Sunday, 1 July 2018

People who do things | #1 Junior TV Editor

Ever wondered what it's like to be a TV Editor? in this first ever People Who Do Things post I shall be interviewing Tom, a Junior Edit Assistant for Warner Brothers Television Production UK....

When did you know you wanted to be an editor? I actually wanted to be an actor first because I loved film and that was the first thing I saw on screen, but as my interest in film grew so did my knowledge with what happens behind the camera. I  came to realise I couldn't act so I started to become more interested in directing as I was always quite bossy when I was little, at school I used to create story's and my friends would play different characters and I'd be the director. After choosing to study TV production at university I came to realise there was a lot more to it than just bossing people about, leading a crew is probably one of the most stressful professional experiences I've had to go through. Whilst at university I also got the opportunity to have a chance at editing and I enjoyed the process of making the story come together and I realised how much influence an editor has over the end product.

You mentioned your time at university, where did you study TV Production and do you think it's vital to study editing to get into the industry? I studied at Bournemouth University and no I don't think you need to study editing to become an editor, I am working with many people who haven't studied it but if you want to surround yourself with people who like making stories then it's a good place to start. I went to University for the experience of collaborating with like-minded people and having the opportunity to be able to experiment with different editing styles without the pressure of it being able to ruin my career, so in that sense I found my time at university invaluable. I do however think work placements are vital, I chose Bournemouth University because they stress the importance of work experience and you couldn't actually get your degree without having done 3 months of placement which told me the university understood how the industry works.

So what does a Junior Edit Assistants day to day life look like? My days vary but my day normally involves getting the rushes to the editor proficiently, conforming and quality controlling shows close to their broadcast date and I also get the opportunity to cut pilot episodes for development shows.

Do you have an editor you aspire to? Walter Murch who's most well known for editing The Godfather, American Graffiti and Apocalypse now. He's infamous for editing standing up which I can't imagine doing as you can be editing for 10 hours straight, but he found he was more creative whilst standing and it helped him get into a rhythm of knowing when to cut. He's so well known and brilliant at his job and will be remembered for being such a fantastic editor and I'd like to be as successful in my career. If you're interested in hearing more about him check out his book 'In The Blink of an Eye'.

What's your favourite show you've worked on? I currently only work on factual entertainment shows and my favourite has been Long Lost Family What's Happened next as it's the first project which I've led and therefore it's been my first chance of proving myself on a professional level and we even managed to deliver it a month before the deadline so I felt like we succeeded as a team. 

Is there a show you'd really want to work on? I would like to work on something like 'Handmaids Tale', it would be really cool if I could even be an assistant on it, the editing in it is just astounding, I'm not even overreacting it's just really good. To have the opportunity to be as creative and bold would be an amazing experience to test my editing ability.

Is there anything about your job that you don't particular enjoy or struggle to do? There isn't really anything I don't like about my job but there's a few things I struggle with and one of the biggest is standing up for myself in-front of big characters and you get a lot of big personalities within the TV industry.

What advice would you give to other 20-something year olds who are trying to get their first role in editing? Just show that you're passionate about it and that you're willing to work hard, the most important skill to have to be an editor is attention to detail, grasp that and you'll be off to a great start. If you're struggling to get your first editing role get a running position to get your foot in the door, this may not be the dream but it's better to not be enjoying your role in the industry you want to eventually be in, rather than not enjoying your role in an industry you don't even want to be!

If you weren't a TV editor what would you be doing now? I'd like to think I'd be a lawyer, but I'm not smart enough for that so I'd probably be doing a job in a call centre or another non-creative office based role but there's nothing else I'd rather be doing than editing. 

And of course the question we all want to know the answer of, what are the perks of the job? You get quite a few perks and one of the best is getting staff screenings, I got to see Dunkirk before it was even released in cinemas. I get discounts at the Harry Potter Studio Discounts and lots of theme parks. In the industry it's a well known fact that every Friday editors get treats and we usually get snacks or drinks and if  it's sunny the Ice Cream van visits!

A massive thank you to Tom for taking the time to share his role as a Junior Edit Assistant, I hope you found this interesting and keep tuned for lots more interviews, I shall be posting a new 'people who do things' every other Sunday, So your next one will be up on Sunday 15th July!

If you're in a job that you love make sure to DM me on Instagram @greatestformofflatteryblog and I can feature you!


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