A guest blog by Paul Tovee

A guest blog by Paul Tovee

Posted on November 19, 2015 by Ihtezaz

As part of SharpFutures Framed, we invited Paul Tovee to speak to our production placements about his time as an editor and his tips for a career in the Media Industry. He has been a TV programme editor for over 20 years. Paul has kindly written about himself and his top 10 tips for success as an editor below.

I started out in a three-machine Beta SP tape suite at Granada TV with equipment that filled a whole room. Oh how times have changed – I can now perform quite complex, multilayered editing tasks on a laptop.

My experience is vast and varied, having worked on projects from hard-hitting factual, one-hour documentaries to football highlights on Match of The Day.

I have also spent time away from editing, lecturing at Salford University and have worked with many clients on non-broadcast projects.

I believe that I’m really fortunate to do what I do. I have collaborated with some brilliant and skilled people and made some great friends along the way.

Here are my top ten hints for success as an editor.

  • Be punctual (good timekeeping is essential – it’s better to be thirty minutes early than 1 minute late).


  • Good communication skills are essential – being able to listen and take on board what is expected of you in an edit.


  • Don’t be too much of a techie geek. It doesn’t matter too much what kit you are working on as long as it works. Get to know the various editing applications out there that way you become more employable.


  • Stay calm! Even if you feel the pressure try not to show it. This can really help keep an edit on track especially if you have a tight deadline.


  • Get to know your footage inside out. A good editor knows every frame of what they have to work with and only includes the best shots in their final cut.


  • Don’t get too bogged down in fancy effects too early on in your projects. Build a solid foundation first. Time can easily run away with you.


  • Attention to detail is essential. One or two frames can really make all the difference between a good and a bad cut.


  • When looking for work be honest about your abilities. Don’t say you can do something when you can’t.


  • Try things. Don’t say ‘oh that won’t cut’ be prepared to just give it a go. Don’t overlook the sound too. Good sound editing really does bring a project to life.


  • Finally – Have fun! We aren’t digging trenches in torrential rain. The more fun you can have in an edit the better the end results IMHO.


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