mentorless

What Can an Adobe, Avid & Apple Certified Editor Still Learn with Inside the Edit

For the last year, mentorless focus has widen, not only sharing content about filmmaking but also about nurturing creativity, making movies from the trenches, and emphasising the importance of continuing education for anyone who wants to become a master at their craft.

Since 2014, we’ve developed a relationship with the team behind Inside the Edit, the first online course focusing on the creative aspect of editing. Since its inception, the course’s content has grown and it now offers more ways to follow it, (monthly or annually). If you are a reader of this site and would like to enrol for the course, you can use the promo code CREATIVEMENTORLESS when checking out for a 15% discount.

Editor Danielle Faria-Nel, who won a one-year access to the full program through mentorless, shares today what she learned with the program and how it helped her raised her game, even though she already was a seasoned editor, and one of a few having the triple certification to instruct on Adobe, Avid and Apple.

One last note: one of the condition for the winner to receive the prize was for she/he to accept sharing their experience taking the course, whether good or bad. It turned out that Danielle’s was excellent, but I would have also published her story if it was reverse. Those are big investments to make, and I don’t take it lightly.

What Can an Adobe, Avid & Apple Certified Editor Still Learn with Inside the Edit

by Danielle Faria-Nel

I’ve been working in post for 15 years, and I’m also an Adobe, Avid and Apple Trainer. I can teach software and what buttons to press, but there is no book on teaching creativity in editing.

So how does one teach creativity? One thing I’ve noticed among editors that are ‘a cut above the rest’ is their ability to tell incredible stories. But how do you get there?

A few weeks before Inside the Edit launched, an online video was making the rounds – The Editor – explaining what an editor does, when to speed things up, when to let it breathe… I got excited. It looked incredible. A course designed for story creativity for editors. I needed this!

Mentorless held a competition to win a full license – AND – I WON!!!

I spent the next few weeks watching ITE’s tutorials. I watched all of what was available at the time – twice. I had to: It was so intense. I was overwhelmed. The content was so good. Thorough. Articulate. Mind-blowing. This stuff is definitely about taking your craft to the next level.

I realized some of the mistakes I was making as an editor. And then came the dreaded feeling of, “I wish I knew this earlier”. I took what I learnt into an edit and started hearing Paddy (ITE’s founder and voice) in the back of my head. Who? What? Where? When? How?

My first impressions:

I received a login, and also a hard drive with the same footage Paddy was using. I could play, test, experiment… I had new toys… Fun for days!

The course content

The course focused on organizing the most underutilized part of the editing process – knowing the footage and where to find it. What goes where? Where do I start? How do I tackle this project? Actively asking yourself, is this helping the story or not? Pacing and timing. Cutting actuality. Intercutting.

The impact:

The biggest nugget I learnt was the formation of structure in my mind before even starting on the timeline. A great tip was to start with the beginning and the end, and find the ‘meat’ for the in-between. Create a skeleton, if you will.

I started asking myself the questions: Does the edit make sense? If the order isn’t right, what should I change? Does this structure work? What needs to be cut?

It’s not like I wasn’t doing all of this already. But the course design is meant to stimulate creativity and storytelling. It gives you words for what you know instinctively. I couldn’t tell you why an edit was bad, it just looked bad… but when it’s good, nobody notices. Editors are invisible if we do it right.

What I walked away with:

The course made me realize that an edit happens in stages. You have to pass through it a few times to get it just right.

Take time to watch all your footage. Organise it so that its accessible quickly.Do an edit in two to three passes. Lay down a skeleton – add b-roll, and then also add some breathers.

And most importantly, look at the bigger picture – STORY.

This course changed my career, from being a technical guru to now also being a story-teller, more so than before.


Daniëlle has been in the industry since 2002. She is also one of a very rare handful of professional editors accredited to train Apple, Adobe and Avid. Over the course of her editing career in media and film, Danielle has worked on feature films, series, several short films and documentaries, music videos, and hundreds of TV programs. Her work has taken her all across South Africa and abroad to countries such as India, Zambia, Malaysia, Sweden, Cyprus and the United States. Today Daniëlle specialises in Online broadcast delivery. Some of her recent works are Girl eat World (Food network/Netflix) and Jamillah and Aladdin (Ceebeebies, CBBC)