They must work as the editor’s right-hand person throughout all of the production stages. They must liaise with the relevant people in the camera and sound departments and the post-production facility before production, on the technical specs and the delivery of daily rushes. They are responsible for synching rushes for the editor and backing them up daily, compiling a daily assembly and exporting them for upload by relevant personnel during production. As well as filing daily camera and sound reports and continuity notes. They must act as a support to the editor during post-production, usually by carrying out technical tasks such as exporting weekly assemblies, supplying sound and music, editing temporary visual effects, and liaising with other departments to research and source technical requirements. They must ensure each HOD and keeps lines of communication open to the cutting room.
For this role, you will need:
While the role is mainly a technical one, a great first AE will have a passion for film and storytelling and a strong sense of the creative goals for a project.
Great technical competency and knowledge of various types of editing systems and their functions. An understanding of sound and interpreting its best uses.
Excellent organisational skills and attention to detail.
Understanding of the role of other departments in communicating with the editing team.
Ability to interpret the daily reports from set.
Great administrative skills in labelling and storing all paperwork and hard drives.
Good understanding of the story and the editing process, and to be a sounding board for the editor.
There is no usual path to First Assistant Editor, often they would have worked their way through the Editing Department starting as an Editing Trainee. A qualification in Film Studies can be useful.