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6 Tips for Aspiring Editors


INFLUENCER: Whitehouse Post's Adam Marshall shares several tips that apply no matter where you are or what you are cutting

6 Tips for Aspiring Editors

I’ve been editing for 20 years now, I started out as a runner at OBE in London before I joined Whitehouse Post in 2002, and I’ve been there ever since. The job has taken me all over including a stint in Amsterdam and a move from London to NYC a few years back. I’ve worked for many clients over the years, brands as varying as Porsche, Adidas, Finlandia, Comcast, Guinness, and Samsung, and I’ve realised there are several tips that apply no matter where you are or what you are cutting.    

1. Get out of your comfort zone

I’m not a musician, but to use a musical analogy, even if you know the right chord is G-Minor, try it in F flat to see what happens. In editing, once you reach a happy point mix it up and try the edit way too slow. Try it way too quick. Stick a w-a-y t-o-o-o-o-o l-o-n-g uncomfortable pause in the middle. At the very least it will give you confidence that the edit is in a good place. 

2. Don't overdo it

The temptation is to include everything, all the best shots/scenes, but ultimately anything that gets in the way of the story is overkill. For me the most important thing on any edit is finding the structure that works best. Some editors need to see structure take shape in conjunction with music and sound design while others find it easier to work purely with picture and mute the sound until the structure takes shape. Figure out what works for you and stick to it.  


3. The first shot is the hardest

It’s the statement that sets the tone for how the rest of the spot will feel. No pressure.  

4. No!

Never surround yourself with YES people. The sooner you can find a trusted colleague who isn't afraid to tell you your first edit sucks, the better editor you will become.

5. Walk away

The idea that we can lock ourselves in a room and switch on a 'creative' button inside our heads is nonsense. If the cut isn’t working walk away from it. Read a book, watch an episode of Friends. Okay, don't watch an watch an episode of Friends, watch an episode of Succession. Give it some space and come back with fresh eyes and ideas. 

6. Fear factor

I’ve been careful not to get complacent in my career and assume 'I’ve landed'. It’s always helped me push to go the extra mile and get the best out of myself.  

Adam Marshall is an editor at Whitehouse Post

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Whitehouse Post - US, Wed, 29 Jul 2020 13:22:13 GMT