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Thread: process of a video editor?

  1. #1

    Default process of a video editor?

    hello there, nice to be part of the forum as you can tell im a newbie and i was wondering what is the process to becoming a video editor as a career because i found my self making this video the other day and a coupel of people have pretty much said well done thats good so i thought i would just broaden my career horizons and consider this as a career, im currently a student on a uniformed services course so i still have a bit of choice left as to what career path to take but any way take a look, maybe its not as good as ive been told but id just like some knowledge of how the process works thanks.


  2. #2
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    Hi Ryan,

    Someone else asked a similar question a while ago , and here's my reply to them. They were asking more about Macs, but I think this is relevant, and some good info in there.

    A while ago, I was considering getting my own Mac and FCP to try and do some video editing work, so I asked a couple of people I know - one of which teaches FCP and another who works as a freelancer for various TV channels and uses Avid as well as FCP. They're interesting points about getting a job as a video editor. I've starred out bits that are personal/private:

    I think it'd be quite difficult to make a living editing from home from the start off as it takes time to build-up a client base. In fact to be honest I think being freelance initially might be a struggle for the same reason. People tend to hire people they've worked with before, and so it might be more prudent to look for a staff position to get you going. But that could help you move into the sector, as the vast majority of staff positions are in the corporate/shortform video sector - and many of these companies now like people who can do a bit of everything, i.e. video, web, flash, graphics etc.
    Corporate projects can be fun, as the budgets are a lot higher (in terms of s per minute of screen time), and they're often quite glossy and flashy end products.
    The bad news though is that there's likely to be a contraction in this sector in the short term as companies reign-in their marketing spend.

    A Mac and FCP will give you a good set-up for home-based work. But although FCP has made an impact on the market, most professional work is still done on Avid. The FCP training courses are great but they won't get you a job. I don't think many employers would actually know what an Apple Certified User is to be honest. In any case all those exams prove is that you know which buttons to press, they don't prove how creative you are, or how well you can tell a story - and that's more important I reckon. Having said that the official training books are really good and I've got most of them myself, as well as doing a couple of them as tutored courses. (If you're interested in doing courses, contact Northwest Vision & Media - Home page : Northwest Vision and Media - as they can offer 70% training subsidies)

    Personally, most of my work in in the broadcast sector. It does tend to pay a slightly better daily freelance rate, plus the projects are longer so it's easier to plan ahead. But really the main reason I prefer longform work is that I like crafting stories, I like starting with a mountain of footage and shitting myself how the hell it's ever going to come together. And it's a bit more of a laid-back environment, being less client-facing.

    Moneywise it can be good. Freelance is potentially more lucrative but there's zero security. Last year I made about ***** as a freelancer, but after mid-February I have no work in the diary, (and that's quite typical situation to face.) There's a lot of faith placed in the phone ringing! But then I have no dependents, so the consequences of potentially being skint aren't too severe.

    I hope all that makes sense. It's certainly fun a lot of the time, and no duller than any other profession the rest of the time. Feel free to give me a shout if there's anything else you'd like to know.
    And...

    I'll cut right to the chase. Video editing is, for me, a hugely enjoyable activity. I've been doing it for 14 years, I have qualifications in Final Cut Pro, Motion, Soundtrack Pro, Pro Tools, I teach them all to undergrads and postgrads, I use them all when doing ******* work and other freelance stuff. If there was any money to be made from it, I'd be making it!

    Editing used to be the domain of the few, but since technological advancements have meant that pretty much anyone with a Mac or PC can get pro-level software, the number of editors has dramatically risen. Apple Certification certainly sets you apart from the rest, but the commercial side of things is in decline at the moment. The whole 'credit crunch' thing has meant that it works out cheaper for businesses to buy in the equipment and produce their own promotional materials in-house than to contract out. Even companies like ******* are feeling the squeeze.

    So the bottom line is this: as a sideline it's great, as something you can do alongside your regular day job it's something I'd heartily recommend. The satisfaction I get from it is immense. But as for a complete change of career, I wouldn't recommend it, as you'd be going up against people far younger than us, who can afford to take lowly paid positions in production houses and work their way up. I know of graduates of mine who have taken positions at 14K and less, in order to get their foot in the door. The established editors can command a fortune if they make it into film and TV, but it's a long road to get there mate!

  3. #3
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    My std reply to this question is to mention my friend who was on a masters in documtnrary and video with me.
    After graduattion she spent ages looking for a job and started out as assistant editor on 12,000, in london...

    ( I didnt pass - or fail... lols - got ill for six months :-(

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    Oh, and your video.

    Assessed brutally it really is just a you tube video wih nothing huge to reccomend it other than it's fun.

    Editing is far more than throwing a few short groovy clips together - it is a highly technical and artidtic role.

    My advice is film and edit everything into your life - tell stories.

    My MA would have taught me very little about edting - help as always there but we were expectred largely to be self directed with that bit.

    I still do lots of studying myself - there are many great books out there.

    Maybe start with a film studies type book. 'How to read a film' - monaco - recommended to me by Guru and a great read and ref work.

    For editing my bible for ' classical ' editing is continuity editing' Five C S Of Cinematography'- Joseph Mascelli.

    Regarding your video - see [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/180_degree_rule]180 degree rule - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark W View Post
    For editing my bible for ' classical ' editing is continuity editing' Five C S Of Cinematography'- Joseph Mascelli.
    Best bit of advice Mark's ever given me. A great read.
    Tim

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