The film editor helps the director reach his final vision.
Film editors assemble multiple reels of footage to create one cohesive final product, working with many different segments to turn them into a coherent film. It takes a lot of dedication and practice to become a film editor and some of the best ones are retained by top directors time and time again. If you want to become a film editor, be aware that the job takes many, many hours.
1. Get a degree in film or a related field. Take as many production and editing classes as possible. While studying, build connections with your peers and professors; some may hire you in the future, if they become directors.
2. Learn all the latest equipment and software needed to be a successful film editor such as Final Cut Pro and AVID. Practice editing even if your day job does not involve the film industry.
3. Get an internship in the production field or with an established director. Build up a reel of your editing work to use as a virtual resume.
4. Recognize it takes time to become established as a film editor, sometimes up to five or 10 years. You will not be paid much at the start; however, making connections with directors and other people in the industry is vital to future success.
5. Take on as much work as possible. Look through classifieds and online ads in magazines and websites such as Entertainmentcareers.net and CinemaEditor for individuals looking for film editors. The more people you meet and work with, the more your name will get out there for future projects.
6. Contact the The Motion Picture Editor’s Guild when you have a body of work under your belt. Apply for membership. The MPEG negotiates collective bargaining agreements for film editors and helps protect its members from exploitation. It also helps provide a pension and health care for its members, even though they are essentially freelancers. Joining the guild also helps you find work as a film editor.