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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No 5: Perry Widdowson
“Whenever I've seen these surveys, I've always had my doubts. I mean, how can you tell how much input an editor has had into a final project?” Widdowson, a former BBC man who got his editing experience at Complete before co-founding Editworks, speaks from experience, having sat on a judging panel himself. However, that doesn't alter the fact he's pleased to be nominated- although he can't work out which clients did it.

Widdowson started off as an electrical engineer before discovering after three months that he hated it. He then followed the traditional career path of tape-op to assistant editor to editor filling in when the chosen editor is ill.

“Looking back now, it was atrocious,” he says with a cringe about his first work. “A client said at the time 'we really like him, but he doesn't know his way around an edit suite.' Ironically, that's now one of my longest-running clients.”

Perhaps it's this memory that makes him worry about how the next generation of editors will get their training.

Widdowson is one of the few that uses Avid only infrequently, his usual tool being the linear suite. “For the sort of work I do, there's no alternative, and apparently Avid has no plans that there will be.” His speciality is light entertainment, with So Graham Norton being one of his main (and favourite) credits. He loves what non-linear has given editors in terms of flexibility but, until some enterprising company adds multiple-camera capabilities to their platform, Widdowson will still be a confirmed linear editor - doing his best to make everything look as seamless and as unedited as possible.

No 6: Nick King
TSI-incumbent Nick King puts his nomination down to his “staggering good looks” - and his experience. After joining the BBC as a maintenance engineer, he soon graduated to tape-op, before moving to Rushes where he learnt to edit. King now specialises in Smoke and Fire work, but Fire is his preference because “it's awesome - great for different types of work.” Its Avid-like timeline also helps and it “allows you to do more creative things than in online.” However, he still spends half his time in Avid online suites.

His engineering background gives him an advantage with new machinery, he believes, since he can “always find which buttons to push” and if things go wrong at an awkward time, he can usually fix the problem.

King prefers editing to other parts of the production process because he can see projects through from start to finish. He hopes he doesn't have a trademark style since “what I do should be invisible,” he maintains. If he does have a style, though, “it changes every two weeks.”

He currently alternates between commercial and broadcast work, his favourite project being They Think It's All Over, which he's been on since it started. “It's not technically very demanding, but the clients are really easy to work with.”

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