Dialog Editing Part 1: Why Learn Dialog Editing?

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If you’re interested in post-production sound, dialog editing is an area that isn’t as competitive as other jobs (like sound designer or re-recording mixer) in part because it leans more on technical chops than being creative. But, 99% of projects needs a dialog editor. The skills you learn as a dialog editor will help if you move into any other area of post-production sound.

The skills it takes to be a good dialog editor

  • Strong audio editing skills
  • Izotope RX skills
  • An attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently and manage time well
  • Ability to solve problems
  • Able to change editing style based on who you are editing for

The advantages to being a dialog editor

  • Generally, you’re given the work then left on your own how you want to manage your time or what order you want to work on things (although you’ll probably be on a deadline.)
  • It’s rare to have clients in the room with you (which makes it less stressful than mixing)
  • Once you finish working on something, you’re pretty much finished (where as a sound designer has rounds of notes and changes)
  • As far as sound editing goes, it’s probably the most important job (because dialog is up front and center – literally).
  • There’s opportunities to move into different roles. You could do other types of editing or move into dialog mixing.

Personally, I was drawn to dialog editing because I found it rewarding to take something that was rough and make it polished. You can look at where you started in the day and where you ended and really know you made a big difference in quality. When I was in high school, I would record my friends saying phrases then edit them together to make them say something else. At the time I had no idea it was a career!

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