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Changing careers to video editing

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Eric Naylor
Changing careers to video editing
on Apr 5, 2012 at 1:35:07 pm

Hi Group,

I've done some research and found there are many different ways to making a career as an editor. But, I would love to get some perspective from people who are actually in the business.

Here's my background:

30 yrs old. Live in NY. BA in English Writing. Worked at various companies outside of the entertainment industry for the past 4 years. I've made a few short films that I self-financed and worked on a few student films as an actor and PA. My editing experience is limited to the short films I made and oddly enough, a couple of holiday videos I helped make at the companies I worked for. I was recently laid off and I'm at sort of a crossroads.

Here are my concerns and thoughts:

1. I could go back to school, preferably an art school like SVA. But as you know, it's expensive and I'll also be taking classes not related to editing.
2. I could attend an editing workshop to help build up a reel and skills. The Manhattan Editing Workshop looked promising, but I would love if any of you had some feedback.
3. I could buy an editing workstation and build up my reel through low-paying / free freelance gigs.

Option 2 seems to make the most sense to me.

The Reel:

As I mentioned, I have a few short films completed and a bunch of footage from unfinished projects. The quality of these projects are amateur. Would this amateur quality affect the perception of my reel even though, for arguments sake, it's been edited wonderfully.

Thank you for all your help.

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Stephen Smith
Re: Changing careers to video editing
on Apr 10, 2012 at 9:02:34 pm

All options will work. I recommend that you check out the production houses in your area and find the ones you like the best. Then I would do an internship for one of them. You will gain some real world experience because you will be working on real world projects. You will gain some great contact that can help you find a job if the company isn't hiring once your internship is done. Plus, it is much cheaper then school. I feel when people are looking to hire an editor they are looking at experience, hence they want to see your demo reel. Just my two cents. Best of luck.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page

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