Documentary editor Gordon Mason, ACE works span feature length TV documentaries and series including The South Bank Show, Who Do You Think You Are? and Panorama, knows the value of organisation, a stable system, and putting in the hours for his craft.
When faced with thousands of stills, mountains of archive footage and hundreds of music tracks on a 2013 Jim Hendrix documentary, the key thing for Gordon was organising the material into bins and folders on his Avid system in order to be able to find clips quickly and easily.
The same held true on a multi-editor, quick turnaround episode of Panorama, when four or five editors were all working from the same material on a single film – organisation was key to ensure everyone understands who is using which clips and where the latest versions are. A good, stable system that isn’t going to crash was also a must.
However, it’s not just about knowing the technology; Gordon talks about the mythical 10,000 hours it takes to master a skill and acknowledges the necessity of putting in the hours in order to really know one’s craft.
“The Beatles didn’t just become a good band – they played live gigs three times a night for five years. You have to put the work in.”
—Gordon Mason, ACE, editor Panorama, Who Do You Think You Are?