What does a VFX editor do?
VFX editors work as the link between the film or TV production team, which shoots the live-action footage, and the VFX studio that does the visual effects. A VFX editor can be employed by a VFX studio or directly by the film or TV production company. The role varies depending on whether they are in-house (employed by the studio) or client-side (employed by the film or TV production company).
Client-side VFX editor:
Client-side VFX editors work on set, while the live-action footage is being shot. They check everything is being captured in a way that makes it possible for the VFX to be created and integrated effectively. They keep track of the director’s notes and make sure that the VFX editor employed by the VFX studio knows about any changes that will affect the way the VFX need to be created. The client-side VFX editor bring drafts of the shots together so that the director can see how they will look with the VFX incorporated and make sure the footage all comes together to create a cut of the film or TV programme that’s in keeping with what was signed off in previsualisation.
In-house VFX editor:
In-house VFX editors work closely with client-side VFX editors, but are responsible for ensuring that the VFX artists at the VFX studio have everything that they need to create their work.
While the project is being worked on, the VFX editor creates a workflow that allows the VFX supervisor to evaluate the VFX artists' work and provide feedback on the aesthetic and on the technical direction. As the client approves shots or versions, the VFX editor incorporates them into the current cut (edit) and oversees the passing of work back to the team that is editing the film or TV programme.
What's a VFX editor good at?
- Attention to detail: be meticulous with a strong eye for detail, making sure all shots are of the highest possible quality
- Editing: have a good understanding of story-telling and be adept at using editing software
- Communication: have excellent communication skills, understand exactly what the desired effect is in each shot and give effective direction to achieve that, keep clients informed on progress
- Organisation: be on top of the work that needs to be done and its progress with a good understanding of the pipeline, keep track of any changes in the project and keep all staff informed
- Working to deadlines: have very good time-management skills, make sure the project stays on track for its deadline and cope well with working under pressure towards tight post-production deadlines at the end of the project