Film and Video Editor Ētita Kiriata/Ētita Ataata

Film and video editors assemble video, graphics, audio and text into a finished product for films, television programs, video productions or commercials.

Film and video editors may do some or all of the following:

  • arrange footage and match with sound files
  • decide which shots are cut out or kept, in collaboration with the director and producer
  • edit shots into a rough version
  • colour correct the footage
  • work on the soundtrack, adding any music or sound effects
  • add graphics and titles
  • supervise the final mix of images with sound
  • view films or videos with clients, journalists, writers, directors and producers.

Physical Requirements

Film editors need to have normal colour vision to colour correct raw film and video footage.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for film and video editors includes:

  • making amateur films
  • other television and film industry work
  • training in the use of film editing equipment, especially computer programs such as Avid, Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro.

Personal Qualities

Film and video editors need to be:

  • creative
  • methodical and well organised, with an eye for detail
  • good at problem solving
  • reliable and responsible
  • strong communicators
  • able to work under pressure to meet deadlines.

Skills

Film and video editors need to have:

  • editing skills and up-to-date knowledge of editing software and equipment
  • the ability to creatively use video and music to tell a story
  • skill in interpreting ideas
  • knowledge of the production process
  • knowledge of how visual and sound effects can enhance the film or video
  • communication skills for working with clients, journalists, writers, producers and directors.

Conditions

Film and video editors:

  • often do shift work, and may have to work long and irregular hours during evenings and weekends to meet deadlines
  • usually work in editing suites, television and film studios, film archives and libraries, or private or government production company offices
  • may travel within New Zealand or overseas with a film crew

Subject Recommendations

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a film and video editor. However, media studies, digital technologies, design and visual communication, music, dance and drama, English and te reo Māori are useful.

Film and Video Editors can earn around $44K-$100K per year.

Pay for film and video editors varies depending on their experience and the budget of the production they're working on. Most film and video editors are self-employed and work on contract.

Film and video editors usually earn between minimum wage and $100,000 or more a year.

The Directors and Editors Guild of New Zealand recommends that editors working on film and television productions be paid a rate of $2,600 per week.

Sources: Attitude Group; Directors and Editors Guild of New Zealand; Fisheye Films; Great Southern Television; Picture Talk Productions, 2018.

Film and video editors may progress to become directors or media producers.

Film and video editors can specialise in these roles:

Offline Editor
Offline editors assemble recorded scenes to form a whole film or video.
Online Editor
Online editors improve the technical quality of the work by fine-tuning the colour grade, improving any special effects, and making sure the work is ready for broadcast.

Years Of Training

There are no specific entry requirements to become a film and video editor. However, a relevant tertiary qualification in film and video editing may be useful.

Experience in the entertainment industry and proven ability are essential.

Film and Video Editor