25 February 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
Actors
TV
Crew
Digital
Distribution
Education / Training
Equipment
Festivals / Markets
Finance
Legal
Locations Ireland
Post Production
Production
Rep Bodies
JOBS FILMOGRAPHY NEWS WHO'S WHO DIARY GALLERY IFTA
     
News
Features & Interviews
Production News
Post Production News
VFX News
Animation News
Digital News
Festivals News
Training News
Cast News
Finance News
IFTA Film & Drama Awards
Galway Film Fleadh 2017
List Your Company
Daily News Bulletin
Site Map
IFTN HOME

Irish Film and Television Network

 »

News

 »

Features & Interviews



Making The Cut: Career Advice from ‘What Richard Did’ Editor Nathan Nugent
15 Nov 2012 : By Dylan Newe
Nathan Nugent working on the acclaimed 'What Richard Did'
IFTA-nominated editor Nathan Nugent has worked across a plethora of film and TV projects, including the IFTA Award-winning feature ‘As If I Am Not There’ and Lenny Abrahamson’s internationally acclaimed feature film ‘What Richard Did’.

In between all of this, Nugent still has time to lend his editing skills to one of Dublin’s busiest post houses, Screen Scene, where he has worked on a number of RTÉ and BBC dramas. The editing extraordinaire took time out of his busy schedule to share his top editing tips…

Generally my day begins… watching what I did yesterday. You can tell pretty quickly whether you've made good decisions and should carry on, or take some time and revise. This is the case whether you're working on dailies or at a more advanced stage with a feature. Then it’s either start watching rushes, every second of them, or deciding with the director what areas to focus on that day if you are at rough cut stage. It's good to try to and be as flexible as possible, particularly while the shoot is ongoing as you may be requested to drop everything and focus on one particular thing, be it an angle, a pick-up, or a continuity issue.

The most common misconception people have about my job is… that you are just putting the script together. Quite often scenes are dropped during shoots, particularly in low budget film making, or they just don't work for whatever reason, and it's up to the director and editor to find ways to compensate for this and make it feel like a natural element of the storytelling. Also from early rough cuts you might feel the need for creating new scenes or story beats, that couldn't have been envisioned before that point. It's why editors need to develop a photographic memory of all their footage (or as close as possible!)
Set
Nathan Nugent edited ‘What Richard Did’ this year

The practical tips I would give to somebody trying to break in the industry are… edit everything you can. Even if you are only interested in drama, try and cut music promos, commercials, shorts. There won't ever be a case that a project won't teach you something, however small. I have a background in documentaries, and I learned a lot about storytelling from them, and being able to adapt to how stories can change as you edit, and how every second of footage is 'in play' right up until you lock. When I finished college I assisted Stephen O'Connell for a short time, and he taught me indispensable lessons about both cutting and how an editor engages with a project, but soon after I joined RTÉ for four years, where I was editing pretty much straight away. So there are huge benefits to assisting specific editors, but only if you can keep developing your own experience of cutting.

The person who helped me get where I am today is… Genuinely there are too many individuals to mention who have given me opportunities. And also I feel I have a long way to go before I start being in a position where I can say that I am 'at a place'. But clearly I have learnt so much from some of the amazing directors that I have worked with so far in my career. I wouldn't be cutting features today if Juanita Wilson hadn't trusted me to cut her short 'The Door' when I had limited experience in cutting drama, and then her first feature 'As If I Am Not There' following that. Similarly I wouldn't have gotten the opportunity to work with someone like Lenny Abrahamson on 'What Richard Did', if certain directors and producers and colleagues hadn't shown faith in what I could bring to a project. So for me it has never been just one individual, and it's a heavily collaborative medium.

The best thing about my job is… that it encourages me to be as imaginative as I can be. That's not to say that storytelling isn't a monumental challenge though, but the rewards are huge when ideas start to work. The technical side of editing is a given these days, considering you can edit on your phone if you want to, so producers and directors are looking more and more for editors who really want to engage creatively with a story, and who are patient with that process. If you are lucky enough to be in that position, then it really doesn't feel like a job.

For inspiration check out… scottsimmons.tv, it’s is a good blog, if a little more technical leaning.

Sometimes sites like the New York Times will do 'Anatomy of a Scene', like this one which dissects a scene from Wes Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom’, or this one which focuses on a scene from ‘Moneyball’ with Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill.

There are loads of people worth following on Twitter obviously, directors and writers.

Books about cutting that I like include 'The Lean Forward Moment' by Norman Hollyn, 'The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film' by Michael Ondattje, although it must be remembered that a lot of these books talk about filmmaking in the ideal world of multiple takes and generous coverage that goes hand in hand with larger budget movies.

And obviously watching movies is an indispensable part of any editor’s education, every day if you can. You can never stop getting better reflexes from watching more movies.

Click below for previous 'Making The Cut' interviews:

Ronan Hill: 'Game of Thrones' Sound Designer


BREAKING NEWS
Virgin Media Television reveals TX date for new access series, The Guards: Inside The K
Disney opens applications for 12-month Studio Marketing & Publicity Internship
Windmill Lane Recording Studios launches new Visitor Experience
Benjamin Cleary’s Debut Feature Swan Song set for Apple TV+, starring Mahershala Ali

FEATURES & INTERVIEWS
Daniel O'Hara, director of Netflix's The Stranger, speaks with IFTN
ASC Award winner John Conroy ISC speaks with IFTN
Free Industry Newsletter
Subscribe to IFTN's industry newsletter - it's free and e-mailed directly to your inbox every week.
Click here to sign up.


RELATED NEWS
Amazon acquires North American rights for Element Pictures Irish drama Herself
27 Jan 2020 
Two films from Element Pictures selected to premiere at Sundance Film Festival
05 Dec 2019 
Director Lenny Abrahamson curates the first IFI Player Filmmaker Playlist
08 Nov 2019 
First-look image for Phyllida Lloyd’s Herself; Cornerstone Films secures key deals
04 Nov 2019 
EDITOR'S PICK
Herself and Street Leagues among nominees for annual ICCL Human Rights in Film Award
Vivarium official poster artwork and trailer released
Filming underway in Northern Ireland on Oorlagh George's Stranger with a Camera
First Trailer released for David Lowery's USA/Ireland co-production The Green Knight, starring Dev Patel and Barry Keoghan
MORE ON IFTN
Editing Services
Irish film and digital post houses
Sound Post Production
Find out more about Ireland finest sound post facilities
Duplicaiton Services
Need multiple copies fast?

CONNECT WITH IFTN
Find us on Facebook
Follow IFTN on Twitter
E-Newsletter Subscribe
Subscribe to RSS Feed




 
 the Website  Directory List  Festivals  Who's Who  Locations  Filmography  News  Crew  Actors
 

Contact Us | Advertise | Copyright | Terms & Conditions | Security & Privacy | RSS Feed | Twitter