Student Question

Are there university courses for video editing? Is it a real job? What high school courses would I need?

Expert Answers

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Hi! It's exciting that you've found a strong interest you wish to pursue: having a passion and vision is a great way to go through your education. I'll work through your questions in the order you asked them.

First, most colleges and universities offer some sort of film curriculum in the form of film history, film writing/editing, or film directing classes. These courses are usually to be found in the Film Studies/Media Studies departments of colleges or universities. Sometimes, schools will provide helpful space and equipment to enable you to learn more and work with professional-grade tools. While many schools offer film courses, there are certain institutions that are particularly well-known for their film programs. The University of California - Los Angeles, for example, offers many courses in editing, directing, and other aspects. University of Southern California, New York University, American University (Washington, D.C.) and UC Berkeley are other examples of good schools if you're interested in film editing. That being said, there are many universities across the country where you can take film editing and film studies classes. Just search the name of the university/college and "media studies" "film studies" or "communication" and you'll usually be able to pull up a course catalog. Here's an example course list from SFSU.

So, you can definitely take film editing classes in college! And you'll be glad to hear that video editing is indeed a "real job." Especially in our digital age, there are many ways to find a career in video editing. People hire video editors to edit anything from feature films to advertisements to music videos. However, this work is often freelance, meaning you'll work on short-term contracts with post-production studios or corporate employers. This means it might be a bit less stable than a so-called "traditional" career.

Now, what high school courses might you need to become a film editor? If your school has classes in film making or editing, great! However, this is often too specialized for high schools. I would recommend pursuing your interest extracurricularly, if possible. Join or form a film club where you watch and create films. See if your school or a local community center has filming and editing equipment you can check out. It sounds like you already edit YouTube videos on your own time: keep up with that! Essentially, there's no strict course of study in high school to prepare you for a career in film editing. My main advice is to seek out the film classes that do exist, and practice on your own time as much as you can.

Good luck and happy editing!

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