Put it simply, in the analogy of cooking, a trailer editor, just like a good Chef, takes all the different ingredients and combines them to create the perfect meal.
In the case of a trailer those ingredients are
1) the script from the producing / writing team.
2) The footage, visuals
3) Music – Music is 50% of any trailer. Depending on the budget, the trailer editor will select one or multiple cues to be used. The music selection will be based on the what tone needs to be communicated in the trailer, for e.g.. epic Orchestral, big fast action rock, or moody indie rock, or dark gritty electronica etc.
5) Sound FX
4) Dialogue and Voice over narration (if required)
5) Graphic cards to communicate the message.
A good trailer, just like a good meal is a creative combination of all the above mentioned ingredients coming together in perfect harmony.
So the trailer editor’s job involves translating scripts into edited trailers, tv spots, or radio spots. Unlike many jobs, trailer editing is usually project-specific, so over the course of a year they will work on many different types of campaigns for many different movies or video games or commercials.
On a typical morning, the trailer editor will work on the day’s cuts. A 30-second TV spot may take a day or two to cut from scratch, and they usually work alone for a while until the spot is refined enough to show to the producers / creative director and show it to them and get notes.They’ll work together for a bit to make the spot make more sense or be funnier or scarier or whatever’s necessary. Once done with all the notes and internal revisions, there could be a few rounds at times. Then it’ll be sent to the client and then all the client’s notes will be addressed. So all in all, a good trailer is very dependent on also a good team around the trailer editor.
And now you know what a trailer editor does!!