Video Editor Jobs

It is often said that the video editor’s job is an invisible art; when done well, no one will notice or think about the editing process. If you are interested in a career where the end result of a movie, television show or broadcast depends on the quality of the video editor then this may be a great job for you. But what do they do exactly?

They take individual shots or sceens and arrange them into one coherent piece. Video editors work television stations, film production companies and new media developers (including online and multimedia production companies). Some video editors work on full-time or part-time basis, or even on a freelance basis. Freelance video editors can find jobs working on large-scale productions that need more than one or two videographers for a certain period of time. They may also work with other video editors or videographers at small businesses called post-houses.

As with other videography jobs, the Internet and technological sophistication have heavily influenced the development of this field. For example, it was perhaps only 20 years ago that editing (then done exclusively on film) was the sole responsibility of the editor. However, technological advances within this field have impacted this exclusivity to the point where video editors are also knowledgeable in the fields of video production and camera operation. And while this has decreased the need for multiple video prouducers on the set of a broadcast news show, for example, it is has necessitated the need for editors who produce exclusive online content. This is especially evident in traditionally print-based media such as magazines and newspapers. Also because of these technological advances, video editors are increasingly responsible for editing all aspects of the story. Instead of editing only the visual elements of the story, they may also be responsible for editing sound and for adding special effects.

Work Environment

The daily work environment for the video editor often depends on the size and nature of the project on which they are editing. Although video editors work in post-production, they may assist or consult with videographers who work in the pre-production and production phases of shooting video. For example, they may have to consult with the budget team on how much a shoot will cost to edit, or they may work with the storyboarding team to get a feel of the video will progress.

Typical Responsibilities

  • Edit video based on template or script provided
  • Review edited video content from beginning to end to ensure smooth and cohesive final production
  • Project management: maintain quality and continuity of multiple projects that require your involvement from start to finish
  • Establish and maintain daily workflow: Because video editors are often involved in the pre-production and production processes, and work on more than project at a time, it is imperative that they establish and stick to a process that assigns what tasks to be done and by whom and by what pre-determined deadline
  • Mastery of computer programs, hardware apparatus, etc. like Avid’s Media Composer, Express DV and Express Pro, Adobe’s Creative Suite (on PC and Mac). See video editing software page.

Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in video/film production: This is usually a non-negotiable, as it is imperative that video editors learn skill, precision and technique in their craft.
  • 2 to 4 years of video editing experience or demonstrable experience assisting a video editor
  • Understanding of production workflow structure
  • Knowledgeable in the latest audio and visual techniques, software and equipment
  • Eye for artistry, detail and storytelling clarity
  • Ability to take direction from producers and directors (or in some cases, clients) to fulfill their vision of the final product
  • Interpersonal skills: Throughout the production phase, video editors work with all kinds of people, so ability to collaborate with them is imperative

Getting Started

A four-year degree in video production is often required for career success. And although more movies, television shows and commercials are shot on video, do not be surprised if your formal education still involves film editing and production. You will usually have the option of completing a student internship during your junior or senior year of college, which will be an invaluable tool for your education. An internship will teach you basic technical skills, aesthetic principles and the flow of work in the industry. If you are really lucky and your university has a broadcast television or online streaming show, get in on that. The teachers that usually collaborate with the students on these productions usually still work in the industry and may even have contacts.

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