Here’s a secret: Movie magic isn’t actually magic at all. Crystal-clear images, perfect audio and seamless transitions take a lot of work. It’s all meticulously created with the help of video editing software. Just like us, Hollywood professionals need software to get the job done. Luckily, the editing platforms they use are available to everyone.
What movie editors do professionals use?
- Adobe Premiere Pro
- Media Composer
Movie editor solutions for professionals
Below are the top movie editor solutions used by professional film editors:
G2 Crowd star rating: 3.5 out of 5.0 stars (12 reviews)
This non-linear movie editing system can edit digital video in 2K and 4K resolutions. It offers a simple and intuitive user interface that is ideal for beginners looking to break into movie editing.
Over the last 20 years, Lightworks has been used by Hollywood professionals in dozens of films. These are detailed on the company website. Award-winning movie editor Jill Bilcock said that Lightworks was a vital part of editing the Oscar-winning film “Moulin Rouge!”
“Lightworks’ ease of use helped me edit movies like Moulin Rouge! [in which] music is a major part of the story,” Bilcock said. “I honestly don’t think I would have been able to cut them without Lightworks. Its simplicity and minimal use of the mouse and keyboard allow for a better editing workflow.” (lwks)
Image courtesy of Lightworks
Advanced multicam editing
Ability to import a wide variety of file types
Easy timeline editing and trimming
What users like:
“Lightworks is a very flexible [movie] editor. You can add custom effects and such, and really take control of different aspects of the video creation process.”
— Lightworks review by Akira R.
What users dislike:
“[Lightworks is] designed to feel like [movie] editing, and it's limited to many of the things film editors could do. This is not a powerhouse for complex edits — it's a tool for cutting narrative scenes. Its lack of interoperability with other tools, and its failure to keep up with expected features are its downfall.”
— Lightworks review by David S.
Recommendations to others considering the product:
“This is HARDCORE stuff. So if you are just looking for something simple, this is not a solution for you. If you are experienced in video filming and [movie] editing this is a good solution for you.”
— Lightworks review by Edo M.
Adobe Premiere Pro
G2 Crowd star rating: 4.5 out of 5.0 stars (661 reviews)
Adobe Premiere Pro allows you to turn raw footage into a professional-level production, thanks to 100 GB of cloud storage, multiple step-by-step tutorials and more.This timeline-based movie editing software solution can work in sync with all Adobe products in the creative cloud.
Adobe has been working behind the scenes to make an impact in Hollywood. In 2018, the software company opened up an office in Los Angeles staffed with engineers and a support team to serve professional Hollywood movie editors. Adobe’s Hollywood team welcomes feedback from these professionals to learn how the tools can be more useful to professionals in their field.
Adobe’s Hollywood team has connected with many editorial and post-production guilds to share more about why Premiere Pro is an ideal tool to use in the world of film editing. This tool has already been used in a vast number of major motion pictures, including “Deadpool” and “Gone Girl.” Joel Coen, director, editor and writer of “Hail Cesar!” raved about his own experience with Premiere Pro.
“As cutting becomes more involved with visual effects, it’s become increasingly important that you have platforms like [Premiere Pro and After Effects] helping you see the film as you go along,” Coen said. (Adobe)
Image courtesy of Adobe
Edit content in any format, including 8K and virtual reality
Vastly improve sound quality with the Essential Sound panel
Integrates seamlessly with other Adobe products
What users like
“Adobe Premiere is very in-depth and versatile. Whether you are creating video for social media, television, short film, or feature film, this program consistently maximizes the creative potential of your projects.”
— Adobe Premiere Pro review by Sun Czar B.
What users dislike
“It is not the most user friendly but that comes along with being able to customize everything and having buttons and options. I’ve learned to adjust.”
— Adobe Premiere Pro review by Isiaha A.
Recommendations to others using the product
“Worth the shot. Yes, the workflow is not as smooth as others, but it simply doesn't crash. Rendering almost never has issues. Any editor worth their salt will have suffered at the wrath of a testy NLE in the past. With the current build of Premiere, these are concerns of the past.”
— Adobe Premiere Pro review by Ben A.
G2 Crowd star rating: 4.1 out of 5.0 stars (60 reviews)
Media Composer is the self-proclaimed most-used movie editing software by professionals in the media and entertainment industry. Its high-resolution, HDR and HD workflows make it a great option for video editing.
If you Google the most commonly used movie editing software tools in Hollywood, Avid’s Media Composer will be a top result. Professional movie editor Phil Bowman, who has worked on short films such as “Girl in Motion” and “Gone Wrong,” uses Media Composer for his work in fiction and documentaries, and says the audio mixdown tool is extremely helpful.
“I can add reverb in Avid to a single beat and create an artificial climax to a song that falls wherever I need it to on the timeline in order to help me punctuate a piece of action or line of sync,” Bowman said. “The editing functions in Media Composer let me be the boss of the material.” (Avid)
Media Composer was also used in the 2017 hit “Paddington 2.” Mark Everson, the film’s editor, has used this platform for the past 20 years, relying on it in “Paddington 2” for the tool’s timeline functionality.
“The timeline on a Paddington movie is colossal and Media Composer handled that with ease,” Everson said. “With over 20 layers of audio and a similar amount of video, it’s easy to take for granted how complicated that can be. Avid not only supported the entire operation but enabled us to have playback in a high resolution.” (Avid)
mage courtesy of Avid
Edit in a variety of formats, including SD, HD and 2K-8K
Create high-quality soundtracks
Design visuals like VFX and green screen composites
What users like
“Avid has one of the most straightforward editing workflows in the industry. If you are using Sony MXF based cameras and exporting to MXF it can be one of the simplest options and the program puts the focus on making solid editing decisions.”
— Media Composer review by Brendan C.
What users dislike
“I don't like the text tool that is embedded within the program. It's easier to create texts that you need outside of AVID and then import and add them in separately.”
— Media Composer review by Adam Q.
Recommendations to others considering the product
“Tutorials are your friend. The internet if a fantastic resource for learning, and there's always something to learn in [Media Composer].”
— Media Composer review by Brandon W.
*Reviews may have been edited for clarity
**Data as of Jan. 17, 2019
Want to learn more about movie editing software solutions?
Take a look at the best free video editing software in 2019!