How to Make It as a Movie Trailer Editor – How I Made It

Frank Frumento is a movie trailer editor and works on a range of projects, creating the trailers, teasers and TV spots you see in the cinema and on TV every day. Quite a cool job, right? Yes. Good.

We quizzed Frank on how he made it as a movie trailer editor and what advice he has for those wanting to enter the film and media industry.

How and when did you decide that you wanted to follow a career in the film industry?

Since I was a teenager I have always had a passion for creating media, whether it be music, video, or film. The process involved in creating media is extremely satisfying for me, so it made sense for me to further my studies of the arts at university, and broaden my perspective on the industry.

Where did you start out in your career and how did this help you land the role you’re in now?

While I was still studying, I worked in live television as a vision mixer. Once I graduated a position opened up at as an assistant in Create Advertising’s Los Angeles trailer house, and I took the job! Since, I progressed up through the company to Senior Editor and previously worked at the London office.

After my initial interview, my then boss told me that one of the main reasons he hired me over other candidates was because I had had experience in a high-pressure environment before. Having diverse experience in the field undoubtedly gave me more credibility as a potential employee.

What’s the most exciting project you’ve ever worked on?

Let’s see… can’t offend any clients, so… every project is as exciting as last one! But seriously, trying to make a smaller, indie film seem bigger and more important is just as exciting as working with a summer blockbuster that has loads of visual effects.

Describe a day in the life/typical of a movie trailer editor?

A typical day for me depends on what stage of a project I’m on. Initially, I’m searching for music and breaking down the film into select reels (the best shots, etc.) to expedite the editing process.

From there, I’m laying out the rough structure of the story, then filling in the pieces to make a complete edit. A two minute trailer will usually take up to two weeks to complete for first client presentation. After the initial version has been presented, a trailer can go back and forth through many versions until the client is fully satisfied.

What next for Frank Frumento?

I am currently transitioning into creative directing and producing, so in the future I hope to use my skills and experience to bring out the best of other editor’s ideas.

What advice would you give to students wanting to break into this industry?

Experience is the best way to get a job in most film roles. If you want to learn how to shoot or edit, do so independently even if your school doesn’t offer classes in film or video. Cameras and editing software are very accessible and cheap now. Also, find people that have similar artistic interests as you and work with them.

On top of this, try to get yourself into professional environments before you’ve graduated by undertaking work experience or internships. If you can walk into an interview with a reel of work, and experience on set or in an edit bay, you’re a step ahead of everyone else.

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