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Become A Freelance Video Editor

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Working As A Freelance Video Editor

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $47,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Freelance Video Editor Do

Film and video editors and camera operators manipulate images that entertain or inform an audience. Camera operators capture a wide range of material for TV shows, motion pictures, music videos, documentaries, or news and sporting events. Editors take footage shot by camera operators and organize it into a final product. They collaborate with producers and directors to create the final production.

Duties

Film and video editors and camera operators typically do the following:

  • Shoot and record television programs, motion pictures, music videos, documentaries, or news and sporting events
  • Organize digital footage with video editing software
  • Collaborate with a director to determine the overall vision of the production
  • Discuss filming and editing techniques with a director to improve a scene
  • Select the appropriate equipment, such as the type of lens or lighting
  • Shoot or edit a scene based on the director’s vision

Many camera operators have one or more assistants working under their supervision. The assistants set up the camera equipment and may be responsible for its storage and care. They also help the operator determine the best shooting angle and make sure that the camera stays in focus.

Likewise, editors often have one or more assistants. The assistants support the editor by keeping track of each shot in a database or loading digital video into an editing bay. Assistants also may do some of the editing tasks.

The increased use of digital filming has changed the work of a large number of editors and camera operators. Many operators prefer using digital cameras because these smaller, more inexpensive instruments give them more flexibility in shooting angles. Digital cameras also have changed the job of some camera assistants: instead of loading film or choosing lenses, they download digital images or choose a type of software program to use with the camera.

Nearly all editing work is done on a computer, and editors often are trained in a specific type of editing software.

The following are examples of types of camera operators:

Studio camera operators work in a broadcast studio and videotape their subjects from a fixed position. There may be one or several cameras in use at a time. Operators normally follow directions that give the order of the shots. They often have time to practice camera movements before shooting begins. If they are shooting a live event, they must be able to make adjustments at a moment’s notice and follow the instructions of the show’s director.

Cinematographers film motion pictures. They usually have a team of camera operators and assistants working under them. They determine the angles and types of equipment that will best capture a shot. They also adjust the lighting in a shot, because that is an important part of how the image looks.

Cinematographers may use stationary cameras that shoot whatever passes in front of them, or they may use a camera mounted on a track and move around the action. Some cinematographers sit on cranes to film and action scene; others carry the camera on their shoulder while they move around the action.

Some cinematographers specialize in filming cartoons or special effects.

Videographers film or videotape private ceremonies or special events, such as weddings. They also may work with companies and make corporate documentaries on a variety of topics. Some videographers post their work on video-sharing websites for prospective clients. Most videographers edit their own material.

Many videographers run their own business or do freelance work. They may submit bids, write contracts, and get permission to shoot on locations that may not be open to the public. They also get copyright protection for their work and keep financial records.

Many editors and camera operators, particularly videographers, put their creative work online. If it becomes popular, they gain more recognition, which can lead to future employment or freelance opportunities.

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How To Become A Freelance Video Editor

Film and video editors and camera operators typically need a bachelor’s degree in a field related to film or broadcasting.

Education

Most editor and camera operator positions require a bachelor’s degree in a field related to film or broadcasting, such as communications. Many colleges offer courses in cinematography or video-editing software. Coursework involves a mix of film theory with practical training.

Film and video editors and camera operators must have an understanding of digital cameras and editing software because both are now used on film sets.

Training

Editors may complete a brief period of on-the-job training. Some employers may offer new employees training in the type of specialized editing software they use. Most editors eventually specialize in one type of software, but beginners should be familiar with as many types as possible.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification is a way for editors to demonstrate competence in various types of editing software. To earn certification, video editors must pass a comprehensive exam. Candidates can prepare for the exam on their own, through online tutorials, or through classroom instruction.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Film and video editors and camera operators must communicate with other members of a production team, including producers and directors, to ensure that the project goes smoothly.

Computer skills. Film and video editors must use sophisticated editing software.

Creativity. Film and video editors and camera operators should be able to imagine what the result of their filming or editing will look like to an audience.

Detail oriented. Editors look at every frame of film and decide what should be kept and what should be cut in order to maintain the best content.

Hand–eye coordination. Camera operators need to be able to move about the action while holding a camera steady.

Physical stamina. Camera operators may need to carry heavy equipment for long periods of time, particularly when they are filming on location.

Visual skills. Film and video editors and camera operators must be able to see clearly what they are filming or editing in the postproduction process.

