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We, humans, are wired in a certain way. According to research, on average, our brain remembers 95% of what we watch compared to 10% of what we read. Audio and Visual catch our attention and make us remember things even if we don't want to. Because of our unique traits, video is one of the most effective forms of content. And this century is all about attention.
That is why videos are essential. And so is the quality.
Typical Job Profile Of A Video Editor
Edit and manipulate footage and film pieces in a way that is unnoticeable to the audience.
Understand the requirements and specifications of the production team.
Trim videos and put together the sequence of the film.
Add audio, graphics, and effects
Input music, dialogues, graphics, and effects
Ensure rational sequencing and smooth rendering
Continuously learn and discover new editing techniques and technology to create relevant and attention-grabbing content.
Where Can You Find A Video Editor?
As with any other creative people, video editors are readily available. But finding a skilled, reliable, and affordable person for the job can take time and effort. So let's look at each aspect of hiring a video editor.
Before starting to find a video editor, your first step should be to set the expectations and requirements of the video editor. Most problems arise when the expectations are not communicated to the other party.
Hiring a video editor is not just about finding someone with premier skills, it’s about finding someone with the skill set to translate your ideas into a visual reality.
Establishing Clear Expectations: The Starting Point For A Successful Project
Know exactly what your project needs. Do you need transition graphics? Do you need a voice-over? What is the aspect ratio of the video you require?
Do you have everything else in place? (footage, storyboard, script) that the editor would require to understand the concept?
Clarity on the outcome - What is the theme and mood of your video? What are you trying to communicate through it?
Do you have hours of footage and need an editor to trim it into a cohesive story? Are you looking for flashy sound and visual effects?
What is your expected time frame for the delivery?
When do you need the video to go online?
What is your budget?
A clear description of the job will remove many unnecessary candidates who don't fit the criteria. After knowing the expectations, the next step will be to find the right candidate.
Criterias To Judge A Video Editor Before Hiring
Most video editors who come from the same educational background will have a BS degree in film studies, cinematography, or related things. But nowadays, education doesn't guarantee skills, and skills don't guarantee that someone had a formal education in it.
So ask for the education, if they have studied in a field that is around video editing, it is a bonus, but if they have not, it doesn't really matter. So education cannot be the only criterion to judge the editor.
Most video editors also learn editing on the go, from online courses, and that’s okay too!
- Experience and Portfolio
Make sure to check their past work and projects. Have they worked on the kind of video you need? Is their working style suiting yours?
A good video editor should have at least a few years of work experience as a video editor and a strong portfolio of their best work done till now, which illustrates the range of video editing abilities-patching, color corrections, visual effects, corporate syncing, etc.
Although the number of years doesn't directly translate to a good editor, it gives an edge. Someone who has been in the industry for years and still produces good outcomes, clearly means that they're adaptable and they can keep up with trends and technology.
Their portfolio will give you an idea of their editing style, creativity, and personality as an editor.
Does their sample work match your project's genre or tone? If their portfolio has a wide variety of styles and techniques, then that usually means they are talented.
- Technical Knowhow
Make sure they have technical knowledge of the software used. There are a bunch of software out there that are used for video editing, but most of the good ones are few.
Adobe Premiere Pro, ProTools, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Composer, Avid Media, Lightworks, and Da Vinci are some of the most infamous software in the industry.
Ask them which one they use; if they use one of the above software, and with this, if their portfolio is good, then that typically means they have good clarity on the logic of video editing.
If they have a strong hold on the reason for video editing, then it doesn't really matter which software they use.
Attitude directly affects the work that the editor produces. If the editor seems arrogant, there is a high chance that they won't be open to feedback and trying new things. Instead, look for openness in communication, a voice of their own, and a willingness to try out new things.
Do they sound intelligent?
Are they paying interest in your project?
Do they seem professional?
All of these things indirectly impact the quality of the outcome of the project. So, looking out for them is very important.
Ask them if they have any special access to content that can be helpful in the project. For example, a good and experienced editor will have access to stock photos, videos, and non-copyrighted music and sound. So make sure you verify their subscriptions and access to such things.
And lastly, look out for references. If they have good reviews from past clients, if they have been recommended by people, then it is a good sign. That clearly means they have delivered satisfying results before.
Expected Deliverables and Timelines
After judging the prospects through the above criteria, the next step is to get clarity on their deliverables and the timeline; most of these are common in a lot of other fields too -
- Letter of agreement: There should be a simple, easy-to-read document, which states all the terms of the arrangement. The written document helps to avoid misunderstandings, and in worse situations, it can protect your legal rights.
