You have a few options. One is to attend a college/university, and get a degree in film/television/broadcasting/journalism. It greatly depends on what kind of material you want to edit:
Features - film (with lots of english work)
TV - television broadcasting
News - journalism/communications, and some sort of business/world events focus
Commercials/promos - film/tv/NEW MEDIA (knowledge of graphics such as After Effects is a huge asset in this area)
3rd sector/non-profit - film/tv broadcasting, plus a minor in international development, human rights, or similar field
College/University will lead to internships/co-ops/work placements, which is really where you'll make contacts. This industry is entirely about who you know. You have to be good, d**n good, but all the skills in the world won't do a thing unless you know the right people.
The other vitally important thing is your reel/resume. That, second to who you know, is really the only way to sell yourself. A college degree will get you a fancy certificate on your wall, but it won't give you real experience. Don't forget, all those projects in college are just that: projects. Producers/Directors want to see REAL work you've done. Things that have been broadcast/produced.
Your best bet, honestly, is to attend some sort of hands-on school, even if it doesn't grant a degree. You'll never write an essay when you're working in the biz, so why write essays to prepare for it?? Hollywood is extremely demanding, and rarely forgiving. It's sink or swim, so the more real life experience you can get, the better your chances of survival are.
One of the best schools I know of is The Center For Creative Media, in Texas. You don't do any student projects or essays. All your work is for real, live production. Live broadcasts, weekly tv shows, podcasts, stadium events with 20,000+ in attendance, etc...They bring in Hollywood professionals for small group workshops, and have them help you on your current projects. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Second to that, Full Sail in Florida is also very hands on, and a good option.
You'll want to get yourself a laptop, hard drive, and editing system (Features, and TV shows use Avid Media Composer most often, but a lot of small post-houses that do commercials and such, use Final Cut Pro.), and start working on small, local freelance projects. The more you have on your reel, the better. (plus, it'll give you some income to get through school/internships with!)
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask :)
(one exception: to work at any level at NBC, you need a college degree. But they're the exception, rather than the rule)
Answered By: Hasna Belle - 3/21/2008