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What Skills Do You Need to Be a Video Editor?

Video editor working at a computer

Do you have a passion for video and want to gain the skills needed to be a video editor? Film and video editors are in demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of film and video editors is projected to grow 18 percent in the next decade. Now is the time to consider a career as a video editor. So, what does a video editor do? And what skills do you need to succeed?

What Does a Video Editor Do?

As a video editor, you will be responsible for the editing and assembly of a video’s materials. These materials will include camera footage, dialogue, sound effects, graphics and special effects. A video editor is responsible for:

  • Organizing video content with video-editing software
  • Working with the video director to determine the overall vision
  • Editing a scene based on the director’s vision
  • Reviewing scenes, script and screenplays
  • Assembling raw footage
  • Identifying the sequence of the video
  • Synchronizing sound and story
  • Creating a rough cut for director review
  • Managing assistant video editors
  • Staying abreast of the changes in the industry

A video editor can also work on a multitude of projects in addition to film. These projects may include commercials, corporate training videos, music videos, television programs, and social media content.

What Skills Do You Need to Be a Video Editor?

There are many skills that will help you become a successful video editor. Many of these skills you already have and most you will hone during a film and sound design program at a creative arts college. Whether it is attention to detail or being detail oriented, mastering these skills is important for your success as a video editor.

Skill #1: Attention to Detail

Even the smallest error will be noticed by the video audience. It is important as a video editor to be thorough and manage every detail of the video editing process. As a video editor, you will need a good eye for camera angles, special effects and continuity of motion. Attention to detail is also important for sound effects and synchronization of the sound and film elements.

Skill #2: Good Memory

It will be up to you, as the video editor, to keep the videos timeline straight and remember all the nuances of the video content. How is the video content ordered? Some scenes in a video can be filmed out of sequence and it is your responsibility to assemble the video according to the director’s vision.

Skill #3: Follow Through

Once you start editing a video, the job doesn’t end until you have a final product. Understanding the director’s complete vision is important. Part of following through is the ability to stay calm during high-stress situations. In addition, you will need to have a commitment to high-quality content.

Skill #4: Communication

Both verbal and written communication are important. Some of your time will be spent working with others, after set and when editing the final version of the video. You must also have a high aptitude for written communication as you will spend time reading new and revised scripts.

Skill #5: Active Listening

Part of being a video editor means listening to the director and understanding what they are saying. You will need to give your full attention to what others are saying during the revision process, ask appropriate questions and do not interrupt when ideas are being shared.

Skill #6: Work Well with Others

You will need to ask the director questions about what vision they have and how they want you to edit the video. As a video editor, you may also work closely with the cinematographer, sound designer, special effects editor and other film set crew. In addition to working well with others, you will need the ability to work autonomously to meet deadlines and finish final video projects.

Skill #7: Flexible

Throughout the video production process there will always be changes so you will need to be flexible and adaptable. The director might come to you in the eleventh hour to cut a scene or dub over a specific sound. You must be flexible to deal with production delays and unexpected problems that may arise. Having the ability to work with the tools you have and make the changes that will undoubtably occur is an important skill as a video editor.

Skill #8: Networking

Part of succeeding in the movie, film and video industries is knowing the right people. You will need knowledge of the film industry and be able to make connections with others. You can join filming groups, attend workshops, and make friends on the set. Social media is also a great way to grow your network.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know about the skills you need to be a successful video editor; it is time to start your journey into film and sound design. During this program, you will learn about filmmaking, film production, and sound design in addition to video editing. You will have a well-rounded filmmaking education which will make you a better and more sympathetic video editor. Take the time to prepare for your new career and build the confidence you need to lead the film editing crew. Your foundation in film and sound design will help you in every aspect of video editing.

Film and Sound Design Program

The Film and Sound Design program offers an occupational degree that immerses college students in the world and industry of film and sound design. IPR’s condensed program allows students to earn a multi-skill, multi-functional Occupational Associate of Applied Science Degree in as little as two years.  Students learn hands-on, entry-level skills in every aspect of the film business: story, preproduction, production, and post-production for video and audio. Work as a part of a team to produce your own film- from concept and storyboard, to production and editing – you’ll graduate with a portfolio of work to showcase your creativity and launch your career in the exciting Film Industry.

If you are interested in a career in film and sound design you should tour our Minneapolis creative arts college, see the labs and meet our staff. Call 1-612-351-0631 or contact admissions to make arrangements.