Editor (Animation)

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What does an editor do?

Editors shape the whole animation. They craft the telling of the story from the start of the production to the finish.

At the beginning, they work with the writer, director. and producer, discussing the script and storyboard. They plan the different scenes and shots. They work out what will need to be animated and how scenes will be pieced together.

Once the animation work has been done, they arrange the final footage and prepare a rough cut, making revisions for the final cut which must be approved by the producer. Editors then oversee the incorporation of audio into the film, collaborating with sound designers and music editors.

Editing an animation is quite a different process to editing a live-action film or TV show. Animation is expensive and labour-intensive, so no footage is produced that hasn’t been precisely planned. In live-action, editors work with existing footage in post-production, choosing between a variety of shots. In animation, the whole film, including each of its scenes and their order, is planned out beforehand. So essentially, in animation, the editing happens first.

Editors might either be employed by animation studios or work as freelancers.

What's an editor good at?

  • Storytelling: understand how a good story works and know how best to tell one through animation
  • Knowledge of the animation process: understand each aspect of the animation process and what will be possible to create and to change
  • Attending to visual and aural details: make good judgements on precise framing when planning the scenes of the animation, use musical skills, pay attention to the coming together of visuals and audio
  • Collaboration: be able to articulate your ideas and work together with the director and writer when planning the animation, communicate effectively with other members of post-production
  • Knowledge of editing software: have strong knowledge of different editing software programs and be able to use them efficiently

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