Video Editor Job Description
Video editors handle the post-production phase of creating videos or films. They bring together raw footage and media and edit these to form videos that are fully ready for viewing. This work can be laborious, as it involves selecting and organizing footage, sourcing additional media such as music, performing color grading and cleaning up audio, and working with directors for hours at a time, often while trying to meet brisk deadlines. Video editors hold their finished videos to high standards, aiming for coherent storylines, seamless transitions, visual appeal, and alignment with creative vision. They generally spend much of their time in front of a computer in editing suites and may work full time or freelance, with possible overtime for urgent projects.
Video Editor Duties and Responsibilities
While the specific duties of video editors vary based on their business and industry, the general responsibilities of this role are relatively consistent. Based on our analysis of job listings, these include:
Assemble and Edit Footage
The primary responsibility of video editors is to transform raw video footage into a finished product. With the storyline in mind, they choose what footage to keep and assemble it into a fluid sequence, varying the camera angles and trimming as necessary. They also perform color grading to enhance video quality.
Video editors often have to source additional assets for the video, such as audio and visual effects. They may assist with the recording of voiceovers, collaborate with sound engineers to create sound effects, or research appropriate music tracks, ultimately integrating these into specific scenes of the video.
In terms of visuals, a video requires not only footage but also graphics, such as transitional elements, text and subtitles, animations, or motion graphics. It’s up to video editors to create these visuals as well as closely related promotional materials, such as video thumbnails, with an eye toward reusability for future projects.
Consult with Stakeholders
The video editor plays a vital part in creating a video and shaping its creative aesthetic. While they usually have the freedom to make key decisions based on a brief or script, they must consult regularly with producers, directors, and writers to clarify requirements, receive feedback, and make adjustments throughout the entire post-production process.
The final step in video editing projects is exporting the finished video for distribution. To appeal to a wide range of audiences, video editors take into account different kinds of platforms and encode videos in several specifications and formats. In addition, they assist with documentation and archiving by logging metadata and compressing videos for storage.
Video Editor Skills and Qualifications
Video editors are well-rounded creatives with a good grasp of storytelling, photography and videography, and design. They have the technical expertise to use video and design software with ease, and they work well in high-pressure environments. Generally, companies hire video editors with a bachelor’s degree in film or multimedia and the following skills:
- Creativity – video editors are excellent storytellers who thoroughly understand a video’s creative concept and work with raw footage and audio to create a product that fulfills this vision
- Eye for appealing visuals – at minimum, video editors must be able to discern what’s visually appealing, especially when performing color grading or arranging scene sequences. They typically have basic proficiency with design and animation
- Precision – video editing is an extremely delicate task that demands a precise sense of timing and attention to detail if scenes are to flow fluidly and elicit the right emotion from viewers
- Collaboration – a video editor collaborates heavily with several members of the team, including scriptwriters and videographers, as well as external stakeholders, so good communication skills and openness to criticism are essential
- Time management – the post-production phase is time-consuming even for short videos, and on top of that, video editors may have to make several revisions. They must be able to concentrate for long periods of time and handle multiple projects simultaneously
Tools of the Trade
To accomplish their daily goals, video editors make use of the following tools:
- Video-editing software (Adobe Premiere, Apple Final Cut Pro, Corel VideoStudio)
- Graphic and visual effects software (Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects)
- Audio equipment (speakers, headphones, recorders)
Video Editor Education and Training
Many video editors have a bachelor’s degree in multimedia arts, film studies, or a related field. However, the most important factor in becoming a video editor is a demo reel or a substantial portfolio of past projects, since these demonstrate that candidates possess technical expertise. Depending on the difficulty of the role, employers look for at least one year of experience, and those in a junior position receive on-the-job training under a more experienced video editor.
Video Editor Salary and Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that film and video editors have a median annual salary of $61,000. Those at the lowest 10 percent of the range make less than $26,000, while those at the highest 10 percent earn more than $163,000.
As video platforms increase and more companies release video content on their websites and social media, the demand for video editors will grow. The BLS predicts a high growth rate of 17 percent for video editor jobs through 2026.
There are many online resources available for exploring the career path of a video editor. Please review the links below to find out more:
Creative Communities of the World – this longstanding community for media professionals gets at least 1 million unique visitors every month because of its extensive collection of reviews, tutorials, curated videos, and industry news. It’s unique for having multiple forums dedicated to user support for popular media equipment
Grammar of the Edit – described by reviewers as phenomenal and extremely informative, this book offers an organized outline of the complete video production process, giving clear explanations of visual rules, the logic behind when to cut scenes, and best practices for video editors
Post-Production Professionals – this international LinkedIn group caters to film and TV post-production professionals, with more than 80,000 diverse members that include video editors, sound mixers, marketers, and directors
The Technique of Film and Video Editing: History, Theory, and Practice – those looking for a denser read can turn to this book, which approaches film and video editing as an art that has evolved over time. Readers can get to know several editing techniques and analyze examples from different time periods
Video School Online – check out this website for online courses and tutorials about video, photography, design, and marketing. Beginner and intermediate video editors will find this useful since they need a good foundation in all of these areas
Video Editor Resume Help
Explore these related job titles from our database of hundreds of thousands of expert-approved resume samples: