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Video Editing Rates: How Much Do Freelance Services Cost?

Man editing on his computer 

Did you start a video project and realize it was more than you could handle or had the time for? Are you stumped on how to edit like a professional video editor, and don't want to spend money on fancy equipment or software? Welcome to this blog, where we'll go through all the things necessary to know before you hire a freelance video editor.

What is Video Editing?

Video editing is the process of arranging and enhancing video and audio elements to create a cohesive final video product.

Video editors use video editing software to sequence clips, trim unnecessary portions, add transitions, apply visual effects, edit audio, incorporate text and graphics, and fine-tune timing. This crucial aspect of video production helps tell stories effectively, maintain pacing, and engage audiences.

It's employed in filmmaking, television, advertising, online content creation, and corporate videos and skilled video editors combine technical proficiency with creative storytelling to transform raw footage into polished, compelling videos.

It is also a post production process that entails responding to feedback on the final cut and guaranteeing its alignment with the client's requirements and anticipated outcomes.

Factors that Impact Video Editing Rates

Coins and Cash

Before diving in the deep end, there's one vital question that likely crosses your mind: What's the actual price tag for video editing? On the surface, this question appears straightforward. Nevertheless, several factors come into play when determining the final cost.

Permanent or Freelance: The Difference

Larger corporations with ongoing video editing requirements may opt to employ video editors on a salaried basis. This arrangement offers a consistent workflow, a stable salary, and comprehensive employee benefits.

However, it also entails a fixed work schedule and limited autonomy over projects (editing tasks are typically assigned by superiors). According to GlassDoor's data as of January 2023, the average salary for a video editor stands at roughly $55,000 with a salary spectrum ranging from $35,000 to $88,000, contingent on the company's size.

Conversely, smaller businesses, startups, individual clients, and film studios often engage video editors as freelancers.

Freelancing provides video editors with flexible work arrangements and the freedom to choose their projects. Simultaneously, it grants clients access to a broader pool of talent and greater budget flexibility.

Pay Type

Freelance video editing rates can vary by type. Typically, there are hourly rates, daily rates, or project-based (fixed) rates.

The freelance model offers video editors the advantage of autonomy in selecting the projects that align with their skills and interests. As mentioned, it also allows them to manage their schedules and work from different locations, promoting flexibility.

Video Editor Hourly Rate

An editor's hourly rate will fluctuate based on factors such as experience and project complexity. Freelance compensation levels are categorized as beginner, intermediate, and professional:

With that said, beginner editors typically charge an hourly rate between $20 and $45 per hour, whereas intermediate editors will typically charge rates that range from $45 to $100 per hour. Then, professional video editors and producers will often set their hourly rates in the range of $60 to $100 per hour.

These categorizations provide clients with a framework to gauge the level of expertise and associated cost when hiring freelance editors and producers at hourly rates.

Video Editor Daily Rate

Freelance video editors' daily rates can vary widely depending on factors such as their level of experience, location, the complexity of the project, and the specific demands of the client. On average, freelance editors may charge anywhere from $300 to $800 or more per day.

An entry-level or less experienced video editor may charge in the lower range, around $300 to $500 per day, whereas experienced and intermediate editors may fall in the mid-range, typically between $500 to $700 per day. Then lastly, highly skilled or specialized editors may command rates at the higher end of the spectrum, ranging from $700 to $800 or more per day.

It's important to note that these are rough estimates, and rates can vary significantly based on individual circumstances or the specific nature of the video editing work required.

Freelancers often negotiate rates on a project-by-project basis, so it's advisable to discuss the scope of your project and expectations directly with potential freelancers to arrive at an agreeable rate.

Video Editor Fixed Rate

Unlike an hourly rate and daily rates, fixed rates typically involve paying a set total once the project is finished. This payment method is common for bigger and lengthier projects.

The cost of hiring a freelance video editor for a fixed rate can vary widely depending on the complexity and scope of the project, as well as the editor's level of experience and expertise.

Fixed rates are typically negotiated on a project-by-project basis and can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars or more.

