Tips and AdviceWhat Are the Different Kinds of Film Editors?

What Are the Different Kinds of Film Editors?


The different types of film editors and the different editing techniques

A film editor is a professional in the entertainment industry who helps prepare films for audiences after they finish filming. As there are several types of movies and video media, there are also different types of film editors. If you have a background in video editing and think you might want to become a film editor, learning about the types of editing jobs you can pursue can help you choose the best position for your career goals. 

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What is a film editor?

A film editor is a technical expert who edits raw footage into films. These professionals play a critical role in film production. They can be responsible for creating and highlighting a film’s narrative, showcasing the best performances from actors, and ensuring that the director’s vision comes across in the film’s final cut. Film editors also typically add additional elements to a movie to enhance its quality, such as music, colored filters, blurs, and special effects, like CGI. 

Here are a few of the most common job duties for a film editor to have:

  • Reviewing raw footage to find the best takes to use
  • Organizing scenes in different order to showcase a narrative
  • Choosing shots with varying angles of camera and zoom depths to add emphasis
  • Ensuring that all transitions between scenes are smooth
  • Watching new cuts of the film to ensure it looks how the director wants it to
  • Adding visual and sound effects like CGI, Foley, and background music
  • Making requested edits from the director or producer
  • Collaborating with other editors to achieve the director’s vision

Five types of film editors

Here are five types of film editors to help you find the proper role. For the most up-to-date salaries, please click on the links below:

Motion picture editor

A film editor, in essence, is a type of film director. They work on huge-scale projects like studio feature films and are employed by the entertainment business. These movie editors have a lot of responsibilities, including working with the director to create an aesthetic theme and tracking the narrative of a movie during editing to ensure it is interesting. They choose the best takes from filming, arrange the flow of each video, so it makes sense, and ensure that the creator’s intended meaning is transmitted in the final video. A motion picture editor’s goal is to make sure that a movie is both entertaining and cohesive.

Motion picture editors are typically employed by movie studios and work on films that are destined for theaters. They may also work on television shows, commercials, and other video content. Motion picture editors often specialize in a specific genre of films, such as action flicks, dramas, thrillers, and comedies.

News editor

A news editor is a film editor who focuses on working on news broadcasts. Their responsibilities may include editing footage to be shown later during live television broadcasts, conducting interviews with high-profile individuals for inclusion in news or internet content, and creating short documentaries or educational films to air on television and the internet. As they broadcast live, news editors who operate in live broadcasting frequently modify footage and apply special effects such as sound effects and graphics to ensure the public gets accurate information that represents the station’s principles.

Government film editor

A government film editor is a film specialist who works for the federal, state or local government. These individuals may perform many of the same functions as other film editors, such as putting together raw footage to create narrative stories, reviewing takes from filming to identify the sequences with the clearest voiceover, and adding post-production elements like sound effects and music. 

However, government film editors may also be asked to contribute to films used for informational or propaganda purposes. In some cases, they may be required to create videos about specific policies or events related to the government.

The government frequently hires film editors to work on projects it has requested, such as instructional films about new policies and initiatives, commercials for a specific city, and video footage of speeches by government officials.

Video editor

A video editor is a filmmaker who works on shorter film projects for profit. Video editors must select the best takes from filming, arrange each video’s flow, make sense, and ensure that the creator’s intended meaning is transmitted in the final video. Video editing is becoming a more popular form of entertainment. Video producers, such as YouTubers, may use the same software that professional film editors use to chop films and make movies. Other video editing tools from Adobe are used by many content creators, including freelance marketers and independent filmmakers. These Adobe programs can be utilized on various platforms and devices, making them accessible to anyone with a computer.

Scientific film editor

 A scientific film editor works in science to produce films or videos that have a teaching function. Their work may include:

  • Combining raw animal footage to construct stories or themes.
  • Ensuring that each film contains all the information the director wishes to show.
  • Adding music or sound effects to create specific moods or emphasize certain areas.
  • Scientific film editors may be asked to work on various types of projects, including documentaries and instructional videos about scientific ideas or training videos for technical processes, like using laboratory or construction equipment.

Techniques in the field of video editing

Here are some of the most common film editing techniques that editors can use:

  • Fade in/out: For a new scene, the transition fades the conclusion of a sequence to black and then back to white.
  • Cutaway: This storytelling is one of the techniques in which new information about the action to follow is revealed to the audience outside of the current scene.
  • Jumpcut: This cut moves from one scene to the next in the same frame.
  • Wipe: In this case, the transition is shifting one clip from screen to screen and then removing it to reveal the start of the following sequence.
  • L cut: This cut starts a new scene and allows audio from a clip to continue as the preceding clip ends and the following clip begins.
  • Standard-cut: This is the time to combine two video footage clips.
  • Cross dissolve: This transition overlays one scene over another, with the previous scene fading out behind the new setting.


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Megan Diane
Hi, I'm Megan Browne, the Head of Partnerships at Project Casting - a job board for the entertainment industry. As Head of Partnerships, I help businesses find the best talent for their influencer campaigns, photo shoots, and film productions. Creating these partnerships has enabled me to help businesses scale and reach their true potential. I'm excited to continue driving growth by connecting people with projects they're passionate about.

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