How to Become a Film Editor

Film Editor Job Description

Film editors may work on a variety of productions including feature films, television programs, music videos, corporate training videos or advertisements. A video editor is responsible for creating a finished video product from raw footage material.


This material may consist of camera footage, dialogue, sound effects, graphics and special effects. Editors play a key role in the post-production process and the editor’s skill set can have a large impact on the quality of the finished product. The editor usually works closely with the director to ensure that the finished product reflects the initial creative vision.



Typical Job Duties

Editors select the most effective shoot of a scene in terms of relevance, drama or continuity

Assembling all raw footage, and inputting into computer or editing software

Digitally cutting files to determine the sequence of the film as well as what is usable

The editor may select or suggest music

May provide commentary or writing voice-overs

Oversee the quality and progress of audio and visual engineering and editing

Be in consultation with the director, producer, or client during the entire post-production process

Become familiar with the specific style and tastes of certain directors

May review the screenplay or outline prior to commencing work

Experimenting with design elements such as graphics



How to Get Started in a Career as a Film Editor

A great way to get started in a career as a film editor is to relocate to an area where the film industry is very active. With your education complete, you can begin applying for internships and entry-level jobs with major and minor studios as well as production companies.


It may be worthwhile to see if there are any temp agencies in the area that mainly deal with studios and production companies, and apply for temping positions with them. Working as a temp can be a great way to break into a career in the film industry, because the temp agency will get your foot in the door for you by employing you with production companies and studios.


Once you have your foot in the door of a production company, studio or other film industry organization, you can begin making contacts and promoting yourself as an aspiring editor. Tell everyone who will listen that you are extremely interested in film editing and that you want to learn everything you can about it.


If you are hard working and show enthusiasm, eventually an opportunity will come your way. It may come in the form of a job as an assistant editor, or an assistant to the assistant editor, but in either case it would be a great opportunity to learn exactly how your dream job is done, and put you in a excellent position to be considered for for the job of Film Editor on other projects.



Scholarships for Becoming a Film Editor

The Applicable Majors section below shows fields of study relevant to a career as a Film Editor. You can search for scholarships matched to those fields of study on our Film Studies Scholarships and Fine Arts Scholarships pages.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point for becoming a Film Editor. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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