For simpler projects, a fixed rate might be in the range of $400 to $2,000, while more complex and extensive video editing projects could command rates ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 or beyond.

Most video editing companies offer you fixed prices for the projects and provide you with a weekly or monthly process plan. With a fixed cost, you always know how much you have to pay at the end of the project, but with an hourly fee, you never get to know how much the project will cost you at completion.

It's essential to discuss your specific project requirements with potential freelance editors to get accurate quotes based on your needs.

Experience and Ability

Businesswoman holding computer with puzzle pieces behind her

While a beginner video editor may have talent, clients often seek evidence of prior work and recommendations. Examples of the video editors work serves as crucial indicators when justifying a higher pay rate. In situations where budgets are limited, such as for a brief YouTube video, less experienced editors may suffice.

Editors with greater experience typically boast advanced skills and, consequently, command higher rates. Those seeking comprehensive video editing should seek out editors with an impressive client history and a professional portfolio.

Distinguishing an advanced video editor from an expert video editor hinges on their capacity to transform raw footage into an exceptional final product. Be it an emotional narrative or a humorous advertisement, a great editor recognizes the pivotal role of timing.

To achieve the finest results of your video editing project, clients should seek editors whose work aligns with their specific needs. For instance, if your video necessitates animation editing, seek an editor with extensive experience in this domain.

Size and Type of Project

In various video projects, having a clear understanding of the extent of raw footage and the envisioned final outcome holds immense significance.

For instance, a client may have an extensive 200-hour footage collection, intending to condense it into a concise 20-minute video. This task involves significant time spent sifting through the material to identify usable content. The project's scale and video type play a pivotal role in determining the appropriate compensation structure.

Freelancers and video production companies create a variety of videos like family videos, promotional videos, corporate videos, awareness videos, and so on and so forth. More than that, it should be noted that how many videos you may want, can determine rates as well.

Here are typical rates for various popular video projects:

Personal Videos and Travel Videos

Editing GoPro and family videos falls within the category of the most straightforward and entertaining video editing tasks. As a result, these types of videos are typically the most budget-friendly.

For such projects, the pricing primarily hinges on two key factors: the volume of source footage provided by the client and the desired duration of the final video.

As a general guideline, editing really short personal videos or any short video in general, may cost around $100. However, it’s important to keep in mind that intermediate and expert editors are often not interested in small projects of this nature.

Conversely, editing more extensive and adventurous videos, such as those from extended vacations or overseas journeys, can demand prices exceeding $1,000 due to the greater volume of footage and complexity involved.

Wedding Videos

Now, there's a distinct category within the realm of video production and post production... and that's weddings!

Wedding filmmaking is a well-recognized and substantial industry that demands an air of elegance and professionalism. The goal that wedding video editors have for the video edit is to achieve a cinematic quality. This ultimately stems from editing expertise and the use of proper editing software.

Color correction for perfection in color, image stabilization, aesthetics, and a semblance of a narrative are key.

One notable advantage for video editors in the realm of wedding videos is their collaboration with professional videographers, ensuring the use of high-end equipment and expertise. Consequently, this results in stable shots, proper settings, fitting framing, and sharp focus, greatly simplifying the editing process.

Moreover, the consistent storyline or sequence of events, while similar in most weddings, further streamlines post-production. As a result, the video editing rates for weddings may not be as daunting as it initially appears, and you could actually save money.

Custom Videos for Brands and Companies

In the context of commercial work videos, music videos, or videos for corporate clients, ambition to a provided script, precise instructions to stick to strict branding guidelines is essential. Sometimes, there may be a requirement for a distinctive appearance and style.

These videos not only demand the highest level of effort but are also among the most costly, with project cost varying considerably. The key lies in gaining a comprehensive understanding of the client's specific requirements.

Whether you are tasked with creating animated videos, a YouTube vlog style video, branded, or corporate videos and find yourself unsure about how to determine your pricing, there's a straightforward solution.

If you're a freelancer or someone simply looking to do their own research on costs, you can now easily calculate video editing rates using the advanced KROCK.IO cost calculator.

