TV Editor

TV Editor


Los Angeles, CA

Male, 38

I edit day-of-air video segments for a national television entertainment news show. I piece together 1-3 minute segments by laying down the audio of the script (the narrative voice-over), including any “sound bites.” I then take previously-shot footage, including, but not limited too, interviews, still photographs, and graphics. I also add music and a variety of effects to these pieces.

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22 Questions


Last Answer on October 03, 2017

Best Rated

Do TV editors work independently, or do you work exclusively for a production company or studio?

Asked by ideation about 6 years ago

Both. One can be a freelance editor selling their services to different studios and/or production companies, or one can be a contracted (staff) editor working for one studio or production company.

How much input do you have in sculpting the actual content? Do you get a lot of leeway or is it all up to the director?

Asked by commotion111 about 6 years ago

It varies. Different producers do different things. Some producers let me do it all on my own, others know what they want, shot-by-shot.

I often notice actors in commercials wearing wedding rings, even when there are no other people in the commercial (and even when the product advertised seems independent of relationship dog food!) Do TV execs actually sit around and debate whether to have an actor wear a ring and what sort of considerations come into play?

Asked by grover about 6 years ago

The director/producers probably want to convey a person of "value" in their commercials.

What can a TV editor make in a year?

Asked by Hobbes about 6 years ago

It varies with experience. An experienced editor can make anywhere from $500-$800 a day. In my current staff salaried position, I make $140,000/year with benefits.

For anyone on a budget who's looking to do video editing at home, what software would you recommend?

Asked by Hermania about 6 years ago

Final Cut Pro is a good program for the consumer. It's fairly easy to use and pretty cheap.

Did you ever make a serious editing flub that aired?

Asked by Brian about 6 years ago

Via satellite feed, we received the celebrity interview at the very last moment before we had to feed our video to the East Coast stations. I had to add a ten-second sound bite from this celebrity, but I also had to cut a few words out of the middle of the sentence, which created a “jump cut.” This means the video does not flow seamlessly, and I did not have time to cover the jump cut with a different shot (i.e. a reaction shot from the interviewer). Since we were literally out of time, we had to send the video as is.

Do news anchors actually make chit-chat during closing credits, or are they just faking it?

Asked by boyle about 6 years ago

For the most part, yes.

Do editors usually work solo, or do you have a team around you while you're in the editing bay?

Asked by big ben about 6 years ago

It varies from project to project. Sometimes I work solo, other times I have 5 different people in the bay telling me what to do (which sucks).

Any advice on how to break into the field of TV editing? Considering it myself.

Asked by mork about 6 years ago

In college, I majored in broadcast industry communications knowing that one day I wanted to work in television. After moving to Los Angeles in the mid-90s, I found work at a small production company answering phones and running errands. At this point I had little to no editing experience. However, I was given the opportunity at this company to become an Avid editor. I started out as an assistant editor, gaining hands-on experience and knowledge of editing. After assisting for a year, I was promoted to a staff editor position.

I once heard that in most TV commercials, they cast the actor and "voice" parts other words, they choose an actor based on the "look" they want, but then they'll get a trained voice-over specialist to do the speaking, and then just dub it in as though it were the actor's voice. Any truth to this?

Asked by Kyle about 6 years ago

Short answer, yes and no. Most "good" actors have the voice training to pull it off. That does happen when there is a problem with the audio recording and the need to re-record. Usually if it's an off camera voice over read, they'll hire different voice talent.

Do you have crazy hours, or is it manageable?

Asked by babycO about 6 years ago

Different projects demand different hours. As a staff employee, my current hours are roughly 9 am to 6 pm. However, I sometimes work nights and weekends.

If being on TV "adds 10 lbs", can you as an editor correct for that? And does the problem disappear when shooting in HD?

Asked by FatzDomino about 6 years ago

Sort of. We can stretch the video to make a person look a little thinner. Doesn't really disappear in Hd.

Are there any recent technology innovations that have made TV editing easier? Or are there any that you wish would go away?

Asked by Jason-k-c about 6 years ago

The biggest thing for me where I work is that fact that we are a "tapeless" company. I no longer have to physically load tape and digitize it in my edit bay. Cameramen bring back the footage on disk and it is "ingested" into our system faster than real time.

How do you maintain focus for long editing bay marathons? Caffeine? Medication? Both?

Asked by 123call about 6 years ago

My day is broken into two different edits. My morning edit has to be ready to air by 1 pm. There is no room for error and no time to focus on anything else. My afternoon edit, while no less important, is a bit less intense and it leaves me some breathing room as these pieces usually air at a later date. I cannot speak for other editors regarding “medications” to focus. I usually just have a cup or two of coffee and that seems to get me through the day.

Now that HD makes skim blemishes of on-air talent way more visible, does the onus fall on you to help correct for that?

Asked by GaryO64 about 6 years ago

Actually that's up to the make-up artist. However, I've put on a "soft filter" effect to help. Some older celebs have this done religiously!

Are you more motivated to work on certain types of content above others? or is a paycheck is a paycheck?

Asked by Editor Guy about 6 years ago

I currently edit entertainment news which isn't 60 Minutes but it is what it is. And right now, in this job market, a paycheck is a paycheck. Beggars can't be choosers. It's brutal out there.

Is there any formal training required to become a TV editor, or is it more learn-as-you-go?

Asked by sliderz about 6 years ago

One can become an editor by completing an assistantship, or by working up through the ranks as I did. However, while there is no formal training required, there are a number of bootcamps and classes devoted to learning to be an Avid editor. Best advice: get on a system and start using it!

How much of a delay is there when we watch "live" broadcasts, like sporting events or the academy awards?

Asked by munkeybarz over 5 years ago

Usually there is around a 7 second delay for any unwanted mishaps.

What do you love and hate the most about your job and working on TV?

Asked by Oleh 10 months ago

What I love most about my job is when I go home and turn on the TV and see my work. Knowing that a couple million people watch what you do every day is pretty fucking cool. What I hate? When my editing gets nitpicked or "frame fucked" (Google it) by a bunch of people who justify their high-paid, pointless jobs by making me fix things that do not need to be fixed.

Do any TV shows still use canned laughter?

Asked by Izie about 5 years ago


Do you have any view about this 'mumblecore' nonsense?

Asked by BigBoi about 5 years ago


Have you ever bought footage or pictures from the paparazzi and do you think they're basically lowlife parasites or do they provide a vital function?

Asked by amanda thames about 5 years ago