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                           Wit and wisdom

   This section covers the wit and wisdom of the cutting room. 

   We will be adding our own contributions and Simon has written a glossary that
   contains an unrivalled lexicon of editing terminology collated over many splices.

   Here is an invaluable rule, as handed down across generations of editors:  

   "Keep the jokes in"

"The things they say. . . "

Without Executive producers, Commissioning editors and directors we would not be employed. Their guidance and advice is like gold. However there are a few exceptions:

We've only known one Commissioning editor fall asleep during a viewing - ok it was after lunch. When she came to she suggested that "to prevent viewer confusion" a NASA animation showing the formation of the solar system should have a title superimposed reading "SIMULATION".

Same astronomy series, same Commissioning editor,  having just learnt that the earth is a planet that orbits round the sun, which is a star like many others: "Wow that's amazing. Is the moon a star too?"

 C4 Commissioning editor  (early days) "Oh that's nice it's in colour"

BBC series producer, rather embarrassed, watching the final picture being sent off to the labs for neg cut; "Tell me, I've never actually asked this before, but how come the picture goes off to the lab all scratched and dirty and comes back pristine?

 An exec with an agenda - "Get the black faces in"

Commissioning editor about a two and a half thousand year old Egyptian mummy   "Could we find out whether or not she'd had casual sex?"

Exec Producer at 1st rough cut viewing "The structure is obviously right, but I don't like the font you're using for the subtitles"

Same Exec - 4 weeks later in an email sent to online - " I showed it to someone in the office who says it needs totally re-structuring. Have you got time?"

Commissioning editor after encouraging viewing "OK, we've landed on the Moon - let's go and collect some rocks."

Same Commissioning editor, same film, two months later   "Are we on the M6 going north, or going round the M25?"

Executive Producer about his single person director/dv camera using film-makers  "Just think of them as Hoovers"

BBC Channel Controller, after viewing  "Of course I like it. But will someone who goes to a supermarket and buys Australian chardonnay like it?" 
Executive Producer about a lorry driver and his family
    "It's good to see people like this on television!"

"That shot will look good when it's printed in colour"  (It already was)  BBC Series Editor when film rushes were mostly printed in black and white.

Director with 150 hours of rushes from 10 countries in ninth week of a 6 week edit   "I hadn't really thought what the film was about until yesterday". 

A high profile American music video director came in to see the cut after having been absent for the first 3 days of the edit...and whilst viewing it he said "Stop there. See that's great what you've done...you've put those two shots together and it's like telling a story...very clever. I didn't know I'd done that."!       contributed by Mark Aarons.

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