Work Editorial turns ten - follow their journey through their award-winning commercials
For editors Bill Smedley, Neil Smith and Rich Orrick and executive producer Jane Dilworth, the past decade been something of an unexpected roller coaster. Back in 2006, they got together with a very simple vision: to found an egalitarian boutique edit house focused on talent and creativity. From the outset, they were determined to do things a bit differently. Firstly Jane Dilworth was made a full equal partner, unheard of for an edit company producer. Secondly edit fees were shared equally among the editors, creating a very special foundation they reckon has made the business what it is, encouraging a shared commitment to doing great work.
Turns out, it was a smart move. As they’ve grown, opening offices in New York and Los Angeles along the way, they’ve also cut some of the industry’s biggest, most awarded spots. They’ve also witnessed huge changes in the craft of editing, with new technology which has both provided new opportunities and challenges.
“The edit process over these years has both changed - and remained the same. We now have an across-the-board digital workflow, no tapes or DVDs at any stage. This has increased the amount of footage that editors receive, but because of the digital format's immediacy, there is an expectation to go through the material and produce and edit at the same pace. The increase of longer format edits for TV and online has presented greater opportunities for craft and storytelling,” the team observes.
This week, as they celebrate their 10th anniversary, we look back on the work that made Work.
This is spot that made it all happen. The very first cheque at Work Editorial was signed by Paul Rothwell at Gorgeous for this romantic Orange spot, directed by Peter Thwaites with French agency Fred&Farid.
Dangerous Liaisons, Levi's
This spot, from BBH London and directed by Ringan Ledwidge at Rattling Stick has an interesting editing twist in its back story. It was originally written to playout in reverse ending up in 1867 - but Levi's is always a forward-looking brand so the journey was flipped to show evolution and progress. Rich Orrick picks up a D&AD Pencil for Editing, BTAA Craft Award & ANDY Gold.
A collection of more stellar work in 2008, featuring in Campaign's 'Top 10 TV & Cinema Ads' as well as The Independent's 'Best In Show 2008'. Further collaborations across the board with Ringan Ledwidge, Fredrik Bond, Antoine Bardou-Jacquet, Peter Thwaites and Jeff Labbe on Hovis, Stella, Visa, Levi's, Barclaycard and Drench.
Break the Cycle, Barnardos
This unflinching depiction of the effects of violence for Barnardos shocked audiences to the core – and garnered almost 500 complaints. Break the Cycle from director Jeff Labbe and BBH London was edited by Rick Orrick.
Hovis, Go On Lad
It wasn’t all bleak-but-powerful PSAs in 2008. Rick Orrick joined forces with old collaborator Ringan Ledwidge to cut this seminal film that proved to be a popular, critical, and financial success. Its launch was covered by national newspapers and television with sales of Hovis products jumping by over £12 million in the weeks following the launch. Over 1,000 unsolicited letters and e-mails were sent by the public to Hovis in praise of the film. It swept the awards show boards including Thinkbox Award - Best TV Commercial of the Year 2009, Campaign Magazine - Campaign of the Year, ITV's Ad of the Decade.
This was the year that Art Jones joined the original founders as a partner - an award-winning editor in both commercials and promos with two feature films already under his belt. It was also a hugely significant decision for Work, marking the beginning of their expansion. Having remained small and perfectly formed for 3 years and busier than ever on some of the industry's best work, they were nervous of change… but it was a real turning point for the company.
Art's first job was with James Rouse, his, err, rousing Strongbow campaign for St. Lukes which is still on his reel today. Thanks to the egalitarian set up at Work, editors share work with top directors.
This Honda project from W+K London and directed by Outsider’s Scott Lyon, and was truly an epic edit for Rich Orrick. It had more timelines than they had ever seen and had to be conformed in small chunks, fully deserving of it's Gold BTA Craft Award.
This was Neil Smith's first collaboration with Juan Cabral - creating a sound experience for the inhabitants of an Icelandic village for Sony. They have since continued to make outstanding, award-winning work together. One thing that the team has noticed over the decade is the increase of longer format edits for TV and online. This particular job was virtually a short film at three minutes in length, made for cinema and online, documenting a sound experience in a remote Icelandic town. Longer formats have presented far greater opportunities for craft and storytelling.
