Music Video Editing Rates

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    • #43134

      Would like to know what to charge to edit a 3-4 minute professionalMTV music video style, fast paced, in out angling, quick clip effects, etc.The client will provide photos, video clips, a clear idea of exactly what image they want to create. Client will provide video clips showing what exact pieces to include.

      In client’s words from email “example: provide a 2 minute video, then show exactly what part I need. I will do this for a few videos, clips, along with photos I willprovide.”

      The client is asking for a 2 day turn around. I’ve only done one music video but its quite good. However, it took me 2 weeks of editing. Of course I had to sort through the footage and pick out the clips myself.

      Any advice on how I should handle quoting this project?

    • #180752


      2 day turnaround? What are your standard editing fees? You should be basing your rates hourly (max 8 hour day.) Rush jobs like the one you’ve described should cost more since you’ll probably be going over the 8 hour mark to meet so tight a deadline.

      The whole setup sounds raggedy to me. Hopefully, they plan on giving you a harddrive with all of the clips and photos they want you to use in the format that best works for you (i.e. quicktime, avi, jpeg, etc.) All data clearly labeled and organized in both a hardcopy (typed) shot/photo log and on the clips contained in the harddrive.

      I trust they aren’t expecting anything more than just a ‘cuts only edit’. Motion graphics and anything more than basic titles take time to create and render (which adds to editing time.) Plus, there’s no time for ‘cut approvals’. Normally, a client can expect a minimum of 3 ‘cuts’ (assemble, rough and final.) All of which gives both the client and editor time to get approval for the elements and actions created during editing. Also, it allows the editor to charge the client in stages for the work. If the client doesn’t like something or wants changes, there’s none of that last minute ‘oh btw, I don’t like that redo it from scratch’ crap. Each approved cut should be documented and signed off on by the client then you move onto the next cut.

      I’d be truly leary of this gig, but if I went for it I’d double both my base fees and would charge them for overtime as well. It may sound harsh, but I seriously see this potential client of yours getting bent about some little thing in the edit and since there was no time for approvals, you’ll get shafted on getting paid. Now, like I said if the client is willing to ship or hand you a harddrive with everything ready to go and a complete shot/photo log, then it might be worth doing. Just make sure that everything expected is written in the contract! That also includes; your fees, late payment fees, payment schedule and a clause concerning the ownership of the footage and your right to use portions of the work completed by you for your reel/promotional products. Don’t start working until you have a contract / work-for-hire agreement signed by both the customer and yourself.

      All this stuff might seem like a PITA, but it’s just covering your butt. Now should you take the gig, you will be required to meet the deadlines set. So if you aren’t confident that you can do such short fuse work, you’re probably right and should pass on it.

      If for some reason you haven’t figured out your rates yet, if you’re in the US, go to your state government website and look up the standard wage rates for editors in the film-television or video production industry. That’s a good place to start. Now, if you’re working on dinky consumer-grade gear be realistic about your rates, but don’t underprice yourself either. Remember, every hour over the standard workday of 10 hours (film/video production) and 8 hours (film/video/audio post-production) is time and one half.

    • #180753
      AvatarGrinner Hester

      Just stick to your hourly rate.

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