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Thread: Pay Rate for Editing
How long does it take for you to do an average project?
It varies quite a bit by market and location , and what roles & tasks are specifically involved .
For example, many projects task their editors with more than "editing" - adding other roles such as colorist/grading, compositing , VFX . In general, the more you're responsible for, the higher the pay
The average hourly rate for an editor with certification in LA is between $40-100 / hr . But there is a downward trend to those rough figures, and many places undercut or resort to paying students (much less) for their editing (who are primarily there for experience)
There is a wide spectrum of "quality" in the "wedding video market" . "High end" production companies charge a lot more, and tend to be more theatrical , with multiple cameras, shallow depth of field - that sort of thing , and it sounds like what your company is producing. But 4-5 days is seems a bit long for editing, color, titles
1) How many cameras on average, what type of cameras and footage is being recorded?
2) Is the 20-30 min feature the final edited product ? What are the deliverables, and are you responsible for the final deliverable? (is it web delivery, dvd, blu-ray - if so ,do you do the authoring, menus? ) .
3) How much input or direction are they (the company) giving you , and/or the clients, on how to "edit" this ( ie. are they telling you how they "want" it to look like? or are they giving you "free reign" ? )
It's cliche-ish but - be careful how you tread, because relationships are important here. Often word of mouth goes a long way for making or breaking future referrals & contracts, e.g friends in the industry that may need help with editing
My only question is the 4-5 days seems excessive . Why is it taking so long ? (I'm assuming an average 8 hour work day, not a "Politician" 4 hour morning , afternoon golf course )
Doing the math, if you're getting paid by project, that's not a lot compared to the average hourly rate in LA (I don't think NY is much different)
I'm sure you take pride in your work, and your work is probably stellar with great care and attention to detail - but you've probably set a huge benchmark for yourself, and probably a difficult situation
i'm going to give you a very practical answer: you are going down a very bad road, a road that will lead to you being out of a job and fast.
the time to think about what you should be getting paid was back when they offered you the job, not a year into the job. furthermore, the notion that they are "very successful" does not jive with the reality that you are the only editor for them and you only work on 1 project a week (you claim 4-5 days per project), which tells me that this "successful" company is averaging about 6-7 weddings a month. by my math, at $400 a project at an average of 6-7 projects a month, you are probably making a gross of between $2400 and $2800 per month.
you work in NYC, a market i know quite well and live on LI, another market i know quite well and you've been out of school for 2 years, so i'm assuming you're in your early twenties.
here's the reality, the NYC and surrounding areas is over-saturated with people with a film background, loads of people with formal schooling and on the job training that are hungry and looking for a job. if you try and push the issue, thinking that you deserve a piece of whatever the company is making there is a very real possibility that they will bounce you out the door, because that's what i would do.
the right way to go about it is to ask for a "cost of living" adjustment, but avoid pointing out how much they are making; such a tactic would backfire, the company owners (i'm assuming that's who you deal with) will not like an employee trying to figure out how much they are making and demanding an adjustment based on that calculation. they are likely to see you as a disgruntled employee who is best fired and new blood brought in from the extremely rich potential workforce that exists in the NY metropolitan area.
i don't know if you're on the books or not, but if you are currently a salaried employee that gets a W-2 you may want to consider asking them if they would make you a 1099 employee, i.e. an independent contractor. as a 1099 employee they wouldn't withhold any payroll deductions, instead giving you a 1099 form at the end of the year which you then use to file taxes as am independent contractor. such an arrangement could prove financially beneficial for you because as a self employed contractor you could now deduct all sorts of expenses as related business expenses, thereby putting more of your paycheck in your pocket.
but do yourself a favor, stop wondering about how much they are making because of your work, you were hired to do a job, you agreed to the pay rate when hired and you have stayed there for a year. if you try to get what you think is your fair share you will be out of a job before you can blink, and don't kid yourself by thinking that the boss is your friend or that you are on good terms. there are no friends in business and if you implant in their heads the idea that you are not happy then you will be unhappy on the unemployment line and in NY, unemployment benefits are capped at $400 per week, no matter how much you were actually earning and the actual benefit amount is calculated based on a fraction of what you actually made the last 6 months.
i see you flipping burgers real soon if you're not careful.
I agree that $400 is woefully inadequate for the amount of time you're putting in, but it is quite possible that you are choosing to do an unreasonable amount of high-budget work for a low-budget return. The company has likely charged a fixed fee as a package deal to the couple getting married. The rate was probably set on an estimate of man hours and materials required per project. If it takes an editor more hours than allotted in the price estimate, the couple should not be expected to pay extra.
You may think the company is reaping a huge profit for the project, but the owner is the one who has to pay overhead, utilities, equipment costs and maintenance, as well as basic liability insurance for anything that might go wrong during the shoot and affect the wedding. If you don't think you're being compensated well enough, then you may either suggest your boss raise the rates (not likely due to competition), or you should find a way to be more efficient at what you do. Other than that, you might consider putting together a nice portfolio reel and updating your resume.
Wedding shoots are for masochists anyway. Many years ago, when I was starting out in the production business, I had to suffer through two or three wedding projects. That was all it took. Frankly, I'd rather drill holes in my skull.
Thanks for your all your input and help, but I was only looking for information on what the current editing rates are. I don't need assistance on any other topic. I am not losing my job, nor am I going to be flipping burgers at any time. There is no "issue" that I am pushing, and I would never, ever question my boss on how much they are making and compare it to what they are paying me. I am not on any road other than enjoying my job. Thanks anyway.
Thank you filmboss80
It is incredibly bad form to delete practically all your posts in a topic.
You asked for advice and it was natural that those prepared to assist you would require more information to the scraps that you offered.
And, of course, since this is an open forum, you will also get a mix of opinions. If you do not like what you read, you should have thought twice about posting in the first place rather than throw your toys out of the pram.
Those members who did help may not be so willing the next time.
But maybe there was a sudden realisation that your employer was a reader of the forum and it would be rather easy to determine who you are.
So you say you are not losing your job. I hope you are right on that one.
can't say i blame him, this is a tough job market and no one is irreplaceable. nyc is rich with young kids just out of prestigious schools like the nyu film school looking for a job and kids still in school looking for an internship.
i give this kid a few months, he's already got the idea in his head that he isn't being paid fairly for his work, hopefully burger king will pay him a little more fairly.
what a dumbass, LOL.
seltzerfizz, are you a student?
I have visited a local well-known facility which employs only students as a Trainee Graphic Desiner for minimum 4 hours a day, they pay even less than 11, Do not mistake your own identity, if you think you have lots of potential even as a student.
Think its time to ban this op due to editing all his posts.I think,therefore i am a hamster.