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Top Graduate Video Editing Programs

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: SForsyth•updated: 6/30/2010

Here are a few of the best graduate programs geared toward professions as a film or video editor.

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    Editing Career

    If someone is looking to be a professional film and video editor it is not always common to go to grad school specifically for this. Graduate film school is usually reserved for people whose focus is to be a director, screenwriter, or different specific position, but editor is not always a natural fit for an MFA program. There are almost no graduate degrees in video editing available, so you will have to really be creative and focused in your graduate fim school choices to make this happen. The reason for this is that the best way to become an editor is to work on a large number of projects in a professional area, and this is why if you are planning on going into a Master's of Fine Arts program that focuses in video editing the programs must match that type of experience. A graduate film program focused in editing is really going to give you the skills to be at the top of your game, the knowledge of how to work with all necessary equipment and software, and really know how to be creative as an editor rather than just a technical mule. Here is a look at a few of the top graduate video editing programs around.

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    American Film Institute

    The American Film Institute Conservatory is one of the top graduate film school in the country, really putting it as one of the top film schools in the world. What is different about the American Film Insitute is that you can choose from a specific discipline and then you stay focused on that area the entire time you are in school, which is different than other top film schools where you may study a whole range of things with a general focus on you as a complete filmmaker. They have an editing specific MFA program where you really combine all of your own technical and creative skills on a constant collaborative workflow with other projects being directed by directing students, produced by producing students, and so on. In this way the American Film Institute graduate video editing program allows you to remain part of a semi-professional workflow at all times. The American Film Institute works on an AVID system with private Avid Symphony Nitris DX bays and a dual boot AVID Nitris DS. This is all combined with an Avid Unity system, which really mimics what the most high end feature film post-production houses will be using. You will also have constant relationship with outside industry professional when working on your projects, which a great bridge to the industry. The only issue you may find at the AFI film school is that you are not getting a whole range of motion graphics software and other things, so you may want to supplement your education with some experience in After Effects, raster imaging, and the Final Cut Studio.

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    New York University

    New York University's Tisch School of the Arts has a variety of programs, including the well known Master's of Fine Arts program in Filmmaking. Though this is the more general film school experience, but the facilities and post-production courses are of such a level that this would be an excellent place to go ahead and study film editing and post-production. Here complete filmmaking will be the focus so you would have the knowledge and understanding of the film production system in general and will have the skills and degree of the best regarded film school in the world. To really excel in the fields of post-production you will also want to do some supplementation in terms of animation, motion graphics, and other aesthetic software.

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    University of Southern California

    The University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts has the same credibility as NYU, but allows students to focus in even more closely on disciplines in their Film Production Master's of Fine Arts program. They advise students to focus in on different filmmaking crafts and suggest that they specialize in two. This will allow you to take the time to really remain craft focused, and USC houses the Animation and Digital Arts department as well so that you can expand.

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    Other Schools

    There are a number of other top film schools and programs that really let you dial in to a graduate degree focused on video editing. Rochester Institute of Technology's undergraduate program has a "craft track" option where you can dial in on a specific field in film production, such as editing. Their graduate program does not have this focus, but the ability to deal with animation and a whole host of post-production areas there is immense. Chapman University has a large scale film production program that hits a number of disciplines. Its facilities are among the best in the world and have more private editing suites than you will find almost anywhere else.