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Freelance Video Editor Career Paths

Freelance Video Editor
Video Editor Producer
Senior Producer
7 Yearsyrs
Video Editor Producer Project Manager
Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Video Editor Producer Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Editor Owner Art Director
Freelance Art Director
6 Yearsyrs
Editor Owner Vice President
Founder And Chief Executive Officer
7 Yearsyrs
Editor Manager Property Manager
Communications Director
6 Yearsyrs
Editor & Producer Senior Producer Production Manager
Vice President Of Production
8 Yearsyrs
Editor & Producer Executive Producer Owner
Owner And Founder
6 Yearsyrs
Editor & Producer Production Manager Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Video Producer Production Manager Vice President
Owner And Chief Executive Officer
7 Yearsyrs
Video Producer Executive Producer Senior Producer
Senior Editor
5 Yearsyrs
Video Producer Senior Producer Creative Director
Chief Creative Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Marketing Coordinator Staff Writer
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Marketing Specialist Marketing Communications Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Marketing Specialist Social Media Manager
Manager Of Digital Media
5 Yearsyrs
Motion Graphics Artist Motion Graphics Designer Senior Editor
Content Director
7 Yearsyrs
Animator Senior Graphic Designer Print Production Manager
Freelance Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Motion Graphics Artist Motion Graphics Designer Multimedia Designer
Multimedia Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Writer/Producer Managing Editor Content Manager
Digital Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Avid Editor 4.7 years
News Video Editor 3.1 years
Non-Linear Editor 3.1 years
Freelance Producer 3.1 years
Video Photographer 3.1 years
Editor & Producer 2.9 years
Video Producer 2.8 years
Video Editor 2.6 years
Film Editor 2.3 years
Top Careers Before Freelance Video Editor
Video Editor 20.8%
Internship 11.4%
Editor 6.1%
Volunteer 2.5%
Assistant 2.3%
Director 2.1%
Top Careers After Freelance Video Editor
Video Editor 27.5%
Editor 4.6%
Internship 4.3%
Owner 2.9%
Director 2.4%
Producer 2.2%

Do you work as a Freelance Video Editor?

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Top Skills for A Freelance Video Editor

  1. Video Production
  2. Web Series
  3. Adobe Photoshop
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Facilitated and resolved field based video production; including camera operation and set design.
  • Lead in editing Hudson Whiskey s Web Series - Making the Cut.
  • Design graphics using Adobe Photoshop and PowerPoint to be utilized in videos.
  • Post Production tools: Final Cut Pro 7, FCP X and Avid Adrenaline, for offline creative editorial.
  • Freelance work including illustrations and sequential comic art, graphic design commissions, and video editing.

Freelance Video Editor Demographics

Gender

Male

67.9%

Female

21.6%

Unknown

10.5%
Ethnicity

White

60.4%

Hispanic or Latino

17.0%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

8.1%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

51.2%

French

12.5%

Portuguese

6.3%

Japanese

6.3%

Dutch

5.0%

German

3.8%

Italian

3.8%

Russian

2.5%

Swedish

1.3%

Chinese

1.3%

Persian

1.3%

Mandarin

1.3%

Polish

1.3%

Arabic

1.3%

Afrikaans

1.3%
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Freelance Video Editor Education

Schools

Full Sail University

13.1%

Columbia College Chicago

10.3%

New York University

8.1%

School of Visual Arts

6.9%

Savannah College of Art and Design

6.9%

Academy of Art University

5.9%

San Francisco State University

5.6%

Emerson College

5.6%

Temple University

4.1%

University of Texas at Austin

4.1%

University of Colorado at Boulder

3.8%

Syracuse University

3.4%

New School

3.1%

American University

3.1%

University of the Arts

2.8%

Webster University

2.8%

University of North Texas

2.8%

Parsons the New School for Design

2.5%

Rochester Institute of Technology

2.5%

DePaul University

2.5%
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Majors

Photography

33.4%

Communication

16.4%

Digital Media

6.8%

Graphic Design

5.8%

Fine Arts

4.9%

Journalism

4.9%

Animation

4.0%

Audiovisual Communications Technologies

3.5%

Entertainment Business

3.5%

Business

1.9%

Computer Science

1.9%

English

1.9%

Theatre

1.8%

Computer Networking

1.5%

Visual And Performing Arts

1.4%

Electrical Engineering

1.4%

Music

1.3%

Computer Applications

1.2%

Public Relations

1.2%

Marketing

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

59.9%

Other

16.4%

Masters

10.8%

Associate

8.7%

Certificate

3.1%

Diploma

0.9%

Doctorate

0.2%
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