Is it possible to be successful strictly as an editor? Or do you have to be kind of 'Jack of all trades'?
That question was asked by Ricardo, the Editing Chef student, during our third live session in the course.
You may have found yourself in a situation when a client asks if you can work on color as well. Or maybe wants you to work on quite complicated animation, logo sequences, etc.
On one hand, it's good to know about all these things. On the other, you're not really a pure editor if you're doing everything, are you?
Also, is the client really looking for someone who can do all of it? Maybe if you say "no" he will hire someone else to do the job? I guess that happens sometimes. So how do we navigate these waters?
Sidenote: you may like doing all of these things and marker yourself as a one-man production crew. Totally fine if that's your thing. Frankly, I miss operating a camera sometimes. But what follows is what I think you should be doing if your goal is to be perceived as an editor strickly.
I think it’s a democratization of our industry that caused that need to be 'Jack of all trades'. More people enter the industry. Knowledge is more accessible than ever before. So it's completely natural that there are more people who know how to do a lot of things at a basic level.
I think that's desirable. If you have essential skills in color grading, it will be easier to you to communicate with high-end colorists later in your career.
But should we dilute our skills and market, sell the idea that we can do it all at a basic level?
I don't think so.
I think you should decide on what your end goal is and gradually decline the types of work that aren't serving it.
You can adjust the plan as you go. You can still learn other avenues of the craft (synergy is one of the true wonders of the universe) but having that end goal in mind will help you communicate your skills better and eventually get more work you actually want.
I'll give you an example.
Quite often videos I edit require some animations. Sometimes just simple lower thirds. Sometimes more complicated scenes.
Because I decided that editing is what I really want to do, not motion graphics, I like to communicate it with clients and prospective clients.
I tell them that while I can do basic animations and lower thirds won't be a problem, I'm not really efficient enough to do more complicated things in that area and I suggest they hire a specialist who would contribute to the project better.
I think it often reassures them that I'm the right person for the job as I treat my editing skills as something I specialize in (to be clear I still have a lot to learn and for many projects, I may not be qualified enough) but at the same time I won't tell them to hire another person if all they need is basic color correction, sound mix or lower thirds.
To sum up, I think you need to be able to do a lot of things at an entry-level. Even as a high-level editor. But it is totally possible to be strictly an editor. Just one that can do temp level work in many departments if needed.
Learn how to boost editing efficiency and build a habit of deep work in your editing bay.
It includes: - 33 short and concise lessons that fill over 3 hours of video content (plus any future updates), - regular live sessions, - the Discord community where you can connect with like-minded editors from around the world, - short PDFs, worksheets with the main takeaways from some of the lessons, - action steps that will help you implement your new knowledge into your everyday life.