Career Profile: Film and Video Editor (French version available)
When you watch a movie, documentary film, or even an advertisement, you normally see something that fits together well with few mistakes. Putting everything together so that it looks good and makes sense is what film and video editors do. If you are creative and detail-oriented, this might be the right job for you.
Filming a movie or documentary normally takes a lot of work. Very often, people need to redo scenes that did not work properly the first time. With filming wildlife, for example, it can often take hours of waiting and filming to get the right footage. People can often make mistakes, as well, and need to redo a scene or two, or even a whole section. Film and video editors choose the scenes that are supposed to go into the final version and decide what to keep or delete.
Sometimes, film and video editors might do the filming themselves, but often they work with what someone else has done. Then they try to find ways of fitting the different shots together so that they make sense. Most people in this field have at least a bachelor’s degree in an area related to film and broadcasting. Many universities and some community colleges have three- or four-year programs to teach the skills that people need.
Every film has a story, even if it is about animals or scientific discoveries. Film and video editors need to be able to see how a story fits together so that the audience can follow what is happening in the program. Seeing the overall theme is important in this job. Sometimes, putting the story together can mean spending hours looking at film footage and deciding what to use. Film and video editors sometimes work with other people, but they should also be able to work alone.
Although filming can take place outdoors, the editing process normally happens inside a studio. It can take many hours to edit a film, especially removing small slips of the tongue or other mistakes. When a deadline is coming, editors might need to stay at work late into the evening to finish the job. The hours can be erratic since the work often depends on other people’s ability to finish their own part of the project on time.
Many film and video editors work for movie or documentary companies, but they can also work for universities, private companies, and a variety of organizations. Salaries start at about $35,800 per year and can rise to $78,000 per year. People can continue as long as their vision is reasonably good, and they are physically able to do the work. The job can be stressful, but generally people in this field can work at their own pace.
Sometimes, work in this field involves consulting other people involved in the process. This can involve waiting for answers and sometimes dealing with other delays. Being able to find other work to do for projects they are working on can help keep film and video editors from wasting too much of their time and having to rush in the end.
Many people enjoy watching films and videos, but they are rarely part of the process. Working as a film and video editor is one way of seeing the process from the beginning. It might be the right job for you.
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Talent.com. “Video Editor Average Salary in Canada 2022.” https://ca.talent.com/salary?job=video+editor.