Work on award-winning Films

Our students learn by editing real movies currently in post-production. They get individual feedback from the filmmakers and receive credit on the finished films. 

LEarn both fiction and documentary techniques

Each class works on two films: a scripted fiction project and an unscripted documentary. By mastering both skillsets, you will be prepared for anything the post-production world throws at you.

Learn from the best

Our classes are taught by some of the top editors in the business. They're in the room all day, every day.

A 19 Year Track Record

Our graduates' work has won recognition at Sundance, the Emmys, and even the Oscars.

Master the Tools of the Trade

Our six-week course uses Avid Media Composer, the industry standard for feature film editing.

Not Just for Editors

Our class is also ideal for directors who want to cut their own films, cinematographers who want to shoot with editing in mind, and anyone who wants an in-depth knowledge of the post-production process.

 

Upcoming Classes

2019
Jul 22 - Aug 30
Oct 7 - Nov 15

2020
Jan 13 - Feb 21
March 16 - Apr 24
June 1 - July 10
July 27 - Sept 4
Oct 5 - Nov 20

Schedule

Week One
10am - 5pm, M-F
Weeks Two through Six
Most classes have two shifts:
9am - 2pm
or 2pm - 7pm, M-F
More info →

Course Fee

$6,000
There’s really no way I could have gotten this far in my career this quickly without The Edit Center.
— Cindy Lee/2014 Independent Spirit Nominee, Best Editing
 
 

THE FILMS

Most editing classes use canned footage. No matter how good the material is, it can't compare to the learning experience of cutting a real film for a real director. 

Our innovative program brings together independent filmmakers who need their movies edited and aspiring editors looking for a way to develop their skills.

Each class works on two films: a scripted fiction project (aka a “narrative” film) and an unscripted documentary. Each student is in charge of editing a different section of each film, with regular guidance and feedback from our teachers and the filmmakers.

Previous class projects include Winter's Bone (Oscar Nominee, Best Picture 2011), Listen Up Philip (Sundance 2011), Hot Coffee (Sundance 2011, HBO), and Frozen River (Oscar Nominee, Best Original Screenplay 2009), to name just a few. See other past projects →

Students leave the class with a professional editor's reel and a credit on the final film—a real-world credential that helps them start their career.

The narrative project

Editing a fiction film is sometimes called “the final rewrite.” Using the script as a guide, the editor works with the director to craft the best possible movie from the material that was actually filmed.

While working on the fiction project, students learn how to create a seamless whole from the fragmentary shots and takes that are captured on set. This means mastering filmmaking fundamentals like screen direction and continuity, but also learning when to break those conventions in service of better storytelling. In the process of editing their own scenes, students will gain experience building believable characters from actors’ uneven performances; shaping the emotional arc of a scene through music and pacing; and finding creative solutions to story problems by cutting, rearranging, and sometimes rerecording dialog.

The documentary project

On documentary films, there is no script. The story is created in the edit room, from hundreds of hours of raw footage. The editor must wade through this ocean of material without drowning in the possibilities.

On the documentary project, we teach a tried and true system for planning and managing a documentary edit. Students learn how to watch raw footage for emotion as well as information and how to intelligently select the best moments; how to efficiently organize these “selects” by character, topic, and theme; how to work with verite material (i.e. fly-on-the-wall footage capturing a real-life scene); how to edit interviews; and how to make strong choices that will lead to a compelling final scene.

 
There were so many story lines in the movie that I wanted a lot of people giving input. And students’ minds are more open to breaking conventions.
— Ethan Hawke
Director Ethan Hawke working with student Deepa Donde on class project  Chelsea Walls.

Director Ethan Hawke working with student Deepa Donde on class project Chelsea Walls.

Teaching and mentorship

Daily Feedback from Top Editors

During each class project, a distinguished narrative or documentary film editor joins the class full-time to give students creative feedback and coaching. Previous visiting artists include the editors of award-winning films like Beasts of the Southern Wild and Margin Call,  TV shows like "Mad Men," "Boardwalk Empire," and "True Detective," and documentaries like Inside Job and Sicko.

All day, every day

These industry pros don't just stop by once or twice for a guest lecture or a screening. They’re available to work with students every day, offering guidance and mentorship on everything from the creative process to finding your first job.

Expert Instructors

Our curriculum is designed and taught by working editors and assistant editors who are eager to share their hard-earned experience with students. Not only do they know Avid inside and out, they know its strengths and limitations on real-world projects. They’ll teach you the shortcuts, workflows, and workarounds that professionals rely on. They also have first-hand knowledge of the demands and expectations you’ll face in today’s job market.

Personal attention

One-on-one feedback is one of the keys to our program's success. Rather than discussing editing theory in the abstract, instructors and visiting artists sit with students individually and help them work through the creative and technical challenges in their scenes.

