Edit Girls career story - Flaura Atkinson - Editor

  • Kim French
  • Mathew White
  • Flaura Atkinson

An interview with documentary editor Flaura Atkinson, as part of a collection of career stories for Edit Girls, a platform championing women in post-production. 'Meet Flaura Atkinson, an offline editor at Stitch - I’ve been so looking forward to sharing Flaura’s career story, she is so incredibly talented and gives such great insight. Enjoy!'

Tell us about your job role and the kinds of projects you work on;

I am an offline editor at Stitch, I edit commercials mainly but I also edit music videos and have edited some award-winning short films. In 2018 I had a career first and edited my first feature film. I’ve edited commercials for clients such as Farmdrop, the Royal Navy, Marshall, Love Honey, and Walkers and I’ve done music videos for artists such as Massive Attack, George Ezra, Marilyn Manson, and Estrons, for which I received my first ukMVA nomination for, for Best Edit in a music video last year.

What does an average day look like in your post-production working world?

A normal day for me would start with coffee! I am an early person. If I have a lot of work to do or if the turnaround time for the job is very fast then I’ll be in the office by 6:30 am. I’m much more productive in the morning, I feel like my work brain shuts down at 6pm! After coffee, I would catch up with production so I know what time clients are coming in/when presentations are set for etc and I will then chat with my assistant Freddie to see how the project load went/if there’s anything I need to know. After that I’ll re-read the script/treatment and then start making my selects. My favourite kind of day is when the director first comes in and we can work through ideas together for a day or two before we have to present anything to the agency/client. I edit in Premiere, I’m not an Avid fan at all!

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

An absolute career highlight for me was editing How to Stop a Recurring Dream, a feature film directed by Ed Morris. It was the first feature Ed had directed (he also wrote it), and it was the first feature film that I’ve edited. I’ve worked with Ed for a few years now and we have a great working relationship so it was an amazing experience. I’ve edited short films but I didn’t have any long-form experience so it was a huge leap of faith for Ed and for myself. It was all-consuming and I’ve never worked on anything like it but the sense of achievement when I watched the final film was huge. It’s about to be released into the world and I’m very nervous and excited for people to see it. I feel very protective of it!

How did your career in post-production begin?

I knew from the age of 15 that I wanted to be an editor. I had an amazing Media Studies teacher at school and he really encouraged my passion for film making and editing especially. We would make small films as part of our lessons and while everyone else loved being out and about and filming, I loved the editing process and the problem solving that came with it. I went to Bournemouth University and did TV Production and for part of that course, we had to do a 2-week work placement in the industry. I did my placement at an edit company called Peepshow Post, run by Andrea MacArthur, and when I graduated from Uni they offered me a full-time job as a runner. So I moved straight to London and started working my way up the ladder.

Which women in post do you admire?

I really admire editors Ellie Johnson (Ten Three) and Elise Butt (Trim), I think they are both phenomenally talented editors. They are both doing great work but they are also both doing groundbreaking work, Ellie’s spot for Sport England ‘Fit Got Real’ and Elise’s spots for Bodyform ‘Womb Stories’ and Libresse 'Viva La Vulva' are very important pieces of film making and their edits for these pieces are incredibly skilful. They are both hugely talented and I love seeing the work that they’re doing.

What advice do you have for other women wanting to start a career in post?

There are still so few women in post - most editing companies only have one female editor, but things are changing. With movements like Free the Bid, it is a great time to be a woman in this industry. My advice to women wanting to start a career in post would be to work hard and go for what you want.
When I joined The Quarry 6 years ago I was the youngest editor there and the only female editor in the London office. I was at a point in my career where my reel wasn’t that strong and I didn’t feel that confident in my talent and capabilities. I knew I would be a tiny unknown name there amongst all these hugely successful male editors but I still went for it and worked incredibly hard for the 5 years I was there to create a reputation for myself. Set your eyes on the prize, if you want to be an editor, then work as hard as you can until you become an editor, and then keep that work ethic going. Also, be nice and be respectful to everyone you meet and work with, in spite of how they may behave towards you.

Tell us about your favourite pieces of your work;

It’s really tough to name my favourite piece of work so I’m going to do a top 5!
1. How to Stop a Recurring Dream (feature film) Directed by Ed Morris - this taught me so much. It helped me become a better editor.
2. Right Place Wrong Tim and Double Tap (two short films) Directed by Eros Vlahos - Eros is one of my favourite people to work with. His creative vision and his way of storytelling make working on his projects an absolute dream.
3. Bumble (Online Ad) Directed by Cloé Bailly. This was such a fun spot to edit! It was also created by a strong team that was mostly women.
4. Lola Young ‘Woman’ (music video) Directed by Olivia Rose - this felt like a female power punch moment and I’m so happy I got to be a part of it.
5. Estrons ‘Body’ (music video) Directed by Ed Morris - The idea for this was fairly simple, but the process was complex, hundreds of stills and lots of iPhone footage. It was great to get really stuck into it.
All of these spots are so different and that’s what I love about my job, every project is so different, no working week is ever the same.

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    Stitch Editing

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      • Media Production