Everyone knows the actors, some know the director and producers and if you’re lucky you may know a writer or two, but no one knows the editors. A film editor is a mechanic who removes the unneeded and fits pieces of film together to make a finished movie.
Being a film editor requires hours of looking through footage and then assembling a film a half-second at a time, while working quickly to meet the filmmakers' deadlines. While a skilled movie editor's contribution can mean the difference between a hit and a so-so film, film editing done well is completely invisible to the audience.
A­While movies traditionally have had a single lead film editor, the trend with big-budget features is to split work between two editors. The two editors split up the scenes, edited them, and then swapped and re-edited each other's.
From science to culture to tech and beyond, get essential stories and videos straight to your inbox. In short, the outlook is bright for an individual interested in a career as a film or video editor. Film editors are responsible for compiling raw footage, then organizing and editing it into one string. Beginning screenwriters are often wholly focused on launching their careers by selling a spec script to Hollywood.
But quickly I realized that putting all of my eggs into the spec script basket was akin to my other brilliant plan of funding my retirement with lottery winnings.
I decided hoping and praying was good enough for my retirement plan (yes, pity me) but not good enough for my screenwriting career. Looking back now at the making of my first two shorts, I keep thinking about what I learned from the editing stage on both of those films. I work with editor Justin Lachance (who is amazing, by the way) and if you just listened in on our conversations when we’re working on a film, you’d swear you were eavesdropping on two writers hammering away at a story who both have an uncanny sense of visual storytelling. The following are some of the lessons I learned from the editing phase on my first two short films.
The page is somewhat forgiving of lengthier dialogue blocks but the editing suite sure is not. Most likely, the first thing you’ll uncover is you’re using too much dialogue overall by trying to solve all story problems through dialogue. I’ve used dialogue to justify character behavior or story circumstances, but found that once we’re editing the film, those circumstances either hold up, or they don’t, based on everything else I’d built into the film to that point. In future script editing, I’ll definitely think more about whether an image or an action can replace that type of dialogue and answer just enough questions to keep the story moving forward without getting bogged down in explanation. Easily one of the biggest head-shakers for me in the process of going from script to set to editing is how time seems to slow way down in a scene from one stage to the next.
This is fine for first drafts but once I get into re-writing, I need to recognize that these scenes aren’t stand-alone and look at the script as a whole. Pacing can be improved dramatically in editing, but if the script is paced to move faster from the beginning, then the entire filmmaking process is built upon the strongest story possible. Dialogue – in terms of how a character speaks, as opposed to the meaning of what they’re saying – is one of those tough areas where you can’t be as sure when you’ve got it right as you can be when you’ve got it wrong. Unless you have a character that is known for their verbal acrobatics, most dialogue that differs radically from how an everyday Joe from your character’s world speaks ends up sounding fake and pulls the audience out of the story. Rules of grammar and polite conversation should be broken when that’s how people actually speak.
Beyond the initial stages of writing, I haven’t found reading my dialogue aloud to myself to be especially helpful.
When hearing my dialogue, whether at a table read or at auditions, I worry less about when an actor trips over a word, since the material is new to them this is inevitable, but I’m more interested in phrases that sound out of place or dialogue that rings corny, cringe-worthy or like I’m just trying too hard. In my first short film, we ended up cutting a scene that we’d spent half a day shooting out of a three-day shoot. That scene held one bit of information that mattered to me though – a story point that created a realistic portrayal of the main character’s occupation, a little truism that, as a writer, I cared about. It’s taken me two shorts to even begin to wrap my head around how much changes when you move from script to set to editing to a finished film. And I’d love to hear in the comments below from those who have experienced having their scripts produced and what lessons they’ve learned from the process. Our goal as screenwriters is ultimately to have a completed film, not just a completed script. The Screenwriting Directory is an online resource with more than 2,500 verified listings for Hollywood industry insiders.
Attend a live Online Screenwriting Webinar from the Writers Store and learn from top screenwriters, agents, and instructors. Film and video editors usually acquire their skills through formal postsecondary training at vocational schools, colleges, universities, or photographic institutes. Many universities, community and junior colleges, vocational-technical institutes, and private trade and technical schools offer courses in film and video editing. As shown in this video the task of a film and video editor is to use footage from a camera operator to tell a story, scene by scene.
Film and video editors edit soundtracks, film, and video for the motion picture, cable, and broadcast television industries. Making commercial-quality movies and video programs requires technical expertise and creativity.
