There aren’t many jobs for a video editor these days. In the 1990s, when my husband and I were looking to get a home, a number of video schools were looking at us for jobs. Even though they might have had the same degrees I did, they didn’t have the same experience, the kind of experience you need for editing a film. I had never edited a film before I had had this experience working at HBO’s video team and had worked in the video department before that.
Video editing jobs are tough. It’s a lot of hours spent editing, with very little pay. You have to be very meticulous in what you do, making sure all the camera angles are correct, that the audio doesn’t get distorted, and so forth. In a typical job, you can expect to work for about two or three days, and be on the phone with the director or someone on the set for an hour or two at a time. So you really have to be at your best every day and your best at your worst.
You’ll work for about two and a half or three days, but you have to be in the field. Otherwise, you could end up sitting in your office on your laptop for days and days, working on your portfolio. The only exception is if you’re a supervisor and you’re also the editor. A supervisor will call you and let you know what’s on the next day.
If I could get a job at any of these video schools, I would take an introductory class at Kinematix, one of the two video training schools I used to attend. It was a great program but it didn’t pay. When I got out, if I was going to make a film, I had to be in it. I had to think like an editor for a month or more before I was comfortable enough to do it full-time.
The thing about that class is that we studied film theory. That helped me with my job at HBO as well – that was the way I learned how to think. We also had a producer who was a very funny guy, so he would come in and watch the class. Those were some of the lessons we learned from that. He just really helped us out. We didn’t necessarily become good editors but I think we learned a lot about different ways that you can edit. He also helped us figure out how to structure a film.
Video editing has been a great experience – it’s fun, it’s
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