Best path to take for video editor profession?

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    • #89886

      Hi my name is Justin and I am new here, i’m 17 years old and will be fresh out of high school in June and for a career I would like to be a video editor, probably focusing on documentaries like Discovery’s Planet Earth. I have been editing home videos for as long as I can remember and I just love doing it. I am wondering what the best education path would be? Is there any college classes or online courses that would be recommended?

      Thanks for help and or suggestion


    • #213867

      Well, thousands of people go to university and do media courses. A tiny, tiny proportion get work as editors. Those that do, are often self-employed.

      My personal belief is that if you are a natural, instinctive editor – then work for yourself from day one. A media degree is so common that it’s no indicator of if you are any good or not.

      Let me put it like this. I take thousands of photographs as part of my job. I have excellent equipment and software. My friend takes better pictures on his iPhone. He is a photographer. I take photographs. Same applies with editing. I am competent at editing, but I never call myself an editor.

    • #213870

      When I was your age I asked my father, a newspaper editor, why he rarely hired graduates of journalism programs. “They only know about journalism,” he said; “I want people working for me who know about the arts and humanities, the sciences, politics and life. I’d much rather have someone working for me who went through a liberal arts program than a narrowly trained specialist. A person can learn all they’ll ever need to know about journalism while on the job.”

      After more than 60 years working professionally in the arts I’ve grown to see the wisdom of Dad’s answer. A class or two in video production is fine, but gaining the insight a broad college education can provide into how the world works, how others have made ethical, moral, intellectual and artistic decisions, will make you a better artist as a cinematographer, director and editor.

    • #213876

      To add to the excellent suggestions already give, become familiar with the market you’re trying to get into and then find out what NLE is being used and learn it.
      For example, I use Sony Vegas Pro at work and while it fits my needs very well, it’s not being used very much in the broadcast market which is primarily Adobe Premiere and Avid.
      People skills are another very valuable thing to have. I do a large number of interviews of students and potential employers and that term keeps coming up over and over again. A number of employers have said that they would rather hire someone less experienced/knowledgeable than someone who was brilliant but lacked people skills.
      Good luck in whatever you decide to do.


    • #213878

      That’s a good point – the thing now is that knowledge of specific software or equipment is now really important. So if you want a lighting guy he needs to know the kit being used inside out. So a Vegas editor is no use if they’re on Avid, so there’s a market choice to make. Somebody expert in grading on Da Vinci is only useful, if you have the system? Education has always made these choices – when they buy new kit. Loads of places teach on DSLRs. Great, but not much use when you give a Degree qualified cameraman a box lens and remotes and he’s never used one!

      Ask yourself a question – you’re obviously experienced on whatever software you use. Could you edit multicam effectively? That’s always the tricky one in my book.

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