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Tips for Finding a Film Editing Internship

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/13/2010

Here is a look at how to find a film editing internship, where to look, and some tips for applying.

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    The Trouble With College Internships

    In this job market you cannot get any job without experience, which can be a catch-22 for most recent college graduates. College internships are crucial to padding your resume and setting yourself up for the career of your dreams, but a good college internship can be difficult to find. A film internship can also be a difficult process, but narrowing it down to a film editing specific internship may actually be something that is easier to prepare for as opposed to a more general film internship. Here are a few tips for applying for a film editing internship in the industry.

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    Film editing internships, and those in the general post-production fields, are likely going to be a lot more hands on than those at large production companies. Because of this you will likely need to both know the techniques and editing software used as well as have the ability to prove it. You are going to need to start by learning how to edit, though this sounds a little obvious. Before applying to a film editing internship you need to find proficiency on at least a couple different systems, focusing on one for editing and possibly some on raster imaging, DVD authoring, motion graphics, compositing, color grading, 3D modeling, 2D computer animation, or other features. These are going to make your skills valuable to the company that may hire you for the college internship since they will need you to work. Prepare the film internship applications like a regular job application and start putting together an editing reel ahead of time. You may not get asked for this, but if you do you will want to be prepared and it is appealing if you offer the reel. To do this you obviously have to have a little work that you have edited, so make sure you do some student film work and take appropriate coursework. Remember to put together your resume in a professional way listing your skills and the types of projects you have edited.

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    Finding Film Editing Internships

    All college internships can be difficult to find and film internships are next to impossible in some areas. Start by looking on open posting forums like Craig's List or, which is a site specific to the film and video industry. The likelihood is that you are going to find more internships that you are qualified for that there are jobs available. Begin narrowing them down according to post-production requirements, and keep yourself open to the entire post-production field. You will be able to find some that are editing specific, but if you are going to be working as an editor in your later life you are going to need to be professionally versed in all areas of post-production and this type of film internship is going to be necessary for your resume. Begin also looking at major studios and production companies, many of which have complete film internship programs that have a standard application process. They will also often allow you to only apply to the post-production department, so just clarify this and make sure you are going to the right department. Check their requirements closely as they are usually going to require that you get college credit.

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    Set Limits

    Film internships are all usually unpaid, which means that you really are working for free. This is good for experience, but you cannot allow them to demand too much from you because of this position. Let them know what type of work you want to do and that you need to limit your hours so you can work to sustain yourself over the period of the film editing internship.