Role as a Film Editor in the film industry

During the 3 years of my media course I have expressed the highest desire to be a film editor. I find that post-production is my strongest point and a career path that I am suitable for.

Starting as an editor in the film industry is probably not going to happen straight away, one must always start as a runner or assistant editor.

Roles of film editor and assistant editor in the media industry

“Broadly as an assistant editor you work to support the editor. You organise and maintain the project on whatever editing system you are using, you liaise between the different post-production departments, and you produce deliverables at various stages for the director and executives.

As an editor you work with the director to shape the story and solve problems. You are a ‘fresh set of eyes’ and hopefully an objective viewer whose job is to help the film, even if that means losing things that the director loves. You will be involved in choosing which shots to use and in what order, creating the sound and music track. You might even be required to completely change the structure of the film and use visual effects to solve story problems.”

Taken from freelance film editor Michael Ho’s case study; he goes on to state:

“The more challenging aspects of the job are that often the working hours can be long, deadlines short, and the environment can be quite stressful. You have to be a skilled politician at times to mediate between strong personalities. Also sitting at a computer all day is not good for you.

If you’re looking to enter this career be sure that you really want to do it, as it’s not an easy path. Have a passion for filmmaking and be a perfectionist. Make all the contacts that you can and maintain them, that’s how you’ll stay in work.”

Michael is a freelance film editor who completed an MA in Film Editing at the National Film and Television School. He also has a degree in media and information studies from the University of Brighton.

Other Film Editor case studies

These case studies feature established editors in the film industry. I find it exciting reading about their experiences – this makes me more keen on being an editor. It fits my personality and motto of working to ‘perfection’.


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