How To Become a Movie Editor

Film or movie editing is the post-production stage of making a movie. This is the process by which the movie actually takes its final form and narrative structure. Although the script writer actually wrote the story, it's the movie editor's job (as well as the director's) to bring that story from the medium of text into the medium of film by arranging the series of images in the proper sequence.

  1. Invest on quality equipment. The days of linear editing - with its bulky equipment and notorious splicing and taping together of raw film - have slowly been outflanked by the more sophisticated computer-based non-linear editing. Needless to say, non-linear editing requires powerful hardware and software applications. A computer geared for memory-heavy editing work of footage in the standard definition (SD) format should comprise of at least 2GB of random access memory (RAM), 4 GB of hard disk space, and powerful graphics and video cards. Everything should be of much higher capacity if you'll be editing images shot in the high definition (HD) format. Software applications such as the popular Final Cut Pro and Avid are commonly used by professional movie editors so you might want to start saving up to invest on either of these as well. Having your own camcorder wouldn't hurt although you may consider borrowing this at first if you want to avoid incurring additional costs.
  2. Study movie editing. If you have the funds, then you can take a bachelor course in Digital Movie or Film Production from any college or trade school of choice. But if you lack the funds to pursue a formal education, then getting hands-on instructions from a community college is the way to go. Some take to checking out trade shows as introductory courses on movie editing software applications are sometimes given for free.
  3. Take relevant courses such as computer graphics and photography. If your budget will allow, then take up the supplementary courses such as computer graphics and photography to further your knowledge on software and hardware manipulation.
  4. Put everything you've learned into practice. Walk around your neighborhood and shoot images using a camcorder. With raw footage in hand, head home and load everything onto your computer and start editing. Try coming up with at least 3 minutes of finished product, with soundtrack and graphics included if you want. Continue this practice so as to be truly familiar with your medium.
  5. Take on freelance movie editing projects. Now that you've had sufficient practice, then putting it to test should be done. Do this by taking on modest freelance projects. You can start by offering your services to friends and family. This is important so as to get honest to goodness feedback necessary for improvement.

Since more and more hardware and software products are released into the market, then it is wise to keep yourself updated on the latest trends in your chosen field.


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