Guide to Becoming a Professional Freelance Video Editor

Guide to Becoming a Professional Freelance Video Editor

Creating a career as a freelance video editor can be very challenging, but if you have the skills and work ethic to back it up, it can be incredibly rewarding.  According to Glassdoor average freelance video editor income is around $57,284/ year.  

Overall employment of film and video editors and camera operators is projected to grow 18 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. The number of Internet-only platforms, such as streaming services, is likely to increase, along with the number of shows produced for these platforms. This growth may lead to more work for editors and camera operators. 

So what should you prepare  if you want to be a professional  freelance video editor  ?

Video editing skills 

The first place you’ll need to start is with your actual editing skill set. If you’re not confident in your editing abilities, then you’ll need to spend some time taking courses and starting your own projects until you feel have enough skill. 

The best way to learn video editing is by actually doing it. This means getting footage (or shooting your own), choosing an editing program and getting to work. Keep in mind that having an understanding of the entire filmmaking process will only improve your skills as a video editor. Get the skills like storytelling, directing, lighting and audio will give you an all-encompassing view of what it takes to put a film together.


 Choose Software that you comfortable with  

There are dozens of different editing apps you can choose from. The software you use doesn’t matter as much as what you’re able to do with it. But still, there are some industry standard pieces of software you’ll want to be aware of. 

  • Final Cut Pro X is pretty expensive editing program, but it’s one of the industry standards, and perfect for those on Mac computers. 
  • Adobe Premiere Pro CC is another solid option that’s heavily used by industry professionals. With the recent introduction of the monthly pricing option, it has become more accessible to those just getting started. 
  • Lightworks is another professional editing program that’s commonly used to edit feature films. There’s even a free version that can help you learn the ins and outs before you get started. 

If you don’t feel like investing cash up front in editing software, then you can probably get away with using iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, which typically come pre-installed on most Mac and Windows machines. 

Video Editor  Job  

A typical video editing workflow will be as follows: 

  • Importing, logging and tagging your video files. 
  • Doing a rough cut to pare down workable footage. 
  • Revising your initial cut. 
  • Enhancing colors and mixing your sound. 
  • Doing a final video review and compressing your video. 
  • The variables below will affect the final pricing of the project

Set The Price

Decide how much you’ll charge for your services. You can check the market on the freelancer platform like Fiverr, Upwork and Flexgigzz.  Pricing for editing will vary based on your experience and the actual scope of work. It will depend on the outcome your client is looking for, and will increase depending upon the complexity of the project. 

The more video footage you have to sort through and edit, the higher the total project cost will be. Beyond the initial sorting, longer films or projects will also require much more time polishing and doing other post-production tasks.  

Use social media to share your portfolio & gigs

Build A Portfolio  

Once you’re equipped with solid video editing skills and an hourly or daily rate, it’s time to start landing gigs. Most of your work will probably come from your existing network and other media professionals you meet. you can regularly check out the job listing on the Flexgigzz  platform to check the opportunities.  Use also social media accounts to share your gigs and active in the freelancer groups.  


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Flexgigzz Editor

Author Since: June 19, 2020