Tue | Dec 1, 2020

Career Choice: opportunities as a film editor

Published:Sunday | October 11, 2020 | 12:05 AM
AP
Mason Wilkes, 4, of South Carolina, poses for his father in a Black Panther costume, in front of a painting during a Chadwick Boseman Tribute on Thursday, September 3, 2020, in Anderson, South Carolina.
AP Mason Wilkes, 4, of South Carolina, poses for his father in a Black Panther costume, in front of a painting during a Chadwick Boseman Tribute on Thursday, September 3, 2020, in Anderson, South Carolina.

WHO IS A FILM EDITOR?

Film editing is described as an art or skill, the only art that is unique to cinema. The film editor works with the raw footage, selecting shots and combining them into sequences which create the final motion picture. This is often referred to as the invisible art because, when practised well, the viewer becomes so engaged that he or she is not aware of the editor’s work.

A film editor must creatively work with layers of image, story, dialogue, music, pacing as well as the actor’s performance. This is done to effectively re-imagine and even rewrite the film to craft a cohesive whole. A film editor can also be described as a mechanic who revives the unneeded and fits pieces of a film together to make a finished film.

The term film editing is derived from the traditional process of working with film, but which now increasingly is done mainly with the use of digital technology.

Film editing is both a creative and technical part of the post-production process of film-making.

WHAT DOES THE WORK INVOLVE?

A typical day for a film editor might include:

• Reading the shooting script and meeting with the director to understand their vision for the film.

• Making visits to the location during filming to gain a sense of the shooting in progress.

• Going through footage once shooting is done and selecting scenes based on value.

• Trimming segments of footage.

• Assembling footage into the best sequence to tell the story.

• Inserting music, dialogue and sound effects.

• Reviewing the edited film and making corrections.

• Preparing the first cut or rough cut for producers and directors to view.

• Making revisions as requested and preparing final cuts for release.

WHO IS THIS CAREER FOR?

A film editor needs to have both technical and artistic film-making skills. If you like detailed work, have a good photographic eye and strong problem-solving skills, then this is the job for you.

HOW DO I QUALIFY?

Most positions require a bachelor’s degree in a field related to film or broadcasting, such as communications. Some form of on-the-job training is required. Some employers do offer new employee training.

WHO OFFERS TRAINING IN JAMAICA?

CARIMAC (University of the West Indies, Mona)

The University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (iCreate Institute)

- Send your comments and suggestions to Angela deFreitas, general manager of CHOICE Career & Education Advice. Email: info@choicescaribbean.com. Do the online Career Key Test at - www.choicescaribbean.com/career-key – and find the right career for you.