How to be a Freelance Video Editor

Freelance Video Editor

Video editing is an exciting field of work. Think about it, you get to be part of the television/film industry, you get to make good money, and you get to work alongside talented artists. What more could you ask from a career like this one, a freelance opportunity perhaps, an opportunity to get away from office life and be able to choose your work.

There are many reasons why you should consider taking up freelancing. For some of you, it is the extra income, for others, it is the promise of working from home.

Whichever way you lean, freelance video editing has emerged as a viable and comfortable career option, one that can fetch you money and credibility and ultimately lead to, what most you desire, a financially secure life.

Freelance Video Editor Job Duties

Video/film editors are required to undertake many duties. Based on the plot, narrative and other factors of the film, you might receive a license to be creative or you might be simply asked to operate the equipment.

Some of the work a video editor involves:

  • Getting a rough imprint of footage or script, screenplay
  • Compiling raw footage and entering it onto computers
  • Cropping files to sequence the film and taking a decision on what is retainable
  • Creating a ‘rough cut’ of the program and deciding exact cuts for later stages
  • Tweaking the video to ensure a logical sequencing and smooth running of the film/video
  • Familiarise yourself with the style of specific directors
  • Experimenting with styles and techniques including the design of graphic elements


Editors are often the ones who face sticky situations over a clumsily cut video/film, containing some glaringly simple errors. There are certain skills that you must develop and hone to a razor’s edge to be successful in the world of video/film editing.

Some of the skills that you must develop include:

  • An eye for detail
  • Critical Thinking
  • Time Management
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Working knowledge of the TV/film industry
  • Flexibility
  • Adaptability
  • Commitment to high-quality work
  • Willingness to stretch yourself at the time of deadlines

Video School Online, Larry Jordan, Udemy, Lynda and NYVS offer many paid-for and free forums, videos and infographics to help you develop the skills needed to learn video/film editing online.

Freelance Video Editor Career

Film/Video editing is an important job, if not a very glamorous one. The director usually ropes in the credit, but a major chunk of the work is in your hands. If you do not edit particularly carefully and capture every detail, chances are that the entire film/video will not turn out good.

Freelancing is a good career option; a chance to turn a hobby into a profession, and a chance to enjoy a serene working environment like your house. However, there are certain steps that you should take to be successful in the field:

  • Building on speed: Be able to edit work quickly and effectively, saving time on edits and having more time for retrospect
  • Interact with directors, story writers and producers to be able to understand the need
  • Keep in touch with the best practices in the industry, be willing to take a slightly newer path
  • Keep learning, there is always something new to learn, a software, a digital technique, so keep on your toes

Freelance Video Editor Salary

Your ability to network and the credibility of your work with previous employers can affect your revenue, as a video  Freelance writer.

Usually, freelance portals offer two generic kinds of payment models to freelancers. Fixed-price, where the price is usually pre-determined and a budget is sanctioned which you can bid for, and the hourly payment model where the employer decides on hourly pay. A fixed-price model may range from $30-150 upwards, while you have to pitch for hourly projects, which usually range from $5-40 an hour, with average payments at $25 per hour.

Finding Video Editing Work

Peopleperhour, Odesk, Elance, Guru and Freelancer list many job opportunities for freelance video editors like you who are looking for work.

Freelancing has opened up the way we view work: and the trend only continues to rise. The need for skilled video editors rises, as videos are more or less becoming commonplace, with many services featuring YouTube advertisements.


There are many resources available for you to begin freelance video editing as a career. Some websites that offer study material online and host instructional videos include Video School Online, Larry Jordan, Udemy, Lynda and NYVS. These resources offer many paid-for and free forums, videos, and infographics to help you develop the skills needed.

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