An Open Letter to Media Educators

In Uncategorizedby tfwm

Most church and ministry media directors know the incredible need right now for Avid Editors who know “After Effects.” That’s why I’m putting out a call to all TV/Film Departments at Christian universities, video training centers, and even high schools with media departments to take notice. There are probably 25 positions around the country right now for experienced Avid editors who are good graphic designers.

Yes – many places are gravitating to Final Cut Pro, but there are a lot of major organizations out there with serious investments with Avid, and for a number of good reasons. Most of the editors I know in Los Angeles work on an Avid in the office, and then have Final Cut on their computer at home. Final Cut is making solid inroads with many production companies, and it’s a great system, but the best editors should be fluent on both.

They also need to understand graphic design and animation. The current rage in the industry is for “Predators:” producers/editors. People who can take a story from start to finish, and today that includes graphic design. Lots of places are looking for video editors who can design animated title graphics, lower thirds, and more, but there are few people who can fill that need.

Educators – stop using all those fringe editing systems and other software. Yes, they may work, but they simply aren’t the norm at most professional facilities. The fact is, your student is never going to get a job if he can’t edit on Final Cut and Avid. Second, teach them good design. There are fewer and fewer editing jobs that only need someone to cut video. Today, there are more and more “boutique” houses than ever, and whether they do commercials, corporate, or religious and family programming, they use editors who can create their own graphics – still as well as moving.

So make sure they’re accomplished at Photoshop, After Effects, and by all means, teach them about plug ins.

When you train an editor on fringe editing and graphics software, you’re really hurting his or her chances of success. You could say that the “principles” are the most important, and they can adapt to other software when necessary. But who’s going to give them that chance?

Most colleges and training centers have limited budgets, but whatever you can do to graduate students with serious experience in these programs, will dramatically help their careers. Perhaps you can work out relationships with local production houses. Get student versions of the programs. Whatever. Just get them working with the software professionals are using nationwide.

The fact is, I’ve worked in the religious media world for 30 years, and the demand for editors/graphic designers is higher than it’s ever been. If they can tell a story, cut the segment, and design and produce the graphics, life will be good.