Film Editors please help answer a few questions!

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Comments (7)

kristin061991 in Saint Cloud, Florida

35 months ago

Hello, I have a few questions to interview you on so that I can see if film editing is the job that's right for me. I'm in College and this is part of a big assignment I must complete in a few days.
I have eight questions if you could answer.

1. What experiences or knowledge is required to do film editing?
2.What types of projects, assignments or deadlines must you meet each day?
3. Does your job require overtime and what is your work schedule?
4. What preparations of courses did you find necessary or helpful upon entering the job? What was your major in college?
5. Can you suggest some ways a student could obtain this necessary experience?
6. What is the biggest challenge you encountered?
7. If you were entering this career today, would you change your preparation in any way to facilitate entry?
8. What advice would you give someone thinking about this career?
9. What is your job title and place of employment?

Thank you I hope you can answer these questions. I would love to know a way to contact you in the near future If I need advise so If you would like to let me know your name, and email that would be great :)

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Phil Satterley in Littleton, Colorado

35 months ago

First off I assume when you say "Film Editing" you actually mean editing of movies or "Video Editing" (because if it's editing of actual film elements you're looking at, I'd say find another career since film will be gone in a few years and it's all going video anyways;-) Okay sorry if this turns in to a book but here's my lengthy answer...

1. First off you have to know how to EDIT. What I mean is it's easy to take a Final Cut Pro class and know how to work the system, that's fine and you need to know that, however it's really all about the ability to select shots and tell a story. Learning the systems teaches you what buttons to push, with the main benefit being, the less time you spend bumping around trying to figure out how the system works, the more time you have within your deadline to try different edits and approaches. In the editing world there's not one "right" way to edit, there's a million right ways to do an edit, but some right edits look better than others.

2. My current position I do anything from interstitial material as well as "Sizzle reels". Deadlines (many of them last minute) can be anything from routine (same deadline every week) to last minute. The real requirement is not just meeting the deadline, but also being as CREATIVE as possible (see above).

3. My job is technically 9 to 5 salaried. However there are MANY long hours (no overtime paid) In many situations end of day Friday is our deadline, however I don't get materials in until Friday morning when we've been dead all week, so in actuality we have a week's worth of work we need done in a day (luckily we have no kids and I have a VERY understanding wife;-) So be prepare for that, ESPECIALLY if you are just starting out.

CONTINUED NEXT POST....

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Phil Satterley in Littleton, Colorado

35 months ago

4. To help prepare for this, take Final Cut Pro, Premiere, After effects classes and all that, but also take composition, photography, art, film history, any types of appreciation classes. You need classes that help you create a picture, rather than just being able to know how to work the brush. I took Communications as my major (which taught me all of the "creative" side of things, and a Technical Media minor (which taught me the buttons) at Metropolitan State College of Denver.

5. EXPERIENCE! Start off by volunteering, help out on video shoots, make your own productions, look in to Public Access programs in your area (many Public Access centers in your area are free, or charge small fees to produce programs UTILIZE IT IF YOU HAVE IT!) Start off doing productions of things YOU want to do, that way you either KNOW the subject or want to learn more about it and you production will certainly show that. I'm a HUGE Prog Rock fan so I produced a Progressive Rock music video show at my local Public Access channel. I didn't give a S**T if anyone watched, it was something *I* wanted to do but it gave me the initial experience (to my surprise I ended up winning a Public Access award for the show, not bad for a $5 fee and sending in a tape), get your stuff out on You Tube, it's free USE IT! These things you can put on your first demo reel, you'll need that reel to land a job so don't wait until the last minute, start building it now!

6 & 7. My biggest challenge was breaking into the field. For years I worked "administrative jobs" in the industry thinking I could get my foot in the door. I'd advise not going that route, get a job that "pays the bills" but keep following your desire, make that priority. I couldn't get a job editing at the time, so I started my own part time production company while I was working (doing stuff for local bands) I should have just gone straight for the throat from day one!

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Phil Satterley in Littleton, Colorado

35 months ago

8. About advice (other than what was stated above) I always recommend a good "Primer" for editing history and approach is a documentary called "The Cutting Edge - The Magic of Movie Editing" (Amazon and Netflix has it, GET IT!) This is a GREAT insight not only in to movie editing, but editing in general. I watch this documentary SEVERAL times a year to remind me what it's all about. Also on that subject another piece of advice is be aware of what the job is (or can be). Many people are disillusional about what an editor is by thinking that Hollywood shoots the movie, gives it to the editor, they sit in a room alone and edit the movie their way, hand it back to Hollywood and it goes up on the screen. This is usually not the case. Unless you are working on smaller productions (or producing and directing yourself) an editor is the one sitting in the chair, the Producer or Director sitting with them and choosing the shots. You are the one pushing the buttons but also making those shots look good. It's easy when the director tells you "I want the shot of the man walking in the room" but it's mostly up to you, the Editor, to decide where to start the shot of him walking in the room, how it looks compared to the previous shot, and where the shot ends. Also it's the Editor's job to "nudge" the Director to make the shot the best looking possible without being too overbearing or obvious. I once had someone describe it as "being a General in a Private's uniform" which is what it really boils down to. Also when you DO get a few years of experience under your belt, tell people about your experience, give advice and help others out. Not only is it good help, but it also helps you reflect of what you have accomplished so far. Writing this post for me has done just that, so sorry if this post has become a book;-)

CONTINUED NEXT POST...

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Phil Satterley in Littleton, Colorado

35 months ago

LAST PART...

9. I work at a company called National Cinemedia, I edit the First Look show you see in the movie theaters before the movies and also do "Sizzle Reels" for our sales department. I also run Illage Videot Productions and we produce, shoot & edit concert videos, DVD's and other productions for local, national and international artists.

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kristin061991 in Saint Cloud, Florida

35 months ago

Wow thank you so much.. you made everything make a lot more sence. That is the job I want to do. I appreciate your book! Ha its a guide for me thank you thank you thank you!!

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Cathleen Yoo in Jackson, West Virginia

8 months ago

I think you should consult with a professional, he will let you answer all of your queries.. Here you go.. the one I know very well www.storeboard.com/videocaddy

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