Q&A with Angie Thomas: Video Editor and Animator

BEING A FREELANCE FILMMAKER, EDITOR AND ANIMATOR is way up there in dream jobs for Jane and her closest female friends (you know who y’are). Of course, confirmation bias a good blog post does not make. Neither does Yoda-like syntax, but then if I was Yoda, it would be a different story.

Introducing a gorgeous talent from the sunny shores of the UK: Angie Thomas is an incredibly talented filmmaker, editor and all-round visual genius who has worked for publishers, advertisers and a whole array of clients. (Check out Zombie Cats at the end of this post!)

While it’s infamously difficult to “get a foot in the door”, or like, erm, get a tripod foot in the door, when it comes to the industry, Angie’s interview reveals a refreshingly happy and positive attitude towards work, how to get started and how to get inspired.

Speechmarks got an exclusive chat with the lady behind some of the coolest indie videos out there. 

1) What inspires you as an editor?

Music plays a large part in inspiring my direction as an editor. So pace and rhythm are really exciting to me. If I can get music in an edit I do and if I can include humour, I’m super happy! If it’s a more narrative piece I’m cutting, it sounds a bit boring, but I get a kick out of tight continuity.

2) Do you have any favourite editors whose work you like to follow?

There are several different editors on Dexter. Elena Maganini, in particular won an Emmy. Also Hunter Via, who edits The Walking Dead, who is also an award winner.

(If you want to read more on him there is a great interview here: http://blogs.amctv.com/the-walking-dead/2011/04/hunter-via-interview.php)

3) What have been your favourite projects so far?

Often I’m approached at the end of the process once a lot of the creative decisions have been made in the shoot, so its a treat when I get to see something through from start to finish. That’s why working with an illustrator on ‘The Creative Connection’ project was really rewarding and exciting. Caroline Southard, our client, gave us great direction but also let us make creative choices, which is pretty much the perfect situation. I also very much enjoyed cutting together a low budget short film for the festival eason last year called ‘In A Handful of Dust’ written and directed by Cheryl Duncan:


4) For someone starting up as a freelance video artist and editor, what advice would you give them?

Learn After Effects, Premiere and FCP. You can never be too skilled. If you are editing a shoot that you can attend, definitely go, it will save you lots of time in post production.

5) It’s the biggie – what’s your favourite editing software?

At the moment I would say Final Cut Pro, but with the launch of X and since I’m using After Effects so much more I don’t think it will be long until I completely move over to Premiere.

6) When did you first pick up a camera – and why did it have such an impact on you?

Probably not seriously until I was about 22. I’m a bit of a techno nerd. I love buttons and functionality on a gadget, so the first time I picked up a real broadcast camera I was drawn in by all the cool shots I could take and how pretty the image looked.7) Favourite films? I’m a massive Tim Burton fan, so anything he animates I generally love. Mary and Max is Beautiful. Zombieland and Ghostbusters are way up there too!

8) Finally, if there was one thing you’d like to do in the next five years with filmmaking, what would it be?

It sounds a bit sad, but I’d quite like to achieve a viral video. I’d also love to work on more feature film edits.

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