If you’re looking at getting a job as an editor you may be surprised at how many options there are available to you.
One of the best places to get a job would be at a post production house. These companies specialize in editing, special effects, sound design, etc. If you don’t have any experience many companies will take you on as an assistant editor, or a visual effects editor. As an assistant you will be responsible for working with the editor to prepare the footage. This means labeling, organizing and sorting the footage in a way that makes the editing process quick and painless. Visual effects editors work with the visual effects team to make sure the the visual effects are cut into the film at the appropriate length and with the correct content. Some VFX editors will also be responsible for creating temporary visual effect shots that the editor can use to get an idea of the pacing. This will also be used as a foundation for the final visual effect.
Sometimes the competition is still quite stiff and getting a job with no experience can still be quite difficult. However, many companies will still take on interns for a 3 to 6 month trial period. Interning as a film editor is great way to “get your foot in the door”. Being in an industry environment, meeting people and most importantly learning the trade are invaluable skills. As I mentioned before, during my time film editing at MarketME video production San Francisco, we had many interns come and go, I still speak to a number of them and they have found success in the SF film and television industry.
If working in an office isn’t your style you can always go freelance. This flexibility give your the option of working remotely and on any project your desire. With that being said the work may not be as consistent as working at the post house. There are plenty of places to find clients. One good place is to check online in the digital video forums. Although the competition may be stiff at times being a part of a community may help you join with other editors and even share projects and techniques. It’s always a good idea to set your rules and limitations in the contract before you take on a job, we’ve all worked with clients you can be demanding. Having a set list of iterations will ensure that your don’t bite of more than you can chew. Extra iterations should always be billed for, it’s important a client knows this.
Feel free to check my blog post on freelance vs. full time work, if you’re still unsure about which direction you want to go.