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How is editing for music videos different to commercials?

Well the process is essentially exactly the same but the restraints and results are very different. Different freedoms come with both formats but I would say with music videos your given more freedom. The editor and director can really play with pace, structure, style and narrative. This isn’t to say you can’t do this with commercials, but the nature of the process is slightly more free spirited. There is less rigidity with shot lists and storyboards, labels are more open minded about new ideas and are happy as long as they work well. Obviously agencies and client can be open minded too, it is just less likely.

Different freedoms come with both formats but I would say with music videos your given more freedom.

Also, the politics are slightly different, there is not much face to face interaction with label and management, but they can be just as particular as an agency and client. Of course this has its advantages and disadvantages.

Something like Young thug - Wyclef Jean would not happen on a TVC.

Young Thug: Wyclef Jean

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How have editing styles changed in the music promo scene over the years?

This is a hard one to answer. My first response would be to say, creating conceptual videos has become very popular. Things that spring to mind are:
 
The Blaze - Territory, Rosalia - De Aqui No Sales, FKA Twigs - Cellophane, where tone and fantastic execution meet in the middle. Although saying anything goes really its an amazing work space and that’s the beauty of promos, there are great performance videos, great narrative videos, great art directed videos this list goes on, all these can work in synergy to make something special.

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The Blaze – Territory

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Rosalia – De Aquí No Sales

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FKA twigs – Cellophane

What are some good examples of quality editing?

This is subjective and hard to quantify. A good edit, has rhythm, great pace and timing. Often good editing is judged on the frequency of the edit, but this does not always constitute a quality cut. 

I like to enjoy a video or any type of art for the enjoyment and not always the technicalities of it.

It can also be judged by an accomplished editorial technique, whether technical or of a particular style.  I like to enjoy a video or any type of art for the enjoyment and not always the technicalities of it.  Obviously these things come hand in hand but execution of concept is key.  Here are some of my faves:

Leningrad - Kolshik, Is Tropical - Dancing Anymore, Tom Vek - Aroused, Michael Kiwanuka - Black Man In A White World, Tove Lo - Glad He’s Gone, Troye Sivan - My My My!, Desiigner - Panda, The Shoes - Time to Dance, Tyler The Creator - Who Dat Boy, and Jon Hopkins - Collider.

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Leningrad – Kolshik

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Is Tropical – Dancing Anymore

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Tom Vek: Aroused

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Michael Kiwanuka – Black Man In A White World

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Tove Lo – Glad He's Gone

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Troye Sivan – My My My!

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Desiigner – Panda

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The Shoes – Time To Dance

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Tyler, The Creator – Who Dat Boy

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Jon Hopkins – Collider

What are the do’s and don’ts of editing for music videos?

All dos no don’ts. Just try all the doing you have time for.

At what stage do you normally get involved on the project?

Normally after the shoot but I love getting involved as soon as possible. Not only do I love the editing, but I love to be part of discussions about ideas and shooting methods, it helps the idea develop and to cover it off effectively, especially with music videos and their forever shrinking budgets and one day shoots. 

Testing, shot list, mood boards and pre vis can all really help. It also helps me immerse myself into the idea that bit more and to get my head into the project. 

I cut the Julio Bashmore - Peppermint promo with Noah Harris at Agile, 95% of the work we did in previs, spending several weeks working out the narrative, structure and shot list, so all the shots were for purpose and there was no wastage when he shot the stop motion. 

All dos no don’ts. Just try all the doing you have time for.

Julio Bashmore – Peppermint

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Is it a different skill, editing to a track that's already in place, as opposed to editing and then having music added afterwards?

It is a different skill, but still very similar, the same processes are in place but you are of course locked into the track, which can give focus as well. It is not always fun being in that music wormhole when editing commercials. Spending days going through music tracks, especially when 99% of them don’t work. Having the one track, that hopefully you are into can be meditative and lots of fun while cutting music videos.

What's been your favourite moment, editing for a music video?

So many. For me its the people, I love working in a nice environment with good people doing good work. Travelling is also for fun, but unfortunately rare.

What's your proudest cut?

The best of memories making Rudimental ft. Ella Eyre - Waiting All Night, with good people and having fun in LA.

Rudimental – Waiting All Night

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