Recorded raw footage undergoes rigorous video editing before it is aired on television. Video editors are the specialists behind this activity. If you would like to improve the TV viewing experience for millions of people, this is a career you should consider.
1. What Do Video Editors Do?
Their duties include:
- Transferring raw footage from a camera or other imaging equipment to a work computer
- Watching raw footage to determine its quality – the footage could be for a TV program, music video, advertisement or film
- Taking instructions from the director regarding the total length and quality of the final product
- Using editing software to improve the quality of the videos, cut, join and organize scenes to ensure a logical sequence
- Inserting music, coloring, titles, sounds and other special effects
- Creating a ‘rough cut’ which is usually reviewed by the director before the final copy is made
- Modifying the rough cut in accordance with the director’s recommendations
- Converting the final product into a specified video format.
2. Work Environment
Many video editors work from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Those who work in TV stations often work late into the evening and during the weekends, since news programs are aired on a daily basis. Freelance editors have flexible work schedules.
Video editors usually work in an enclosed office or studio environment, whether they mainly interact with computers and other technological devices.
According to PayScale, film and video editors earn an average annual salary of $42,960.
4. Entry Requirements
Video editing requires a high level of technical skill, so it is mandatory to pursue undergraduate training.
To, therefore, enter this profession, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree in digital video production studies. You will learn the art of producing videos for news stories, enhancing audio on digital videos, and creating motion graphics. By the time you graduate, you will be able to transform several source videos into a cohesive communication piece.
Some of institutions offering this credential include:
- The Art Institutes, located in multiple cities across North America
- Platt College, California
- Full Sail University, Florida
It is essential to note that some universities offer digital and video production as a course in film and media studies.
Video editing software programs are an integral component of this profession. While in college, you should acquire as many as can and familiarize yourself with their functions.
5. Important Qualities
To be a competent video editor, you need:
- Excellent technical skills
- Superior computer skills
- The ability to pay close attention to details
- Good visual skills
- Eye-hand coordination
- Good communication skills
- Good teamwork skills – Large projects typically require the input of multiple video editors
- A good sense of timing
- The ability to work for long periods without losing concentration
- The ability to take negative criticism of your work positively
- A passion for watching video media
- Good storytelling skills
6. Career Advancement
It is fairly difficult to step out of college and get hired as a video editor right away. Experience is key.
As such, you will certainly start as an assistant video editor, working along experienced editors. Some organizations have custom video editing software, so you will need to learn how to use them.
Once you are hired fully as a video editor, embrace your creativity and focus on producing quality work.
To fine tune your skills, make use of short-term graduate certificates in video editing offered by institutions such as the University of California San Diego.
The American Cinema Editors is the professional association for video editors and other industry professionals. By becoming an ACE member, you will have at your disposal professional development resources such as the CinemaEditor Magazine.
7. Job Opportunities
You can choose to work on a freelance basis or find full-time opportunities in:
- Television stations
- Film production companies
- Independent video editing companies
As an experienced editor with advanced academic credentials and strong business skills, you can establish a thriving video editing company. If you don’t fancy a career in self-employment, then you could advance to become a video editing director.
See Also: How to Become a TV or Film Director
Lastly, competition for both freelance and fulltime gigs is strong, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates slow growth in the profession within the next few years. Remember to create a digital portfolio of your previous work which you can show to employers when looking for work. Many of the available opportunities will be in film production companies.
So if you are a creative person who loves working with computers, you could become a video editor.