This tool provides insights into potential earnings, accounting for expenses related to third-party services such as stock sound effects, photo and video editing resources, as well as subscriptions for royalty-free images and video footage.

Questions to Ask When Negotiating Editing Rates

Question marks

Let's recap a little bit. To edit a video means that there is a video editor cost... that's what we've learned from this blod thus far. We also know that video editor rates fluctuate based on various factors. Therefore, it's essential to contemplate such questions when deciding to enlist a freelancer's services.

Employment Status

Is this a permanent position or a freelance opportunity?

While this article predominantly focuses on freelancers, many video editors are employed by marketing firms or a larger video editing company.

Payment Structure

Will compensation be based on an hourly rate, daily rate, or a fixed fee?

Different video content have a need for distinct payment structures. For instance, a brief 10-minute finished edit might not justify a fixed weekly rate (although it's possible), whereas an episodic TV series or motion picture editing with consistent, ongoing work might not align well with an hourly rate.

Experience and Skill

What is the video editor's level of experience, and what skills are essential for the project?

Beginner video editors typically charge lower rates but offer limited experience and other editors with more advanced skills charge a higher video editing rate. Clients should carefully evaluate their requirements and budget while considering specific services for their finished edit.

Know that basic video editing knowledge is importing video and other source material, logging and curating raw footage, transitions, basic color adjustment, and adding music and sounds.

Project Size and Type

Does the project's scale and nature match your expectations?

Editing a wedding or a bat mitzvah video typically differs in scope from editing a television show or feature film. Regardless of the project's size or type, understanding the standard editing rates for it is instrumental in determining the required budget.

How Can You Minimize Your Video Editing Costs?

Empty out pockets for money

Determining any video editing cost is a multifaceted process. You must assess the duration of your raw footage and the anticipated final project length, as well as the intricacy of the editing requirements. Subsequently, you must make a choice regarding the pricing structure that best suits your needs.

However, regardless of the pricing model you select, there are several strategies to mitigate video editing cost effectively.

These include providing clear and concise instructions, pre-selecting high-quality source footage, and comparing multiple offers from editors and video editing companies. Additionally, it is crucial to conduct thorough evaluations of potential companies to ensure they consistently deliver high-quality results, minimizing the need for contentious negotiations over additional revisions.

Collectively, these measures significantly enhance your ability to maximize the value of your investment in video editing services.

How to Hire Freelance Video Editors

Business solidified by handshake

Now that you have insights into cost considerations and the level of expertise required... it's time let's explore the process of locating a video editor.

Discovering a video editor can be approached through various avenues. One highly effective method is word-of-mouth; inquire with friends or family if they are acquainted with any freelance video editors.

Additionally, you can explore online freelance job boards like Upwork or Fiverr. While searching for an editor, it's advisable to review feedback from previous clients and assess their portfolios to gauge the quality of their work.

Once you've identified a video editor with whom you'd like to collaborate, the next step involves reaching out to them and initiating a discussion about your project!

Spivo Video as an Alternative! 

Don’t want to spend time looking for a video editor? Well, you don’t have to! 

At Spivo Video they take pride in delivering top-notch videos crafted by detail-oriented professional editors. Their process is seamless and it saves you time you would have wasted editing yourself or spending hours looking for another editor. 

While Spivo specializes in travel videos, their capabilities go beyond that with editing polished videos for businesses and branding, weddings, promotional videos, even real estate videos! 

Spivo is an editing service that thousands love, so you’re guaranteed to love it too! At Spivo, they say, “Love it or it’s Free!” 

Not only that, but pricing starts at $149 per video, adjusting based on your custom requirements. If you're a repeated customer, you can also choose your editor. 

Spivo is thinking of you when they frequently offer discounts and bundles. Not to mention, your final edit has a 7-day turnaround time that is compensated by high quality. Once you receive your final edit, you're given unlimited revisions for 30 days. 

It’s easy, it’s a time-saver, it’s convenient, and it’s professional. Look no further! 

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