How To Find A Documentary Editor?

by First-Time Filmmaker

Filmmaking Question: How can I find someone to review and clean up my edits, color, sound? I am 90% finished with post production of my documentary and I think I've done a really good job, however, this is my first documentary and I would really like to hire someone to review for my edits, color and sound. I intend to market this film as widespread as possible, and want to be sure it is the best quality it can be. I've tried to find someone to do this, but so far they are either too good and too busy or too inexperienced to really make a difference. Any suggestions?

Desktop Documentaries | Answer

This is a really good question... without an easy answer.

Let go through a few ideas and options.

First of all, are you looking for someone to do this for a very low fee or do you have the budget to hire a top editor (a really good editor charges up to $1200 US/day). For my first documentary, I was lucky enough to be in the business for a while and had built up a list of contacts and trusted people I had already worked with. The production company I chose agreed to defer payment until the documentary was released and I could use sales from the film to pay for their services.

1) Ideally, you should find someone within driving distance for easy collaboration, although that's not completely necessary these days with online collaboration tools. So first step is to research video/film production companies in your city/region and expand from there.

2) Ideally, you should find someone who's passionate about your project and excited to help you. Plus have awesome talent to pull it off. Nothing beats getting recommendations from other filmmakers and people in your network.

3) Are you aware of the Sign up for their professionals forum and you may find a good fit by searching the forums.

4) Join the International Documentary Association's LinkedIn group and ask for suggestions there.

5) Is your aim for broadcast TV or just the web? Look for editors who have edited at the level you are going for. Interview them and ask to see previous work.

6) Look up similar films to your own (or ones that you admire) and look in the credits to see who is the editor.

It all comes down to how well you connect with the person and if you think they're the right person for the job.

Check out this article for additional ideas: How To Find Filmmakers To Help Make Your Documentary

Those are just a few ideas. Does that help?


Comments for How To Find A Documentary Editor?

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Aug 16, 2023
Seeking an experienced documentary film editor NEW
by: Darren Cavanagh

Thanks for the insight article and I agree with all the points suggested. I am the producer and co-director on an exciting new documentary called Humankindness and we're seeking an experienced and passionate documentary film editor to help us create the best film possible. If that is you and you want to discuss further please contact me at @theverycreativegan

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