- Scope of work (SOW): A scope of work is very important to be cleared from the beginning. What will be the deliverables from the editor's end? Will he provide only the main video? Or will he give the editing files as well? What will be the measurable outcome (e.g. the number of minutes of video)? How many drafts and revisions will be offered by the editor? Everything clear before starting the project, makes the work much smoother and easier to execute.
- Expiration Dates: This includes the time you are allowed to give feedback on edits. This saves the editor from clients who don't reply after the first draft, and they never get paid.
The timeline can vary from one editor to another, but it should be discussed and written in the SOW document; generally, an average editor takes around 30-60 minutes to edit one minute of basic video content.
The turnaround time varies from editor to editor, as it depends on the number of projects they have in hand, but on average you can expect to receive the first draft in a minimum of two business days.
The timeline should be clearly discussed and written in the scope of work.
Well, now you know where to find the editor and how to evaluate them. But before you go out and hire an editor, let's look at some common mistakes people make while hiring a video editor, so that you don't make them.
Unreasonable Demands When Working with a Video Editor
Here are some things that you should not expect a video editor to do -
Work for free or for exposure without any compensation.
Provide extensive revisions for free.
Meet unrealistic deadlines without prior agreement and compensation.
Use unlicensed or copyrighted materials in the final video.
Use low-quality footage or audio and expect a professional outcome.
Common Pitfalls To Avoid When Hiring a Freelance Video Editor
- Refrain from falling for the bias of price: Usually, prices are directly correlated to skills and experiences. You want to avoid hiring a cheap editor and regret it later. Make sure you know what you are paying and whether it is worth it or not.
- Do not look for someone who can create a replica of someone else's video: Your purpose of video editing is to create something impactful, looking out for people who can exactly make what is already out there, seems a good shortcut, but in the long-term, it will damage the brand name.
- Take the deliverables and timeline seriously. Many people need more time in getting clarity on deliverables and timelines. The mistake of not getting clear in the beginning can be a big mistake afterward, once when the whole work is done.
- Do not forget to take the sources from the editor: Many people don't know that they should ask for them. If they don't have the source file, next time, if and when they want to make a slight change in the video, they have to contact the video editor again, and there is a good chance that either they won't have the files anymore or they will charge extra for it.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Video Editor?
Pricing happens in two ways in video editing. Either the video editor charges on the length and the complexity of the video, or they charge on the amount of time given in video editing.
- Per Minute Module: Charges on the length and complexity of the video are easier to evaluate, and they are much more certain. INR ranges from INR 500 per minute of video to INR 5000+ per minute. Here the complexity drives the prices; it all depends on the complexity of the work. While in US dollars, it ranges from $50 to $15,000 per minute.
- Hourly Module: Another payment module is hourly; it's tricky as it requires a certain amount of trust between you and your editor. So to save yourself from overpaying someone, you have to calculate how much approximate time it would take to complete your project.
As we mentioned before, an average editor takes approximately 1 hour to create 1 min of basic video-edited content.
According to the video's complexity and length, you have to assume the amount of time it might take to complete the project.
It can range from USD 10 to $50+ per hour, but the average editor charges around $25. While in India, it ranges from INR 400 to INR 2,000 on average.
It's also important to note that some video editors might charge based on the length of the video, the complexity of the video, and the quality of the final deliverables. It's always a good idea to get quotes from different editors to ensure that the cost is reasonable for the services that will be provided.
| Sample Video Editor Fees
Average Fees Range
$250 to $2,500
Social media videos
$20 to $100
$250 to $2,500
$500 to $5,000
$1,000 to $10,000
$250 to $2,500
$250 to $5,000
FAQs To Ask Before Hiring A Video Editor
1. What is your approach to storytelling, and how do you ensure a cohesive narrative in the final video?
Understanding the editor's storytelling abilities is essential for creating an engaging and effective video. You should discuss their approach to pacing, structure, and visual storytelling, as well as their ability to communicate complex ideas through video.
2. What software and editing tools do you use, and are you familiar with the latest industry trends and techniques?
To ensure that your video looks professional and up-to-date, it's important to hire an editor who is proficient in the latest editing software and techniques. You can also discuss any specific effects or styles that you want to incorporate in your video.
3. How do you handle color correction and audio editing, and what tools do you use for these processes?
Color correction and audio editing are essential parts of the post-production process and can greatly impact the quality of your video. You should discuss the editor's approach to color grading, audio levelling, and sound design, as well as the tools and software they use for these tasks.
Here is the guide to help you answer “How to hire a freelance video editor?”
Do share this article with someone who is looking for a guide to hiring a video editor. Feel free to ask any questions or doubts in the comment. If you are looking for a video editor, check out Refrens to find the right fit for your next project.