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Thread: Training to be professional editor

  1. #1

    Default Training to be professional editor

    Hi there

    I'm looking to retrain as an editor, possibly specialising in video titles. I'm wondering which is the best software to master for any potential companies to consider offering me work, and how you go about finding vacancies at post-production companies. At the moment I'm quite new to it all and while I know the basics of FCP I obviously need to embark on some intensive training, and I'm also considering After Effects as another piece of software to learn. Can anybody recommend any courses in or around London, or a possible course of action that I could take? Sorry for sounding like a complete newbie.
    Yours lost


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    East Kilbride, Scotland



    If you are serious about becoming a 'professional' in the world of Video (Post) Production. then the first recommendation I would make to you is to seek professional training. By this I mean canvass your local Colleges and see what is on offer in terms of Media Studies (and specifcally Video Production).

    Thereafter, and perhaps in conjucnction with the study approach, canvass any local Video Production Company. Offer yourself for work placement (possibly free of charge for a short period) and find out what they are using.

    Prior to that becoming a good Amateur and having a good awareness of Video Editing (And Titling) techniques & tools will help you position yourself in the job marketplace. Be aware though that it is a tough marketplace and highly competitive.

    Alternatively canvass the local press (Job Centres, Job Agencies, etc) for trainee positions.

    Your ambitions are admirable and I wish you good luck.

  3. #3


    Try and get a job as a runner in a post prod house, make the tea for 6 months, kiss media whore ass, make showreel dubs all day, work late, kiss more ass and maybe someone will start letting you fiddle with the avid ooh...

    In the meantime learn premier or any other pro-ish NLE as the basic workflow is very similar even on beefy edit suites (minus the massive leather sofas and the runner, oh thats you, to bring the client an ice cold beer and kiss his ass).

    Hope that helps


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004


    I worked my way from the bottom upwards, It took 7 years from leaving a-levels to being a junior vt op to senior vt op working in everything from post dubbing to live studio and outside broadcast. Then going into editing, learning on online 9100 digi tape suites , learning how to edit as a real editor before getting my hands dirty on Avid etc.
    Unfortunately people think they can pick up a editing programme and put it on a computer and then insult editors who have learnt an art for years by saying they can edit. Ie little collage brats who were taught by Medi teachers who really know ++++
    If you really want it bad, then your best move is to start from the bottom and get into the industry as a runner then watch editors at work, learn the art, how they cut how they make it work, feel, flow etc asking questions.
    Don`t listen to producers who dry hire as they know how to cause problems for real editors!

    Avid express and Affter effects are great little tools, final cut pro is good to but I preffer Avid, mainy because its more proffesional in feel and its edl`s work with Broadcast equipment! for onlining which helps!!

  5. #5


    I detect a note of elitism, not uncommon amongst professionals in the film industry, in your post. While I agree that his best chance of getting into the industry is via the runner/dogsbody route I would say that if you can learn a decent NLE and have talent you could edit with "professional" finesse. Sure you wont know all the tricks of the trade but in terms of flow and composition etc editing is a creative process and as such cannot be merely be taught or learnt, a life-time spent watching TV and movies with a critical eye will reveal all you really need to know - after that its down to individual talent.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004


    Im not being elitist atall I`m really just pointing out that you don`t need a degree to be an editor.

    Yes you can`t be taught certain things, but you sure can learn of other editors, how they make things work, reasons why doing a split audio edit of 4 frames makes the big difference to a straight cut, know what I mean?
    Then theirs dealing with clients, working fast and being creative, their is alot to concider, the stress and the fun. You can learn this by becoming a runner, or you can think you know it, like a million other people on their home systems refusing to be a dog body expecting to go straight in to the industry. It just won`t happen that way, you will find that a large % of proffessional editors used to be dogs bodies.
    Or you could be a wedding video cutter!
    Good luck

  7. #7


    Fairynuff Hillph, your definately right about being a dogsbody as apposed to getting a degree as I've never met anyone in the industry with a degree except in like biology or summit they thought they wanted to do before they decided to get involved with movies.
    Wedding video cutters - do any exist? Mwahahahah


  8. #8


    In a nutshell, a hobby's a world apart from a career. With video editing becoming more and more accesible, I've no doubt that more and more people will develop ambitions of becoming a professional editor.

    I'm sure there's people with raw talent, but like a rough diamond, raw talent needs to be nurtured - and as film and tv industry is one of the more seemingly glamarous areas to work in, I'm sure many people have ambitions to succeed there. But like ANY job, you start at the bottom and work up.

    So there's the problem. I get a similar problem in my industry (pensions) where clients query my calculations. I'm sure they have an idea of how benefits are calculated, but with several year's experience, I'm in an eminantly better position. It sometimes makes me chuckle when they come back with how they "think" their pension should have been calculated.

    So there it is. A career's developed over years and no-one, no matter how talented, can come straight in and be an expert. And if you do have the talent and the ambition, you'll gladly start at the bottom. If you really do have the talent and the ambition, I'm sure progress would be quick - and any time spent in an industry you love will be time invested wisely.

    Me? I think I'll stick to what I know best. I know that if I tried to turn a hobby into a career, I'd end up hating my career!
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  9. #9


    Thought I'd turn this into a sticky - good advice from the posters here (except mine )
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