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How Much Should I Charge for Editing Videos?

Sep 02, 2022  |  Sharjeel Ashraf

If you are not estimating your costs right, you are underselling your services. This is the case with most video editors that are freelancing or working on projects on an hourly basis. 

This article will help all the video editors who are new to the pricing business to calculate a fair cost for their services. 

Let’s get straight to the point and discuss how much you should be charging for your video editing.

How Many Days Does it Take to Complete the Project?

First of all, estimate the total time it will take you to complete the whole project. 

One way of estimating the total cost of the project is by using the ratio system. If the source footage (video) is of 2 hours, it will take around 10 to 20 hours to edit the video. That will be a 5:1 or 10:1 ratio. 

But all videos are not made equally and the factors that can affect the video editing cost include

  • Number of cuts
  • B-rolls
  • Number of cameras used for video recording

These will also be included in the project as editing charges.

The 10:1 Ratio for Video Editing Charges

First you need to work on the video editing ratio. That is 10:1. The model simply says that you need to work 10 hours to edit a 1 hour video. While this is true for most videos, the ratio can be increased or decreased depending on the type of video you are going to edit.

We have further segmented the ration into multiple sequences to ensure that you are getting the right type of charges for your hourly efforts.

Let’s get to them.

Segmenting Video Editing Costs by Video Type

The first thing you need to understand about video editing is that it is non-linear. There can be multiple video types including music, video ads, drama, movies, and documentaries. Each of these video types has different video sequences. So, when editing videos you need to understand how the whole process works.

Music Videos Editing Ratio: 35:1

On an average, a music video will take 35 hours to edit because it includes multiple cuts, animations, sequence editing, sound mix, and transitions. Music video editing is one of the most time consuming jobs because the sequences should always rhyme with the tunes. That is why it requires closer commitment and work.

Video Ads Editing Ratio: 5:1

On an average, a video ad will take 5 hours to edit because it is usually a long shot that needs to be cut and edited properly to ensure that it fits the sequence. Most marketing ads online fall in this category. Anyone can easily do these video ads editing for around $200. This is all you would need for video ads because they get the job done.

Video ads are easy to configure and anyone who has common knowledge about non-linear video editing can easily do this job. 

It is also the lowest charged video editing category

Drama/Movie Video Editing: 100:1

On an average, a movie video will take 100 hours to edit because it includes multiple cuts, stunts, sequences, storyline, animations, sequence editing, sound mix, and transitions. Drama and video shots editing can vary from 20 hours to 100 hours depending on the type of shot getting edited. VFX shots can cost a lot because the editor has to design the whole theme and fill in the gaps where the green screen is used by the director.

The drama and movie editing usually relies on the resources and set used. It is also the game breaker for the drama or the movie series to become a hit or a flop. Video editors charge thousands of dollars just to edit a 1 minute trailer for a regular B-grade theatre movie. 

Videos with short takes: 10:1

Most short takes for documentaries and V-logs can take somewhere between 10 hours to 20 hours to complete and edit. Again, the hourly duration can vary for each video depending on the total time spent. 

The charges are usually dependent on the higher end of the hourly tier.

If you believe 10 to 20 hours will be consumed in editing the video, charge for the 20 hours you put in for editing that particular video.

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Factors Affecting Video Editing Service Charges

You should also note that the video editing service charges are also directly affected by the following:

Video Imports and Cuts

If the video was in a different format, or if two or more different videos need to be joined together. The charges for these types of video editing will be different and usually added on top of the hourly charges.

Rough Cuts

Similarly, videos with rough cuts require proper quality editing. A good video editor will also charge for rough video fixes apart from the total hourly rates that they put in for its editing.

Quality Enhancements and Sound Mix

Similarly, quality enhancement, sound mixing, audio editing, are also some things that should be additionally added to your regular video editing costs. They are also charged separately.

Second Review 

Finally, video editing services also charge for a second review of the whole video. This usually makes sense cause the video editing will not always provide the best edit.  Review will critically evaluate the video and provide better feedback on the quality to ensure that it makes sense.

Compression and Delivery Formats

Compression and delivery formats are also separate charges that are not part of the hourly work because they are extra services the video editor is rendering for the total work done.

How to Calculate Video Editing Charges: Hourly Cost

If the total hourly rate of video editing is around $50 to $100, then you should charge by the hour.

However, most video editing companies provide a complete package in which they will be:

  • Editing the video

  • Providing review

  • Consultancy for the video

  • Compression and format charges

These charges will increase from a couple of hundred dollars.

So, let's say a video of 5 minute editing would cost $500, the video editing company should charge somewhere between $700 to $800 depending on the total cost put in.

How Much Is the Yearly Cost of a Video Editor?

On an average, the yearly cost of video editing in the US alone is $60,000 to $90,000. Senior video editors can charge somewhere between $100,000 to $150,000.

VFX editors can charge even more depending on the quality of work they offer and the clients they work with. 

The more reputed clients a company has, the more it can charge for its services. 

We hope that this article has helped you get the answer to the question ‘How Much Should one Charge for Editing Videos.’ 

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The platform publishes the reviews of top video editing companies, their ratings so that people can make an informed decision when they want to hire a video editing company for business.

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