“Over the years we've also been fortunate to have fostered great relationships with talented agency producers. Dan Blaney is just one of those whom we admire, firstly at W+K New York on Nike Jordan work which saw editor Neil Smith's run with Rupert Sanders,” said the team. This Nike spot went onto win a Silver Lion at Cannes for its editing.
Blaney's subsequent move to BBDO/NY again opened up further opportunities, with Rich Orrick starting out on AT&T 'It Can Wait' campaign, the first of many.
Write the Future, Nike
In a year when British Golds at Cannes Lions remained elusive - it was British craft that blazed a trail. Campaign Magazine slated Work Editorial as the 'stars of British film craft' as they worked on both the Film Craft Grand Prix-winner, Puma’s After Hours Athlee and the Film Grand Prix-winner, Nike Write the Future’, directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and cut by Rich Orrick. rite the future", He also scooped a gold Film Craft Lion for Nike.
It was a trophy-heavy year for Rich as he won a Gold for Editing at Cannes, a Silver BTAA award and his fourth D&AD Pencil… but it was also a breakthrough time for his assistant at the time, Ben Jordan. Assisting and doing changes on this mammoth job propelled his editing career. Ben has since re-located to the NY office with his own clients.
Rolling in the Deep, Adele
It wasn’t just the commercial world that saw Work making waves in 2011. Art Jones cut Same Brown’s "Rolling In the Deep' video, which was nominated for seven MTV Video Music Awards nominations, making it the most nominated music video of the year. It won three awards: Best Editing for Art Jones, Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction and also the Billboard Year End Hot 100 Number One Single of 2011. On 12 February 2012, "Rolling in the Deep" received three Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Short Form Music Video.
Where is Your Line? The Havens
This emotional and dramatic short film for sexual assault helpline The Havens was cut by Bill Smedley for Rattling Stick director Sara Dunlop. It went on to pick up awards for the edit at British Arrows and the British Arrows Craft Awards.
After Hours Athlete, Puma
Puma's 90sec film, directed by RIngan Ledwidge through Smuggler for Droga5 New York was cut by Rich Orrick and went on to win the Film Craft Grand Prix at Cannes that year.
Work Editorial open up a NY office on Broadway. This is an almost organic development as many of the directors and production companies we collaborated with moved to US, like Rattling Stick, The Corner Shop and Gorgeous.
Susan Glenn, Axe
The first job out of the new Stateside office was by Rich Orrick for BBH New York and Ringan Ledwidge - Axe 'Susan Glenn'. It marked a new direction for Axe dispelling the cliché alpha male approach they had become associated with.
Three Little Pigs, Guardian
Guardian's Three Little Pigs quite literally brought home the bacon, reimagining the classic story through the lens of modern media. Directed by Ringan and cut by Rich Orrick, the campaign from BBH London dominated the 2012 award season with Rich Orrick won BTAA Craft Award for Editing, Shots 'Best Editor of The Year' and Clios Gold for Technique: Editing.
Luck is an Attitude, Martini
Work's raison d'etre has always been for directors and agencies to view them as a powerhouse talent company where they felt free to work with any editor, rather than being tied to existing relationships. With Neil Smith out on Rupert Sander's feature film 'Snow White And The Huntsman' Bill Smedley stepped in to develop his own relationship with Director Peter Thwaites, cutting three jobs with Thwaites during 2012, including this swanky number from agency Fred&Farid.
007 Unleashed, Coke Zero
In 2012, editor Mark Edinoff joined Work Editorial launching with a Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam job for Coke Zero, directed by Guy Manwaring. It was only at the very last minute that the client decided to support the sound effects with music, so the plan had been to create the Bond theme using only sound design. It was a real challenge to make sure that the narrative was structured to allow for this so we were brought in early by Guy to do a cut down of the track. This music edit was important to get right as it then became the foundation for everything else. Mark approached the challenge with the kind of collected cool that Bond himself would be proud of.
Make Love Not War, Axe
Another shift in perception for Axe with this spot from BBH, directed by Rupert Sanders at MJZ and cut by his long time collaborator Neil Smith. A decidedly tongue in cheek film that ended with a serious message as they harnessed their power for good in association with Peace One Day - an organisation aiming to establish September 21 as a day on which “a child will not be bullied, a woman will not be hit, a gun will not be fired”.
