How much should I charge for a video?
The Justification for Charging an Hourly Rate
Charging an hourly rate is ideal for a freelancer. You will be compensated for every extra minute you work. I like charging an hourly rate because it allows me to be confident that I am not wasting time on a project that does not require as much work.
It is difficult to predict how long the project will take. And, as a freelancer, I’m well aware that some projects take far longer than anticipated. Charging an hourly rate frees you from the worry of a never-ending project with shifting scope.
Having a project fee locked in gives the client far too much power to change the scope of a project. The client will recognise that time is money and that they cannot afford to waste your time with ‘tests’ and versions.’
The Case for Charging a Flat Fee
Charging a fixed rate ensures a specific amount of money. If you charge an hourly rate, the client may decide to cancel the project in the middle of it. Alternatively, you may complete the project sooner than anticipated. In either case, if you have a fixed fee, you know you’ll make at least a certain amount of money for the project.
Working for an hourly wage breeds laziness and sluggishness. It would be a lie to say that when I charge an hourly rate, I work as hard as I possibly can for every 60 minutes of every hour. When I am paid a fixed fee, I want to complete the project as soon as possible.
To be honest, it motivates me to work harder.
To the client, charging a premium hourly rate appears to be excessively expensive. Especially It can be difficult to accept that your hourly rate is $80. But the client doesn’t realise that 30 percent or more of that goes to taxes; you have to pay for your equipment; and you don’t get any vacation or retirement benefits. However, if you charge $800 for a 10-hour video project, you’ve effectively charged a $80/hour rate. To me, paying $800 for a video seems like a much better deal than paying someone $80 per hour and not knowing how long it will take.
Depending on the contract, you may be able to charge for overtime if the hiring party is at fault. When I work on video projects, for example, we usually give them two rounds of edits – after the initial cut and after the fine cut. If they return with additional notes after we have provided the “final cut,” we will charge them a fee for failing to follow the process we outlined to them when they hired us.
What it looks like
We’ve arrived at a point in history when kids with laptops (or smartphones) can legitimately call themselves video editors. In an afternoon, they can edit films in their bedrooms and upload them to YouTube. And video content is used for a wide variety of purposes. As a result, university programmes and low-cost (or free) online tutorials feed hordes of eager digital natives. And they’re producing results that rival those of professional video editors.
A brief overview of video editing rates
Most editors were members of the Motion Picture Editors Guild in the early days. As a result, wage ranges and rates were determined by the job description and years of experience. However, the ability to make images move is now available to almost anyone. As a result, the number of editors who work on non-union, non-theatrical, non-commercial projects far outnumbers those who work on union projects.
We interviewed professionals at all levels from New York to Seattle for this article. We spoke with editors who work on scripted feature films, documentaries, reality television, long-running animated series, music videos, branded storytelling, Fortune 500 in-house and in-store pieces, trade shows, corporate events, weddings and bar mitzvahs, and other projects. And, while they all shared a wealth of useful information, it is clear that determining and obtaining your rate is a difficult process.
Because each sub-industry operates differently, we’ve divided the article into sections:
- Weddings and Special Events
- Branded Storytelling and Commercials
- Music Videos and Documentary Features
- Programs on a regular basis
- Scripted Films
Negotiating the cost of video editing
Before we get into how much a video editor can expect to make, let’s talk about one of the most important factors. How do you get the most money for your work as a video editor? It makes no difference whether you are a freelancer, a company founder, or a staff member. You will need to negotiate your rate at some point. Here are a few pointers to help you become a more effective negotiator.
First, learn about the video editor rates in your area.
Alabama’s rates are likely to be quite different from those in Los Angeles. The more information you can gather about what is “reasonable and customary” in your market, the better. You can find some information about specific areas on the internet (and in this article), but it is always a good idea to ask around.
Second, understand what it takes to get paid for video editing.
Consider operating costs like equipment, software licences, professional dues, advertising costs, health insurance, and so on. If you’re freelancing, you might be surprised at how many extra items you’ll require. And you’ll have to pay for it. Even if you are offered a full-time position, this will assist you in establishing a realistic baseline for what you need to make to at least survive.
Expenses and rates for video editing
Make sure you understand the terminology.
Check to see if you’re being paid by the hour/day/week/month or if the project is a flat bid “all in.” Many freelance editors and videographers do not use contracts, and if you are one of them, this guide will help you change that. To begin, when providing a quote to your client, you must know how long the project will take. If you’re new to this, you might feel like you’re throwing darts in the dark at first. However, estimating a project’s edit time should eventually become second nature—at least from your perspective.
How do clients influence video editor rates?
Think about the client; this is where things like versions, lifts, and revisions come into play. You must specify what is included in your price upfront, especially if you are being paid a flat rate. What if a prospective client approaches you with 125 hours of raw footage, 65 of which are interviews? They need it all edited down to a 30-minute documentary for broadcast television, and you must meet or beat your estimate. Otherwise, you’ll be leaving a lot of money on the table. Worse, if you’ve drastically underestimated, you’ll have to spend a lot of OT (as in, “own time”) getting it done.
Upfront information can assist you in determining your editor rates.
Finally, gather as much information about the project as possible ahead of time. This is true whether you are looking for a full-time job or a one-time project. Before you state your rate, try to find out how much they have budgeted for editing the project. Keep in mind that a “sliding scale” approach may be required. To create different rates for various types of jobs. Also, make certain that if you are accepting less money for a project, it is for the right reasons. It could be to establish a client relationship, land a high-profile job, or exercise your creativity.
Alternatively, if a client consistently requests a rate reduction, consider the axiom: fast, cheap, good—pick two. Then, don’t be afraid to remind them that if they keep coming back to you, it’s probably because you’re good.
Recognize how you’re being evaluated.
Pitching to a client is not the same as interviewing for a staff position. An editorial house will most likely have a salary range in mind and will be able to assess your skills. An external client, on the other hand, will be concerned with the project’s outcome. They will most likely be less qualified to assess your abilities.
Different metrics are used to compare staff video editors to contractors.
Most people speak in terms of an hourly wage when negotiating with clients. Even if you’re working on a flat-rate project, it’s common practise to multiply your hourly rate by the anticipated hours. However, this may be the incorrect approach, particularly when dealing with medium-to-high-end clients. You can earn more money if you frame the negotiation around value and risk rather than time.
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What Is the Price of Marketing Video Production?
The cost of outsourcing marketing video production can range from $1,200 for a basic video to $50,000 for a premium video, whereas in-house solutions typically cost less than $5,000. (for the equipment).
The decision on which solution to use is frequently influenced by the video’s objectives.
An explainer video, for example, effectively communicates a company’s unique selling proposition. Because this video will essentially be working on your behalf 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will most likely be on your website’s homepage, you want it to be of the highest quality you can afford.