average wage for fcp editor?

Posted by Dan 
average wage for fcp editor?
June 15, 2005 06:47PM
What would be a middle of the road wage for a fcp editor with a bachelors?
Re: average wage for fcp editor?
June 15, 2005 07:18PM
What buisiness market
How much experience
What industry segment
what gear
How good are you?

Cutting a major motion picture - north of $1000 a day

Cutting wedding video's in a small town - south of $80 a day

A bachelor's in what? cinematography/tv production related, perhaps.
But I don't think a degree will help much if skills are short in using FCP.
I know a few high school dropouts who are real wizzards at editing on FCP. And they are handsomely paid for what they can do with it.
Re: average wage for fcp editor?
June 15, 2005 10:15PM

I see ads for FCP Editors paying $10 to $25 per hour and it makes me sick. No offense & I am not trying to scare you off...but Degrees don't mean diddly for an Editor / Post Production Specialist...the Demo Reel is the thing. You have to have a kick-a$$ Demo, be able to deliver on deadline and be super-accomodating to clients / Producers that sit with you and work with you.

You can't charge for what you can't deliver. If I give you a script for a :30 second spot and a box of tapes, can you turn it around in a day? A week? A month? Will it make sense? Will the client like it? All this comes with experience.

I did my first few jobs for free just to build a Demo Reel. Then, I took a staff Motion Designer / Editor job and started charging $35 per hour (freelance) for straight editing - no Motion Design (which is dirt cheap for Avid Editing - there was no FCP back then). Now, my rate varies with the project...anywhere from Pro Bono to $750 a day for 10 hrs.

The misconception some people have is that if they buy FCP, they are automatically "FCP Editors". Just make sure you can deliver on a bid because word of mouth spreads very fast in this business. Like Hauffen referred to...I don't care if you graduated High School as long as you can cut like Walter Murch.

That's my 2¢

- Joey

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Depends on the Market, the client, the budget....in DC - AVID suites with Editors go for 150 to 250 an hour depending on the flavor of Avid.....if you have your own suite with all the bells and whistles...top drawer skills and can do most of the motion graphics and a good animation and music library...you can reasonably charge 100 to 150 per hour ....again it depends on your experience, your skill....the more value you ad editorially...the more you can command. Andy
joey said it best
> The misconception some people have is that if they buy FCP, they are
> automatically "FCP Editors".

Joey's dead on point. A lot of filmmakers and producers I've worked for have complained that applicants with years of experience as assistant editors can't put a film/show together, don't have a reel, and can't demonstrate in the application process that they are anything but assistants. Knowing the application inside out doesn't mean anything if you can't put together a coherent story, with style that fits the director's vision while also incorporating your own creativity.

The reel is the main thing, but also important is the marquee value of your resume. Because of my teaching experience at my old film school, I'm able to put "Final Cut Pro instructor and tech support" on my resume and it gets people's attention. Then I have a list of 10-20 of my best credits in film, music video, industrials -- name-drop whenever possible. HBO. MTV. Even NYU.

If you don't have a solid credit yet, don't expect to get paid at all. Work for free for a year and build your reel like crazy, and invest your heart and soul into the work. Carve out your style and your niche. Accept any job where there's some quality in the shooting or the script, and diversify -- editors at the lower end of the spectrum don't get pigeonholed as much (feature editors do). So you shouldn't try to "target" a niche as an editor in the early stages -- have some comedy, some action, some drama, some MTV, some documentary on your reel. And be conservative with bells and whistles -- people want to see the films as they were edited, not chopped to pieces.

No, a degree doesn't mean squat. Anywhere in film. If your film school is really good (eg. AFI), it does get people's attention, but then they're gonna look at your film/reel and judge that primarily. I have an MFA in Film, and I can honestly say it has never gotten me any gig, paid or unpaid. If I get a gig, it's my list of credits, work samples and the interview that cinched it.
Re: average wage for fcp editor?
June 16, 2005 01:07AM
FWIW, here in LA we spit at anything under One Million Dollars


Michael Horton
Re: average wage for fcp editor?
June 16, 2005 09:26AM
"If I get a gig, it's my list of credits, work samples and the interview that cinched it."

That's close - but it is closer to "the more value you ad editorially..."

A client want's to know you are safe. (you will deliver on time - the show will exceed expectations - you will "fit" with them culturaly and tempermentaly.)

If you work for free - even for a reel project you are worth exactly what you get. If you accept you are worth 10/hr you will always be worth that. Your letting the tail wag the dog and let clients view you as a cost. As SOON as that happens - you've opened yourself to the kid down the block with his academic FCP and dad's equipment doing your next job as a summer hobby.

You and the show are AN INVESTMENT. When a client comes to you - they should be looking at the value you bring to the project.

Re: average wage for fcp editor?
June 16, 2005 09:35AM
LOL - Mike ! THAT'S WHAT I HEARD !!! ROTFLMAO (j/k) smiling smiley

OT: Hey Mike...those Vioxx dirtbags spammed the Motion forum (posts were deleted). Can we do something about this before it becomes a trend???

- Joey

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

> "the more value you add editorially..."

It's true -- that's a good way to put it. Once you do have the leverage -- a good reel, experience, true knowledge and confidence -- you can't undersell yourself. Producers these days aren't interested in letting editors make a living -- they'll try to get away with paying you $1000 for a $5000 job if you accept it. In the beginning with no experience, you have to eat it. But once you know you're worth something, make sure you charge accordingly.

There's also "perceived value" and "true value". On a reality-TV show last year, 12 freelance editors came on board at the same time, and my skill set may have looked less enticing than some of the others on paper (no After Effects skills, limited Photoshop expertise), but since I put together the first show they considered to be representative of the tone, pacing and content they wanted, I didn't feel threatened by the others.
Some editors "get it" and others do funky edits that make you pull your hair out. Some scenes are simple and very straight forward to edit, whereas other scenes are very complex and leave editors like deer in headlights. So while an editor might know FCP, A Effects, Motion, etc do they really have the creativity? Editing is in many ways like songwritting.
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