One of 2013’s major highlights was this James Rouse-directed Marmite campaign from adan&eveDDB, that went on to win the British Arrow’s Commercial of the Year. Art Jones lent his skills to this comedy spoof.
Christmas is for Sharing, Sainsbury’s
Another extended film ending up at over 3 minutes, recreating the famous WW1 story of the Christmas Truce of December 1914. The spot from AMV BBDO was directed by Ringan Ledwidge and cut by Rich Orrick - and was another example of the creative freedom afforded by long form content.
Neil picks up the Shots Award for Best Editor with this dynamic Guinness spot from the lens of Biscuit Filmworks director Noam Murro and AMVBBDO.
Last year was an exciting time in the growth of Work as it opened its Los Angeles office. The team describes it as ‘a giant step with serious intent’. At the same time, Stewart Reeves joieds as partner alongside Adam Robinson, editor of Harmony Korine's 'Spring Breakers' and soon to be announced addition Tom McArdle, Oscar nominated editor on 'Spotlight'.
Short a Guy, Nike
LA's first piece of work is cut by Rich Orrick for W+K Portland and Stacy Wall at Imperial Woodpecker - Nike 'Short a Guy'.
This dreamy spot from Mother was directed by Juan Cabral and cut by Neil Smith An ambitious visual feast set to Shakespeare's The Tempest picked up British Arrows Best Crafted Commercial and three Golds.
This project showcases Work’s commitment to nurturing new talent and helping them grow into respected editors. Saam Hodivala started his first day at Work Editorial as a runner - on his birthday. One of their rising stars, his Tena Control film washailed by Huffington Post as 'so funny you'll wet your pants' has picked up awards for Hodivala. Establishing him as a great comedy editor, it's been the latest film in a row of collaborations with Jeff Low at Biscuit that started in 2014 with Wildlife Protection.
The commercial production world has been reinvigorated with the recent VR boom, and editing is no different. Cass Vanini cut one of the first wave of breakthrough VR projects, ‘Catatonic’ for Guy Shelmerdine at VRSE shown at SXSW. Not normally associated with editing, Shelmerdine wanted to break the mould a little and try things that hadn't been done. Traditional editing wasn't possible, but after letting the viewer get immersed in the world, we experimented with ramping up speeds and jump cutting within a more or less static space to heighten the drama of a horror.
Mog’s Christmas, Sainsbury’s
2015 came to an end with this blockbuster spot with longtime collaborator James Rouse of Outsider, who directed the spot ‘Mog’s Christmas Calamity’. Judith Kerr, the author of the Mog series and The Tiger Who Came To Tea, penned a new 3 and a half minute Mog story for Sainsbury's Christmas campaign. Bill Smedley edited the campaign that sent a classic children’s character back to the top of the Bestseller list.
The Only Way to Know, Samsung
Prominent editor, Stewart Reeves joins as Editor & Partner at Work Editorial LA. “When we first opened in back in 2006, Stewart, then working in Australia, had sent his congratulations, wishing us well. So his arrival as a partner ten years later is how things really should be! Old friends with the same outlook,” say the team. “The company may be bigger but we still feel the same.” Reeve's first job off the block was this Samsung spot for Biscuit Films and 72andSunny LA.
2016 also marked the arrival of Trish Fuller at Work Editorial’s NY office. She joins the company’s other female editors Annie Perri and Rachael Spann who are making a mark in an industry that is still predominantly male.
The Next Ten Years
Over the past decade, Work Editorial has gone from a dream shared between four people with a commitment to creativity to an international, award-winning powerhouse. But as well as forging relationships with the industry's top directors, producers and agencies and searching out exciting creative projects, the team has also invested a lot of time and energy into their young talent - which means that the next ten years are looking even more exciting.
"Nurturing our next generation of talent is crucial in our eyes. Both Saam Hodiavala and Charlie Moreton both started with us as runners and have now started fulfilling great promise as editors, showing a brilliant understanding and display of the craft. Our assistant team has never been stronger. Ben Corfield is already forging a very strong commercials reel and together with Ellie McNaughton and Hasani Frank, are all showing great passion in their choice of music videos and short film opportunities. Likewise we are supported by a great production team."
Happy Birthday, Work Editorial!
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