Small class sizes

We never have more than three students for every teacher and our maximum class size is 14.

 
I can’t say enough good things about my instructors, who were not only talented editors in their own right, but also amazing teachers.
— Stephanie Ahn '09/Editor, My Old Lady

Master the Tools of the Trade

Students in our six-week class learn to use Avid Media Composer 8, the industry standard for feature film editing. And while there are scores of online tutorials, books, and classes that can show you the basics of Avid, this class teaches you how professional editors really use the program—not just what it says in the manual. Even if you've worked with Avid before, you'll pick up dozens of new tips and tricks.

See a detailed week-by-week syllabus →

Why Avid?

Figuring out which editing program to learn can be confusing these days. Avid, Adobe Premiere, or Final Cut Pro? Why not all three? Click here for our take.

Alum Discount on Premiere Class

If you need to get up to speed on Adobe Premiere once you've mastered Avid in the six-week class, you will receive a 50% alumni discount on our Premiere Pro Crash Course. Click here to learn more about the course.

after the class

A NETWORK THAT LASTS FAR LONGER THAN SIX WEEKS 

Getting started in the film world can be intimidating, but graduates of our six-week program have an edge. You'll leave with:

  • A professional editor's reel
  • A real credit on their class films
  • A network of fellow students and teachers (Because most jobs come through word of mouth)
  • Access to our alumni e-group, an online resource for tech questions, career advice, and job listings
  • And most importantly: Experience editing real-world projects
  • Discounts on our other classes, including the Premiere Pro Crash Course and Assistant Editing Crash Course

AN UNPARALLELED RECORD OF SUCCESS

The best evidence we can offer that our approach works is the success of our students. They've been nominated for editing prizes at Sundance, the Independent Spirit Awards, and the Emmys. The editors of How to Survive a Plague (Oscar Nominee 2013), If a Tree Falls (Oscar Nominee 2012), and Inside Job (Oscar Winner 2011) are all Edit Center graduates.

See what our graduates have been up to lately→ 

 
The community of editors and filmmakers who circle in and out of the Edit Center provided incredible support to me as I started looking for work. Within a month or so I was interning, then assisting, and finally working as the lead editor on great projects.
— Sarah Devorkin '07/Editor, Page One: Inside the New York Times
Within my first few days at The Edit Center, I knew I made the right decision. I was getting valuable feedback from professional editors and I was quickly learning the tools to work in an edit room.
— Alec Styborski/Assistant Editor, True Detective

Still Have Questions?

Attend an Open House

Check out our classroom space, meet our teachers, and get an overview of the program.

Space is limited. RSVP required.

Where 

168 7th Street, Suite 314
Brooklyn, NY 11215

When

Tuesday, August 27th @ 7pm

Saturday, September 7th @ 1pm

Tuesday, December 3rd @ 7pm

Contact us

(212) 691-2370
info@theeditcenter.com

 

Syllabus

The following is a sample syllabus from a typical six-week course. Please keep in mind that the schedule may vary from class to class.

Week One

Intensive Avid Training

Schedule: 10am - 5pm, M-F

We begin the class by providing you with a solid technical foundation in Avid Media Composer 8. Our goal for this week is to get everyone comfortable with the fundamentals of the software.

Week Two

INTRODUCTION TO Narrative Editing

Schedule: For weeks 2-6, most classes have two shifts: 9am - 2pm or 2pm - 7pm, M-F
More details here.

  • Begin working on the narrative class project

  • Meet the film's director and discuss her/his creative vision

  • Class discussion about the director/editor relationship
  • Avid Lecture: Asymmetrical Trimming
Week Three

ADVANCED Narrative Editing TECHNIQUES

  • Meet one-on-one with the director and get feedback on your work in progress
  • Q&A with a special guest. Previous guest speakers include Craig McKay (The Silence of the Lambs), Jay Rabinowitz (Requiem for a Dream), Sarah Flack (Lost in Translation)and Alisa Lepselter (Midnight In Paris).
  • Avid Lecture: Basic visual effects
Week Four

Introduction to Documentary EDITING

  • Second feedback session with the director
  • Finish work on your narrative scenes
  • Screening of the class's rough cut
  • Begin editing the documentary project
  • Special Lecture: How to Edit Vérité Footage
  • Meet the director of the documentary
  • Avid Lecture: Working with Stills, Archival, and Text
Week Five

ADVANCED Documentary Editing TECHNIQUES

  • Meet one-on-one with the director of the documentary
  • Q&A with a special guest (usually the editor or director of a recent documentary)
  • Special Lecture: Editing interviews
  • Avid Lecture: Basic Color Correction
Week Six

Continue Narrative Documentary Editing and Wrapping Things UP

  • Final feedback session with the documentary director
  • Screening of the class's rough cut
  • Avid Lecture: Essential Skills for Assistant Editing
  • Special Lecure: Career Paths