What Does A Video Editor Do?

Man at Lightbox, video editor

A Video Editor makes his  (or her) living by using digital video equipment and software to edit the post production work of film or video production, usually referred to as post-production work, (the work that is completed after all video or film has been shot, narration completed and sound tracks accumulated).

Video editing work has mainly been associated with the Film, Television and Broadcasting industries where most video editors are employed either as employees of post-production houses  or work as freelance workers and their work or duties are more specialized to the task they perform for the Film and Broadcasting industry such as film, sound or music editors.

However, with the advent and technology innovations of new media (that is the internet, broadband capabilities  and video sharing sites like Youtube, Vimeo,  and others) and free or low cost non-linear digital video editing software, this industry has developed a whole new field and more and more industries or businesses are utilizing the services of a freelance or in-house video editor.

Many companies are also hiring video editors in their Creative or Marketing Departments to edit their company video productions and attend to video related work in order to produce promotional video and distribute finished projects on  company websites or social media networks.  The companies that provide these services can vary from solopreneur freelance video editors to a small to mid-sized business with  staff dedicated to video production, video editing and video distribution services.

As more and more small businesses develop their video marketing and video assets, they may need to outsource these tasks to freelance video editors or post-production houses that can handle this type of video editing work.


What are the typical tasks that Video Editors Do?

  • Evaluate and select scenes in terms of  the story line that improves the value or story continuity.
  • Edit raw footage and review assembled videotape on screen or monitor to make any color corrections, or other video quality corrections.
  • Trims  or crops video segments to specified edits and reassembles segments in sequence that presents the story with maximum effect and within the final project’s parameters.  For example,  a video editor might be asked to review 15 hours of video to make a half-hour infomercial.
  • Use professional digital editing software and equipment, such as Adobe Premiere Pro or Apple’s Final Cut Pro, to insert music, narration and dialogue and sound effects to a video.
  • Add any sound effects needed from video sound libraries or websites.
  • Add any royalty free music from music sound libraries or websites.
  • Adds any title graphics, banner graphics, watermarks to video project as needed.
  • Creates or adds intros or out-tros to video as needed or requested by client.

What are the Tools or Software that Video Editors Use?

Video editing software  can range from the simple to the complex. The majority of the video editors available for the home or personal market require little or no previous knowledge of video editing and even in that market there is a vast variety of sophistication in video editing software tools for either the PC or MAC platform.

With basic video editing software like Windows Movie Maker, or the Mac’s Imovie, the user can utilize a video editing software  where he or she simply imports their video and follows the onscreen prompts or online Help tools to edit their video.  There are also online video editors made available by companies like Youtube, the popular video sharing site, that provides  video editing software that can be used to edit, add music and create a video.  In addition, there are more products coming on the market such as  screencasting and video editing software made by  Telestream’s Screenflow for the MAC and Camtasia Studio for Windows that provides the user with the ability to record their desktop activities and then edit the video created with this software.


Avid or Final Cut Pro , are the software programs used by many production companies and movie studios and requires extensive training  and experience to master the many options and tools this type of sophisticated software provides.  These types of software programs or tools are capable of providing motion picture quality film production and video editing.

The work of a video editor is a combination of artistic and technical skills and digital video editing is a growing and dynamic field that is rapidly establishing standards and opening career opportunities in a previously exclusive field.


Note: The following video by Open University gives you a general introductory overview of the work tasks that a typical video editor  would do  and a typical studio setup.

Related Post:

The 3 Areas of Your Small Business’ Video Production Budget

What Does A Graphic Designer Do?

About richmediadp

I'm a freelance graphic designer working out of Orange County, CA - USA. I work with small and mid sized companies to develop creative solutions for their design problems from print collateral to online graphics.

Posted on April 15, 2011, in Freelance Design, Video Marketing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: