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- Combine pictures, audio, text or animation to create videos for use in film, TV or online
- You'll need to work collaboratively and to a brief, and have excellent creative and technical skills
- Work for any organisation that needs video content - including websites, TV or film companies and advertisers, or work as a freelancer
As a video or film editor you'll normally be part of a post-production team working with material recorded by camera and sound crews, and will add any extra effects. You'll work on projects like films, TV programmes, corporate videos, commercials and music videos.
- Agreeing a finished 'look' for the final footage
- Transferring film or video footage
- Using editing software
- Keeping a clear idea of the storyline
- Creating a 'rough cut'
- Digitally improving picture quality
- Formatting footage to view online
You could work freelance, and be paid a fee for each contract. The Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) has information on current pay guidelines.
Your hours will depend on the production you're working on. You may work standard office hours or shifts. You'll need to be flexible and work at short notice if necessary. You may also work much longer hours, in some cases up to 60 hours a week, to meet project deadlines.
You'll work in studios and editing suites and you'll spend long periods on a computer.
There are no set entry requirements, but you'll usually need experience of editing software like Final Cut Pro, Media Composer or Premiere Pro. You'll need a good sense of timing and visual awareness, a mixture of practical and creative skills, a high level of attention to detail, the ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines, patience and concentration, and IT skills.
Employers often value technical skills and personal qualities, like patience and creativity, more than formal qualifications. It's common to move into video editing in film or TV by starting off as a production runner and working your way up. You could also get started in this job through a broadcast production assistant advanced apprenticeship. One of the specialisms you can do is editing and post-production.
Experience is highly valued and can give you a taste of what it's like to work in the industry. It can also help you to get practical skills. Getting experience is also a great way to make contacts with people who already work in the industry. Not all jobs are advertised, so your contacts could help you find paid work later on.
You could get relevant experience from editing student or community film productions, working for an editing equipment hire company, creating and editing films for charities, work experience as a runner in an editing facilities company.
You could do paid or unpaid work experience at a production company or edit suite, create and edit student, charitable or community film productions, or move into video editing from an entry level role like TV production runner.
A 'showreel' or online profile of productions you've worked on will help you show your skills to potential employers.
If you do want to build your skills by doing a qualification you could do an HND, foundation degree, degree or postgraduate course in film and television studies, or film, video and media production. Or you could do a college course like a Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media Production or a Level 4 Higher National Certificate or Diploma in Creative Media Production.
Once established, you might use an agent to find work and negotiate your fees. You could set up your own company.