Rates and conditions should be considered negotiable; this is a guideline, not a rigid set of rules. SAGE publishes a pre-employment checklist in conjunction with this rate card.
2014 marks a new direction for our rate card. We have begun matching inflation, simplified the job classifications, broadened the range of experience pay, and attempted to match rates with the camera department.
In South African Rand:
|Story editor “offline”||8,600 to 11,400||12,400 to 17,400||18,800 to 27,600|
|Finishing editor “online”||10,500 to 13,900||15,200 to 21,200||23,000 to 33,600|
|1st Assistant editor||5,750 to 7,600||8,300 to 11,600||12,600 to 18,400|
|2nd Assistant editor or logger/digitiser||3,000 to 4,000||4,300 to 6,100||6,600 to 9,600|
|Sound editor or designer||6,500 to 8,600||9,400 to 13,100||14,200 to 20,800|
|Story editor “offline”||1,720 to 2,280||2,480 to 3,480||3,760 to 5,520|
|Finishing editor “online”||2,100 to 2,780||3,040 to 4,240||4,600 to 6,720|
|1st Assistant editor||1,150 to 1,520||1,660 to 2,320||2,520 to 3,680|
|2nd Assistant editor or logger/digitiser||600 to 800||860 to 1,220||1,320 to 1,920|
|Sound editor or designer||1,300 to 1,720||1,880 to 2,620||2,840 to 4,160|
- All time after 10 hours per day charged at 1.5x.
- All time after 14 hours per day charged at 2x.
- 6th day and public holidays charged at 1.5x daily rate, minimum call 10 hours.
- 7th day charged at 2x daily rate, minimum call 10 hours.
About the rate card
SAGE publishes an annual rate card of recommend salaries for editors. Though focussed on freelance editors, this rate card can also be used as a starting point for full-time employment negotiations. 2014 marks some changes to the SAGE rate card, based on four broad points:
1. Inflation matching
For many years SAGE has increased rates below CPI, attempting to maintain a rate card that better represents what editors are actually paid. This dangerously deflates editors income over time, threatening to make a career in editing unfeasible. This year we’ve added the average CPI for 2013, at 5.77%. We urge all post-production professionals to consider a longer-term view when negotiating rates. (If your rate was R1500/day in 2005, you need to be charging R2400/day in 2014 to match real-world income—before accounting for 10 years of experience.)
2. Simplifying job classification
We’ve collapsed some redundant categories, resulting in five new broader categories of job classification.
3. A greater spread of rates
We’ve created three experience groups: Junior corresponds to roughly 1–4 years experience, Mid-level to 5–9 years, Senior to 10+ years. This allows for a larger spread of fees to represent differences in experience, as well as job types.
4. Rates comparable to the camera department
SAGE’s policy is that the post-production rates should match those of the camera department, as both departments contribute similar technical and creative effort. A senior DP can earn up to R40,000 for a 72-hour week, which equates to R27,700 for an editor’s 50-hour week. We encourage editors to negotiate for duration pay (rather than a lump-sum), and strongly disagree with balancing the camera and post-production crew budgets regardless of time worked.