Cut shot sequences to different angles at specific points in scenes, making each individual cut as fluid and seamless as possible.


Do you have a specific question about a career as a Film and Video Editor that isn't answered on this page? You may print and distribute up to 200 copies of this document annually, at no charge, for personal and classroom educational use. Reproduction of material from this website without written permission is strictly prohibited.
Sometimes described as "digital lithographs", giclees are created using extremely sophisticated computer equipment to create a reproduction virtually indistinguishable from the original.Most giclees start with an original painting or illustration in oil, watercolour, or charcoal. If you have a lot of direct sunlight in your home, you may want to upgrade your artwork purchase to conservation glass. If you’re digging ReelGood, sign up to our mailing list for exclusive content, early reviews and chances to win big! He is a collaborator who works with cinematographers and sound editors to bring sight and sound together.
By the time shooting was complete, they had plenty to work with -- 1.5 million feet of film. Advances in technology allow editors to conduct most of their work using computers and digital equipment in conjunction with advanced video editing software such as Adobe Premier Pro or Apple’s Final Cut Pro.
They work closely with directors in order to trip the footage to the required length, determine the audio and visual effects needed, and cut sequences to the desired angles. Film editing fascinates me because it reminds me very much of writing in terms of story development, structure and pacing. It’s because with an editor you’re building a story that left the written page behind and is now in a fully visual medium. While we did find work-arounds for many of these in editing (and phew to that!), it’s always better to solve a problem in the script stage to give your film the best shot at being the strongest it can be.
There’s probably no better way to see how your dialogue plays than to shoot it and edit it. We’re always told show, don’t tell, but nothing drives that home more like watching the talking heads you’ve created blah, blah, blahing away. I’ll look for character traits that can be translated into a prop or an established behavior.
In brainstorming ideas, I thought about the kind of man he was and his living environment and it didn’t seem unlikely that he’d want to protect himself – so I gave him a bat. A scene that felt pretty snappy on the page, might start to feel like it’s dragging on set and by the time it’s in editing, you have a snoozer on your hands. In my own writing, I’ve found there’s a warm-up process I go through when I write a new scene.
I know the intent of every line and naturally build in inflections and emphasis that may not be warranted by the script itself.
It had been the biggest scene in the film in terms of the time it took to setup, the number of actors and extras involved, and the details of set design and props. But that’s it, a tiny nugget that would only matter to me and to the people who work in that industry, so the scene was of course cut. These first-hand experiences that come with producing my own work are without question the most valuable lessons I’ve gathered for myself to date. You can adapt this lesson on directing your first scene to work with your own writing as well. It’s our responsibility to learn how our scripts can help the process go as smoothly as possible so we end up not just with films, but with great films, and maybe even that dress for the Oscars. A bachelor's degree may be required for some positions, particularly those for film and video editors. Television series, studio programs, news and sporting events, motion pictures, and music videos are all materials that are constructed from many different shots by film and video editors.
Producing successful images requires choosing and presenting interesting material, selecting appropriate equipment, and applying a good eye and a steady hand to ensure smooth, natural movement of the camera.
Those employed by television and cable networks and advertising agencies usually work a 5-day, 40-hour week; however, they may work longer hours to meet production schedules. In Tex Averya€™s hilarious 1938 short, a€?Daffy Duck, Film Editor,a€? that darn-fool duck goes from a hollow-wooded pond to a big Hollywood Studio, called Wonder Pictures, where their tag line is, a€?If ita€™s a good picture, ita€™s a Wonder!a€? After wreaking havoc on a sound stage in full production, this scene finds our hero splicing together a€?a REAL featurea€? which ultimately lands him a job directing for the studio.
The original work is scanned and colour corrected under the supervision of the artist before being printed with a extremely high resolution giclee printer. As ambient (indirect) sunlight and artificial light do not present a fading risk, most people do not require special UV filtering glass.
Conservation glass filters out 97% of harmful UV rays and will prevent fading of signatures and artwork, as well as yellowing of paper.
The first cut may take up to three months to assemble.Make revisions, as requested by the director and producers, and prepare the final cut for release to the film house for production.
