How to become a Film and Television Editor

Film and television editors edit and assemble films and videos from raw, unedited footage ('dailies' or 'rushes'), taking into account the mood, pace and climax of films or television productions.

Personal requirements of a Film and Television Editor

  • Artistic flair and interest in visual media
  • Patience
  • Attention to detail
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Able to take direction
  • Lateral thinking

Education & Training for a Film and Television Editor

You can work as a film and television editor without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications. You may like to consider a VET qualification in screen and media. Applicants may be required to attend an interview and/or submit a folio of work. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a film and television editor through a traineeship in Media or Screen and Media. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school. Alternatively, you can become a film and television editor by completing a degree in creative arts, media, screen production or film and television. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with English. Applicants may be required to attend an interview and/or submit a folio of work. A number of institutions in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Institutions have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

Duties & Tasks of a Film and Television Editor

Film and television editors may perform the following tasks:

  • view processed film and video with production personnel to analyse, evaluate and select scenes and to decide which scenes need to be improved or reshot
  • trim film and copy video segments to specific lengths, arranging and joining them in sequence as a final product or for inclusion within a subsequent broadcast or longer production
  • import, compile and render digital audio and visual footage on a computer to enable the content to be presented with maximum effect
  • select and incorporate visual effects and transitions for maximum effect
  • select stock shots from a film library and edit and incorporate them into film or video.

Working conditions for a Film and Television Editor

There is often a need to work long or irregular hours. Work may need to be carried out on location.

Employment Opportunities for a Film and Television Editor

Film and television editors work for film companies, television stations and video production houses. They may also work on a freelance basis. Competition for jobs is very strong and interstate and/or overseas experience is often needed to enhance employment prospects. Completion of a course will not guarantee entry to this occupation. Employment and advancement depend on the person having considerable experience and talent.

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