Interview with editor Rachel Durance

  • When did you decide that you wanted to be an editor? Did you try your hand at any other type of filmmaking positions?

I decided I wanted to be an editor when I left University. I just clicked with editing straight away and it seemed like the perfect fit for me.

  • How do you prepare to start editing (organizing scenes, takes, files and folders)?

So I use AVID Media Composer and I make bins per scene and organize them in story order. I then make a separate viewing sequence so I can watch every take.

  • How do you decide when/where to make a cut?

With editing, the process is quite instinctual – so it really depends on what is required from the scene – every edit should serve purpose of the story and should be a reflection of the footage you receive from the DOP and Director.

  • How can editing change the tone or emotion?

Editing can massively change the tone or emotion of a film. Every film has a certain rhythm to it and you tend to find that rhythm through watching the footage and gaining a full understanding of what the Director is trying to achieve. The emotion and tone should reflect for what is needed for the story – everything is driven by the story.

  • What kind of problems come up during editing?

There can be a lot of problems in editing, Most of the time there are solutions to every problem – most of the time in the case of Short Films is that there is limited time on set due to budgetary reasons so sometimes for example there will not be a script supervisor present so you have to cut around a lot of bad continuity.

  • How does your work as the visual editor feed into the work of the sound editor?

My work does tend to feed into the work of the sound editor, I like to give them a template of the kinds of sound design I have in mind for the scene with some temporary track laying but I tend to trust their creative process and what they will bring to the table. The key thing with this is setting up good communication.

  • With all the adjustments, how much can a movie end up deviating from the original script?

A movie can deviate from the original script quite a lot – this mainly depends on whether the story is coming across once it’s been edited. If the story isn’t coming across in the way the script intended then creative changes have to be made to adhere to that.

  • Were you influenced by any directors or film editors in the development of your craft over the years?

I have been influenced by a lot of Directors and Editors over the years – Andrea Arnold is one of my favorite Directors and I love the editing of Joe Bini, Joe Walker and Christopher Tellefsen. There’s a patience and subtlety to their editing which I love.

  • Quite a few directors that once they find their editor, that’s who they continue to work with. Do you find that that’s the case with you?

I have found that yes once you have a good creative partnership built with a Director they will tend to ask you to work with them again. I think every Director is looking for their core team to work with.


Characters | United Kingdom | 2018 | 11’

Director: Sir Franz Pagot, Rizwan Wadan

Editor: Rachel Durance  

Writers: Ashley Chin, Rizwan Wadan        

Producers: Rizwan Wadan            

Ket Cast: David Schaal, Aaron Taylor        

Synopsis: Our first short film, shot in London, looks into the characters that make up this wonderful city and how importantly judging someone by their appearance defines us more than it defines them. It centres on how our true characters ultimately shine through and breakdown the prejudices and racial barriers that we often put up around us.

Watch trailer here

The Wise Toucan
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.