Tips for Freelance Video Editors and Why You Need To Learn After Effects
I’ve been a freelance film editor for the past 10 years and if there are two crucial things I’ve learned in that time, that can help you build a successful freelance creative career of your own, it is that you need to learn how to manage your money and you need to learn After Effects.
How To Be A Successful Freelance Video Editor
There’s a lot to learn to do well when you’re a freelancer, if you want to succeed over the long haul and build a creative career.
You need to find and pitch on work, take briefs from clients, learn new skills that will add to your salary, negotiate contracts, pay your taxes, manage your cash flow, network and collaborate with other creative professionals, handle difficult clients, build your career and leverage one successful project into another and I could go on!
It can feel like a lot to manage, and many freelancers tend to feel a little overloaded and stressed out. But, by following a few simple principles, you can easily learn to tackle all of these topics and eventually master them.
The questions I get asked most often are usually around the subject of how to manage your money.
How much should I charge? How can I make more money? How do I pay taxes? How can I build my business? How do I survive with no work?
Each of these questions could fill several blog posts, but the most important piece of advice I could share would be to always divide and conquer.
By that I mean, that when you get paid as a freelancer, the very first thing you must do is to divide up your gross pay into several separate portions to ensure you always have what you need when you need it.
For example, you must always slice off the amount you need to pay your taxes and move it into a separate bank account, so that you will always have enough cash on hand to pay what you owe.
If you don’t do this, but simply hope that you’ll have enough at the end of the year to pay your tax bill, you are going to be incredibly stressed out when the time comes as you desperately try to come up with the funds.
A little discipline goes along way! If you always divide your salary straight away you’ll have a more realistic picture of what you have to live on, as well as a stress free time come the end of the year.
If you are about to take the leap into freelancing, or need some help smoothing out the bumps in your existing freelance life, then you might want to have a look at my ebook – How To Be A Freelance Creative – which is packed with everything I know about how build a successful freelance creative career.
I cover all the essential topics like how to raise your rates, handle unemployment, build a network from scratch, balance work and life, work with difficult clients and much more. It’s basically everything I wish I’d known when I started.
Why Video Editors Need To Learn After Effects
The second crucial piece of advice I always give to freelance video editors who are looking to develop their career is to learn After Effects.
Over the years it has been the question I am most frequently asked when being questioned by a potential employer.
Do you know After Effects?
And believe me, you want to be able to say: YES!
Even if knowing how to use After Effects isn’t actually crucial to this particular project, being able to deliver extra added value through better looking motion graphics, titles and lower thirds and even simple visual effects shots is a huge win for your clients, and therefore, your career.
Furthermore if you happen to have a keen eye for composition, movement, typography and communicating complex ideas with simple visuals, you could expand your work opportunities considerably by also working as a freelance motion graphics artist.
For me that is the tricky part as my ability to learn a new piece of software quickly, is pretty good, but my ability to create aesthetically pleasing design is a lot weaker. That’s why taking the time to study some design and typographic principles is equally important.
If you are a video editor who is new to After Effects then it’s well worth checking out BlueFX’s own brand new After Effects Academy, which is a comprehensive subscription based course that has a lot to offer.
After Effects Academy Member Extra
Access your ‘The Basics of Editing After Effects Templates’ Course in the After Effects Academy.
Jeff Sengstack will show you how edit templates in Adobe After Effects.
Not only do you get access to 5 distinct tutorials courses covering everything from the basics of the program to essential plugins and time-saving techniques such as how to render your project faster and more effectively but you also get 5 pre-made templates to keep, including a demo reel project and 4 animated logo designs.
Along with all that the course provides live weekly training classes from an Adobe certified instructor who can answer all your nagging questions.
The course is currently on sale at $67, which is a pretty great deal when you consider everything that’s bundled into it.
You can learn more about the After Effects Academy here ▼
After Effects is one of those addictive programs that, once you learn a little bit about it, you won’t be satisfied until you master how to produce slicker and more complicated projects.
So once you get started, there’s really no telling where you might end up!