How to Become a Film Editor

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In order to become a film editor, a person must know how the position works, as it is highly technical. Become familiar with both film editing and non-linear editing processes with filmmaking tips from a director and filmmaker in this free video on making movies.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Jared Drake, and I'm going to talk to you about how to become a film editor. To become a film editor, first and foremost, you have to know how the equipment works. It's a highly, highly technical position. You know, the industry went through a total change these last twenty years with film editing. In the past, you edited on flat beds, you cut and spliced the film together. That old flat bed way of doing things was called linear editing, now-a-days, with the advent of video, we have what's called non-linear editing, and that's like final cut, pro-avid I-movie, these softwares that you've probably heard of. And basically, what that means is you don't have to edit the movie as one piece, you can jump back time to time, you can pull shots from everywhere, you can jump to any frame of the film in less than a second, and insert new takes. But what you have to do is familiarize yourself with that process. Most editors, most film editors know how to edit on film, and they know how to edit in non-linear editing systems. The film editor is the one who actually cuts the project with the director, and that person is as much a story teller as he is a technical person. He knows how all the software works, he knows how the buttons work, or he knows how to edit on the flat bed, but more importantly, that person is a story teller, and to become a film editor, you really have to edit a film that, you know, preforms well and show that, hey look, I not only know how to work these systems as an editor, but I also know how to tell a good story. An assistant editor can sometimes get pigeon holed in to assistant editing because they've never actually edited a film, and they can't, they have nothing to show that, hey look, I've actually told a good story, and I know how to tell a good story. All they have to show is, I know how all the specifications work and I can make that happen. So, although it's a great experience, what you have to do to become a film editor is actually edit a film. If it's something you've shot yourself, that's great, if you can't find a job working for someone else, or look for jobs on Craiglist, Craigslist or any number of production sites, and just try and get your first gig.


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