Is there money in the editing business?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by TheShinyMac, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. TheShinyMac macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2009
    I'm just 15 and I am thinking I of things I would like to do when I am older. My high school doesn't have anything related to video production, only digital photography and coding both of which I am not interested in. When I go to college what would be the type of course I would want to take if I wanted it to involve video editing and production. Lastly could I get a good job from my skills or is it worth it to pursue something else
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Yes, but not as much as it has been.

    Have a look at, as there are more members working in the media production business.
  3. TheStrudel macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2008
    I would say it's something you have to work at a lot before you'd know whether or not you'd be happy doing it full time or even part-time. There's a lot of drudgery and insane attention to detail involved, and you don't start off editing major feature films - initial work is not going to be exciting.

    You could theoretically take those courses at a film school, majoring in film production (not studies, as that's essentially English except for movies).

    You could get a good job doing it, but you'd have to be better than the other people applying for a job. And right now, there are more than ever before due to the relative easy of acquiring and learning an NLE.

    My thoughts: it's too soon for you to make a decision about what you want to make a career out of. Try it, dabble in it. But try other things too. The best advice anybody can give you here is to learn more than one thing, so you have options. I spent a lot of time learning editing and shooting while I was at school, but by the time I graduated, the market wasn't exactly friendly, so I opted to use my Geosciences degree to get work as a geologist instead.

    The idea of college - especially if you go liberal arts - is that it's a low-risk environment in which to try multiple things that would lead into a career. Explore those options.

    Just don't expect too many opportunities out of a Bachelor's degree, especially if it's in something common and not all that useful, such as English, History, Art, etc.

    Pursue something you like. But try to pursue more than one thing you like so you don't paint yourself into a corner.

    One thing you'll discover in any job is that it's not like what you did in school, and school can only take you so far in terms of preparation.
  4. baypharm macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2007
    The opportunities for broadcast editing are not as great as they once were. The declining economy has effected the TV/film industries as well. Even work in Hollywood and Burbank has significantly declined over the years.

    If you truly feel passionate about editing I would go for it - but have a backup plan in place. In another words get trained in another field, like medicine.

    In the future, editing techniques will be different than today because 3-D films will be common place. The world of cinema in 2-D is rapidly coming to a halt.

    For the most part, I think opportunities exist today and will in the near future in independent production. Indie films will always need talented editors to bring their films to life. And it is in the editing room that movies are really created. Good luck to you.
  5. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    I think what you should do is go out and start making some short films for the youtube medium. And see if you do in fact like the process of creating, shooting and editing videos.
    Another word that will haunt you if you go into this business is the term Freelance. I'm a freelancer and its not that wonderful. They call when they need you and it isn't steady pay. Today as of now I'm only scheduled to work one day this whole week. I don't get benefits (ie medical insurance) Because i'm a freelancer they studio/company doesn't provide me equipment. So getting a broadcast quality camera is 5,000+ plus all the other accessories (mics, tripods etc) There are other aspects of the entertainment industry such as producing, directing etc and they do tend to pay a lot better then editors but they are harder to get. This business is a lot you who know. So, if your uncle is the VP of Warner Bros. give him a call (and pass along my name too :p) )
    Hope this helps.

    Edit - because of the economy jobs got cut because the advertisers aren't advertising. Now they look at what you can do the more you can do the better you are. A lot of reporters (especially at the small stations) write, shoot and edit their own stories eliminating jobs.
  6. jordieshapiro macrumors newbie

    Sep 2, 2007
    Editing is a good Gig

    I’m a 31 yr old editor in NYC. I’ve been doing it for 10 yrs, and making a good living. If you want to get into film/tv in any capacity you have to commit to living in NYC or LA. If you can’t do that then you’re gonna end up fighting for very few jobs and stinky pay.

    I work primarily in reality tv. There is a lot of it out there, although there is a lot of competition as well. But that goes the same for any decent job, you gotta hustle a little before you get comfy.

    And editing can pay awesomely! I am not a top paid editor, I do not get to work on commercials, or major films or network tv. But still, if I worked more constantly, I’d make 6 figures. Unfortunately, being freelance usually means I work 3/4 the year or less. As for now though I’m happy.

    Best of luck getting here (NYC is way more fun the LA!)

  7. martinX macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2009
    Is there money in the ........ business?

    There is always money in a business, no matter what it is. Something I have learned about business, any business, is that half your work will be business. By that I mean if you go into the "editing business", half your work will be editing (for which you will be paid) and the other half will be "business", for which you won't. "Business" can be chasing up new work, chasing up payments, dealing with suppliers and so on.

    The other thing I learned is that I do not have a business head. So I work for government :D None of my stuff is for broadcast, though we have just finished a 30 minute production for DVD distribution. There is so much "video stuff" going on nowadays, you can pick and choose whatever environment you feel most comfortable in.

    My advice would be to have a go: the cost of entry is ridiculously low and you can have immediate worldwide distribution. You have no idea how far-fetched that concept was even just a decade ago.

    Get a qualification so you can hit the ground running. And learn the art and language of storytelling - whether it be a short doco, an instructional video, family shots or your greatest work, that is the secret to being a good editor. Oh, and knowing what to throw away :)
  8. frenchlemon macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2010
    South of France
    I have to agree with previous posts, you're 15, so you still have a bit of time before having to earn your keep..
    I've just started playing with video, so I'm no pro..
    • buy a camcorder, go for whatever your budget will allow.
    • shoot a few shorts for fun, distribute them on vimeo/youtube etc..
    • try and get a gig or 2 filming weddings or stuff like that. (it will allow you to do the whole shebang, filming editing and dvd authoring) even if you do it for only a couple of $ and friends/family. (great experience!)
    • have a backup plan, liberal arts is a good place to start.

    I'm not planning a career in the business, but I do the odd gig for fun. It has so far allowed me to pay part of my equipment, but no more.

    And last but not least, enjoy what you do for a job, and you won't have to work a day in your life..

  9. akdj macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    You're 15...what an excellent age to start video editing!

    At your age, I'm assuming you've grown up with computers? 90% of learning an NLE is knowing your way around a computer. The other 10% is learning the software, IMO.

    A couple of cheap ways to get in the Frenchlemon pointed out, buy a camera...assume you have a computer, so pick up some software. If you can swing it, Final Cut Express or Adobe Premier Elements. Both of these programs are excellent starting points to learn their bigger brothers...or eventually, move in to a full fledged AVID studio.

    Drop $25 at and learn the software. MacPro Video and Creative Cow are also excellent resources.

    As others have said...find out if you dig it first. By the time you graduate high school, you'll be an FCP/Premier Master:) IF you spend the time and energy to learn the software AND the fundamentals of story telling with video editing.

    That's how I pay my mortgage...our car payments, and feed the family:) My wife and I own a video/audio production company and I LOVE going to work. But, as others have mentioned, working/owning your business is a LOT of work...If you can pick up some skills learning on your own, drop an ad on Craigslist to freelance yourself.

    There is NO substitute for experience. Whether you're behind the camera, in the editing suite, or dealing with clients....the more you do, the faster and more efficient you'll become. You'll also figure out exactly what it is you want to do...or pursue in college.

    That's another point...and one I differ on than others. College degrees are paramount in this day and age. I'm not sure I'd pursue a Liberal Arts or "Film/Drama/Pub Com" degree...but ymmv. You can always minor in production and Major in a degree in demand.

    If you do what you love, you'll enjoy life. It's not always about getting rich, but more about living comfortably and enjoying going to work each day.

    Good Luck!

  10. martinX macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2009
    From your link:
    Always moving, always changing.

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