Who are three comedy editors that you admire?

Paul Hirsch - Hirsch has cut incredible work across so many genres, from Star Wars to Mission Impossible and when you get to his comedy films like Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, they transcend comedy and become iconic storytelling. Even in non-comedy films like Falling Down, there’s a subtle dark comedic undertone where it’s needed.

It must have been such a joy to edit [The Office], each cut eking out more and more excruciating humour...

Nigel Williams - He’s spent a career dedicated to comedy and cut some of the most iconic British comedies of the 21st century from The Office to Derry Girls.

Adam Windmill - I love the surrealism and absurdity in both the League of Gentlemen and Garth Merenghi’s Darkplace, each showing a mastery of two different types of editing: League of Gentlemen, classic film editing, and Darkplace playing with the conventions of intentionally bad editing. 

Above: Planes, Trains and Automobiles - Edited by Paul Hirsch

Please share 3-4 pieces of work that exemplify great editing in comedy films.

Trains, Planes and Automobiles - Paul Hirsch really understands the craft, and edits so elegantly and efficiently, every minute, every second counts. He touches more levels than just comedy, it’s a deeply emotional story as well with moments of great pathos.

It’s a privilege to do what you love for a living.

The Office - A tour de force of understanding the conventions of a documentary and using that as a comedy tool, groundbreaking in its tone and realism, the influence of his work has been carried through to others. It must have been such a joy to edit, each cut eking out more and more excruciating humour showing a real patience in crafting these comic moments.

Garth Merenghi’s Darkplace - Playing with the rules of bad tv and the 80s and 70s the over intentional editing in this means each bad cut, and poorly laid VO is a laugh in itself. The play on genre conventions creates brilliantly absurd humour.

Above: Garth Marenghi's Darkplace - edited by Adam Windmill.

What do you like most about the work that you do?

It’s a privilege to do what you love for a living.

What was your journey to becoming an editor? How did you end up specialising in comedy? 

A love of comedy leads you here, I started out running on films like Shaun of the Dead, and that lead me through comedy and drama production to editing where I worked my way up.

Above: A scene from The Office - edited by Nigel Williams.

Who is the greatest editor of all time?


Consume as much of the craft as possible, watch and watch and soak it all in.

Did you have a mentor? Who was it? 

I learnt a lot from John Smith, and his love and approach to comedy, and particularly how that crosses over into commercials.

Above: The League of Gentleman - edited by Adam Windmill. 

What’s changing in the industry that all editors need to keep up with?

Consume as much of the craft as possible, watch and watch and soak it all in, and that’s never more important than now when there are so many different forms of media and storytelling.