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Finely Sliced: Jo Lewandowska

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The OKAY STUDIO editor talks LBB through the highs of her career so far, settling into a new role amidst a pandemic, and her unique approach to her craft

Finely Sliced: Jo Lewandowska

‘Finely Sliced’ is a new interview series from LBB, celebrating the craft of editing. At a time when technology is opening up the art of the cut, the craft and artistry of the edit should not be overlooked. With that in mind, we want to explore the knife’s edge between good editing… and great editing. 

In this first interview, we speak to OKAY STUDIO’s Jo Lewandowska. Jo took up her role with the company during last year’s lockdown, and has since worked on a number of eye-catching campaigns. 

Her career to date includes diverse work for big-name brands such as Adidas, Vogue, and previously Nike. More recently, she worked on a powerful and ground-breaking ‘The Boob Life’ campaign for Tommee Tippee. In addition to that, her portfolio includes head-turning music videos for the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Grace Carter, and Rina Sawayama. 

Here, Jo talks us through her passions and inspirations - and why poker can be a surprisingly effective way to switch off at the end of a day...


LBB> Do you have a signature style or any influences you draw on when you edit? 

Jo> Working with some seriously talented people inspires me to push myself as an editor. I love a challenge so researching, learning new techniques, trying to come up with fresh ideas for the edit is what drives me and keeps me on my toes. 

I grew up watching a lot of MTV and my influences are pretty eclectic and wide ranging. Chris Cunningham and Howard Greenhalgh videos for the likes of Bjork, Placebo, Portishead and Sound Garden blew my mind even before I knew I wanted to get into editing. 


LBB> What’s been a stand-out project for you and why? 

Jo> One of my favorite projects from last year is a campaign for Tommee Tippee directed by Fiona Jane Burgess. We had so many wonderful conversations in the edit suite about women’s bodies, feeding babies, sore nipples, motherhood and why people are scared of female nudity on social media. It’s one of those jobs you look back on and feel really proud! 

Above: Tommee Tippee's 'The Boob Life' campaign

At the end of last year I edited a music video for Ghetts, Proud Family. Working with the director Nathan James-Tettey was a really creative and rewarding process. When we first showed it to Ghetts it was an emotional moment, definitely a highlight of my career. 


LBB> In your view, what's the difference between a good edit and a great edit?

Jo> A good edit tells a story. A great edit captures your imagination and evokes emotions. 


LBB> What about OKAY STUDIO are you vibing with?

Jo> Everyone at OKAY is very dedicated and shows enormous passion for each project that comes through the door. I love the company’s ethos and the family vibe Nikolaj Belzer cultivates. 

I’m definitely looking forward to socialising more with the team once the lockdown is over. 

Working from home has been great but I’m definitely ready for some human contact and a pint or two at the end of my working week. 


LBB> Is there anything about the industry that’s exciting you right now? 

Jo> Seeing my female friends doing well and excelling as creative producers, editors, colourists, vfx artists makes me really happy and hopeful for the future.

I’m very excited about all of the diverse voices that have come to the fore in the past couple of years. When I started working in advertising almost 10 years ago it was a very different landscape and I’m glad that’s changing. It’s about time the industry opened up doors for people whose voices haven’t been heard yet. 


LBB> Outside of editing, what are your passions and hobbies?

Jo> When I’m not editing I like to get out and about as much as possible. I play tennis, go on long bike rides and do yoga. I’m generally very competitive so I like to unwind by playing games - anything from PS4 to boardgames and recently I got into poker. It doesn’t sound very relaxing, but it’s a way for me to get away from the screen and refocus. 


LBB> Drawing on your own experiences, if you could give one piece of advice for someone looking to break into the industry what would it be and why?

Jo> Be enthusiastic about everything you do, show up on time and be kind to everyone. 

Try at least a couple of different roles and when you figure out what you’re truly passionate about, work hard to become the best at it.

Lastly, it’s a small industry - so be careful not to get a bad reputation. It will follow you around.

 

LBB> Are there other examples of lockdown-based creativity that have been inspiring you?

Jo> So much amazing and inspiring work has come out during lockdown. All the new rules and restrictions meant that everyone had to push themselves creatively and learn new skills (myself included). I love that directors and creatives managed to find a way to adapt and come up with so many innovative ways to tell stories.

I’m slightly obsessed with the masterful ad for Burberry’s ‘’Singing in the Rain’’ directed by Megaforce. Dua Lipa has been the queen of lockdown. Her music video for Levitating directed by Warren Fu is mind-blowingly fun. 


LBB> Finally, what do you think you would be doing if you weren’t working in the industry? 

Jo> I’ve always been fascinated by high end fashion and the artistry that goes into making beautiful garments. If I wasn’t an editor I’d work in sustainable fashion design. 

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OKAY STUDIO, Mon, 08 Mar 2021 10:46:24 GMT