Surviving Borneo – Q&A with Nick Jones

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  1. What have you learned in the process of doing post-production for Surviving in Borneo series?

Editing Surviving Borneo has taught me a lot. My role in this project included a lot of post-producing, so it’s taught me a little more about how the Post-Production producers work.

 

  1. Take a look back; from start to end, what was the most memorable/valuable things happened to you during this process?

I think the most valuable thing was having the space to be creative. The Discovery team are amazing to work with; always open to ideas and new approaches. That creative freedom was really valuable.

I’m just grateful that Emile and Ira (producers), took a chance on me and brought it over here to Vietnam, I’ve learned a lot from working with them and it’s been a real pleasure.

 

  1. What struggles did you encounter?

Well this is the first time I’ve taken on such a large scale post-production project so at first it looked quite daunting, but with thorough planning, Quang Vu (the assistant editor) and I managed to organize the logistics effectively.  Perhaps the toughest thing was the initial process of getting the rushes into shape and finding the story. I tried to have an open mind with what we were doing, and let the material guide me, rather than forcing ideas or being too sentimental with certain scenes. As always, it was quite tough letting go of scenes that you had become attached to, but looking back there’s nothing that I regret removing.

 

  1. How is the feeling of seeing someone for months but he don’t know a thing about you? (Situation like you and the man in the show)

It’s quite strange really. Actually, Henry is probably the person that I’ve seen the most of in the past year, but of course, I’ve never met him. It’s also strange, because Henry’s journey sort of mirrors my own. We are both 29, with mixed heritage and were both about to get married. Editing the series, in a way, was my own ‘Bejalai’ (Henry’s rite of passage journey). Cutting the last episode was very emotional for me.

There are plans for me to meet him at some stage, which will be very strange indeed, but I’m quite looking forward to it.

 

  1. As an editor of the series, can you tell us why we should watch this series?

I think the series is a departure from the regular Discovery Channel content. I like its rawness, its humanity and pathos make it unique and I think this is what will make it enjoyable for audiences.

 

  1. If you have chance, do you want to go to Borneo and experience things that happened in the series? Why or why not?

Of course, there are already plans to hold a screening over there at some point in the near future. I’ve seen these people on my computer screen, but I’ve never met them, so I’d love to find out what they’re like in real life. I think Henry’s journey was an amazing insight into Borneo today, and I’d really like to experience it one day too.

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The enduring wisdom of The Rule of Six in editing

-Senior Editor, Nick Jones

As editors go, Walter Murch is one of the more well known ones. Famous as both Sound Editor (Apocalypse Now!), Film Editor (The Conversation, The English Patient, Cold Mountain), and Writer and Director; Walter Murch is a seminal voice in the world of editing and post-production. In his book “In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing” he outlines, amongst other things, a hierarchy of 6 important factors in deciding where and when to make a cut.

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1. Emotion

How will this cut affect the audience emotionally at this particular moment in the film?

2. Story

Does the edit move the story forward in a meaningful way?

3. Rhythm

Is the cut at a point that makes rhythmic sense?

4. Eye Trace

How does the cut affect the location and movement of the audience’s focus in that particular film?

5. Two Dimensional Place of Screen

Is the axis followed properly?

6. Three Dimensional Space

Is the cut true to established physical and spacial relationships?

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As an editor, it’s something I’m constantly thinking about, and trying to improve my cuts by employing his theorem. It’s interesting stuff and you can watch this video for more information Walter Murch’s Rule of Six from Nikole Hidalgo on Vimeo.

or read Walter Murch’s book “In the Blink of an Eye”.

-Nick

‘Editing is an artistic creative job,’ says DIGIPOST senior editor

An insight into the job of our senior editor Nick Jones

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Nick works at his office at DIGIPOST

The first time I came to Nick’s office, it was for the interview.

In a not so big and gloomy room, there were only two giant monitors, a few wall pictures and a small sofa. It looked minimalist and quite lonely. But, the man, who welcomed me with a bright smile, looked so comfortable and happy in it.

As soon as we sat down for the interview, I couldn’t help but ask him right away the question that had bothered me, since I first read his brief profile on DIGIPOST’s website.

“How come an English Literature major from a UK college ended up being a senior editor at a post house in Vietnam?”

“By chance,” Nick said, smiling.

“I first became interested in editing films, when shooting and editing a fashion film for my friend,” he said. “I had previously edited a lot of behind-the-scene videos. But, it was not until then had I realized how fascinating it was to shape a story.”

“I felt so free. While there were rules to follow, I could follow my feelings as well,” Nick said.

He then started freelancing. And, like most of people in the post-production industry, where the hierarchy was strongly integrated, he started with small projects such as music videos and short films, and low positions.

But, it is never easy to do a good job. It is even harder to do a good job as a professional.

Working around tight deadlines, Nick spent countless hours a day sitting in front of monitors. He had to go through hours-long footage and a lot of related materials to find a good story to tell, sometimes just within just 15-30 seconds.

“It took a lot of my personal time, but I wouldn’t change it,” he said. “I know that the harder I work, the better the outcome will be. And I love to know that I am doing a good job.”

His hard work and patience over years were finally paid off, when his expertise started bringing him jobs with big clients such as Adidas, Comedy Central, Future Cinema, Marks & Spencer, and MTV Networks.

Nick spent about 8 years working as a freelance editor in London, before coming to Vietnam and working at DIGIPOST through a friend’s recommendation.

A senior editor now, he has never stopped learning, from other professionals, from books and from films. In fact, since he started working as an editor, the only training Nick has ever taken was advice from more experienced professionals.

“Passion asides, a good editor must have broad understanding about the world around him. Failing to do that, you’ll fall behind,” Nick said. “The more you know, the better you can shape a story. You need to know what you are talking about.”

Although the job demands lots of work and time, Nick said he felt “lucky” to be able to do it.

“Editing is an artistic creative job. I would never exchange that feeling of accomplishment when seeing how ideas on paper develop into something lively and knowing that I am a part of that process, for anything else.”

Kungfu-loving editor returns to Vietnam!

Welcoming the latest member to our team, kungfu-loving Boon Le!
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Boon graduated in 2008 with a degree in Video Production emphasizing in editing. He has been creating web content for CreativeLive for the past four years and now has transitioned into the world of promotional video production with Digipost.

During his days off, Boon enjoys creating automation Videos for YouTube and speeds time watching kung fu movies with his wife.

Check out his reel!