Making The Cut: William Oswald — Feel the Rhythm, Find the Emotion

By in Making The Cut, Video Editing

BAFTA winning editor William Oswald is one of those lucky people who knew what they wanted to do from an early age; after watching 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1969 the die was cast, and by 1979 he had become a trainee film editor for BBC Wales.

Working on a mix of shorts and TV documentaries in his early career, William has largely focused on drama series in recent years, including Robin Hood, Torchwood, Sherlock and Doctor Who.

Like the Doctor, William works on the principle of fixed points in space and time – as he says, you know you’ve got a start point and an end point, and there’s going to be a point where there’s a transition moment, so the rest is finding the rhythm of the scene and the emotional exchanges to fill those gaps. One of his proudest moments was making three execs cry in unison…

For up-and-coming editors, William also advocates asking permission to work on programe rushes during any down time, as real material will give a flavor of the different choices available through differing performances, and will show up the various challenges that will emerge in real-world projects.

“The real key is getting the rhythm right…it shouldn’t be forced, it will come out naturally.”

—William Oswald, editor Doctor Who, Sherlock, Torchwood

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