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Film And Video Editors picture    Film And Video Editors image

Film and Video Editors

As key members of a film staff, Film and Video Editors are highly skilled technicians who, through editing, are responsible for the quality and distinctive technical elements of a soundtrack, film, or video. They work with agencies or production companies in the motion picture, cable, and broadcast television industries.

Typically, any one scene is shot many times and from different angles. It is the Editor's responsibility to view each scene and select, combine, and sequentially reassemble the best performance, photography, timing, and consistency. Before an Editor can begin their work, however, they:

  • study the script
  • learn the story line
  • collaborate with directors and producers
  • understand the scenes that the director determines to be the most critical
  • learn the producer's film goals

Having a clear understanding of expectations is crucial for an Editor, as it drives how they will do their job to successfully meet the vision of the film's creators.

Today, most television and film Editors use computers, computer software, and non-linear digital editing systems (enables random/direct access to any frame in a video clip) to perform their job. Such systems and technologies provide an Editor with the flexibility to make a variety of edits (e.g., reassemble and/or remove parts of a film and move scenes to various locations) to produce a fluid, impactful, and entertaining story. While using computers provides tremendous advantages, some Editors still cut film or videotape and reassemble them; an Editor may guide/oversee individuals who perform these tasks.

In their work, Editors also determine and insert dialogue, music, and sound and special effects (using editing equipment), and work with professionals who specialize in these areas. Once all edits are completed, required corrections are made, and several more review and edit cycles are done until final approvals have been reached.

Editors who specialize in specific areas of television or film may work on editing music videos, commercials, or educational/instructional films. Others may specialize in the creation of soundtracks (i.e., the audio portion of a film; music and/or dialogue) and larger projects such as documentaries or feature-length movies.

Job Characteristics

Editors generally work on a set schedule during a 40-hour workweek, but may work long and/or irregular hours in order to meet deadlines, which may extend their workweek to 60 hours. Any overtime work is typically paid at time-and-a-half, or double-time. Furthermore, Editors generally receive up to four times their hourly rate for work performed over 12 consecutive hours on holidays and weekends. It is not uncommon for an Editor to be without work between projects.

Editors always work indoors in projection rooms, cutting rooms, and shooting stages, all of which are well lit and ventilated. While they often work with co-workers (sharing the same office space), they generally spend much of their editing time working alone; they also collaborate with the film creators.

While July through February is peak-hiring season for the television industry, there is no peak-hiring season in the motion picture industry. Employment in this industry varies greatly due to weather conditions, release dates, and actor commitments. Educational and industrial film Editors generally do not experience fluctuations in hiring.

Most Editors are members of the Motion Picture and Editors Guild (MPEG) - a Local 700 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE).

Requirements for this job include:

  • Sitting for long periods of time.
  • Using hands and fingers, sometimes quickly, to handle controls, tools, and objects.
  • Repeating the same movements.
  • Hearing sounds and detecting/recognizing their differences.
  • Clearly understanding speech.
  • Recognizing differences between varying levels of brightness, shades, and colors.
  • Focusing on one sound while ignoring others.
  • Assessing distances between objects.
  • Adjusting equipment controls or body movements in order to maintain pace with speed changes for objects in motion.

An individual in this profession is expected to possess and/or display many of the following skills, traits, and attributes:

  • Reliability
  • Responsibility
  • Initiative
  • Persistence
  • Cooperation
  • Originality
  • Creativity
  • Sound judgment
  • Independence
  • Team player
  • Deductive reasoning
  • Eye and attention for details
  • Tolerance for stress
  • Communication skills
  • Flexibility and adaptability

The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (USDL BLS), which combines employment forecasting for Editors with camera operators, projects that employment is "expected to grow 12 percent over the 2006-16 decade, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2016." They further anticipate that "television, video, and motion picture camera operators and editors can expect keen competition for job openings." This is due to the large number of people looking to enter the motion picture and broadcasting industries, where the majority of these professionals are employed.

Film School

Individuals in this profession generally learn their skills through formal, postsecondary training programs from universities, colleges, or vocational schools. Achievement of a bachelor's degree is generally required and must include film courses in all aspects of filmmaking; this is most helpful for apprentice Film Editors. While not an education requirement, having attended film school can be of great value. Additionally, having worked in the film department in a college or university is also considered most helpful in gaining experience and skills.

