This week 'We Sit Down' with talented Editor Jack Singer of Stitch.
Jack's impressive reel is testament to his appreciation of what makes a great story and therefore a great edit. This understanding of narrative plays a key factor in his work. He also shares his thoughts on collaborating with clients and discovering a mutual understanding of projects.
So, before we share too many of his insightful comments let's hand over to Jack...
1. What inspired you to be an editor?
I’m not sure if there is one particular inspiration... There is a bit of a history of TV scriptwriting in my family, which meant I grew up with a lot of stories being told and watching a lot of television. Understanding what made these stories work was something I really enjoyed, something that has stayed with me. When I discovered editing, I found it was a way to express this.
2. What does your job entail?
There are many elements that are important to the job of the editor, ranging from the simple organisation of a project, to overseeing the workflow from shoot to online. Obviously, the main part of the job is the edit. In commercial editing, I feel like the key component is to maintain the right balance between selling the product and selling the story. Often, this entails communicating with clients the importance of the idea - and keeping that at the very essence of the edit.
3.What skills do you need to be a good editor?
You need to understand a narrative, and how to convey this in a compelling way. I think understanding the collaborative nature of the process is vital. In the first instance, this is about garnering a trusting relationship and shared vision with the director and creatives, and understanding the importance of how to translate and incorporate various creative inputs. Editing is all about connecting with the audience, so trying to maintain a bit of distance from your work and being open to the interpretation of your work by others, is a great skill to have.
4.What’s your favourite part of your job?
I probably can’t say; sitting in the dark on my own... Truthfully, I like to think back to the rushes arriving at the start of the project and, considering the thousands of potential outcomes you could have had, to truly feel that an edit has turned out as good as it could possibly be - that’s a good feeling.
5. If there were one thing you could change about your job what would it be?
In short form editing there’s such variety in projects that it’s difficult to say, as what may have been frustrating in one project, by the next may have already changed.
6. Has your style been influenced by other editor’s work?
The influence of other editors’ work is immeasurable really. I take influence from whatever I watch, if it grabs my attention. I think knowing that there is always a new tool, a new device, a new way that can be used to tell a story; that’s a really important and fun part of the job.
7. What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t an editor?
I honestly don’t know. Previous to editing I was working selling fax advertising, so I guess I’d be unemployed.
8. What projects are you most proud of?
I’m not sure if it’s pride necessarily, but one of my earlier jobs, ‘Pub Loo Shocker’ for Department For Transport with Ed Morris always stands out to me. It got such a positive response and hopefully raised awareness for a very serious issue. And that had a real impact on me, early on in my career.
9. What are your latest projects?
I'm not sure if I can say with NDAs these days... What I can disclose is "I’ve just come back from Amsterdam where I was working on a project for a very well known search engine, which was fun - quite the city this Amsterdam!! Prior to that I recently finished up some spots for Wagon Wheels and eBookers, which were also a joy to work on. It's been a busy and enjoyable year since joining Stitch!
10. Lastly after a long day of editing what do you like to spend your spare time getting up to?
Editors tend to work pretty long days, spending many hours staring at the screens, so after 12 to 13 hours of that, I like to go home and watch Netflix.