Movie Editor for Animated Movies: Job Description and Requirements

Read about a career in animated movie editing. Research the educational and skill requirements, and learn about the job description and employment and salary outlook for an animated movie editor.

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Career Definition for an Animated Movie Editor

An animated movie editor is an artist, mechanic, collaborator and businessperson rolled into one. Animated movie editing requires hours of careful review through animated footage to turn an idea into a compelling story. Some of the main responsibilities of an animated movie editor are discussing scripts and storyboards with the director to better understand his or her vision, collaborating with musical directors and sound editors to help score a film or add sound effects, arranging footage to tell the best story and meet specific length requirements, preparing a rough cut for the director and making requested revisions for the final cut. Animated movie editors may have the help of one or more assistant editors, especially for large productions.

Animated movie editors may work long hours, weekends and holidays to meet production deadlines. However, like many workers in the motion picture industry, they typically go through periods of unemployment between projects. According to 2016 statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), roughly 16% of editors, including animated movie editors, were self employed.

Education Bachelor's degree in film or similar field
Job Skills Creativity, persistence, cooperation, attention to detail, technological expertise
Median Salary* $61,180 for film/video editors (2017)
Career Outlook* 17% for film/video editors (2016-2026)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

One of the best ways to learn the business, technology and art of animated filmmaking is to complete a bachelor's degree program in a film-related field. Usually, animated movie editors are also experienced animators, so degrees in art or computer animation and relevant work experience may be helpful. Courses in video and film editing are crucial for students to learn various techniques and use related software programs.

Required Skills

The BLS reported that animated movie editors must hold the following qualities:

  • Collaborative personality
  • Technologically minded
  • Creativity
  • Attention to detail
  • Persistence in a competitive industry
  • At least basic knowledge of many different editing software programs

Employment and Salary Outlook

According to the BLS, camera operators and film/video editors, including animated movie editors, had a median salary of $61,180 in 2017. Employment in this broad field was expected to grow 17% from 2016-2026, which was faster than the national average for all occupations. However, job opportunities should be best in the film industry, where skilled editors are needed to handle complex special effects. The best prospects should be open to candidates who have experience as edit room assistants or assistant editors on smaller television or film productions.

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