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Producer + Editor = Preditor.

It’s a word that seems to generate derision from many traditional, professional editors. The concept that one person can and should handle all of the aspects of post is characterized as a “jack-of-all-trades and a master of none”. While that may be true, it doesn’t change the fact that many news operations, reality TV shops and broadcast creative services departments are adopting the model. That’s based on the concept that producers and editors can merge job skills and that the combined role can be handled by a single individual.

What is often described as a “professional editor” is really a concept that only applies to Hollywood, unionized workplaces or to the short slice of time when linear videotape editing was the norm. During the 1970s – 1990s, video post production was handled in very expensive edit suites. The editors originally came out of the engineering ranks and were considered more technical than creative, since part of their job was making sure that broadcast standards were met.

This evolved and attitudes changed around the introduction of Avid’s original nonlinear systems. These early units were quite expensive, so although the editor roles were creative, the business model didn’t change much from the linear operations. With the entry of Apple Final Cut Pro, the last decade or so has been viewed by many as a “race to the bottom”. The tools are cheaper than ever and it is perceived that no specialized skills are needed to operate the editor’s toolkit.