There are also Editors who gain their experience as an assistant or apprentice under the tutelage of an experienced Editor. Training in this fashion typically takes several years. Regardless, new Editors in a job (i.e., those with skills), generally receive on-the-job training that can take up to three months.

It is important that Editors, at all levels of experience, keep abreast of the various changes and technological advancements in this profession. As such, they may be required to attend formal film editing courses since there is little to no time to learn new advancements while on-the-job.

Certification and licensure is not a requirement for individuals in this profession.

Resources

Major Employers

According to the USDL BLS, who group television, video, and motion picture camera operators and Editors in the same category, most individuals are "employed by independent television stations, local affiliate stations of television networks or broadcast groups, large cable and television networks, or smaller independent production companies."

Schools for Film And Video Editors are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Film and Video Editors

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Film and Video Editors jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hoover 80 $51,680
Birmingham 80 $51,680
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage N/A $36,360
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 290 $39,650
Mesa 290 $39,650
Phoenix 290 $39,650
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 60 $33,450
North Little Rock 60 $33,450
Little Rock 60 $33,450
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 10150 $92,610
Los Angeles 10150 $92,610
Long Beach 10150 $92,610
San Francisco 490 $61,500
Oakland 490 $61,500
Hayward 490 $61,500
Carlsbad 130 N/A
San Diego 130 N/A
Santa Clara 110 N/A
Sunnyvale 110 N/A
San Jose 110 N/A
Roseville 50 N/A
Arden 50 N/A
Sacramento 50 N/A
Arcade 50 N/A
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 160 $45,560
Aurora 160 $45,560
Denver 160 $45,560
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Stamford 250 N/A
Norwalk 250 N/A
Bridgeport 250 N/A
East Hartford 60 $57,600
West Hartford 60 $57,600
Hartford 60 $57,600
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Miami 690 $39,150
Fort Lauderdale 690 $39,150
West Palm Beach 690 $39,150
Kissimmee 320 $35,590
Sanford 320 $35,590
Orlando 320 $35,590
Tampa 80 $37,330
Clearwater 80 $37,330
St. Petersburg 80 $37,330
Jacksonville 50 $36,720
Cape Coral 40 $26,730
Fort Myers 40 $26,730
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell N/A $47,690
Sandy Springs N/A $47,690
Atlanta N/A $47,690
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu N/A $44,270
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 40 $35,800
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 70 $37,050
Carmel 70 $37,050
Indianapolis 70 $37,050
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Metairie 220 N/A
New Orleans 220 N/A
Baton Rouge N/A $56,040
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 50 $35,110
Portland 50 $35,110
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 70 $40,230
Columbia 70 $40,230
Baltimore 70 $40,230
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Detroit 320 $53,270
Dearborn 320 $53,270
Warren 320 $53,270
East Lansing 40 $46,680
Lansing 40 $46,680
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 230 $44,110
Henderson 230 $44,110
Las Vegas 230 $44,110
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 70 $23,180
Kingston 30 $48,250
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 50 $31,300
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 130 $48,500
Elyria 90 $65,340
Cleveland 90 $65,340
Akron 30 $31,990
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 110 $34,010
Tulsa 60 $28,880
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Eugene 30 $28,960
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 90 $47,600
Lancaster 40 $28,640
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 370 $63,460
Murfreesboro 370 $63,460
Davidson 370 $63,460
Nashville 370 $63,460
Knoxville 60 $33,450
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
The Woodlands 250 $29,160
Houston 250 $29,160
Sugar Land 250 $29,160
Arlington 190 $46,750
Dallas 190 $46,750
Fort Worth 190 $46,750
Round Rock 130 $51,770
Austin 130 $51,770
New Braunfels 60 $47,240
San Antonio 60 $47,240
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 120 $52,180
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 50 $53,450
Charlottesville N/A $85,630
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Seattle 190 $50,930
Bellevue 190 $50,930
Tacoma 190 $50,930
Spokane Valley 40 $36,880
Spokane 40 $36,880
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 70 $47,090
Waukesha 70 $47,090
Milwaukee 70 $47,090
Madison 40 $45,360

Most Popular Industries for :
Film and Video Editors

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Movie And Music 12,830 69% $55,960
Media And Broadcasting 3,010 16% $39,940
Professional And Technical Services 1,110 5% $41,700
Electronics And Computer 430 2% $27,880
Performing Arts And Sports 370 1% $52,130
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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Film and Video Editors.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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