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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 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hoover 60 $38,950
Birmingham 60 $38,950
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 280 $44,450
Mesa 280 $44,450
Phoenix 280 $44,450
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 70 $34,890
North Little Rock 70 $34,890
Little Rock 70 $34,890
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Long Beach 12180 $78,480
Los Angeles 12180 $78,480
Anaheim 12180 $78,480
San Francisco 580 $66,680
Oakland 580 $66,680
Hayward 580 $66,680
Santa Clara 170 $-1,111
Sunnyvale 170 $-1,111
San Jose 170 $-1,111
San Diego 140 $-1,111
Carlsbad 140 $-1,111
Sacramento 50 $52,600
Arden 50 $52,600
Roseville 50 $52,600
Arcade 50 $52,600
San Bernardino 40 $-1,111
Riverside 40 $-1,111
Ontario 40 $-1,111
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 220 $51,590
Aurora 220 $51,590
Denver 220 $51,590
Colorado Springs 40 $32,330
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 40 $44,780
West Hartford 40 $44,780
Hartford 40 $44,780
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Lauderdale 790 $42,170
Miami 790 $42,170
West Palm Beach 790 $42,170
Sanford 160 $51,040
Kissimmee 160 $51,040
Orlando 160 $51,040
Tampa 110 $44,880
Clearwater 110 $44,880
St. Petersburg 110 $44,880
Jacksonville 50 $30,180
Tallahassee 50 $36,300
Sarasota 50 $50,840
Bradenton 50 $50,840
North Port 50 $50,840
Cape Coral 40 $26,400
Fort Myers 40 $26,400
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell -2222 $52,220
Sandy Springs -2222 $52,220
Atlanta -2222 $52,220
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu -2222 $46,350
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City -2222 $36,410
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rockford 30 $27,580
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 50 $40,410
Carmel 50 $40,410
Indianapolis 50 $40,410
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Metairie 180 $-1,111
New Orleans 180 $-1,111
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland -2222 $35,450
Portland -2222 $35,450
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 100 $46,100
Columbia 100 $46,100
Baltimore 100 $46,100
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Detroit 340 $42,090
Dearborn 340 $42,090
Warren 340 $42,090
East Lansing 30 $37,690
Lansing 30 $37,690
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Missoula 50 $41,090
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 240 $43,460
Henderson 240 $43,460
Las Vegas 240 $43,460
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton -2222 $49,260
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 50 $23,770
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 120 $36,270
Wilmington -2222 $34,280
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 160 $49,500
Elyria 50 $39,430
Cleveland 50 $39,430
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 90 $38,020
Tulsa 30 $42,790
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 90 $46,120
Lancaster 40 $31,070
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 40 $43,600
Carolina 40 $43,600
San Juan 40 $43,600
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 300 $46,830
Nashville 300 $46,830
Murfreesboro 300 $46,830
Davidson 300 $46,830
Knoxville 90 $35,880
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Worth 320 $48,370
Dallas 320 $48,370
Arlington 320 $48,370
Sugar Land 260 $-2,222
Houston 260 $-2,222
The Woodlands 260 $-2,222
New Braunfels 110 $51,310
San Antonio 110 $51,310
Austin 100 $51,690
Round Rock 100 $51,690
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 150 $50,890
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 60 $36,330
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 190 $50,830
Tacoma 190 $50,830
Seattle 190 $50,830
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Madison 50 $47,230
West Allis 50 $48,390
Milwaukee 50 $48,390
Waukesha 50 $48,390

Most Popular Industries for :
Film and Video Editors

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

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

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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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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