Editing Wedding – Flat Fee???

Viewing 4 reply threads
  • Author
    • #42792

      I saw an ad for a local wedding video company looking for freelance editors to edit weddings for them. The ad said that they don’t pay by the hour, only per job. They didn’t say anything about how long the wedding videos need to be, but I’m assuming somewhere around 2 hours long. They want to know what my "flat fee" would be, like what amount I’d charge per wedding. I’m thinking somewhere in the $500-$1000 range, but what do you think? Is this even a good idea?

      Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    • #179272

      Do you know the name of their company? If so, you could go to their website and get an idea of how long their videos are, how many camera persons they use to cover a wedding, and what they charge for a wedding. If the website doesn’t have that info, have one of your friends call them, pretending to be shopping for a wedding videographer.

      I would take a wild guess that for a 2-camera shoot, the most an editor could hope to get paid was 15% of the total. Of course, if you’re generating your own animated titles, and locating appropriate music, it could be more.

      (Disclaimer: I’ve never done a wedding. X-D )

      Good luck,
      Ken Hull

    • #179273

      don’t pose as a customer, you’ll come accross as dishonest and won’t get the job. I hate it when people waste my time. I love it when when photo/video enthusiasts want to learn. I view it as a learning opportunity for both of us. I encourage people and help them out if I can, and in the process keep a finger on the pulse of the local talent pool.
      do contact them ask for information. do research (find out if the owner/company been to court for bad work/business?)
      they need to know you can do the job and you need to know what the job entails.
      ask to see samples.

    • #179274

      Early in my business, I edited weddings for about 20 videographers across the U.S. 7 years ago, I was getting about $1300 per wedding edit. When I first started, it took about 40 hours to complete a 2 hour wedding video. I quickly got to the point where I could do it in 25 hours or less so my per hour income on the flat rate increased as I improved my system for completing the videos.

      Weddings are crazy because one videographer might only shoot 4 hours of footage that will be used to create a 2 hour finished video. Others will shoot 15 hours of footage to edit down to the same two hour finished product. Definitely keep all the capture time in mind when agreeing to a flat rate. A great way to save the time on the capture is to ask your client to capture the footage onto one of your drives (or theirs) that way you can charge them only for the editing time.

      Regardless, i wouldn’t stress to bad on what to charge. I’d simply tell them that you’ll do the first one for $750 then would renegotiate after the first one once you get to know their process, shooting style, etc. You may need to charge more the next time around if they leave you a bunch of garbage footage to wade through so that you can produce a nice video.

      I can tell you that wedding edits got my business off the ground. I no longer do them but I now have the ability to produce high quality work incredibly fast as a corporate video editor because of those experiences. Good luck and let me know if I can help you any further.

    • #179275

      How much per hour do you want to make…I would say a 5-1 ratio is a realistic goal – ie 5 times the raw footage time to edit…ie 8 hrs of raw footage =40 hrs editing – not exact of course and you’ll get lower as you get better, and of course, how good / polished the final edit is, but it’s comfortable enough padding to make it very clean and dynamic. So with that in mind…

      Think by the minute…

      $2 per minute of raw footage = $20hr / $120 per hour long tape

      $3 per minute = $35hr / $180 per hour long tape

      $4 per minute = $50hr./ $240 per hour long tape

      Of course, obtaining such payments, will be hard to come by for weddings, best way is to stick with one or two guys who do great work, get to know them, so you can edit them faster, and trust you with that amount. When they haggle, with multicamming you combine all cameras into the TRT as per raw footage goes.

      So for instance, a 2 camera shoot of an hour long event, can be counted as 60 minutes and you’ll still make a profit, since you’ll be editing ONE multiclip and will usually take as long as 5 hrs not 10.

      I would say 8 hours of footage per wedding is a common amount/average amount (although it can be all over the place). A quote of $1400 will cover 40 hrs at $35 hr with plenty of room for error (you’re NOT GETTING THAT FOR ANY WEDDING BTW LOL, but most weddings will be an hour or so under 8 hrs as well and an experienced editor can serve a 10K video in about 30hrs or less), but math wise…to customize wedding quotes further…

      $1400 for a comfortably padded 40hr/$35hr edit of 8 hours of raw footage

      Multicam time = 1hr Ceremony and I would say about 30 mins of Reception formals. So deduct 90mins x 3 = $270 = $1130

      $1130 with some common sense and competent shooting for 8 hrs of raw footage will get you $35 hr at least. Hopefully that wasn’t too confusing, but you’ll definitely need to lower that quote unless you’re really lucky LOL. But 8 hrs raw footage/40hrs editing time is a tad of an overestimate for a lot of videographers…6-7 hrs of raw footage at 30 hrs (something you should aim as a cap for your typical edit IMO). 30 hrs you should be able to mix the audio properly with no hiccups, basic color correction so everything matches, and cut out anything that’s boring, while using natural/doc style sound – ie conversations etc.

      Don’t know what your situation is…$500 is very low though, unless you’re just starting out fresh out of college – but if a company gives you grief over $500 or if that’s a common pay for them, you need to get out of that as soon as you are able to.

      Also, get paid, at least a portion up front, and make sure they have client input ready for you. Also, it’s THEIR STUDIO, and THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO ARCHIVE /STORE THESE PROJECTS for their clients, not yours – they should provide the hard drive…you really can’t afford that on your budget to buy a hard drive for each person. Capture time – have them capture it if you can as well, bring it up if they haggle.

Viewing 4 reply threads
  • The forum ‘Video and Film Discussion’ is closed to new topics and replies.


Panasonic LUMIX GH5s w/ Leica lens

Given away to one lucky winner

Competition is open worldwide