Skip to Main Content

Music Video Editors


The origins of the music video go deeper than MTV's historic launching in 1981. Almost 100 years prior to that event, a photographer named George Thomas put together the first live-model illustrated song. Set to the song, "The Little Lost Child," this series of photographic images hit vaudeville stages, and later, movie theaters. Customers lined up to see the shows. Suddenly, a new music subindustry was born: illustrating popular songs to help sell musical numbers to the public—in this case, sheet music.

The first music videos were called soundies, and were composed of footage of a band or a solo singer simply performing their song on a stage. These soundies were used to promote artists as they are today. Nowadays, stylistic (and often provocative) music videos are made to sell albums and concert tickets. They are posted on Web sites as well as on social media sites such as YouTube.

Early video editing was sometimes done by the video's director, studio technicians, or other film staffers. Now, however, most full-length music videos have an editor who is responsible for the continuity and clarity of the project.

Related Professions