Despite the fact we watch movies, television shows, and documentaries throughout all of our lives, few of us consider what type of work goes into creating those productions. However, a study of film creation will show there's a lot more to movie production than what actors and actresses portray. Behind the scenes, film and video editors use their creative tendencies and passion for film to create the best visual experience and effects possible.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that only 220 film and video editors worked in the state in 2014. According to the data, the following regions employed the bulk of these workers:
Even though employment is relatively low for film and video editors in Colorado at this time, more jobs may be on the way. Specifically, U.S. Department of Labor projections show that jobs for these workers could increase by as much as 24.3 percent in Colorado through 2022.
In the state of Colorado, film and video editors earned an annual mean wage of $51,930 in 2014. That's less than the national annual mean wage for this profession, which was $75,090 that same year.
On a national level, some industries paid higher average wages than others. Here are the highest paying industries in 2014 in terms of the annual mean wage paid by each:
Employment per 1,000 Residents
Annual Mean Wage in 2014
Denver - Aurora - Broomfield
To learn more about the film and video editing industry in Colorado and beyond, we reached out to J. Brad Wilke, co-founder and principal of creative film and video firm, Smarthouse Creative.
How has the film and video industry changed in the past ten years? How do you think it might change in the next ten years?
Ten years ago, the means of production were more concentrated in the hands of a small group of content creators. Films cost money to make, and the barriers to entry for new filmmakers were quite high and prohibitive. However, if you managed to make a film, you had much less competition when it came to distribution and grabbing the attention of an audience. Today, that paradigm is flipped. Making a film has never been easier, but getting the attention of an audience has never been more difficult. From film festivals to YouTube, a glut of content has created an imbalance between supply (too much) and demand (not enough).
What should students look for when looking for a film & video degree program?
Considering today's landscape, students should seek out programs that focus a significant amount of attention on the skills required to produce and distribute a piece of content. Good ideas are plentiful, and you can execute them with relative ease using nothing more than a smartphone. The real trick is doing it in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible, then knowing how to leverage digital platforms to find (and monetize) your audience.
What is the most rewarding thing about your industry? Why do you enjoy it?
The most rewarding aspect of working in the film industry is the joy of discovering a new voice and then helping them connect with as wide an audience as possible. It's a thrilling process and those few great films (and moments of discovery) far outweigh the time and effort required to sift through the dross.
Why do you think film & video has become a popular discipline for today's college students? What draws them in?
College students may be attracted to film and video because, as a society, we're increasingly becoming visual communicators. Throughout our cultural history, I think young people have been drawn to storytelling in whatever medium happened to be the most popular at the time. From novels, to radio, to television, to film, and, today, games and virtual reality, I think we'll always see a youthful affinity for these pursuits. That, and the fact that the rewards for successful practitioners are massive and far out of sync with compensation afforded more traditional jobs.
What are the most important things students of film & video should learn by the time they graduate?
Students should learn how to stick to a budget, how to market the final product, and how to stack projects to ensure a sustainable career.
Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Colorado. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.
Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Film And Video Editors relative to the population of the city. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 23.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org
Annual Median Salary