{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Producer friends who hire editors / deal with budgets: I’m a freelance editor currently charging 1200 / day (base before OT). I get this rate fairly consistently but do have some clients and projects that can’t afford this and if I love the project I will sometimes work for less. I thought this seemed pretty reasonable based on my experience (senior level). But I just heard of another editor charging $1500-$2000 a day. Is this a sustainable? Am I vastly under-charging? Or are they full of it? 🤯", "post_id": "6102ff1b337059001cbc13da", "reply_count": 25, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "5a31ad03d5c0bc001397879c", "bowl_name": "Production", "feed_type": "bowl" }

Producer friends who hire editors / deal with budgets: I’m a freelance editor currently charging 1200 / day (base before OT). I get this rate fairly consistently but do have some clients and projects that can’t afford this and if I love the project I will sometimes work for less. I thought this seemed pretty reasonable based on my experience (senior level). But I just heard of another editor charging $1500-$2000 a day. Is this a sustainable? Am I vastly under-charging? Or are they full of it? 🤯

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I’ve seen senior editors at 800-1000

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Charge what people will pay you, period. It never ceases to amaze me what people will and won’t pay.

That said there are industry averages. I charge roughly what you do. 2k sounds crazy to me but I’m sure there’s people out there who can demand it. Maybe you’re one of them?

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1200 sounds high even for NY in most shops. I’m not saying someone won’t pay it just that 800 to 1k is the range I’ve mostly seen

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I typically see $1k per day rates for freelance editors brought into the agency. I imagine it depends who is hiring and for what.

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Thanks EP! This is making me feel better.

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They are full of it, that is insane. I pay 850 to 950 for experienced editors consistently. 1200 I would say is on the high side.

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I imagine you are working mostly agency side? I’ve been client side too and a lot have been paying like $750 a day for someone like you, with your experience. Everyone I know there is making like half of what they’d make agency side.

Just as a data point, I’m in the middle of the country here, strong broadcast reel, 10+ years exp. I start getting pushback over about 800 at the bigger national level agencies and over about 650 at the small to midsize, regional ones.

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As an agency that bills on a rate card model, we're often held to rate caps so we can ensure profit margins. Still, we'll take a loss on one line item if it makes strategic sense to over deliver. Our clients exist in the upper end of the spectrum and our editors typically bill in the $1250/10hr range. We'll sometimes go up or down based on quality of output needed. Never seen a rate above $1750/10hr myself.

As a former IC myself, I'm all for doing what is best for you and to cut out the noise. Personally as a converted full-timer on the agency side, I get burned by editors who try to bill as high as possible. I suppose it depends on your ideal customer profile, but we agencies want consistent dependable efficient quality and will pay for it over and over blindly. Try to overbill or be greedy and you're one and done.

P.S. Location is no longer a justification for rate. Where you work does not matter to us, and just because a client is Silicon Valley or NYC, doesn't mean the editors also need to be.

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I think what they are talking about getting attached to the project late and quoting a high rate when they are desperate.

Problem is though, how am I supposed to know what’s fair? I don’t want to come in guns blazing, but everyone’s rate is basically a secret

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750-1000 is still the range for a freelance senior editor.

I work as a consultant to more than 250 studios and production companies around the world so I can say with some authority, there is a big labor shortage right now so your friend is probably just taking advantage of the situation.

IMO it’s very short-sighted. Owners don’t appreciate being held over a barrel and they have long memories. Once the shortage is over those freelancers will be remembered as price gougers.

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Wouldn’t any labor shortage lead to a rise in rates? Doesn’t a natural rise in salary preempt a return to normal employment levels?

Under what conditions would editor rates rise?

What state?

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Ny

Also want to add, this is my take home - so I want to keep in mind that I’m sure the places hiring me are up-charging to get a profit on the actual budgets.

I just use the AICP bid form and when I hire outside artists (eg color, mix, mograph) on a job I indicate that they’re subject to markup. Very transparent.

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You do what’s right - if it’s a great project do it on the principle that “the work you do today, defines the work you will get to do tomorrow.”

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