Because the movie combined live action with animation sequences, he also brought in Sabrina Plisco, an editor experienced with visual effects. But more than simply selecting and assembling footage in the desired sequence, they had the challenge of combining footage of the human actors with that of animals who seemed to be talking, like Wilbur the pig, or were simply animations, like Charlotte the spider [sources: Editors Guild and IMDB]. A film editor’s education consists of several technical training courses completed while earning a film degree. Consequently, it’s important for individuals who want to succeed as film editors to take in as much as possible during film school in order to perfect their editing skills and increase their chances of obtaining a position right out of college. It’s important for film editors to have strong computer skills, as they spend most of their time working with video editing software. I figured learning first-hand what makes a script work on film had to put me in a better position to write specs that could sell than just guessing how the page translates to the screen.


If visual storytelling is what screenwriters are looking to achieve, then the lessons we take from film editing might be some of the best we can apply to our writing. I’ll add telling objects about a character into a scene or have her reveal a skill or a habit.
Making that one choice opened up ideas for new scenes and for using the bat symbolically in the film.
I often over-introduce (in dialogue, of course!) who’s in the scene, how they are related, and why they’re there. Would changing the order of two scenes eliminate the need to dutifully introduce characters? Once I have a well-crafted draft, I’m a big fan of the table read for listening to your dialogue out loud. We cut it because we found in editing that it slowed down the pace of the film at a critical point and, ultimately, it didn’t seem to add anything new to the story. But I will admit that when I watch the final film now there’s a tiny part of me that wishes I could have found a better way to include that story beat so I’d feel like I got all of my facts in the film just right. I’ve seen them in action and the impact of having your writing put through the filmmaking process sinks in much deeper than second-hand knowledge ever could. Kim made her directing debut in 2012 with the award-winning, short supernatural thriller VIVIENNE AGAIN, and has since written and directed two more short films.
It takes film and video editors and cutting-edge computer technology to make an exciting movie that people want to see. Employers usually seek applicants with a good eye, imagination, and creativity, as well as a good technical understanding of how the camera operates. With the increase in digital technology, much of the editing work is now done on a computer.
Edit films and videotapes to insert music, dialogue, and sound effects, to arrange films into sequences, and to correct errors, using editing equipment. From the French term for "spray of ink", giclee printers lay down millions of microscopic ink droplets with such precision that the images, colours, and subtle nuances of the original piece are reproduced with breathtaking accuracy and beauty.Giclees are created on high quality acid-free rag paper or on canvas, and are generally done in limited editions of no more than 750 pieces. An experienced editor knows what will work visually as well as how to edit scenes in a way that serves the storyline. Film school prepares students with the necessary knowledge in media production, computers and electronics (such as circuit boards, processors, editing hardware and software, etc.), production processes and fine art fundamentals, by providing quality instruction from industry professionals.
It was a prop the actor could gesture with, making even the smallest moments more visually threatening, and without saying a word, an audience can infer a lot about a man who wields a bat. Don’t feel compelled to address every question that is posed to a character with a direct answer. Don’t put them in a scene that can be construed as throwaway or they probably won’t end up in the final film. From the many thousands of minutes of film and video, the editor has to choose the best shots to tell a cohesive and compelling story. Bachelor's degree programs, especially those including business courses, provide a well-rounded education. Select and combine the most effective shots of each scene to form a logical and smoothly running story. They are often signed by the artist.Limited edition giclees are a beautiful addition to any home and any art collection.
And there are just so many metaphors you can shove into a character’s mouth before they sound unhinged. In addition to having an artistic bent, the film and video editor must relish working with complicated computer equipment. If you would like to combine your artistic talents and your computer skills into a great career, then read on to learn more about film and video editors. Organize and string together raw footage into a continuous whole according to scripts or the instructions of directors and producers. Review assembled films or edited videotapes on screens or monitors to determine if corrections are necessary.
Review footage sequence by sequence to become familiar with it before assembling it into a final product.
Set up and operate computer editing systems, electronic titling systems, video switching equipment, and digital video effects units to produce a final product. Confer with producers and directors concerning layout or editing approaches needed to increase dramatic or entertainment value of productions.
Manipulate plot, score, sound, and graphics to make the parts into a continuous whole, working closely with people in audio, visual, music, optical or special effects departments.
Supervise and coordinate activities of workers engaged in film editing, assembling, and recording activities. Trim film segments to specified lengths, and reassemble segments in sequences that present stories with maximum effect.
Collaborate with music editors to select appropriate passages of music and develop production scores. Estimate how long audiences watching comedies will laugh at each gag line or situation, to space scenes appropriately.



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