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After a film or other video has been shot, the footage must go through a period of post production, in which the footage is cut up and assembled in a logical order. Afterward, the film will often be given additional fine-tuning, such as color correction and the addition of new sound. The first step of this is logging the footage, which is often performed by a log editor.
A log editor is responsible for logging the footage that the production has taken on a camera. This involves reviewing the footage and organizing it. When the film has been organized, then the editor will describe it -- log it -- so other parties can more easily access specific shots at a later date. This may be done by hand or on a computer.
Depending on the type of editing the production is using -- an analog or digital system -- the log editor will either review the footage on a computer or on an analog viewer. In some cases, the log editor will also be responsible for capturing the footage -- but only if the film is being edited digitally. This means importing the footage off the camera tapes and onto a computer drive.
A log editor must be able to operate the equipment necessary to review the footage -- either an analog viewer and a reel-to-reel or a computer with an editing program such as Final Cut Pro or Avid. Then, the editor must be able to identify the shot that she is watching -- both the type of shot and its content -- so other parties can retrieve it later.
Logging and capturing footage is a relatively menial task. Full film editors may choose to log their own footage, so as to get a better idea of what kind of material they are working with, but they may also designate assistant editors or even interns to log footage. For this reason, compensation may be as low as minimum wage, but it will often be higher, depending on the log editor's skills and the production's budget.
- "The Film Editing Room Handbook"; Norman Hollyn; 2009
Michael Wolfe has been writing and editing since 2005, with a background including both business and creative writing. He has worked as a reporter for a community newspaper in New York City and a federal policy newsletter in Washington, D.C. Wolfe holds a B.A. in art history and is a resident of Brooklyn, N.Y.