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How to Plan a Career in Video Editing

And choose your specialism

by Shiny in Career Advice
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When I first got into video editing it took me by surprise that there are so many different types of video editing. Once you get a name for one type of editing it can be difficult to switch over to a different type. Not impossible, but definitely tricky. That’s why it’s important to have a career goal in mind as you progress. This guide will show you how to plan a career in video editing and why it’s important to do it early on in your career.

 

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As a video editor you can specialise in any of these types of editing:

  • Commercial
  • Documentary
  • Features
  • Reality
  • Trailers
  • Music Videos
  • Corporate
  • Wedding
  • Social content
  • and also Fashion

If you’d like to read the pros and cons of each specialism check out this article. Follow the steps below and experiment while you’re early in your career to see which type you prefer.

 

STEP 1 – Figure out what you want from your career

STEP 2 – Learn about the different types of video editing careers

STEP 3 – Try the ones that interest you

STEP 4 – Figure out which matches up with your desires from Step 1

 

 

STEP 1 – NOTE WHICH OF THESE ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU

Stable monthly salaryHigher but less regular money
Consistent style of editingConstantly varied styles of work
Complete autonomous creative freedomStraight forward formulaic creative style – less energy draining
Bigger paycheck earlier in career for less challenging workMore challenging work with longer career ladder
Telling storiesMaking stuff look cool
Fame/recognitionDon’t care for fame
Okay with getting jobs one week in advanceNeed months of work lined up
Short turnaround projectsLong turnaround projects
Low bar to entryHigh bar to entry

 

 

STEP 2 – LEARN ABOUT THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF VIDEO EDITING CAREERS

As you’ve already learned, there are specialisms in video editing that you can become pigeon-holed into. Learn more about what each type of video editing involves here.

Which one appeals to you most at the moment?

 

 

STEP 3 – TRY THE ONES THAT INTEREST YOU

Search around for different types of footage. It would be great practice in editing to repurpose footage to become something else. You could find footage from a documentary and try and repurpose it into a commercial. Think about how you could turn a wedding video into a documentary by using VO over the footage. Anything can become anything else, so don’t give yourself the excuse that you don’t have anything to cut with. Try and mimic the editing of existing videos you like, using videos you find.

 

 

STEP 4 – FIGURE OUT WHAT MATCHES UP WITH YOUR DESIRES FROM STEP 1

What did you enjoy about each of the types of video editing that you tried? Does that specialism match up with your priorities from Step 1? If yes, then you’ve found yourself a career worth pursuing.

If no editing specialism really speaks to you more than another, prioritise the editing specialism that best matches your answers to Step 1. You’ll be happy you’re leading the lifestyle you want whilst learning the art of video editing. Later, if you decide you want to pivot to another specialism, don’t worry you don’t have to start from scratch. You’ll just need to network a bit harder to make the transition.

You can learn different ways of networking as well as everything else you’ll need to become a professional video editor in this FREE 1-hour training module.

 

So, which specialism are you most interested in pursuing as a career?

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