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Shane Beehler
Assistant Editor needs tips
on Mar 21, 2014 at 6:08:51 pm

I am trying to become an assistant video editor in Toronto. I was an assistant video editor for a digital agency for 5 months, working mainly on Premiere and FCP7. It wasn't very organized or difficult. Basically I ingested the footage and converted the R3D files. Organized the footage, brought it into Premiere and then named it. I synced up the audio if applicable. I am now trying to find work as an assistant video editor for film. I've joined the Director's Guild of Canada Apprenticeship Program as an assistant editor.

I am looking for tips that will help me become more employable. I do not have Avid to practice on. That is one of my main concerns. What should I expect to be doing on a day to day basis? Are there any programs that I should learn?


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frank tourv
Re: Assistant Editor needs tips
on Mar 22, 2014 at 2:42:58 pm

First thing is look for a job first, then train after. Golden rule there. In terms of avid, if you master premiere of fcp, you will be fine with avid if you can spend time with it when ''no one is looking''. I was in your exact situation, fcp and premiere expert but never tried avid - i got a job for it at night and watched toronto's and Ccow's very own Kevin P Mcaullife's video tutorial and it did the job for me. The only thing is if you can do your job at night and/or people won't mind if you watch a tutorial video here and there. You can also ask for help from the editor, in general they are willing to help as you are helping them.

Aftereffects/pshop/illustrator is also a pretty solid skill to have, as you can do minor changes like ''oh can you change that to white'' or something of the sort.

As far a work, def. ask EVERYWHERE, if you want a job, apply for 10-20 of them. If you have a computer, film student out of college sometimes need help for post, you can sometimes do their entire post - it won't pay, but they will remember that and as they get careers you will be their editor of choice. Its also good practice on free projects.

Hope you get what you want. I started a year and half ago with no college education and now im working 70h a week on 4 TV productions as a tech direction and assistant editor. Work hard, do your homework and you will get it.


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Shane Beehler
Re: Assistant Editor needs tips
on Mar 22, 2014 at 3:00:46 pm

Thanks for your response and insight. Greatly appreciated!


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Assistant Editor needs tips
on Mar 23, 2014 at 11:38:42 pm

Hey Shane,

I would suggest downloading the 30 day trail of Avid and sitting down with some tutorials so you can at least have a base working knowledge of it. An AE will not only be responsible for ingesting, prepping, and exporting footage but will also be the first line of trouble shooting so just knowing how to operate the program usually isn't enough. The AE will also need to know how the program operates so they can figure out what's wrong when things go south.

While there are some editors that are technically minded and would be able to give you pointers most of them, in my experience, that work on bigger TV shows and movies are not because they are specialists paid for their editing skills and knowledge. AEing and editing are pretty much polar opposite tasks. Editing is completely creative while AEing is completely technical (though many times you need to be able to creatively solve technical problems).

While there's no good substitute for hands on experience I've found the following books helpful in the past. The Film Editing Room Handbook: How to Tame the Chaos of the Editing Room isn't a 'how to' book, but I think it gives a good idea of what assistant editors on movies and narrative TV shows are responsible for.

The Avid Assistant Editor's Handbook, on the other hand, is a great step-by-step guide to learning the most common AE tasks in Avid. The book is geared more towards unscripted than narrative but there is a lot of cross over in terms of AE duties so it's still a good pickup, IMO.


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Shane Beehler
Re: Assistant Editor needs tips
on Mar 24, 2014 at 4:17:24 pm

Hey Andrew,

I'll definitely download the trial version and get as much learning as I can in the 30 days. I'll also check out those books as well. Thanks a lot for the information. Greatly appreciated!


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