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Editing Rates Gone Wild – RM30,000 for 1 Hour Edit?

A couple of weeks ago, I asked an editor for their editing rates. I was looking for an OFFLINE EDITOR only to do 13 x 1 Hour episodes for a reality show. Something like Survivor or The Amazing Race.

I’ve worked with this one editor before, and I do like the way he edits. However, I was shocked to learn that he wanted to charge me RM 30,000 PER EPISODE. Apparently he bases it off hourly rates, which means he charges RM 3,000 per minute (still quite intense I would feel, but justifiable).

So I quickly introduced him to the Editing Club Malaysia’s editing rates

Editing Rates via ECM

You can find the rates on an app store now here.

ECM Rates
ECM Rates

The ECM Rates cover a lot. From feature to broadcast, you can quickly find out how much an editor will charge for a certain type of video.

In my case, an offline editor should only cost me RM1,500 per episode. So much more affordable.

WHAT IS ECM?

EDITORS CLUB MALAYSIA (ECM) was found in 2009 by Syed Mustaza Al Jafree, one of the committee members of Professional Film Workers of Malaysia (PROFIMA), with the purpose to create and provide a platform that will drive activities and program of awareness, education, development, motivation, training, interaction and sharing of ideas with the biggest number of audio and visual editors in Malaysia under one roof.

IT DOES NOT COVER EVERYTHING

I personally feel that the Editor’s Club Malaysia Rates are stuck in the broadcasting world and does not cover the big old internet of things. For example, under ‘Specials’, you will find

  • The Making Of – 25 – 45 Mins – RM 4,000 per video
  • Commercial – 15- 60 sec – RM 1,000 per day
  • Music Video – 3 – 5 Mins – RM 3,000 per video
  • Capsule / Trailer – RM 2,000 per 1 minute
  • Corporate Video – RM 3,000 per 1 minute
  • Short Film – RM 800 per 1 minute

So what happens if I want a 3 minute social media video? Is it going at RM3,000 per video such as a music video, or RM6,000 as per the Capsule / Trailers?

I made a short film of about 10 minutes in duration – is that RM8,000?

This becomes a big problem especially since budgets have been slashed by clients. Imagine – for a 3 minute social media video, the price could be as low as RM5,000. If I paid RM 3,000 for my editor, then what would I pay the rest?

SO WHAT EDITING RATES DO I USE?

Well, a production house charged me RM 1,500 for offline + online for a 3 minute social media video. A freelancer charged RM 1,200 for the same thing. An offline editor charged RM 600 per video.

Personally, I charge RM 2,000 per video but it’s because I believe that’s my worth.

Generally, my personal view is to keep editing rates down to RM 600 – RM 800 per day of edit. And since I am an editor, I know how long an edit will take. A 3 minute social video would take no more that 6 hours to edit the first draft. If it’s a bit more complex, then maybe 8 hours. With colour grading and clean up, perhaps in total you’re looking at 24 total hours of work, or RM 1,200 – RM 1,600 per video.

I find this fair. But…that’s just me.

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