What does it takes to be a Film & Documentary Editor?

Creating for the Art(s) Lovers!!

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Question 1: Can you take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers, especially, with regard to your name, place of birth and what you do as a creative person?

My name is Nomfundo Lucia Masango and I was born in Watervall Boven but grew up in Kwamhlanga and in a couple of different counties. I am mainly a Video Editor, but I also dabble in Acting and Music Production.

Question 2: You are a FILM EDITOR | DOCUMENTARY EDITOR| VIDEO EDITOR| ASSISTANT EDITOR, which role best describes you here, and why?

I’d say the title that best describes me is simply “Editor” because it’s all encompassing of all the above skills.

Question 3: I can see that you have studied at “The Australian National University”, what is it that you have studied, when was it, and for how long did you take to complete your studies?

Yes, I finished high school in Australia and also undertook my University qualification(s) there. I obtained a Bachelors of Visual Arts with honors (BA Visual Arts Hons) and I majored in Digital Media. My degree was four years long, from 2010-2013.

Question 4: How long have you been a creative person, and when did you learn that your passion is in it?

I’ve been a creative person for as long as I can remember. I wasn’t always sure what in the creative industry I’d become, and I can honestly say that editing is something that I stumbled across. During my last year at university, I joined one of the Student Media organizations and (one of) my responsibility was to “film and edit” the social events at school for Social Media. I took a liking to it, especially the editing, and I’ve never looked back ever since.

Question 3: How did you get here or what made you to focus on the above (the career path you have undertaken) as a young woman since this was a male dominated industry? What skills do one require(s) to be able to work effectively and efficiently in all the roles you occupied?

What made me focus on editing was my love for it. It’s not the easiest of careers, it’s time consuming and working long hours is often the norm, but it’s also highly rewarding and gratifying. Yes, it’s a male dominated industry but I’ve never let that affect me and my goals for my career. If anything, it gives me more drive.

Within the roles that I occupy, one always needs to be open to learning new things and be able to adapt to different workflows. With every job I’ve taken on, I’ve had to learn something new and adapt to the workflow best suited for the project. It’s also important to have an understanding of the Software in Post Production and to also understand things from Technical Point of View (TPV) which will help enormously when setting up workflow and communicating with different departments.

Question 4Can you briefly tell us about what you do (role) at NETFLIX as a 2nd Assistant Editor (One Piece)!! What does the work of a 2nd Assistant Editor entails on a daily basis?

As a 2nd Assistant Editor on One Piece, my main responsibility was to process dailies and prepare the footage for editors to cut. That is typically the main role for a 2nd Assistant Editor, but this role also comes with administrative duties.

Question 5Is there some differences between the different roles you have occupied as 1st Assistant Editor (- Recipes for Love and Murder) and or to 2nd Assistant Editor in terms of their responsibilities? Which one do you prefers here between the TWO and why?

Yes, although these two roles overlap there are some clear differences between the (m) two. As I mentioned before, the main responsibility of a 2nd Assistant Editor is to process dailies. The 1st Assistant Editor will also process dailies but their role also involves setting up the project and working closely with the editor to source music, temp Sound Effects and any other elements that are required in editing.

Question 6: Briefly talk to me about your roles on the following projects:

  • The Undocumented: Women On Mines – Teaser Trailer: This was a short documentary that I edited for an NGO and I was responsible for all aspects of Post Production process.
  • Video Editor – Forever Young (S02): This was a TV show in which I was one of the Two Editors. My responsibility for this show was just to Offline Edit and put in Subtitles.
  • Forever Young S2 – Episode 8: This was a TV Show in which I was one of the Two Editors. My responsibility for this show was just to Offline Edit and put in Subtitles.

Question 7It is good to hear that the film which you created the audio/visuals and content is on YouTube and Instagram, what is the title of the film and when was it created?

The Short Film that I produced was part of an Anthology which was called “Locks of Love”. It was an Australian Production, but I don’t think it was ever put online.

Question 8: You have less than a year working for NETFLIX, very busy and competitive environment to work at, can you briefly describe your day at work here!!

I have had the best experience working on Netflix Productions. I have been lucky to have worked with amazing teams and with people who are extremely supportive and open to sharing their knowledge with others.

Question 9: Who is your role model in the creative industry, and what is it that they are doing?

Wow, that is a tough call. I’ve truly worked with incredibly talented editors who I all look up to for different reasons, but the one editor I aspire to is Andrea Shaw. Andrea is a Cape Town based Editor and her love for editing is contagious. Apart from being an exceptional Storyteller, no matter how tough things get in the edit room, she always remains optimistic. She always backs her team and never misses a ‘please’ or ‘thank you’. It’s so easy to let this job consume your entire life, but she maintains relentless discipline in the office which enables her to achieve a work/life balance. She is an absolute pleasure to work with and I can only hope to be somewhat like when I reach her level of achievement.

Question 10: Can you talk to me about your motivation and or inspiration to keep you going when the going gets tough?

Hmmmm, often what keeps me motivated and inspired are the team of people I’m working with. I am currently editing a feature documentary, and it’s not always easy to look at that timeline. But when I think of the Director whose story I’m telling as well and the amazing Producer, I just can’t let them down. I’ve been entrusted with a delicate project and no matter what mood I’m in or what little motivation I have, I can’t break their trust.

Question 11: Which qualities do you think make a great (artist) and or creative person?

I think some qualities that make a great artist are honesty and integrity. I believe in creating from a place of honesty and truth. Whether I am Editing or Writing Lyrics or Acting, if I don’t believe what I am doing I can’t expect to move, touch or inspire others with my work. I believe a great artist approaches their craft with integrity and embrace whatever result will come.

Question 12: What is your advice to the aspiring (youth) artists?

My advice to aspiring young artists is to do what brings you joy, because that is what you will always gravitate towards and that is what will be fulfilling to you.

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