How Much Does Film Production and Editing School Cost?
Last Updated: February 01, 2022
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People consume movies, TV shows, documentaries, and other visual media as a seamless final production, without seeing what goes on behind the scenes. Much of the work of turning raw footage into a story is done by film editors, who work closely with producers and directors to help creative visions come to life.
Film and Video Editor Career Considerations #
Film editors are as indispensable to a production as actors, although they're unlikely to share the limelight. But while you may not get famous as a film editor, you'll get to flex your creative and technical skills as well as take credit for a vision realized. Here's what else you should know about becoming a film editor:
Skill Set #
Prospective film editors should enjoy working alone, as much of their work is done in a dark room in front of a computer. Good people skills are also a job requisite, though, especially when editors are called upon to create a compromise between the competing interests of the director and the producers.
Editors should additionally be detail oriented (they must look at every frame of film shot and decide which should be kept) and able to work long, irregular hours during filming. Busy periods, moreover, may be followed by periods of unemployment while editors await their next gig.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than half of film and video editors are employed by two industries: the motion picture and video industry and television broadcasting. Editors may also work in advertising. BLS reports that around 35 percent of editors are self-employed.
Income information gathered by BLS puts the median annual salary of film and video editors at just over $51,000. The lowest-paid (10th percentile) film editors earned an average of $25,660 in 2012, while those in the 90th earning percentile made more than $119,000.
BLS states that most editor positions require a bachelor's degree in film, broadcasting, or a related field. Actual degrees obtained might include a bachelor's in film and video production, film and television, film studies, communications, or cinematography. Some students choose to further their education by pursuing a master's degree in film and video production.
Aside from universities and colleges, there are private vocational-style schools (such as New York Film Academy and Film Connection) that focus more on providing the technical skills editors need rather than delving too deeply into other aspects of film such as writing, cinematography, and directing. Coursework may span several weeks to several months depending on the program and student's schedule.
Most film and video editors land an initial gig as an assistant to an editor. After several years of working as an edit room assistant and then an assistant editor, the chance to be a full-fledged editor may be granted.
Film Production and Editing School Average Costs #
The following tuition information is intended to provide a general overview only. Contact individual schools for the most accurate tuition information.
- The average cost of obtaining a bachelor's degree from a college or university is $35,000 - $116,000 (based on tuition and fees over four years; not including room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and other costs).
- Earning a master's degree costs, on average, $7,600 - $26,000 per year (tuition and fees only).
- Source: The College Board Trends in College Pricing 2012 report
- Attending a top film school (such as one of these) can be much more expensive, with some costing $40,000+ per year.
- Learning film editing at a non-traditional film school might cost $4,000 to $9,000 or more.
- An education can be expensive. Learn how to pay for school at studentaid.ed.gov.
Find Film Production and Editing School Information #
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