Logo Rob Buckley – Freelance Journalist and Editor

Cutting Edge

Cutting Edge

Producers are picky about their editors. As a companion to last November's poll of top film editors, this month we reveal their favourites in the video suite, from votes they cast in last year's three major surveys of broadcast, commercials and corporate production. This time, out of 250 votes cast, we counted 200 different names - and a number of the editors that made their way to the top of that huge pile have fans in more than one of those disciplines. Rob Buckley finds out why

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Krakowski mainly works on corporate, his broadcast work being confined largely to overseas output. He did, however, spend a year on Gerry Anderson's Space Precinct and edited several episodes of World Productions' drama Ultraviolet.

A confirmed Lightworks fan, Krakowski makes only the occasional excursion on to Avids. But, since “you're finding more and more people who know only how the equipment works,” he hopes he's able to pass on his editing know-how on to his assistant. “I'm one of the few editors doing corporate work who has an assistant, and that's terrifying. It's very important - the quality has gone down in the last 10 years since people haven't been being trained properly.”

No 3: David Smith
Jaleo isn't a popular system, but Oasis's David Smith loves it. “You can even do high-res cinema commercials with it,” he enthuses. “We were looking for a system that could cope with more effects work, and one day we got a letter inviting us to have a look at it. We were amazed at how simply it could do things from an editor's point of view, not just an artist's.” Yet, paradoxically, even with those capabilities at his fingertips, he finds that most directors want him to make their footage look “crappy.” C'est la vie.

Smith's been with Oasis almost from the first day he moved to London with the expansion of his previous firm, The Image Company, from Yorkshire. He began working on film special effects back in the days before that meant using a computer. But when he encountered video, he discovered he loved the instantaneous quality of the medium.

The Image Company became one of the first online facilities in Yorkshire, but Smith found he was still concentrating on his first love: special effects, which drew on his film experience. He soon found himself working for Oasis - as a client - doing just that.

Claiming to his credit Channel 4 idents and a Mercedes commercial that ended up on Imax, Smith is sticking with effects, compositing and experimentation. “It's more rewarding putting it all together,” he explains. “It's even more rewarding when you finally see it.”

Smith is “gobsmacked” to have been nominated, he adds. “I'm so surprised. You're busy getting on with work so you don't take much notice of whether people are aware of you, and what you're doing.”

No 4: Stefan Stuckert
One of only two freelances in the top six, Stefan Stuckert alternates between Germany and London for his projects, but claims England as his home. “I've been in London 10 years since I studied film here. Then I became an assistant for Noel Chanan, a very experienced documentary editor. He's a very good teacher - as much as you can teach editing.” In association with Chanan, the BBC's 6x60-minute Living Islam was his first project-the first BBC documentary series to be cut on an Avid, he believes.

Documentaries for Channel 4 and ITV, sponsorship idents for Channel 5, as well as high-end corporate and commercials work are among Stuckert's specialities, but he loves promos, of which he's now done over 50. “They're more challenging, more cutting- edge,” he believes. He cites his eye for structure and pacing, particularly with regard to music and soundtracks, as some of his key talents.

Stuckert says the reason he loves editing and doesn't want to direct, despite the offers he's received (mainly from promo production companies), is that “editing is the one branch of film-making you can't teach. There are courses you can take in everything else, but editing is still something you have to do in order to learn it.”

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