Post-Production : How much for a sound mixer / editor? by Jim Defalco

Jim Defalco

How much for a sound mixer / editor?

Hey, I filmed my first feature film this past summer and I'm now 3 weeks into post. I have a rough cut of the film (basically all the scenes are rough enough to put into an order to get an idea of what to cut / pacing), and I have very rough sound mix, where I only switched out the onboard audio with the audio recorded from the audio mixer, with some minor tweaking. I've been doing the editing with my DP, while he works as an editor for sports highlights, I am not an expert at sound editing / mixing. I was wondering how much would it cost to hire someone to really clean up the audio? My films budget is $6,000 (I'm at the tail end of it too) and I'm in the process of starting an Indiegogo to raise more for post production costs. So the payment for the mixer would have to be mainly deferred to after the IndieGogo rasies it.

Samantha Mauney Aiken

It depends on the length of your film. For our 90 min project, we've gotten quotes in the $1500-2k range for post sound design. I've also gotten quotes as high as $5,000. Check out https://www.stage32.com/semantixsound

Mark Mooney

It all depends on the time frame, would need to take a look but it all depends on whether the editor needs to re do the whole edit or just to expand on what you have done so far. it sounds like its a new start, even though you have a rough copy an editor would need to start from the beginning fine tuning and adding scenes and close ups.

Nicholas Jordan

Made it that far? On budget of $6,000? You are a genius - your future is certain!

Jim Defalco

Thanks Mark, after 5 more days of mixing, I'd say about 80% of my audio sounds good to great with the minor tweaking that I've done. The other 20% has issues that I can't get rid of i.e freezer hum, heavy wind etc. I have a decent cut of the film, and wouldn't give it to a sound editor until I had a picture lock. There wouldn't need to be a restart, just refine from where I'm leaving off. Also thanks Nicholas, we shot 11 days with a principal cast of 5 and a crew of 4. Shooting all over the NY area. We worked super hard and put every dollar to good use.

Chris Collins

I am a sound editor/ studio audio engineer... Constant state sounds can usually be cleaned up pretty darn good, but sometimes as you mentioned wind can damage the sound past the point of fixing. In an ideal world, the fridge would have been turned off to shoot the audio. Have you considered adr to replace the worst stuff?

Jim Defalco

Hey Chris, yeah, I've done ADR for 4 short scenes, and the results have been amazing. Throwing in atmospheric, score, foley with the new audio have worked wonders! I have a few more scenes to do in the following weeks, but I am happy with the ADR audio quality and the money that I will save by not having to go through a sound engineer now!

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