Last quarter I taught the “Art & Craft of Film Editing” class at UCLA Extension. I dedicated our last session to career-related questions and compiled a list of what, in my opinion, makes a good editor. Here’s that list:

Good instincts (Knowing what the audience wants to see or feel, and/or *should* see and feel, as well as knowing what feels right at any given moment.)
Understanding story & character
Good eye for performance and production value
Knowing your craft, knowing how to use at least one editing tool (Avid, FCP, Premiere…)
Practice (Lots of it!)
Speed: Fast thinking and fast execution (e.g. know your keyboard shortcuts)
Organization (For efficiency and speed. Organize your project really well before starting to edit.)
Good audio-visual memory (Remembering shots, dialogue, interview bites, etc. is very useful.)
Attention to detail
Patience (to go over lots of footage, to watch the same footage over and over again and make many revisions.)
Being able to sit down and be alone all day (often in a dark room!)
Communication skills
Good Attitude (Last but not least!)

Be Sociable, Share!