editing

Editor Pia Di Ciaula on piecing together the big puzzle of ITV's Quiz

It was James Graham who reopened the casefiles of the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? scandal, adapting his play for a hit three-part drama, Quiz, that recalled the origins of the ground-breaking quiz show and the scandal involving former major Charles Ingram. Ingram was accused of cheating by listening for coughs on the right answers from his wife, Diana, and fellow contestant Tecwen Whittock.

Editing masterclass with Emma Lysaght and Matthew Gray

Matthew Gray and Emma Lysaght (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

How to get into editing: Emma Lysaght: “I left school at 16. My father was a film editor so I grew up watching my dad cut film. It was something I’d always wanted to do.

“It was quite a male environment, I was very nervous and very shy. I didn’t get into the cutting room until I was 19. My dad knew of one female editor.

“She needed an assistant so I stepped in and became her assistant. Within the first few months I was cutting news for Channel 4, which was very pressurised but you know exactly what you’ve got to do in those three minutes.

RTS Student Masterclasses 2018: from journalism to camerawork

Ruth Pitt, Pia Di Ciaula and Rick Barker (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

Journalism

Clive Myrie

Journalist and presenter, BBC News

In an era of widespread concern about fake news, trusted and experienced correspondents such as the BBC’s award-winning Clive Myrie are more important than ever.

RTS Student Craft Masterclass: Editing with Pia Di Ciaula and Rick Barker

Pia Di Caula and Rick Barker (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

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.

All about editing: Blue Planet II's editor on how he put together some of the show's iconic scenes

(Credit: BBC)

Like most editors, Matt Meech started out as a runner, working at a post-production house in Soho where he spent his spare time learning how to use editing software Avid.  

Matt put together a showreel which impressed his bosses enough for them to give him a job as an assistant editor. 

Want to be an editor? Grab experience where you can

Ruth Pitt, Johnny Rayner and Samuel R Santana (Credit: RTS/Paul Hampartsoumian)

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.”

Story first: how to edit for television

Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II (Credit: Netflix)

For scripted projects such as dramas and comedies, an editor will have a script to work to, choosing the best combination of shots to tell the story.

“The script is like a blueprint,” explains The Crown editor Una Ni Dhonghaile,

A documentary is a rather different beast. “You may be faced with 400 hours of footage shot across many years in a sprawling way. The people making the film don't know what's going to happen next,” says editor Ben Stark whose credits include Dispatches, Baby P: The Untold Story and 9/11: The Falling Man.