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Assistant Editor

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Ian M – Primeval

00:00:03 My name’s Ian M and I’m an assistant editor. My job day to day entails digitising rushes that come in that were shot the day before, marking them up for the editor so he knows exactly what each individual shot is, sorting out the paper work for the editor and then doing play outs of the programmes that he’s cut so far, making sure that we’ve got all the right things we need for the special effects to work, cutting them back into the episodes and also sometimes if the editors had a particularly heavy load of rushes or is under some pressure or something like that, we help him out and assemble some of the programme for him that he can then go and fine cut at a later date.

00:00:55 On Primeval I’m the second assistant editor. This is my first job working in drama, normally I work in sort of more factual television. So, the next stage for me if I decided to continue in drama would hopefully to be a first assistant on something and then after that I’d, my ultimate goal is to become an editor.

00:01:19 I’ve had a few jobs before I settled with the film and TV industry. I did my A Levels and stuff like that and I went to, I did a foundation course in art and after that I just started working, really. I was a builder for seven years. It was ok, I mean, I was sort of in my 20s then and, you know, a bit of cash and enjoying myself, carefree sort of, you know, you go to work, you come home at reasonable hours and all that kind of thing. And it was a good laugh generally. But my love of film drove me to do an A Level in film studies so I did that at night school while I was still working and then once I completed that I went and did a part time BTech National Diploma for two years in media production. We did a bit of everything, did a bit of filming, did a bit of producing, you know, across the board, graphic design and all that kind of stuff but it was editing that stuck out for me and I passed the course. I was lucky enough I got distinction so I was able to then go to Bournemouth University where I did a degree in television and video production which was three years.

00:02:45 The thing that stands out for me with editing as opposed to maybe the rest of the process of making television and film is I think I like sitting alone in a room on my own. As an editor you’re given all the bits to put together yourself and to a large degree you sit with maybe the director or the producer and, you know, you get to have a large creative input on what you’re making. I think I derive a large amount of satisfaction from being able to step back and look at something and say, you know, “I’ve had a part in making that or, you know, I’ve created that, yeah.”

00:03:28 If I could do things differently I maybe would’ve started down the path, the career path that I’ve chosen earlier in life because I think if I had have done that I’d be where I want to be by now probably. The fact that I’ve only been working in television for about five years so I think if I had started five years earlier and I had been here for 10 years I probably would be editing programmes by now. I’d probably be doing what I want to do. So, but that’s not a regret. That’s just the way things have worked out. I’m not going to regret that.


Ian M is an Assistant Editor on the TV series Primeval. He’s also been a builder, in fact he was a builder for seven years. But then he went back to college and spent five years in full-time education to qualify in television and video production.

More information about TV, video and audio engineers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

100%  male 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? TV, video and audio engineers service and repair domestic television, video and audio appliances.
Entrants typically possess GCSEs/S grades or an equivalent qualification such as an Intermediate GNVQ/GSVQ Level II. Training is provided off- and on-the-job and may be supplemented by short courses delivered by manufacturers. NVQs/SVQs in Domestic Appliance Engineering are available at Level 3.
  • Examines equipment and observes reception to determine nature of defect;
  • Uses electronic testing equipment to diagnose faults and check voltages and resistance;
  • Dismantles equipment and repairs or replaces faulty components or wiring;
  • Re-assembles equipment, tests for correct functioning and makes any necessary further adjustments;
  • Carries out service tasks such as cleaning and insulation testing according to schedule.
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