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Demand upswing for film editors

With the Indian film industry having emerged as the largest in the world and the citizenry being offered the choice of over 748 television channels, professionally qualified film editors are much sought after
The most glamorous career options in India’s multi-billion dollar movies, film and television industries dominated by ‘Bollywood, are in mainstream acting or direction. However, the film and television industry also has plenty of less glamorous but interesting and creative jobs such as editing, a critical component of film production. Thats why countrywide, ambitious youth of both sexes are flocking to film institutes to study the specialised art of film editing.

A film editor is an expert in the art of ‘cutting. editors work in studios, view footage shot by the directors to fine tune audio-visual output, and use their skills to mix, or glide smoothly between the narrative sequence and music to ensure continuity and appeal to audiences.

Narrative skills and thorough understanding of the script and screenplay to add depth or compress footage, are required of a competent editor. And apart from inherent creativity, proficiency in the editing software application Final Cut Pro (FCP) is mandatory.

Study Programmes. With industry demand for professionally qualified film editors rising continuously, most film institutes offer certificate, diploma and postgraduate programmes. The minimum admission qualification required is Plus Two, but collegiate graduation is required for admission into postgraduate diploma courses in film editing offered by government- aided institutes. Admission is either through an entrance exam and/or interview.

Among the prominent institutes offering film editing study programmes are:

– The Central governments Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune which offers a full-time three-year postgraduate diploma in film editing
– Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata — a three-year postgrad diploma in film and television with an option to specialise in editing in the second and third years
– Whistling Woods International, Mumbai — a two-year full-time diploma in film editing and other specialisations and a four-week short-term programme in editing skills and FCP
– Flash Frame Visuals Academy of Film & Video editing, Bangalore which conducts short part-time diploma courses in professional editing
– Digital Academy, Mumbai offers short-term courses of six months duration in non-linear editing.

With the Indian film industry having emerged as the largest in the world producing over 1,500 feature films per year with an annual turnover of Rs.6,000 crore, and the citizenry being offered the choice of over 748 television channels, professional film editors are much sought after, and demand will keep rising in years to come. Competent professionals have the option of working in feature and non-feature films, documentaries, ad films, and television. Its a money-spinning vocation and once you’ve carved a niche for yourself, the sky is the limit.

The media industry, especially films and television, has a very bright future in India and worldwide. With films, television, advertising and Internet industries all generating massive volumes of content, the demand for professionally qualified, on-the-ball film editors is likely to snowball. Its a career option with huge opportunities and well worth considering.

(Excerpted from 101 Great Careers for the 21st Century by Indra Gidwani, 2016)

The article was published in the print version of ParentsWorld February 2018 issue.

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