Over the next few months, we thought we'd introduce you to the faces behind the Lobster Pot time lapse monitoring camera and Lobster Vision time lapse viewer. So without further ado, next up... Meet Ellis!
If you haven't checked out the first in the series yet, just click here: get to know Marcus, one of our team of Senior Technicians.
Ellis is one of our talented team of Editors who sit within our Media Production department, and he's responsible for ensuring our clients are delivered with a creative, broadcast-quality finished film to engage your audience and showcase the journey of your construction, engineering or fine art project, to truly deliver results. Creative and quick-witted, there's never a dull moment when Ellis is around!
When commissioning time lapse monitoring from Lobster Pictures, a finished film of the project is always included - free of charge. This week, we spoke to Ellis about his role, how he came to be an Editor, and what life looks like for him creating media content for our clients.
How long have you worked for Lobster?
I've worked at Lobster Pictures for a little under two years – I started in May 2017. Time flies!
What did you do before?
I studied Media at Swansea University, then moved into marketing as my first role when the course ended. Following that, I worked for a time as a Production Assistant in partnership with BBC Wales in Cardiff, and as part of the role there, I was doing some editing of promos. I realised I really enjoyed it... and the rest is history!
What does a typical day look like for you as Editor at Lobster Pictures?
The day would probably start with a quick email check, and a catch up with the rest of the Production team to chat about the status of all of our current projects.
We do a lot of work on prepping the image files before the actual creative 'edit' starts; most of the construction projects we capture with time lapse go on for many months or even many years before completion, meaning we have captured thousands upon thousands of images. The first task on a film project is therefore to organise these, and sort the file structure on a programme called DIT, which has a pretty strict workflow internally.
Then the images go through specialist internal processes to remove shots with rain, inactivity, darkness and so on – essentially removing everything that 'jars' with the overall motion and aesthetic – to ensure the finished film will be fluid and continuous.
We then have a conversation with the client to find out what their additional requirements are, such as graphics and music, before creating the finished videos for them.
What do you enjoy most about the role?
I really enjoy working with clients to form a creative brief, but a key thing for me is how rewarding it is to see a project through to completion. Lots of projects in digital media don’t allow you to see the finished results of projects you're working on, but in the role here at Lobster, I get to work on a hugely varied mix of projects - and see them through until the end.
The creative side appeals – and it's great to see buildings go up and down. I've actually learnt loads about construction projects just from editing them!
What made you want to become an editor?
I've actually edited from a young age - I still remember my friend and I heading out to film stuff when we were pretty young! After Uni, I wasn't sure if it would work out career-wise for me - so tried other things - but then it wasn't long until it drew me back in...!
What training did you do?
I essentially taught myself! In school we were taught basic editing on machines, but after that I just watched lots of tutorials on YouTube. When I went into work, it quickly got me up to speed commercially.
Do you remember your first film?
I do! It was for GCSE – we'd watched Bowling for Columbine and decided to make a documentary - or 'mockumentary' in the same style. I'd love to dig it out and watch it back now actually!
What’s the best part of the job?
The variety of projects – and making lots of videos keeps you on your toes, keeps interest and builds experience fast!
I really like the creativity of working on different client briefs – you can do so much with music, movement, graphics and so on - it's great spending time to make the film as good as possible for our clients.
What’s the toughest part?
Spotting specific processes can be tricky – you have to make sure you've not missed anything. The quality of the finished video tends to be down to the quality of the base-cut; it really is the key building block of the finished video.
What’s been your favourite project?
I really enjoyed working on the North West Cambridge Development project for South Staffs Water. I actually was Assistant Producer on that, as well as directing the shoot.
I also really enjoyed working on the Dreamland Margate shoot (towards the top of the blog post) - something a little different!
What advice would you give to a school leaver looking to move into a similar role?
I'd say don’t worry about going down traditional route – if you want it, train yourself and get your foot in the door somewhere. Your dream job might not be your actual dream job – keep an open mind, try things, and if you don't like it... move on!
We'd love to hear from you if you have a question for Ellis - or indeed any of our team! Just drop us a note via the link below.