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The Work That Made Me: Eve Ashwell

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The editor and partner at The Assembly Room talks LBB through finding her dream career by chance and why condensing human emotions into 30 or 60 seconds takes real craft

The Work That Made Me: Eve Ashwell


The best way to understand a person’s career is to look at the work that made them. Their first campaign. The campaign that someone else created and that made them jealous. The campaign that taught them some painful but useful lessons. The work that they’re proudest of. 

Eve got her start in the industry completely by accident, following a moment of teenage disorganisation. Fortuitously, she knew she had found her calling at the end of the two week work experience placement. Today, Eve is one of the leading editors in the industry, having worked with clients like Coca-Cola, Traveller’s, and VW. Having joined The Assembly Rooms in 2015 as editor and partner, Eve has been instrumental in growing the company’s profile and expanding its presence in the US. Eve is also the recipient of multiple industry awards, including: BTA, D+AD, AICE, APA, and Cannes Lions.


Today, she shares with LBB which work and people have made her the creative she is today. 



LBB> Tell us a little bit about your career journey – how did you get into the industry? Was this always the plan?

Eve> When I was 16, we were required by school to do two weeks work experience somewhere we'd found for ourselves. The Friday before I was due to start mine, I confessed that I hadn't got round to organising anything. My mum stepped in and made a call to an old acquaintance. He was an editor with his own small company and so on Monday morning I set off for Soho. I had the most incredibly fun two weeks running around dropping off Umatics and picking up sandwiches, whilst annoying the editors with a million questions a minute about what they were doing.

 

I went back to the same company every spare bit of time off I had, whilst doing my A-levels and the day I finished them, aged 18, they offered me a full time running job. I stayed there for about 6 years and trained as an assistant. Then I moved to Cut+Run in 2004 where I became an editor, and subsequently a partner, before leaving in 2015 to join The Assembly Rooms also as a partner.

 

There was no plan as such to start off with. I was intrigued by editing and loved the environment of Soho and the edit suite. Then one day, about a year into being a runner it all sort of clicked into place and I realised I’d stumbled into the perfect job. 



LBB> The ad/music video from my childhood that stays with me…

Eve> The ‘Re-record Not Fade Away’ ad with the skeleton singing for Scotch VHS Tapes. The song was catchy and I liked his skeleton parrot. But I also think it’s heavily imprinted in my mind because it played during an ad break that we’d recorded off TV whilst recording Star Wars. My brother Sam and I watched that film every weekend for years, so as result, we also watched the ad every weekend for years.





LBB> The ad/music video/game/web platform that made me want to get into the industry…

Eve> In the early days of being a runner/assistant, I was working with Adam Spivey and he was editing a lot of the VW adverts. They were so simple and funny. I remember making copies of his showreel to send out over and over again and every time I watched them they would make me chuckle, regardless of the fact that I'd seen them hundreds of times. 

 

That made me realise the skill of telling a tiny short story in a bitesize time length and I’ve stayed intrigued by that ever since. Condensing an emotion, whether it’s joy, sadness or something more nuanced into 30 or 60 seconds is hard. It takes skill from everyone involved, from the writer to the editor (and all in between). When it’s done right, it’s a really good feeling.



LBB> The creative project that changed my career…

Eve> I was very lucky to work with Daniel Kleinman quite near the start of my editing career. I’d been an assistant editor on many of his projects whilst I was at Cut+Run. Fortuitously, the editor that he worked with there (and I assisted) moved to the States a couple of years after I started editing properly. Somehow I managed to pick up the work that he’d left behind and so at a very young age I was entrusted to work with one of the very best directors of all time. It was a huge honour and a terrifying responsibility, but Danny was always deeply patient and kind and very very supportive. I learnt a huge amount sitting beside him both on set and in the edit suite. He is a true master who can turn his hand to every kind of genre with aplomb. Every project I edited with him I grew in knowledge and confidence, and I think it helped other directors trust me with their work, when they saw that he did. 



LBB> The work that I’m proudest of…

Eve> Anything that I watch now and enjoy. On some (not all) jobs, by the time the edit is approved you might have watched it tens of thousands of times, so you can become a bit desensitised to it.

 

If I watch something back now that I've worked on and it gives me the emotion that I know I was hoping to create at the time of editing it, then I feel really good about that, because I know it didn’t get lost in the process.





LBB> The recent project I was involved in that excited me the most…

Eve> I've just finished editing something lovely for booking.com, which Natalie Rae (at Object+Animal) directed. It’s a two-minute story, all told from the first perspective POV, which meant needing to create a personality and connection with someone you never see. That was really fun to do, plus had the bonus of everyone on the job (that I interacted with) - client / creatives / agency producer / director / producer / DP, being female. That doesn’t happen very often and it was a real joy to be in a room for three weeks with such intelligent, funny and creative women!


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750mph, Thu, 28 Jul 2022 09:50:54 GMT