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Day in the Life of... Ben Campbell



Next up in the series from the Creative Circle, Ben Campbell explores the roles and responsibilities of his role as Editor & Partner of Cut + Run

Day in the Life of... Ben Campbell
Day in the Life of… is a new series from the Creative Circle, celebrating and championing the diversity of talent across Britain’s creative community. Encompassing creatives from all areas of the advertising and creative spectrum, each edition will focus on an individual and their role within our exciting community.   

Up next is Ben Campbell, Editor and Partner at Cut + Run, who discusses the role of the editor on both sides of the Atlantic and the roles and responsibilities of running a business...

My role...

I am Editor and Partner at Cut+Run, London.

As Editor, it's my job to run the offline edit and oversee post production, sound and music until it plays out. In the UK, I attend the shoot about fifty percent of the time so I'm there to get the edit started, help with any problem solving and support the Director where possible. When I'm back in the suite I work to produce a solid first cut and get to know all the possibilities the footage and sound offer. I should know the footage after a few days better than anyone so I can facilitate all possible ideas the director, agency and client may have for the whole post process. In Europe, it's a quicker process. The director comes in, we do the edit, and then they’re out because of the freelance system. In the US, the director doesn't normally attend the edit so the editor plays a more creative role and answers directly to the agency.

As a partner, I am also involved in the general ins and outs of the business, and help to create good creative and professional vibes, for everyone who works with us and for us.

How I got here...

Boarding school in Wales, a ton of weird jobs, months in Ghana, and Goldsmiths College. The more holistic and varied an education the better. Then, film editor Derek Williams gave me a job as a runner on Bateman Street when I was 22. It was a tiny office so I was runner, librarian, tech and assist all in one, until I got to cut Kate Bush's promo for King of the Mountain. Steve Gandolfi asked me to come and work at Cut+Run. My first break was with Leila & Damien de Blinkk, cutting their first big TV campaign for French Connection with John Malkovich. It was really challenging, crazy and creative, which set the tone for the next 10 years. It took some time but all the hardships along the way have helped considerably.

My typical day...

The works; carrot, apple and ginger, granary toast, butter and marmite, and a cappuccino. Maybe an egg, but not two! Then to work. 

It depends where I am in the edit but at the beginning stage, I am on my own until I've wrangled the footage and got myself mega organised. So, if there is no dialogue I play very loud music and get my brain into the story. Selecting is very important so it's hard work watching, organising and considering all the possibilities. Once the director and myself are happy, we then begin to focus on balancing between our creative aspirations for the job and what the client will need when they come in. They can be nervous with great expectations, so we hope to exceed them. Sometimes there are tears of happiness, occasionally silence. I prefer the tears! 

Hardest part of my job...

Probably helping to get all the personalities into a satisfied, creative place. The client may want to push for one thing while the director might be pushing for something slightly different. Helping to use the footage and sound to find a creative solution within the political landscape is an enjoyable challenge. 

I'm not keen on treating our audience like fools. The UK has a reputation for having the smartest, most cultured viewing public with a narrower demographic than the US, for example. It's nice to guide them but I don't want to be kicking them up the garden path with hob nailed boots!

What I enjoy the most about my work...

New tech, beautiful footage and creating new worlds through sound. Working in crazy places around the world. Helping brief, write and make music but, and it's been said before, it's mainly about the people. I love working with my directors, they are all funny, crazy and smart in all sorts of different ways. The staff at Cut+Run are a total joy and so full of life, talent and energy. Agency people all arrive here with so many unexpected personalities, challenges and new friendships. I even enjoy hearing the client's perspective and the crazy challenges they face too. All collaborating to make something great. The food in Soho is a pretty good incentive too!

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Creative Circle, Tue, 28 Feb 2017 12:08:14 GMT