Research into Film Editing (364mc)

Contacts Mentioned:

  • Tom Fulcher (Junior Editor)
  • Christopher Morrell (Assistant Editor)
  • Harri James L. McAinsh (Runner, Media Practitioner)

For some time, I have specialised in video editing and constructing narratives through piecing visual and audible material together. It was at university that I realised I could make a career out of this and focus more towards film editing, making pieces that were not just technically sound but had real meaning. “Editing straddles the line between art and craft” (Orpen, 2003, p.1) The techniques involved in editing are as much a craft as any other and form a fundamental part of the production process. There is a lot that can be done to alter the decisions made in camera so many consider editing to have a stronger impact as a role and to the project itself.

I have considered many options on how I could hope to achieve a position as a Junior Editor or Editor’s Assistant. Many of this comes from the talks I’ve had with people in the industry and generally most start out as a runner or PA, working at a production house and learning the process properly. I feel this is probably the best chance to get some long term experience before I could move up to the cutting floor. I enjoy the process of organising footage and preparing the edit, it gives you a confidence before the actual cuttings. Starting as an editor’s assistant would give me more knowledge of how a fully fledged edit suite works through different aspects of the edit. “Organising and accessing footage is only one part of an assistant’s mandate to “keep things moving”. He or she must be the editing crew’s link to the outside world” (Hollyn, 2009, p. 7) This would be a good mix and crossover from a floor runner. According to creativeskillset “The first task is to communicate with other relevant departments (production, camera, sound, etc.) to understand and analyse the work flow, and to pass this information on to the Editor.” I was lucky enough to meet a Junior Editor who handled similar responsibilities at Ragdoll Productions. Tom Fulcher processed a lot of the footage through Avid and had smaller responsibilities such as editing the Animatics for their production ‘Twirlywoos’. He had some more hands on work than an Assistant Editor possibly would. I spoke with him about how he started out and how he was lucky to find the position at Ragdoll who provided a training course for Avid in London. I got to have a go on Avid as well but it was reassuring to see Tom editing the animatics in Premiere as I am proficient in that software.

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I will definitely consider Ragdoll as an option as they have offered work as a PA in the past, I just have to get driving again as this is essential. During my time at Aardman Animations I also met some of the editing team through doing simple mug runs (collecting mugs throughout the studio) and at lunch breaks. Specifically Christopher Morrell who spoke to me about production houses in Bristol and gave feedback on some of my work at university and the work experience I had been doing outside of my studies.

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Christopher recommended Films at 59, a Pre & Post Production house based in Bristol that offers a wide range of services and looks for fresh talent in the world of editing. Recently I have seriously considered moving to Bristol so I decided to contact Films at 59 regarding my interest as an Edit Assistant. Currently waiting for a reply. This would be a dream come true as I’d prefer to go straight into an edit department but would still appreciate the time as an on set runner nonetheless. Here are some screenshots of their site:

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I have worked with someone who does focus on editing but for now works as part of the runner team at Aardman Animations. Similar to myself, Harri James L. McAinsh wanted to get more experience working in the industry and part of a production team. This is still a base to get some experience down and time working with a company on the CV which could then help secure a position at an edit house. A reason why so many of my contacts have varied roles is because I feel it is necessary to get a grounding on all aspects of production. Here is a little note from Harri, short but great to hear how he spent time finding himself then went out doing little things all throughout the industry until he got to Aardman.

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I am going to continue to look at places in Bristol, keeping an eye out for Aardman Productions. I am still friendly with a lot of the runner team and the Production Manager, Kelly Lappin. I am happy right now with the content I’ve put together to show employers, just need to wait on responses. My contact list is broad throughout different roles but I feel it is essential to gather input from all aspects of production. This will give me a better scope going forward.

Bibliography:

  • Avid. (2017) ANDREW_SALIGA. [Online] Available from: http://www.tested.com/art/movies/465509-appreciating-art-film-editing [Accessed 31/03/17]
  • FILMSAT59. (2017) Home Website. [Online] Available from: http://www.filmsat59.com. [Accessed: 31/03/17]
  • CREATIVESKILLSET. (2017) Assistant Editor. [Online] Available from: http://creativeskillset.org/job_roles/3085_assistant_editor. [Accessed: 31/03/17]
  • HOLLYN, N. (2009) The Film Editing Room Handbook: How to Tame the Chaos of the Editing Room. Peachpit Press
  • ORPEN, V. (2003) Film Editing: The Art of the Expressive. Wallflower Press
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