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The Editorial Team

For editorial work, will you have one editor or a bunch of people? Again, you might not have a choice in this matter, which is totally understandable. And we understand that the editor might be you along with the countless number of other tasks you’ve had to perform in your labor of love.

Photo: Bradmays

Editor vs. Assistant Editor

You probably have an idea from your own experience (or from our other extremely useful sections) of what to look for in a good editor: Walter Murch.

Spoiler alert: You can’t afford him.


So that’s probably not going to happen, but at least you can find someone who’s organized and hard-working, with a grasp of narrative rhythm as well as software shortcuts. You’ll also want an editor whose style fits your story. Don’t get an editor who cuts hyperkinetic music videos if your project is a more deliberately paced character and conversation piece. The assistant editor might be a luxury for your production. But if there is room in the budget to fill this position, the assistant editor’s main goal is to make the editor’s life that much easier. Basically, the assistant editor needs to have the same skills as the main editor, but also the ability to forge a telepathic bond with the editor’s work habits and style. If that’s too much to ask, just focus on building a good collaborative relationship with your editor. Listen to whatever feedback is offered. Consider any suggestions. And don’t shatter the computer monitor in a fit of rage.

Visual Effects

There are a lot of different jobs in the VFX/GFX department. Check out our post on the subject, or try sitting through the credits of a big budget sci-fi movie like “The Force Awakens.” Chances are, your editor will be doing all of this work without a team of Pixar-ILM-trained technicians. However, if your editor doesn’t seem up to the task, find people who can do whatever visual effects or simple fix-it work you need done. But before you do that, make sure you know exactly what you need and how much room in the budget is available to do it. Otherwise, you could be falling through a rabbit hole – and if that rabbit hole is CGI, you better start declaring bankruptcy now.


The “big three” editing programs have gotten better at color correction these days. Your editor might be capable of doing any of this work alone. But will your editor understand various codecs or know the strengths and characteristics of footage that’s shot on different cameras? It’s really nice to have a colorist who knows how to use programs like DaVinci Resolve or Adobe Speedgrade for a little more sophisticated color correction process. And if your colorist has a background in old school art forms like painting and a solid grasp of color theory, it will definitely justify you digging through the couch cushions for loose change to pay for this.

The Rest of the Post-Production Team:

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