Film Editing Courses and Classes Overview
Film editors need the ability to take a piece of raw imagery and create a completed story. Courses in film editing are usually taken during an entire degree program in a related field.
Students completing film, filmmaking, cinematography and digital media degree programs at the bachelor's and master's degree levels often take courses in film editing. There are also some programs specifically in editing. Such programs include courses that prepare students to edit video footage that may be used for commercials, documentaries, television shows and films. Most programs don't focus only on editing but also include instruction in screenwriting, sound, acting, directing, production and post-production. Hands-on instruction is used to learn these skills.
An introductory editing course students might take is in compositing and focuses on combining camera shots. Students might then take multiple courses in editing technology to further learn editing techniques and get hands-on practice with computer software and equipment. Specialized courses include those that teach students to use visual effects in videos, correct color and incorporate sound. Students might also take a digital video editing course to use the skills gained from the previous courses to make videos that can be added to a portfolio of work.
Bachelor's and master's degree programs related to film editing often incorporate internships, seminars and final projects. Some programs have a practicum or require a thesis, especially at the master's degree level. Video projects often go into a portfolio that may be reviewed by faculty.
List of Film Editing Courses
Sample film editing courses that may be taken in a bachelor's or master's program are explained below.
Film editing classes in compositing teach students to combine shots from different cameras to create transitions from one perspective to another. Students use photographs and film to practice, developing pictures themselves and learning how lighting affects pictures at each stage. This course is typically completed in the first year of a degree program.
Editing Technology Course
This film editing course provides an overview of the many techniques used in editing film. Students practice with equipment and programs that modify the data in different ways. They gain practical experience putting film together and making it flow. These courses are taken throughout a degree program, as editing technology I-III.
Visual Effects Editing Course
Students are taught to incorporate visual effects into the editing process. They make changes to the digital environment in order to make scenes flow smoothly, dramatically and realistically. Computer applications are used that let students modify data, cutting out anything that shouldn't be there, and enhance special effects. This course is typically completed about halfway through the degree program.
Color-Correction and Sound Course
Students learn how to manipulate equipment to produce just the right shade of color. They also use shadow and other techniques to enhance specific elements. These film editing classes modify sound so that it is not too low, loud or high-pitched.
Digital Video Editing
Students learn to organize and produce digital data and practice adding words and music to completed videos. Students also incorporate other aspects of film editing, including color correction and adding special effects, to make the whole project come together. Through this course, students learn film style while creating clips that can be included in portfolios to be shown to perspective employers. This class is usually taken in the last year of a degree program.
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