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  • Pricing additional edit time as a pro video editor

    Posted by Grayson Straker on June 7, 2023 at 9:55 am

    Hey everyone!

    I’m a professional freelance video editor. I’ve recently encountered new territory in regards to pricing and I’m unsure how to proceed. Let me explain 🙂

    I recently agreed that I would spend one day editing a commercial video for a media company for $500. They shot, they passed the footage on to me, I edited. I worked on the project for a day and got it to a more or less finished state where it could then be reviewed . The media company sent it off to their client. A few days later they received feedback from their client. Their client came back with a few tweaks and changes to be made. The media company passed on the notes to me and they’ve assumed I’ll make those changes for free.

    Is this normal? Should I be working an extra hour or two, at no charge?

    There was no contract exchanged between myself and the media company so I guess I’ll create one for future business. But what’s the usual deal for these additional hours that us video editors inevitably encounter?

    Thanks for the help!


    Grinner Hester replied 4 months, 2 weeks ago 5 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • Mads Nybo jørgensen

    June 7, 2023 at 2:15 pm

    Hey Grayson,

    No, you should not work for free, but as a freelancer it is a tough call whether to ask for more money, or just swallow the changes.

    If you agreed that you “would spend one day editing a commercial video
    for a media company for $500”. And, that you have done that. Then there is nothing wrong with asking for more money.

    If you can do the job in a couple of hours, make it an hourly rate (Divide your $500 by hours in a day, and mark up with respectable increase for working hourly – say 20%-30% on top, or what-ever you feel comfortable with).

    Client may come back and suggest that you had promised the job done in a day, which you can rightfully say that you did as no changes were forthcoming within that day.

    However, where it gets complicated, is if it is a good client, or worse if they tell you “Do this, and there will be much more work you + we’ll both look good”. The latter is often used, and the client would have told their previous supplier the same story and so forth.

    Where the option of helping your client develop a market today, where they do the selling and are good at it, and you get all of the editing, might be more attractive in the long run.

    Just be aware of that if there is no contract, or chain of emails, you should not expect loyalty.

    On this one, ask for the money, but do let client know what the changes will cost extra money.

    Good Luck!


  • Grayson Straker

    June 7, 2023 at 9:04 pm

    Thank you so much Mads Nybo jørgensen for taking the time out of your day to help a stranger!

    I’ve since followed your advice and the client is happy to pay for additional hours.

    Cheers 😄

  • Greg Ball

    June 7, 2023 at 9:37 pm

    ALWAYS have a contract/agreement that specifies the scope of work, the fees, etc. Also for editing, always include revisions. For me, I include 2 rounds of simple revisions. Simple revisions are changing the order of clips, replacing a few clips, etc. After 2 rounds, my agreement says that we will charge (my hourly rate) until the client is satisfied. Otherwise, you are left with a never ending amount of editing. Also, never give the client the edited footage without payment first.

    $500 per day is quite low, unless you have little experience.

  • Brie Clayton

    June 8, 2023 at 12:50 am

    Thank you, Mads, for your valuable advice!

  • Grinner Hester

    January 4, 2024 at 6:38 pm

    charge by the hour. This way revisions are on them. If you quote a flat price, make sure they understand it is for x amount of hours and additional hours will cost more.

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