Assistant Editor

What is an assistant editor? The short answer is that an assistant editor works with the editor to create the finished piece. The long answer is a little more complicated, depending on the size of the production.

On a smaller shoot, the assistant may also digitize and get coffee. On a larger project, the assistant will actually "precut" scenes for the editor, putting together a rough assemblage of shots so the editor has a jumping off point. This doesn't happen in a vacuum, though. The assistant works very closely with the editor to make sure the tone and pace are right for the scene. Often, specific takes will be selected beforehand so everyone knows exactly which material to work with.

Andrew J. Zoeller started out as an assistant and says it is the best possible training. Like most jobs in the industry, you learn by doing. The best place to "do" is with an editor who can watch over you. Andrew developed a teacher/mentor relationship with the editors he worked with, and he'll still call on them to answer questions or give advice. If you work with people who are better at a job than you are, you'll always learn something from them.

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