A World of More Craft

September 28, 2016 / Features

By Alex Reeves

Editor Matt Felstead on why we should celebrate the artisans of our industry.

The British Arrows CRAFT awards nailed their colours to their mast when they started 20 years ago. They’re here to celebrate the craftsmen – the people whose finesse in their specific field manages to elevate a piece of work. And while there are plenty of award shows, the CRAFT awards’ diverse jury of experts in their field gives this one heaps of kudos.

With the last entry date looming, we spoke to one of last years’ winners and a true craftsman – editor Matt Felstead of Big Chop, who won Gold for his work on Sony, TKO.

The Beak Street Bugle: How did you become an editor?
Matt Felstead:
I started as a runner at an editing company and slowly worked my way up from there. I was lucky enough to have some brilliant editors to watch and learn from.

BSB: What do you most enjoy about your job?
Pretty much everything to be honest. I enjoy building the film from scratch, the nervousness and excitement of having lots of rushes that mean nothing individually, working through them and combining them to give them meaning and to tell a story that entertains. I get to do this in the company of brilliant, entertaining, interesting, creative people in a brilliant company with brilliant people in it. Best job in the world.

BSB: What were your first thoughts on how you would edit the TKO film?
I wanted it to have a linear story that took the viewer through the journey of a boxer preparing for and then having a fight but also had the added layers of being a music edit with action that matched the beats of the music rather than just cut to the beat of the music. I was lucky enough to have brilliant rushes from Greg Hackett (the Director) that enabled me to do that.

BSB: How did the footage shape the way you cut it?
Actually it was the music that shaped the way I cut the footage. As I said before the rushes were brilliant and I think it would always have been a beautiful looking film but when we found the music track it dictated what parts of the footage would be used and how.

The music track is just as important in a film as the film itself.

BSB: What does it mean to win a British Arrows Craft Award?
I think, for me, certainly nationally, the British Arrows is the one. It feels like it's more interested in recognising the craft and the individuals involved in making it than creating its own reputation. It’s certainly the one that seems to hold weight with people within the industry and put you up there in terms of reputation when you win it.

It was also confirmation that the decisions and ideas I have day to day are the right ones.

BSB: Why is it so important to have dedicated awards for craft?
I think it’s very important to have dedicated craft awards. A lot of individual talent goes into making the whole of a film and people put their life and soul into the work. You can have an exceptional soundtrack, edit, sound design, cinematography etc. in an unremarkable film and it’s important that the individual work is recognised within that and not lost in the whole.

Entries for the British Arrows CRAFT 2016 awards close on Friday 30th September at 18:00. Enter here

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