NYC Career Centers Blog | Tutorials, Resources, Tips & Tricks

Beginner’s Guide to Video Editing

When the filming of a feature-length film wraps, there are often hundreds of hours of raw footage to sort through: the editor of Mad Max: Fury Road needed three months to view all 480 hours of footage! Video editors cut, trim, and edit hundreds of video clips into one cohesive narrative.

Their job requires them to understand the technical aspects of movie-making while also having strong creative skills if they want to add things like sound effects or motion graphics. Video editors can work on projects aside from movies, but the steps they take and the tools they require to complete their work are similar. Here, you’ll learn a bit more about what video editors do and the software they use to make their magic happen. 

What Does a Video Editor Do?

Most of an editor’s work begins in the post-production phase of a project, but an understanding of all phases is crucial to being successful. It is helpful for the editor to be involved in the storyboarding and creative development phase of the project so they have an idea of what the final print is supposed to look like. Most often, the video editor will work very closely with the director in particular, since it is primarily their vision the editor needs to capture. If an advertising campaign requires video editing, they may work with the creative director of the marketing team to ensure that the video appropriately expresses the messaging of the brand. 

There are other aspects of a video editor’s job that vary widely. Some editors are freelance while others work for a specific production company. For instance, some social media influencers will hire freelance video editors to edit their content for them so they can focus on growing other aspects of their platform. Some video editors prefer to shoot and edit their footage while others would rather solely edit without the added pressure of being behind a camera. This helps to break up the monotony of editing; being creative and filming a new project can help you relax and avoid burnout. Many of today’s top directors are famous for editing some of their own films, like the Coen Brothers and Gus Van Sant.

Commonly Used Tools for Video Editing 

Adobe Premiere Pro is one of the gold standard video editing programs on the market today. It can combine and edit footage from multiple cameras to make it look like one seamless project. Programs within the Adobe Creative Cloud were developed to work in conjunction with one another, meaning that footage edited with Premiere Pro can be transferred to Audition to edit the audio, or After Effects to add exciting special effects. All of this can be done without the need to convert file types. Premiere Pro also enables you to designate keyboard shortcuts for quick access to the tools you use the most. 

Adobe After Effects allows editors to add stunning motion graphics and animations to their projects after the editing process has wrapped. This program has rotoscoping capabilities, allowing animators to complete their work much more efficiently. This technique involves filming live actors in a scene, then tracing their movements to make the animation look more realistic. After Effects also allows you to use motion tracking on a performer, and bring many effects together with compositing. There isn’t much that After Effects can’t do.

Final Cut Pro is a video editing program that runs exclusively on iOS/MAC computers. It can edit any film as long as it has a QuickTime-compatible format. Like Premiere Pro, it can also combine footage from multiple sources. The software comes loaded with many transition options, audio filters, and color-correcting tools. Recent films edited with Final Cut Pro include Parasite and Kubo and the Two Strings.

Audition is yet another Adobe program, but entirely for editing audio tracks. With this program, you can combine several tracks, design your own sound effects, and even convert text into lifelike speech patterns. Audition has cleanup and restorative capabilities as well, making it one of the most well-rounded audio programs out there. 

Careers That Require Video Editing Skills

You might be wondering what the career path for a video editor looks like. While working in film or television probably sounds the most exciting, many other industries need video editors to make their work possible. Companies often develop training videos and commercials that require editing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a video editor makes an average annual salary of around $62,000. As more companies require digital and video messaging to help their brands stand out, these careers will continue to grow at a rapid rate. 

Another potential career that requires a background in video editing is a Video Manager. These professionals are responsible for guiding the development of some sort of video from start to finish. Many video managers help create digital advertisements, but some can get involved in creating episodes for television or full-length movies! As a video manager, you’ll get to storyboard, create, and animate your graphic images from scratch to help bring exciting stories to the screen. 

Learn Video Editing Skills with Career Centers

Do you want to take your current video editing skills to the next level, or are you a complete beginner wanting to get started? Either way, Noble Desktop (a partner program of Career Centers) offers a range of video editing courses to help you on your way. Their classes can be taken remotely or in person at its New York City campus. Noble also generously includes the option to retake the course for free within one year of your original course. 

Noble Desktop offers several courses in Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects, which are both very commonly used in video editing. If a certification interests you, consider enrolling in the Motion Graphics Certificate or the Video Editing Certificate. Both of the certifications are available on a full-time or part-time basis depending on your needs. You’ll also receive career support services including help with building a demo reel that can be presented to prospective employers after completion of the course. These two certifications can be combined in the Video Editing & Motion Graphics Certificate, which offers both curriculums at a reduced cost. 

Learn more in these courses

Back to Blog
Yelp Facebook LinkedIn YouTube Twitter Instagram