Career Advice on How to Become a Film and Video Editor

General Career Information

One good way to put oneself right into the heart of the film and television business is to become an editor. Often those seeking jobs in the entertainment industry overlook the job of editor, but the truth is that editors are absolutely essential to the entire film and television process. Unedited film footage is essentially useless, and a good editor is worth his or her weight in gold. Editors can save a movie or television products thousands of dollars if they do their work correctly.

Career Facts:

Editors can work on a very wide variety of projects, ranging from feature films to television programs, and even commercials and infomercials. Often editors are forced to work long hours as they attempt to reach deadlines. This can be the case in almost every aspect of the entertainment and news industry. While editors often are able to work alone, there can be considerable pressure in the job, due to the fact that there are periodic and repeated deadlines. 


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook-Fair:

In general, there is less upward job mobility for editors than others in the entertainment and news industry, such as cinematographers who can often go on to be film and television directors. The current rate of job growth for film and video editors is about thirteen percent, which is on par with the general average for all jobs. In 2006, there were 21,000 film and video editors in the United States, and this number is expected to rise to about 23,000 by 2016.
Job Outlook is Fair  

A Day in The Life:

While editors are sometimes forgotten players, they are quickly remembered if they do their job poorly. As a result, there is a great deal of pressure on editors to “get it right.” Many editors have high levels of stress, as they are required to have finished, edited projects ready on tight deadlines. 
One good example is news editors. Often news editors are only given a few hours at most to complete an edited piece for an evening newscast. While the projects and types of projects can vary greatly, in general editors will spend many hours a day alone working on “cutting” together a visual piece until it flows well. For those who are experts in editing, the process is very much an art form.

Average Salary:

A good editor is a skilled professional that can save any company or production money in the long run. Good editors tend to produce a high-quality product and can do so quickly if need be. As a result the average pay of an editor is nearly $47,000, with the top ten-percent of editors earning as much as $110,000 annually. It is not uncommon for editors to be self-employed, and many start up their own editing businesses or post production facilities.  Once they have built a reputation attracting new clients, getting new work can be easy.

$47k - $110k


Career Training and Qualifications:

It is not uncommon for editors to be graduates of film school and have edited at least a few pieces before entering the job market. These final edited works show prospective employers not only that they can indeed edit, but also that they understand the process and the technology involved in doing so.
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