Editing Masterclass with Pia Di Ciaula and Rick Barker

Is there a difference between editing TV drama and feature films? 

Pia Di Ciaula, film and TV editor specialising in drama: “On The Crown there is no difference because Stephen Daldry (the director) and I treat every episode like a feature film, but prior to that there was a big difference. 

“I moved to the UK (from North America) so I could edit independent films with the best directors and actors in the world.

Editing Masterclass with Johnny Rayner and Samuel R Santana

Grab experience where you can

Santana: “I arrived here, jobless, from the Canary Islands in 1994, and wanted to carry on editing.

“I did a very short online course in order to get into low-budget TV. It was great experience and led to me working on National Geographic documentaries.

“You shouldn’t be sniffy about low-budget productions as an editor because it’s fantastic experience. When you’ve got really tight deadlines, it makes you think quicker.”

Editing Masterclass with Joanna Crickmay and Andrew McLelland

Crickmay, whose work ranges from Arena to the forthcoming BBC Two’s Inside Harley Street, said it was “storytelling. I can't really give it any other description than that. I get the rushes and try and tell a story with it.”

McLelland, who has cut dramas such as Line of Duty and is due to work on the forthcoming series of Sherlock, explained that “the craft of editing is peculiar to film”. While other art forms have lighting or acting, “the film doesn't exist” until the “edited fragments” are brought to life. “That's the craft, I think.”

Editing Masterclass with Ben Stark and Una Ni Dhonghaile

From left to right: Ben Stark, Alex Graham (chair), Una Ni Dhonghaile

When it comes to producing great television, a good editor is where it all begins and ends. That was the clear message for students attending the RTS craft skills editing masterclass.

Ben Stark, a feted documentary film editor and Una Ni Dhonghaile, who has won plaudits for her work editing TV drama, delivered the masterclass chaired by media consultant Alex Graham.

Stark and Dhonghaile each discussed three examples of their work.