How to become a video editor: The ULTIMATE guide

September 3rd, 2021  |  by Maria Ayalde

How to become a video editor: The ULTIMATE guide

There are many roles within the filmmaking industry, and one of the unsung heroes is that of the video editor. Precision, creativity and talent are just a few of the key ingredients to be a top video editor.

They’re usually stuck inside on their monitors; video editors play a crucial role in filmmaking. In addition, a film editor or video editor usually comes into play during post-production, where they have to work on the footage to give the end product a clean, fresh look.

So, how do you become a video editor? Unlike acting, which does not require educational background, a video editor needs to have traditional skills as they spend most of their time using specific software.

The MOST important skills you need as a video editor.

Being an editor is all about creativity and skills. Skills to use software, and other tools, and creativity to birth an idea. But as we all know, more than those two skills are needed to make it a video editor. Here are some of the must-have skills to become a video editor;

Visual skills

Post-production is about visuals and visual clarity. See it this way; as a video editor, you must have the visual skills necessary to work on the footage.

In addition, having a vision of how the footage should look in the end is a must-have skill for any aspiring video editor.

Tech-savvy

As mentioned, a video editor spends most of their time on tech and machines. Hence being tech-savvy is a necessary skill for every video editor.

This is not just the video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro. It’s also about being in the know of other releases. Video editors are required to have top-notch computer skills as they deal with advanced software and hardware daily.

Attentive

Video editors need to be keen and thorough—every tiny detail matters for the footage to get that desired look. Every second, every frame is necessary, and hence there is a need to be attentive all through.  The best content needs to be well-edited from start to finish without any patches.

Team player

A film is a collaboration of many parts that need to be well oiled together. If you’re to make it as a video editor, you need to be a team player. You will indeed spend most of your time on your screen, but you need people skills to make a film work. It’s not just the video editor. Every person working in film needs to learn how to collaborate with others.

Creativity

As a video editor, you’re required to have an eye for finer things. As you will be fine-tuning all aspects of a film, footage, and videos, creativity is needed to make it better and more appealing.

Think of the result before you start and work towards it. What do you want your audience to see and how can you better the footage you have are critical questions that every video editor should answer.

Communication

Learn to communicate with other team members is a vital part of any video editor. As you are required to be in constant communication, a video editor should have excellent communication skills.

What are the educational requirements?

Every video editor should have formal educational training. By this, we mean post-high schools training at the very least with a bachelor’s degree as a threshold for many video editors. In most cases, a bachelor’s degree course in broadcasting or film will be enough.

When looking for a course to study with aspirations of becoming a video editor, look for one that focuses on video editing and cinematography.

On top of the formal training, you need a lot of hands-on experience. To this end, enrol for internship programs throughout your course and take as many editing gigs you can get as possible. Some employers will offer on-site training for newbies, but you need to put yourself out there and be willing to learn even if you don’t get one.

With so much video editing software out there, you need to master as many as you can get before specialising in one particular video editing software, master as many as you can.

So, how do you become a video editor? Start by getting formal education and training and then gain hands-on experience. A film or video editor is a good career option for many, with room for growth and stability. Remember, tech and systems keep on updating, and so should every video editor.

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