At the end of 2017, I was offered a place on the prestigious two-year Editing MA at the National Film and Television School. Despite my lucky break, it was the scholarship from Ymddiried that in reality empowered me, a single mother-of-two, to commit to the MA. I am grateful to Ymddiried for the generous award they gave me towards my school fees. This scholarship took a huge financial pressure off my shoulders and allowed me to fully focus on getting the best from the course. For this, I am thankful.
Since then, I have been one of 8 editors at NFTS developing our technical and storytelling skills alongside other student directors, composers, sound designers, screenwriters, producers, colourists and VFX artists. We have learned through doing, through making films together, making mistakes together and learned to create films in effective collaborations. I have learned so much through watching other people’s film rushes and edits, through sitting in weekly review sessions with other students and tutors, offering and accepting constructive criticism. These are invaluable opportunities and all with the guidance of exceptional NFTS editing tutors such as Richard Cox (Gentleman Jack), Clare Ferguson (Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer), guest tutors such as Will Oswald (Good Omens) and Lucien Clayton (Derry Girls), and masterclasses with film editors such as Mick Audsley (The Personal History of David Copperfield) and Jon Gregory (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri).
Apart from the various learning exercises, over the two years I’ve edited six short fiction films (one of them, Room for Two, will be screened as part of the BFI Flare later this month), two observational documentary shorts, a 40 minute science & natural history film, a 10 minute animation and a series of commercials. I was also the Edit Assistant on November 1st, a short fiction that won Bronze at the Student Oscars in 2019 and which was long-listed for a BAFTA.
But if I’ve learned anything at NFTS, it’s that the process of collaboration is the most important thing to get right. I’ve learned to work closely and productively with many wonderful filmmakers and made some strong working partnerships and friendships.
Last week, we presented our grad fiction, documentary and animation films to an invited audience at Picturehouse Central and graduated at the Empire Leicester Square. It’s been an extraordinary and rewarding two years, and in the process I’ve learned a lot about myself as an editor – that I’m drawn to stories with emotional heart and that I can bring sensitivity and curiosity to the material through my work. I’m so thrilled to have done it and would recommend the experience to anyone.
They say that everything is impossible until it happens and a few years ago my dream of working as an editor in film and tv seemed pretty remote and unattainable. Now, with Ymddiried’s support, I am a bilingual editor with a wealth of experience, ready to join the Welsh filmmaking community. Thank you very much.