As the marketing field grows ever more competitive in the Age of Information, more and more employers are looking to hire video editors to polish their online video content. However, while video editing is becoming increasingly viable as a career path, the job may seem daunting for interested beginners who don’t know where to start. If you’re interested in editing videos at a professional level, but have no idea how to go about it, here are 8 essential tips for any budding video editor.
1. Learn the language of video editing
The first thing you want to do is familiarise yourself with the terminology associated with video editing. Terms like B-roll, cutaways and compositing are just some of the phrases you’ll often see in the world of video editing, and you’d do well to understand them for your own sake. Learning these terms also allows you to understand better what other people on your team, like your project leader and your director, want from you.
2. Prioritise experince over qualification
The most important thing for any creative job is to accumulate experience wherever possible. While some job applications will mention a need for academic qualification, such as a degree in production or videography, what ultimately matters is your talent – which experience can help improve. In fact, you can still apply for such opportunities and succeed in them so long as you prove your skill level matches that of a degree holder in the relevant field.
1. Familiarise yourself with your tools
Most seasoned video editors will utilise a wide variety of applications to achieve a range of editing effects with differing levels of precision and control – as a beginner, you should familiarise yourself with them. Programmes like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro represent the top-of-the-line when it comes to video editing and require some practice to use well. The best laptop you have can definitely run both programmes easily and with little fuss.
2. Put together a professional website
A good website with quality examples of your work is a must-have for any video editor. By creating a website, you get to create an easily-navigated archive of your work which can be viewed by any prospective employer. You should also put together a reel of your best work – a reel is more easily digestible than a website. It offers an even quicker look at your capabilities for employers, thereby streamlining the hiring process.
3. Keep up with social media trends
You might find it challenging to get work as a video editor if you don’t have an ear to the ground when it comes to social media trends. As a video editor, you’ll be expected to produce content that follows current trends, as such videos that will receive more social media interaction and, in turn, benefit your employer and company. Spending time on social media sites like TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram can give you some perspective on how to edit your next project.
4. Benefit from your social connections
Like many creative occupations, video editors often rely heavily on word-of-mouth to get their earliest jobs. This is the time to make use of the connections you have in artistic circles and see if a friend of a friend might need someone to put together a video of some sort. There is no shame in getting your first few jobs like this; after all, better-paying jobs lie ahead of you, after you’ve already built up a solid reputation as a creative and hardworking video editor.
5. Learn a little bit about audio editing
In this field that grows ever more competitive, picking up some tips and tricks in audio editing might give you an added edge over your fellow video editors. You need not learn everything there is to know about audio editing, of course – as long as you have a grasp of the basics, you’re already a cut above most of your competitors. Additionally, learning about audio editing can help you fine-tune the sonic details of your project as you hear it on your Bose speaker.
6. Manage your time properly
Like any creative career, time management is a top priority for video editors, who often deal with tight deadlines and multiple projects at a time. One piece of stationery that could really help is a physical notebook planner, as writing physically can reinforce the memorisation of a deadline or project goal. If you’re not a fan of planning things out in a relatively old-fashioned way, you could instead download a to-do list app, which often comes with reminders for especially forgetful types.
Like any other career path, video editing presents its own unique set of challenges and risks for anyone trying to make a living of it. Hopefully, these 8 pieces of advice can help prospective video editors navigate the job with grace and gusto. Regardless of how you choose to tackle the beginning of your own video editing career, rest assured, as long as you stay motivated, you’ll be sure to succeed and land whichever jobs you please whenever you apply for them.