XXX.XX (pick your number)-you'll know right away if you're in the right neighborhood or not generally just by the look on their faces.
Remember you can always give a legit reason to move the number down but you can never find a reason to go up (in their minds).
IF you feel you can do it for $250.00 and that's what the job is worth in YOUR mind then you've got your number.
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Old April 13th, 2007, 11:49 AM   #6
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Hi Mike -
A couple thoughts - I'd look at the raw footage they want "edited" - are you going to be doing CC/post, or can you just intake the footage as is (reducing render time). Fixed cam on a tripod, or? "Experienced" camera person (or trainable - maybe offer a "training session" once or twice a year?) or whatever junior higher wasn't lighting the candles this week?

How much editing - is it 4 hours of sermons and they want a 1 hour "highlights" reel... or something where they want the whole service/sermon... just cut out the "dead time"?

I'd suggest you do a trial run before committing - you may find the demands/expectations are crazy (in which case your rates just skyrocketed), or you might find you can "template" the job and it's a breeze (and you just got some extra side income for minimal pain). Those two ends of the spectrum might have very different billing/fee arrangements <wink>.

Hope this gives you some things to consider.

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Old April 13th, 2007, 12:03 PM   #7
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What ever price you settle on, let me throw at you some golden advice. You should agree on a detailed timeline on about who does what to get you the footage. Because, if they delay, or you have to chase down the tapes or what have you, then you spend your time in addition to editing time. I don't mind swinging by and picking up tapes, but if I have to make three trips, we're talking time I could be doing something else. So, you might want to provide them with a cost of you doing extra non-editing work as well as whatever editing time you decide on. Other wise you might spend a lot of your 'last minute' time making up for someone else's lack of followthrough. Trust me on this one.

Don's advice of them putting it directly to disk is a good one. This will save them money, a lot of money, in the long run. And save you wear and tear on heads.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 09:45 AM   #8
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Stevens response hit on something I recently got stung by - Agreement on who does what!

I was asked to do a photo-montage set to music for the opening of a conference. My understanding was that someone from the conference committee was going to provide me with a CD of high quality, well labeled, and sorted images and I was going to work my magic on them to put them to a 5 minute song. I estimated 3-5 hours at my prevailing rate.

What I got was forwards of forwarded email, sometimes 5-7 layers deep of low res (some as low as 12 kb) jpgs, tffs, gifs,powerpoint presentations, MS word documents, & PDF files! I tried some PhotoShop enhancements and played with image sizing and fractal enhancement. I contacted the client and explained the problems.

Lucky for me I had one of those rare clients who understand fairness and responsibility. They authorized me to spend up to 10 billable hours and gave me creative latitude to trash unacceptable photos and go with the images that would make the job look good. I ended up spending almost 17 hours to get a finished product that I was happy with - I ate the additional 7 hours for personal satisfaction and pride. It was worth it for a cooperative customer that may have some additional business in the future.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 11:22 AM   #9
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Similar thing just happened to me last week.
I produced a training video where I work. It was basically screen grabs of a new software app. I was working off the draft version of the users manual, which I had nothing to do with.

At the rollout meeting, the question was raised at to when the final version of the training manual would be complete, everyone looked at me. Crickets chirping...

Try to get things as detailed as possible. As suggested it is a good idea to see the footage ahead of time. If they want a hi-lite reel, ask who is determining what goes on there. Unless you're a member you're not going to know the key points of the sermon or which singers to leave in etc...
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Old May 7th, 2007, 12:12 PM   #10
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Thank you for all your advice everyone.
This is good information I will keep on hand.
I'm still waiting to here back about the project.
I'm going to have to remind my contact about this or have him give me a direct line to these guys.
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