Imagine the following scenario – you’re a busy videographer and the number of projects you have to complete on a weekly basis is growing. Needless to say, video editing is a part of the service and process but it can take up a lot of time.

So, you decide to outsource editing and post-production. Yet, you’re still asking yourself one very important question – how much should I pay for video editing?

The answer to that question depends on many factors. Determining what’s most important to you and coming up with the specifics of the outsourcing partnership will help you determine whether the price you’re paying is a fair one.


How Much Should I Pay for Video Editing: Most Important Factors


Premiere pro

Video editing and post-production processes do not offer universal solutions. The amount of work that will have to be done is going to depend on the quality of the source video, the style you’re looking forward to and the specific modifications/enhancements you’d like to get.

The companies that offer video editing and post-production services will charge clients in two main ways.

Some will charge a fixed fee for the completion of the project. Others have hourly rates and a final calculation will be made upon the finalisation of the editing job.

The latest statistics show that the average cost of video editing is about $260. The sum is more or less the same, regardless of the charging methodology. There’s a simple reason why – experienced professionals know how much time the completion of a specific job is going to take. Hence, the charge will be more or less the same, whether they are quoting a fixed amount to clients or they’re using a flexible hourly fee structure.

When choosing between these two options, you’ll simply have to focus on the practical aspects of the interaction.

A fixed charge for the entire project is better. You have a good idea about how much you’re going to spend in advance. There’s no uncertainty or worries that you’ll be overcharged.


What Are Some Typical Charges?


Premiere pro timeline

The hourly rates video editors and post-production professionals charge are in the range from $25 to $60 per hour. Needless to say, there are some outliers. The most experienced professionals and studios out there could charge $100 per hour or even more for their involvement in the project.

So, how do you calculate the entire cost of the video to answer the question “how much should I pay for video editing?”

A general rule of thumb is that a minute of finished video necessitates about an hour of editing time. Once again, this is an estimate. If you are looking forward to a highly artistic and abstract video, the amount of editing time will go up.

So, based on that average, a five-minute finalised video clip will cost you about $125 to $600 (on the basis of the average hourly fees mentioned above).


Video Type Also Matters


Final cut pro

The type of video will also play a role in determining the charges.

Wedding video, for example, is fairly easy to edit (especially if the videographer has done a good job and the client doesn’t want a ton of altering). Hence, the average cost of wedding video editing will fall in the $300 to $400 range.

Branded and corporate videos tend to be a bit more expensive to edit.

Usually, there’s a script and a storyline to follow. In addition, the company could have specific visual and aesthetic demands that fall in line with the brand identity. Addressing all of these requirements will demand more of the editor’s time, which will lead to a more expensive post-production process.

Some companies will break down the cost of the different aspects of corporate video production. They will charge for storyboarding, animation, audio editing and the introduction of special effects. Animation creation is one of the most expensive processes and it can go up to $40 or even $50 per second of animated content creation.


Other Factors That Determine the Cost of Video Editing


Imac desk

When thinking about how much should I pay for video editing, you’ll need to understand a couple of other important factors that play a role.

How many editing rounds will you get out of the interaction with the post-production company?

In some instances, such companies will offer their clients one round of revisions for free after the work is done. Others, however, will charge extra if you’re not 100 per cent confident about the outcome and you still want a bit of additional work to be done.

Several other important factors that determine the cost of video editing include:

  • The kind of editing equipment and software products being utilised
  • The number of people involved in the post-production process
  • Whether you’re in need of a rush job that should be completed with a high level of priority
  • Whether the final outcome is for online distribution or if it needs to have much higher quality
  • The length of the final video
  • Whether animation, stock images and custom graphics will be introduced in the clip
  • Whether advanced editing and repair work will be required
  • Licensing and union fee considerations
  • Whether there will be digitization, transcoding, rendering and uploading of the finished product
  • Whether the video will feature more specialised elements like interactivity and augmented reality

Cheaper Is Not Always Better!


video editor working

If you’re a struggling videographer and you’re facing the issue of how much should I pay for video editing, you may be considering opportunities to cut corners.

When you do a bit of research, you’ll certainly come across numerous inexpensive offers that seem too good to be true.

Unfortunately, they are.

Video editing is a creative process that necessitates skills, experience and the right aesthetic vision.

Many freelancers are willing to reduce their charges in an attempt to win new clients. If you don’t have a lot of experience interacting with such professionals, you may feel tempted to pay the least possible amount.

In the end of the day, however, a cheap video editing job is likely to give you a cheap outcome.

Video editors need to have the right training and the right equipment to work on complex and specialised projects. When you spend a fraction of the average, don’t expect an award-winning video in the end.

Very often, it’s a much better idea to spend a bit more and get a good video at the end than be cheap and have to pay twice for someone to fix the mistakes made by the first editing team.


Always Get Multiple Quotes First!


video camera

As you’ve gathered already, there will be differences between the fees quoted by different video editing professionals.

To make up your mind about the best option on the market, do get multiple quotes.

Receiving quotes from several studios will give you a much better idea about the market range and the averages for the type of job you need to have done.

Good quotes also speak of the studio’s professionalism.

A quote needs to be detailed. It should give you information about the overall project cost, the milestones and the amount of time required to complete all the work. If you don’t get all of these details in a quote, you should potentially keep looking for the right service provider.

Once you get the quotes, don’t be afraid to compare them side by side and to ask additional questions on the basis of the information you receive. Make sure there are no hidden fees and charges, as well as processes that have not been accounted for in the preliminary offer.


How Much Should I Pay for Video Editing: Conclusion


Video editing is an important process that will either take your footage to the next level or make the outcome pretty mediocre.

This is why you should consider partnering up with professionals in the field.

It’s true that professional post-production can be costly.

Partnering up with the right team, however, is an excellent way to get high return on investment. After all, you will be giving your clients an excellent outcome. High quality will help you build your reputation and score repeat projects time and time again.

Do not hurry with the selection of the right editing and post-production team. Do your research. Know what kinds of work will need to be done. Understand the local market, the price dynamics and the factors that have the biggest effect on the cost. Consider outsourcing to an overseas agency or a freelance professional but be aware of the risks that such a decision may bring to the table.

Equipped with all of this knowledge, you can make an adequate and safe choice. And remember – you should not assume anything when signing a contract. If something appears to be unclear or not properly addressed, talk about it in advance. Doing damage control later on could prove to be way too costly and complicated.


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