Getting work as an Edit Assistant

So you want to work in television production? You’re not alone. It’s a competitive field and it can be hard to know the best route into the profession. Jack Ross, Edit Assistant with the Clean Cut Media team, tells us his story and shares some tips.

Why did you want to work in the media?

I studied Media at A level and enjoyed it more than any other subject. I’ve always had a creative eye, so it appealed to me to work in an industry that would give me the freedom to work on innovative projects.

How did you choose your degree course?

I chose to study Film, Media and Cultural studies at Lancaster University. I picked Lancaster because I loved the campus and the course appealed to what I wanted to do at the time.

What did you think of your university course?

The tutors on the course were extremely passionate about their subjects. They had plenty of time for all their students outside of lectures and tutor meetings and were always ready to help you. We covered a wide range of topics from contemporary and classical cinema as well as a broader media background behind the industry. Regular film screenings followed by analysis gave me a practical understanding of film techniques which has definitely helped me during my training as a camera operator.

What kind of work placement did you do?

A friend of a friend was working at Sky Sports, so I approached the company about doing a placement. I spent two weeks shadowing the post-production staff and learning from them, seeing what went on in their live gallery. After expressing my passion for sport I was placed within the tennis department, this proved to be useful experience for my later role at Clean Cut Media.

It was interesting to see how shows went from ideas to being brought together in edits and then finally to being aired as live shows from within the gallery. This gave me a rare glimpse into what it takes to make a broadcast show, as well as an understanding of the speed at which these concepts get turned around. I love watching and playing sport so it was very exciting to get work experience that catered to a theme that I am passionate about.

How did you hear about the job you’re doing now at Clean Cut Media?

The Edit Assistant job was advertised online about two and a half years ago. I’ve heard since there were nearly 500 applicants for this position! I found the ad on Mandy.com but there are also other great sites out there such as The Unit List, Film and TV Pro and Production Base.

I’d always recommend spending a lot of time applying for specific jobs that really interest you, rather than sending out your cv to lots of different places. A good cover letter combined with a strong cv should ensure you at least get an interview. And at the interview, anything you can do to stand out from the crowd is useful. I took my laptop with me to the interview and played a video that I had created whilst working as a freelancer.

What do you enjoy about your job?

Every day is different. Things change at short notice, so there’s always something new and exciting around the corner.

At the beginning, I didn’t know much about being an Edit Assistant, but now I can do basic editing across all the different platforms. I have produced features, done live on-site editing, and am training up as a cameraman. I’ve been able to go to the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 arena as well as covering music shoots and corporate jobs.

It’s great experience going on site liaising with clients and working out the best way to deliver exactly what they are looking for.

 

What’s surprised you about working at Clean Cut Media?

It’s amazing how much I’ve learned in a short period of time by working for a small company. If I’d gone somewhere like Sky I wouldn’t have learned anywhere near as much. You do a bit of everything, and are trusted to do more and given more responsibility.

What advice would you give to someone who’s studying media and wants to get a job like yours?

You’ve got to love what you do because it’s long hours and long days. There’s no easy way to get into the television industry. You have to be passionate, enthusiastic and work hard!

When you’re doing your degree, try to make as many connections as you can, get yourself a work placement and then push further once you’ve got your foot in the door. Once you get an opportunity in the industry, make yourself memorable by being friendly and enthusiastic.

Where do you hope your career will take you?

I would love to be an ENG cameraman. Hopefully here at Clean Cut Media. I definitely want to carry on in the television industry in some capacity.