[Tig] Colorist Salary

Patrick Inhofer elists at fini.tv
Tue May 7 14:42:15 BST 2013

On Tue, May 7, 2013 at 7:42 AM, Jack James <jack at surrealroad.com> wrote:

> Never try
> to charge based on what others are charging, you have no idea of their
> circumstances.

While I generally agree with this advice...

None of us works in a vacuum.

Here's another question you need to have the answer for (besides knowing
what you need to earn to live the lifestyle you want): And it's not what
others are charging - but what are clients already paying? I generally
advise using the going rate for an experienced freelance video editor
working on a broadcast job as a baseline reference and then charging a
premium over that number.

Here in NYC, that'll be anywhere from $45 - $75 per hour for a freelance
editor with a client base and 5 years experience. As a freelance colorist
I'd start with a 30% premium (the specialist premium).

Of course, some guys will charge 2-3x that base rate (and be worth it).
Others (especially entry-level experience) will be happy being paid

And then in some cities the demand for our specialty could be so weak that
it doesn't support a premium price. But I've long felt that's a good way to
establish a baseline for *your* locality.

BTW: I once referred a client of mine to use an editor I respect and I
*know* is talented - the client flipped out at his outrageous price of
$50/hour for a 1 day gig (yes, they literally flipped out).  What the
client failed to realize is they were hiring a specialist to bring the job
to completion in a day... rather than messing around for another few weeks
with Lo/No editors who are still figuring this stuff out.

- patrick
TaoOfColor.com, MixingLight.com

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