7 basic qualities of a good movie editor

Is true that the availability of smartphones has made it almost impossible to differentiate between a good movie editor and a bad one.

With smartphones these days, many no longer need the services of an editor to edit their videos.

Well, the truth is that if you plan to shoot a movie and you need a professional touch, definitely you will need a professional movie editor to do the touch for you.

It is one thing to find a movie editor and it is another thing to find someone good at editing videos.

In this post, we shall be looking at the qualities of a good video editor.

7 Basic Qualities Of A Good Movie Editor

1. Good Storyteller

Every good movie editor is a good storyteller. He doesn’t need to watch the entire shots you took to know what the theme of the story is.

All he needed was to go through one or two shots and the main message was gotten.

Though not all editors have this kind of gift. But the truth is that some good video editors are honestly good at it.

So it is not bad to take a look at the entire story before understanding what the main point of the story is all about.

Sometimes also, we write stories and when given to editors, they end up retelling the story to mean a different thing.

This is why I said that good movie editor are great storytellers.

A single-story can be retold in different ways to pass the same or different message.

I could remember some time ago when I was given a movie to edit.

The producer of the job gave me a copy of the script of the video which would serve as my guild when arranging the clips.


To the greatest surprise of the producer, after a few days of getting the job-ready, he was surprised to watch a video arranged differently from what was in the script.

I duplicated the video. The first one was arranged from my concept while the second video was arranged as it was in the script.

When he came and previewed the two videos, he decided to go with the one I arranged.

He thanked me so much for a job well done. The truth is that the producer added more tips to our initial agreement (my payment).

So to conclude this point, the whole thing summarizes the fact that every good movie editor is a good storyteller.

Do you feel like reading a good story? Take a look at “Tears of the Python Queen” by Nekenwa Saviosantos

2. Good Listener

Another quality of a good movie editor is the act of being a good listener.

Let’s say that there is a point where actors are not getting their lines well.

Maybe the director didn’t notice it during the shooting session.

It is a job left for the editor to battle with. What happens when you are faced with this kind of problem as an editor.

  • for your professional video editing software, you need Premiere pro

You will need to take your time to know if other shots corrected the problem.

If maybe there is no shot of that nature, then you will need to take your time to monitor the video closely and know how to better edit it.

3. Lover of movies
Another interesting thing about video editors is the fact that they love to watch movies.

Watching many videos allows them to be good at what they do. Sometimes you watch videos to create a story out of the story or learn new editing styles.

4. Fault Finder
This is yet another troubling but interesting quality of an editor.

Every good movie editor is a fault finder. Fault finder in the sense, he would want to watch a video of other editors and how they made mistakes in their editing.

This is normal in all professions. There was a time I was watching a movie with my girlfriend.

There was this slight mistake the editor made which was a place where two frames did not synchronize well.

I reversed the video and asked my girlfriend if she noticed anything and she said no.

I explained to her the error and the lady was like “and what do you want me to do?”

It was fun anyway. She was like “why are you showing me an error in a field I know nothing about?”

The bottom line of the whole thing is that a good editor should be good at identifying the errors of other editors and avoid such errors when editing.

5. Good At What He Does

When someone asks you “are you a good editor?” Your response should depict the truth about you.

Every good editor is known for his handwork. Though sometimes you don’t need to blame the editor for a bad job.

In most cases, the problem comes from the story and how the story was shot.

A good editor is just good at what he does, which is to cut and join clips, add effects, transitions and some other basic functions.

6. Open To Criticism

Being open to criticism is yet another factor that makes a good editor.

From your critics, you can make amends and ensure it doesn’t repeat in the nearest future.

7. Ready to learn

Being a good editor is not just knowing a single style of editing.

Every day new editing styles pop up. It is always good to follow the moving trend.

Staying stuck to the old method will always make people look at you as someone who is not serious.

For you to maintain and also get more fans or admirers you need to know the trends and follow them.

Also, learn to bring new concepts into the field. One interesting thing about the entertainment industry is your ability to bring in something new.


Video editing is a great and tedious profession. Though good movie editors are making thousands if not millions from movie editing.

Do you hope to get involved in the field, then try and cultivate or nurture the above-mentioned qualities of a good movie editor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.