David Webb contributes to Little Black Book’s latest editing feature – Cutting In: Certified Career Counselling for Aspiring Editors.
It has always been hard to get into editing. It used to be that if you were one of the select few that even knew this career existed, the only way to get a foot in the door was most likely through nepotism. If you knew the right person, you might have wrangled an interview with one of the four or five Soho editing companies. At the interview, you would be rapidly disavailed of the notion that your degree in filmmaking qualified you to do anything more than make tea. Then, if you managed to present yourself in a manner that showed you would walk over burning coals to prove your allegiance to the cause, you might just get a job. A job that is – as a runner! The first step on the ladder!
From here, after learning through osmosis and the occasional benevolence of sympathetic editors, an opportunity would eventually present itself to step up. And then you’d find yourself working outside of hours on freebies and low budget projects that tested the mettle of your dedication to this rarefied career path. Four, five or six years later, you might finally get a chance to sit in the editing chair with actual, real life, paying clients.
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