VT 003 : How I Built My Editing Career with Editor of The Witch & The Lighthouse Louise Ford

By June 25, 2020 July 2nd, 2020 Podcasts

I magine you’ve spent your youth building a successful career as a music journalist, making your way up the ladder to deputy editor on one of the UK’s biggest selling magazines… and then you realise that it’s not where you want to be anymore. What happens then?

Lou Ford is a Brooklyn-based feature film editor. In her mid-30s she found herself in New York with no job and the desire to become a film editor. In 2008 she cut her first short film for director Robert Eggers.

Since then her signature style of editing films like Eggers’ first feature The Witch, Corey Finlay’s Thoroughbreds and more recently The Lighthouse have been influential in those films’ success, gaining Lou critical acclaim as an editor.

In this interview Lou explains how she pivoted from her publishing career to become a successful feature film editor from scratch, and gives us a candid insight into her life, her creative thinking and striking editing approach.

She also describes the journey of her breakthrough editing role on The Witch – from a small indie movie at Sundance, to international box office hit and her experience editing scenes from one of the industry’s greatest contemporary screen actors, Willem Defoe.

At the time of recording, Lou was in the middle of lockdown New York, having recently wrapped on the HBO High Jackman movie Bad Education.

You'll Discover
  • How Lou started her career in editing from scratch at 35

  • How a sense of urgency can help fast track your career

  • The essential skills needed for editing film

  • How to overcome imposter syndrome & build confidence in small steps

  • The power of feedback

  • The journey to Sundance for an independent feature film

  • How The Witch went from independent risk to mainstream movie

  • How the ‘story’ tells Lou what to do in an edit

  • Who had the most influence on Lou’s editing style

  • Why choosing performance takes is a huge part of editing

  • How ‘unmotivated’ editing can ruin a film

  • Why you shouldn’t cut until you need to

  • The failsafe trick Lou uses to make an edit in the middle of an action

  • Acting techniques from Willem Dafoe & Robert Pattinson

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