D&AD’s Social Stage was packed out yesterday afternoon for editor Ben Campbell’s guide to storytelling. With all those who couldn't get a seat sat on the floor, Ben brought the full house on a deep dive into the mind of an editor, looking closely at Wieden+Kennedy’s award-winning Three '#PhonesAreGood' campaign, which was directed by Ian Pons Jewell through Friend London.
Ben kicked off the event with the basic rules of editing:
Maintain eye lines.
Find a good rhythm.
And most importantly... always advance the story!
With his focus firmly on that final tenet, Ben laid out his personal approach to editing, explaining how best to tell a story with the material you’re given, while making sure to keep the expectations of the client, the agency and the director in mind throughout and filtering your focus accordingly.
“Just as important,” Ben explained, “is your own personal filter. Everything you’ve lived through will influence your experience as an editor.” Ben made sure to point out that the editor is more than a machine operator; that a good editor will learn when to voice their opinion, as well as when to keep quiet - something he admits he’s still working on…
Ben broke his editing process down into three stages - selecting, assembling & mediating - each essential in delivering the best film to your client. Selecting is all about setting the tone for your story, creating order from the chaos of the rushes you're delivered. Assembling is where you really get to tell your story, and Mediating is the point at which you take everyone else involved on your creative journey, show the agency and client exactly how you arrived at your version of the idea, and learn all about how they got to theirs.
Along the way Ben showcased crude sound effects, cruder placeholder animations and drove home the point that the best stories come out of quality collaborations.