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Individuals in this field of work are highly skilled film industry employees who work editing movies or videos. The success or ultimate failure of the production lies in their hands. The final production must be a coherent project that incorporates the storyline and personality of the starring actors. Many in the industry consider film editing to be an art that often goes unnoticed and unappreciated, with some dubbing film editing as 'the silent art'. The history of film editing is a long trek, going back to the early heydays of Hollywood. As technology grew, the job descriptions of film editors expanded, to include the field of video editors.
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The job duties of someone working in this creative field are numerous. An employee might find himself studying scripts to understand the storyline and collaborating with directors and film staff regarding the script and director's goals. Throughout the filming, the film editor will examine tapes for editing purposes, looking for errors, segments that run long or parts that do not match the story or go with the storyline. He will work with others adding sounds, voices and music that match the script and place them in the appropriate place.
He will complete these tasks with digital equipment and computer software to create high-quality sound effects. Varying camera angles and shots will be looked at and the best ones added to the reels. The reels will be reviewed several times before the editor comes up with a final version called the director's cut. During the process, he works with other staff including sound and lighting technicians, costume and makeup artists, actors, directors and other editors. Making a movie is truly a team effort.
The film editor’s job has changed over the years. When movies were black and white, editing was simple. With computer and advanced technology, a film editor's job became increasingly more complex using computer graphics to aid in editing films and supplying the necessary elements to create the finished product.
Employers for film and video editors include television stations, cable companies, film and video companies. Another arena of employment is in independent studios. These professionals must be able to work as team players with others in the industry. Fellow employees might include other film editors, sound and lighting technicians, makeup and costume artists, actors, directors and company owners. Although those in this field work as a group, they often find the main portion of their job is performed independently. They spend a large portion of time in projection rooms, cutting labs or computer rooms, editing the films alone. Workers in the film industry find that they are sometimes required to work long hours, especially during movie post-production. Those working in TV studios find the work hours are more traditional, putting in a 40-hour workweek.
2013 marks a rapid rate of change in the video editing and post production industry. With more and more nonlinear video editing applications (NLEs) being picked up by old and new companies, simply being an ‘FCP editor’ or ‘an Avid editor’ may not be enough any more. This is especially in the freelance world. As Michael Cioni, CEO of Light Iron Digital, stated in his presentation about the future of digital cinema, editors need to be translators who can speak several languages, the more ‘languages’ you can speak, the more valuable you become. For me, 2013 is the year of learning more video editing applications.
I have never imagined taking an intern job as a video editor. Videography was just an interest that I picked up in the first year of university life. Before that, I was an amateur photographer and graphic designer. Happy Marketer gave me the chance to explore videography more in depth and make it an essential work of my internship. After starting to work on video editing, I was totally blown away by the power of videography.
Editors are one of the key Heads of Department on feature films, responsible for First Assistant Editors, and on bigger productions, Second Assistants and Trainees. The way a story unfolds and grabs the attention of the audience is one of the most important elements in filmmaking. To ensure that the story flows effortlessly from beginning to end, each shot is carefully chosen and edited into a series of scenes, which are in turn assembled to create the finished film.
If you’re eager to become a film editor, you probably need to slow down and start with some schooling to learn about the industry and the technology used in film editing. Beyond that, you’ll need to gain experience working in the movie industry. And if you want to become an established feature film editor, you’ll need to start in a more modest film-editing job and work your way up.
The craft of the film and video editor is one which combines both technical proficiency and the eye and ear of an artist. The explosion of inexpensive digital editing tools, along with a growing demand for media for a variety of new and emerging platforms has made this once mysterious craft more desirable to creative people than ever.
Editing is an essential part of making any film or video. As Francis Ford Coppola says, “The essence of cinema is editing. It’s the combination of what can be extraordinary images of people during emotional moments, or images in a general sense, put together in a kind of alchemy.”