Anyone who has ever watched a movie has seen the credits roll at the end, giving credit to all of the people who made that film possible.
However, if you have watched a handful of movies in your lifetime, you may have never noticed one department that does not get enough credit: the editors.
And even if you have noticed them before, you may not know what editors do or why they deserve credit.
Telling the story of a movie from beginning to end is no small task and can be extremely difficult to pull off correctly.
A film editor makes this happen by piecing together the best possible shots from multiple takes into a seamless story that audiences enjoy from beginning to end.
Film editing does not stop there though. Most movies are not shot in chronological order and therefore there can be gaps in time within any given scene that need to be bridged by cutting away (or “crossing”) to some other part of the film.
This can be done through a wide variety of tools and effects, but most directors will work with their editor during shooting to decide which scenes should be used when in relation to each other and how they fit into the overall story.
Let’s take a look!
How To Become A Film Editor
What Is A film editor?
A film editor is a professional who edits and cuts footage for films, shows, and commercials.
A film editor works with the raw footage, selecting shots and combining them into sequences to create a finished motion picture.
It’s essential for a film editor to understand what makes a good story and how to use the tools available to tell that story in an interesting way.
The editor has to know how to use their software inside and out to be able to handle all kinds of different formats while having a keen eye for detail.
They must also be knowledgeable about the various camera types used in filmmaking, as well as lighting, sound design, special effects, color correction, and more.
How Do I Become A Film Editor?
The first step to becoming a film editor is to start off with a base of knowledge in the industry. The best way to do this is by getting your hands dirty and actually doing some editing.
If you’re interested in learning how to become a film editor, but don’t want to attend college, you might consider completing an online course.
Many websites offer free courses on film editing that you can complete at your own pace while working on your current job or attending school full-time.
After graduating from college with a degree in film editing, it is time to begin applying for entry-level jobs at production companies and studios.
Working as an apprentice can be very helpful when trying to learn how to become a film editor because you will have the opportunity to gain experience on many different types of projects right away.
What Do You Need To Be A Film Editor?
Film editing is a highly skilled job which requires many years of experience. It takes time to become an expert and master the art of film editing, but anyone willing to put in the time and effort can learn the skills needed.
There are a few things you need to have before you become a film editor.
To become a good film editor you must have an excellent memory for things like shots and sounds.
Film editors must remember all of the previous shots in a scene as well as what they expect will happen in future ones.
Ability To Pay Attention To Details
Film editors must pay attention to even the smallest details in a film.
They need to be able to spot mistakes quickly and fix them before it becomes noticeable.
Native Language Skills
Film editors must be able to communicate their ideas clearly, so they need to know how to speak properly in their native language.
They must also be able to read and write properly in order to take notes while watching movies.
Background In The Arts
Anybody can learn how to edit films, but it helps if you have some knowledge of the arts beforehand.
If you are exposed to art earlier on in life, there is a higher chance that this knowledge will come in handy later.
So You Want To Be A Film Editor
If you want to work in the film and television industry, there’s a good chance you’ll have to be a film editor at some point in your career.
What does it take to be an editor? What are the rewards and pitfalls?
A film editor is responsible for assembling the pieces of footage from the shoot into a finished product.
You will also need to know how to use editing software like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro.
Editing is an interesting career because you rarely see your work on screen and so don’t get much feedback while you are doing it.
You may spend months working on one project and not see any results until there is a final screening for all the people who have worked on it.
In fact, you may have edited a number of projects before your own work has even been screened by anyone!
Pitfalls of editing include watching terrible footage over and over again looking for something usable and having very little time to finish your own cuts.
Film Editor Degree Requirements
Film editors work with the director and director of photography to produce the final version of a movie or television program.
Film editors are responsible for making creative decisions to enhance the tone of the film, including what scenes to cut and how to edit shots together. They also ensure that each scene follows a logical chronological order.
A bachelor’s degree, usually in film studies, is required for all entry-level film editor positions.Tasks
Film editors help directors bring their vision to life. They must be able to understand and interpret the director’s intentions while still maintaining creative control over their own work.
Part of this creative process involves understanding the differences between different types of cuts and transitions that can be used in editing.
Comprehension and use of these techniques helps an editor achieve the director’s vision while enhancing it with unique artistic properties.
A typical day can vary depending on whether an editor is working on scene sequences, overall edits or something else such as titles or graphics.
Film editors spend a lot of time staring at computer screens reviewing footage from a variety of sources, including cameras, tape recorders and live feeds via satellite dishes.
Modern editors also use digital recording technology on set during filming, so they have access to high-quality material to base their decisions on.
Film Editor Jobs
Film editing is one of the most sought after jobs in the film industry.
It takes a creative and highly talented individual to be able to use editing software as well as having a mind for creativity and problem solving.
The editors that are currently working on top Hollywood movies are known for their unique and fresh editing styles. They have the ability to combine all of the scenes from the movie into one cohesive piece that has a beginning, middle and end.
There is an increase in demand for film editors in television. It’s not uncommon for people who work in television production to move over into film editing once they gain experience in that field.
Film Editing Career Information
The film industry is a glamorous one, and a career as a film editor can be both exciting and lucrative.
If you’re looking for a career that allows you to work from home, on your own time, with ample opportunity for self-expression, this may be the job for you.
A film editing career is an exciting one, but it does require considerable training and dedication. There are many resources available to help you become a film editor.
Consider Film School
Film school is a wonderful thing. It’s how we get so many great movies.
The New York Film Academy, which is where I went, charges $42k a year in tuition alone. If you’re considering film school be prepared to take on debt or rethink your career choice.
Before you go to film school, talk to people who are currently in film school. Get their honest opinion about the program and their experience at that particular film school.
Are they happy with their decision? Are they learning what they want to learn?
Find out about the classes, teachers, curriculum and even the social scene at that film school before you spend all that money and time applying for admission.
If you’re planning on goingto film school apply for every scholarship you can find.
There are literally thousands of scholarships available for students entering all kinds of professions including filmmaking.
Don’t just Google “film school scholarships” because you’ll only find the ones specifically offered by universities and colleges.
Instead Google “scholarships for filmmakers” or similar phrases and explore them all very carefully.
Work As A Freelance Film Editor
Now that you’ve done all of your training, it’s time to get out there and start making some money as a film editor.
The best way to get started is to just get out there and start networking.
Make sure you leave your business cards around and that you’re contacting everyone you know who might be able to refer gigs your way.
If you want to take the more traditional route of looking for a job, there are several ways of going about it.
You can look on Craigslist and other job sites, but I don’t recommend this because most production companies are going to want someone with more experience.
Your best bet is reaching out directly to the production companies in your area.
If you don’t know any companies in your area, reach out to people on Facebook or ask people at other companies if they know anyone hiring.
You should also consider taking classes at a local film school.
Classes are usually pretty expensive, but they can provide networking opportunities as well as getting an edge up on the competition by learning new software and post-production techniques.