Lights, camera, action! Well not quite perhaps, and in fact perhaps the opposite of all the razzmatazz of being in front of the camera or even taking the shots behind the action. A film or video editor, really is responsible for the formalising of all that action, camera shots, audio and music and is ultimately responsible for what you the audience finally gets to watch. It’s the opposite of all that razzmatazz since it can often happen in a room with lots of editing equipment, computers, and on occasions working in complete solitude from others.
The variety of work and projects can vary, from the mainstream editing of wedding videos, and short movies, to the possibly more appealing option of music videos, tv editing, film editing and so on…
There is not one specific entry route into this type of role as many courses, post GCSE level, in a creative subject will give you some of the key training skills that will at least send you in the right career direction. Of course the higher level that you study at, the higher level of practical skills you will obtain in video editing, film editing and more generally in the editing of music, audio, and images.
Therefore, courses in media production, film studies, multimedia, photography, art, graphic design, computer programming, will give you both practical experience and specific experience relevant to the video editing and film editing industry. A qualification that gives you practical experience and work placement opportunities will be of benefit as many employers look for experience as well as, or before the education background.
Experience is the name of the game in this industry, and like many hands-on roles, qualifications or not, do expect to start at the bottom and work your way up. Just because you can edit videos, it doesn’t mean that is what you will end up doing unless you work for yourself and offer your services on a freelance basis. If you join a production company, expect to start as a runner, or assistant and wait until an opportunity or position becomes available. Of course, the smaller the company the more opportunity you will get to gain more responsibility and in turn the more hands-on experience you will gain.
In the early days, make the most of any opportunity you can get to gain practical experience in editing – be that work placements, temporary roles or volunteering to add to your portfolio and CV of work. Short term pain of little to no wage, (if you can do this) will certainly help you in the long run.
Skills to become a Video Editor…
Without sounding obvious, it really does help if you have good creativity, imagination, a flair for the arts more generally and a good eye for detail. After all, you are the eyes and the ears of all the film and video footage, responsible for putting the ‘story’ together. Of course, most creative Directors will have creative input and final say, so you need to be diplomatic, be able to work with others, and to work well with others when required. As often the process of editing footage, audio and effects together can take time, patience and the ability to stay focused and professional can be really advantageous. Great computer and IT skills can come in handy too – and whilst you will have had training and experience in using video editing software, it is essential that you gain the practical skills required to be a top video editor. More generally – good administration, time management, and communication skills are also a requirement.
Still fancy a career as a Video Editor? Good luck!! We hope these basic tips help you along the way…
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