The Film Editor works as the head of the editing department in close collaboration with the director to achieve their artistic vision for the film. They must work picture editing and matching with sound editing, sound effects, music and so on, both at the production and post-production stages. They must work on a project through pre-production, the shoot and post-production to shape and tell the story in an engaging way. Providing the audience point-of-view in putting the film together. They must read and break down the script to fully understand the story and characters.
They must be in the cutting room assembling rushes of footage recorded, watching it as it is synched, and providing feedback on any technical or other issues. They are responsible for cutting shot scenes according to the script, editing in sound, and ensuring that script timings are accurate. They must suggest dialogue or scene cuts if appropriate. They must work closely with the director to create the director’s cut, before showing this to the producer and working towards final cut. They must offer suggestions and feedback at grading and sound mixing once the picture has been locked down.
For this role, you will need:
Strong understanding of story and structure and a passion for storytelling.
Great management and organizational skills in planning post-production workflow.
Good communication and interpersonal skills. Ability to stay calm and focused on a busy and demanding schedule.
Excellent interpretive skills and the ability to pre-empt potential issues and offer solutions.
An open and creative mind and excellent decision-making skills.
Ability to listen well, give feedback and explain editorial decisions.
There are no usual career paths for the Film Editor, often they would have worked their way through the Editing Department. A qualification in Film Studies can be useful.