I want to become a freelance video editor. I love editing video and have done a couple of projects. My question is: If I learned Adobe Premiere, should it be enough to get work done?

What should I learn in this program to get started as a professional?

Is there any other software, besides Premiere, that I should learn?

  • Good question. I can appreciate the position you are in and am glad that you want to venture into the unknown with premier pro. It is by far the most awesomest (is that even a word :) ) tool to edit and create great videos. It doesnt have a steep learning curve. I will be glad to help you with it through a short google hangout (free :P). By the end of it, you will have a good idea of the layout and basic functions of the Premier Pro software.
    – Tejaswi R
    Jan 28, 2014 at 9:22

4 Answers 4


Learning a software package will not make you an editor. Learning to be an editor will make you an editor. One of the most valuable experiences I actually had when developing my skills as an editors was when my High School video production teacher forced us to start on a reel to reel tape deck based linear editor. I'd been working with NLEs (non-linear editors) such as Premiere and Final Cut Pro for a while at that point, but working with a linear editor where I couldn't just drag and drop forced me to plan my edits and think about how I wanted to tell a story.

Editing isn't about how to use a tool, it is about how to tell a story. It's about how to make something visually interesting that flows and keeps the viewer engaged. It has NOTHING at all to do with knowing how to use a tool, and knowing how to use a tool will not make you a better editor. If you want to learn about being a video editor, I recommend starting with books on how to edit. If it's something you really want to get into, there are college programs that specialize in editing that you can use or if you are more of a self starter, you can try to find an editor in your area that might be willing to take you under their wing for helping out with doing some of the more gruntish work in video editing.

  • Could you please suggest good book to me so I can read? Oct 29, 2013 at 2:44
  • @user2926396 - I'll try finding some of my old college texts, but they are all a bit older now. The techniques haven't changed substantially, but the examples they use may be a bit more modern in newer texts. Amazon reviews are probably your best bet for finding a good book on video editing. You could also look for stuff on cinematography.
    – AJ Henderson
    Oct 29, 2013 at 12:59
  • Thank you! @AJ Henderson - I will use amazon books review to find good books, also waiting for you texts :) Oct 30, 2013 at 4:28
  • I couldn't find my old books, but "The Technique of Film and Video Editing: History, Theory, and Practice" looked pretty good from a quick look on Amazon.
    – AJ Henderson
    Oct 30, 2013 at 5:14

Premiere is simply a tool. While learning how to use it will give you some experience and you can experiment to find out techniques, it will not teach you how to be a video editor.

Same with the other video editors.

If you want to become a professional video editor, there are college courses in this, some lasting 3 years or more, which will give you techniques, skills, training etc in concepts, the mental and artistic processes you will require etc., as well as training you in the tools.


We have over 30 video editing suites in our company. The majority currently have Avid Media Composer, and a few using Final Cut Pro. Both of these would be good to learn as they are widely used in video post-production around the world, and rather more commonly than the Adobe products.

I believe Media Composer is now available through monthly subscription, which is useful as it has always been a lot more expensive than Final Cut.

  • 1
    Great suggestion that Media Composer and FCP are also worth learning, though I would point out that in recent history, Premiere has rapidly been gaining market share and FCP has rapidly been losing it (thanks to FCPX), with many believing that Premiere may well have passed FCP, at least for new setups. That said Media Composer is certainly big and all three are certainly worth learning, particularly since they aren't all that super different (imo anyway).
    – AJ Henderson
    Jul 5, 2014 at 17:24

Ignore the tools, understand the techniques first

There are a few books I can recommend.

Cut by Cut, 2nd edition: Editing Your Film or Video by Gael Chandler
Covers all the basics for video editing and more. A wonderful overview of the edit workflow.

How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro by Steve Stockman
Even though this is more geared towards shooting videos with your camera, it has wonderful little nuggets regarding editing the footage. For example did you realize that most cuts last no longer than 10 seconds.

Hope this helps you

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.