Week 2 – Job Role Report

Unit 2: Research – Jobs in industry

Television – Video editor

What is a video editor?

In order to be a video editor a person must edit together raw recorded audio and video material. This can include but is not limited to, camera footage, images, voice overs and CGI effects. This role is vital in the post production stage of developing a final product in the television industry. A video editor’s skills have a heavy impact in how successful a piece of television is and whether it achieves its intended objective.

Video editors have a lot of control over how a piece comes out controlling what information is shown and what is cut. For example in a documentary a video editor will have to edit an interview down into clips that are relevant for what they are trying to achieve.

In most cases (especially in the films industry) a video editor works closely with a director in order to stick to the vision the director has for the video. Usually video editors are employed as freelancers who will work on contracts in the short-term for television companies and corporations. The job itself is now mainly based on using digital technology through editing software rather than the older manual method of editing film.

There are many different forms of video which an editor can work on such as feature films, TV programmes, music videos, corporate training videos and advertisements. These forms of editing usually have a varying amount of editors depending on the scope and size of the project. For example a big film company will employ more editors than a low budget advert. In some cases an editor will be hired to do a specific editing task for example someone to edit the clips and create a fluid video and then a separate person for CGI and other special effects.

Responsibilities of a video editor are usually based around creating a final product based off an initial brief and a possible base outline of footage. It is then the job of the editor to follow the brief to the best of their ability using the footage they have been provided with (either raw footage or on video tape ready to be input into the computer for editing).

An editor must also store sound and uncut video and get the two synced up before storing them as files on the computer. After the initial stage of editing an editor will produce a “rough cut” and then decide the more precise edits and cuts to make in the last stage. Once this has been done the editor will then render and do any final preparations to the project files to ensure the video is fully fluid and smooth.

Other responsibilities can include that an editor should oversee how good quality the audio and videos and overall editing is. Sometimes it is necessary for an editor to experiment with different styles and editing techniques and effects to get the desired outcome. In some cases an editor will be given a say in the kind of music to be used or suggest music that fits with the video in question.

As a video editor it is normal to work the


One of the most important skills an editor can have is to pay heavy attention to detail and be very critical, this is vital when picking between shots to include and what to cut and what to leave in. An editor must be creative and willing to experiment with different editing style and techniques to suit the criteria of their brief. Editing a video can be very time consuming and you can often find yourself editing the same piece of footage multiple times so it is vital for an editor to be patient and have a high level of concentration. Due to the need to follow a brief in most cases being able to work well as part of a team and listening to other’s ideas is very important. Due to the majority of the work being done by one’s self it can take a lot of motivation in order to get a video edited and requires commitment and dedication. Due to working with tight deadlines being able to organise time well and manage it effectively is very important.


Salaries usually start in the region of £18,000 – £25,000

Once experience as an editor earnings are usually £20,000 – £35,000

At a higher level the highest potential earnings are around £37,000 – £70,000 however the high end of these figures is available only for those senior editors who work on high status projects.

Most editors work freelance and are paid based on contracts, meaning work is not always guaranteed and it may be a matter or spending a length of time out of work while looking for a new contract.


Employers can vary heavily due to video editors mainly being freelance work, this is usually for companies who work in post-production. There is also work with independent companies, companies such as the BBC who are based around broadcasting, companies who create games (such as making trailers of the game), editing together an animation for an animation company and finally working as part of a team on a film. Many bigger companies will offer more long-term contracts as opposed to the usual short-term contracts offered by smaller employers who will only need one video done (for example creating an advertisement for a small local business).


In terms of qualifications there are none really expected necessary in order to get a job are an editor. However it is important to show the traits needed for this kind of position such as determination and commitment. Many editors initially start off as runners and move into editing based on need and receive training, this allows them to build up skills and work experience on the job.

However a degree or HND that gives either film or production experience can be useful to get into the industry as it shows an understanding and knowledge of the industry.







Week 2 – Job Role Report

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