TV professionals on editing

Sir David Jason OBE (Actor)

One of the most difficult genres to edit is comedy. If one wants to edit comedy, one has to have an innate sense of timing and, of course, a sense of humour. With these essential qualities, a comedy editor helps the director to stand aside for a moment or two, and see the work with fresh eyes, which an experienced editor can bring. A good editor can work on his own, but works best together with a director and, as a team they can fine tune a performance. Conversely, whilst they can improve comic moments they can also ruin them. I have learnt over the years as a performer, to work closely with an editor, as they have a skill which can enhance the entire production.

David Hitchcock (Designer)

I hate editors…….they cut out all the wide shots.

Barbara Hicks (Vision Mixer)

As a vision mixer, there is nothing worse than seeing random shots used from ISO’s being slotted into a programme, however good the shots may be.  A good editor is sympathetic to the style of the programme, and takes over the baton from the vision mixer without trying to craft something different.

Brian Leveson & Paul Minett (Writers)

Every television production stands or falls by the quality of its editing. In sitcom particularly, it’s vital that a comedic rhythm is maintained. It should be like a piece of music. It also helps to know about human nature. For instance, quite often the laugh is not going to be on the person cracking the gag, but on those reacting to the line. Great editors like Chris know this. Thanks for saving our scripts!

Bernadette Darnell (Script Supervisor)

One of the first questions I ask is “Who is the editor?” – you are SO important to my role!

Nigel Bradley (Director of Photography)

As a DOP shooting on location, I see my role as providing the edit with the best kit of parts I possibly can, a bit like the components of a car. When I see the results on TV, a good editor will have miraculously transformed the footage into a Rolls Royce, always a pleasure to see!

Paul Gartrell (Sound Supervisor)

An editor provides the conduit through which every technical, artistic and creative shortfall is minimised.

Andrew Marshall (Writer)

A great editor of a TV Comedy is like a great orchestrator for a piece of music. Only they drink less.

Paul Taylor (Tim in ‘Chocolates and Champagne’)

The care taken by everyone, during the filming of ‘Chocolates and Champagne’, to include as many options as possible for editing was remarkable. When we saw the finished film, I was amazed at the difference, even a slight change of shot, made to the delivery of the dialogue.

Simon Frodsham (MD, The Independent Post Company)

A good editor will always add to a programme – but what makes a good editor?  The old adage that it’s 20% about the kit and 80% about personality isn’t that far from the truth. If you don’t understand what the client wants to convey, all the technical ability in the world will not help you. It’s that ability to match or exceed the client’s vision that will ensure you are never without work. An ability to empathise with people is the first quality I look for in potential recruits to The Independent Post Company. Then comes technical ability, editorial judgement and everything else.

Shelly Fox (Bookings Manager, Suite TV, London)

The right editor is so important to the production and will make a very necessary contribution. From attending rehearsals, location and studio recordings, to understanding what the director and cast need to achieve. This is more than just pushing buttons, it’s teamwork and making the directors vision come alive.

Helen Lakey (Programme Compliance ITV)

It’s all about two heads being better than one in achieving the desired end result. The key role of an editor, I believe, is to help a director make the good stuff look amazing and to be honest enough, as a friend, to suggest that the so-so stuff just isn’t right for your final cut!

David Colantuoni, (Senior Director of Product Management at Avid)

To help you deliver your creative vision, we provide the deepest creative tools that have been refined by professional editors in every segment of post-production. Media Composer gives you the clearest career path to the top tier of the film and video industry, and we wish you every success on your journey.


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