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What Do Professional Film Editing Timelines Look Like?

Thanks to social media, we now have a unique opportunity to take a sneak peek inside professional film editing timelines! All the Feature Films and TV Shows below were cut on Avid Media Composer which is the industry-standard editing software for drama... I'm sorry Premiere, I do still love you!

I first came across Avid whilst sitting in with an Editor as a Post Production Runner. I stared at Avid on the screen and my brain internally fried. It was one of the strangest and most intimidating interfaces I had ever seen. I don't know what that bit means... There's so much on the tracks. I wonder what the colours do? How on earth can I get my timeline to look like that?

I can assure you that Avid becomes easier to learn over time, as having started off completely bewildered, I'm now using it professionally every day. Mastering Avid is likely to be a never-ending process. New features are frequently added and discovered and we'll all probably be 5 years down the line and someone will say "Omg, did you know you could do this?" and we'll be like "What?? No! I've been doing it the other way for 5 years!"

A good place to start is to know that you don't need to know what every single feature does right now. Being a Trainee, Edit Assistant or Runner is all about learning. Some Editors are much more creatively minded and leave most of the technical Avid tasks to their Assistants.

If you would like to learn Avid Media Composer for beginners, download Avid First (it's free) and have a look at these tutorials, courses and books.

The Rough Cut is a great podcast featuring interviews with Film and Assistant Editors. They also have a YouTube channel which posts Timeline Tours!


If you want guaranteed time with an industry professional to receive feedback, training and industry insight tailored to you, I'm now offering one-to-one online tutoring sessions! From career pathways to assistant editing, I'd be happy to be your guide. Find out more info here... don't struggle on your own! Have you checked out the NEW, YES NEW… AH EXCITING ‘The Industry’ or the ‘Resources' pages yet?! There you’ll find collections of essential industry resources you can use to start your career. Head to the bottom of this page to find more blog posts about Assistant Editing, Post Production Running, Interviews and Film Editing.

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