How did you get into the film industry?
It was hard to get my foot in the door, and took a long time. I studied film at university but I wouldn’t say that was a definite ‘in’, it helped me develop my skills and stuff but the industry is so different. What worked for me was getting a traineeship in Scotland (where I’m from), on a TV show called Outlander. Different production companies offer traineeships, where you learn ins-and-outs of a department, from there you can build a network and apply to future jobs.
It’s often getting that first traineeship that’s difficult, it takes a lot of trial and error, a lot of applying for different things and not getting them; it’s about staying resilient and not getting too bogged down by rejection because that’s part of it. But once you're in, it’s a lot easier to keep moving and get different jobs.
What advice would you give to young people wanting to break into the editing world?
Anything you can do while applying for traineeships to show you’re invested in a career in the industry is really helpful. When I was starting out I made lots of videos for different charities, made lots of social media videos and stuff, just so I had stuff to show people, and to show I had a genuine interest in the job. Short films, making films with your pals also really helps.
Advice I would give is just keep curious about what you’re doing, watch loads of stuff, know what you like and don’t like. When I was starting off and studying film, I never thought editing was a department I’d like to work in, or something I’d be good at. It seemed really intimidating, and really technical. But once I started doing it, I realised it’s so much more than that, it’s also about creative decisions; it’s storytelling from the other end.
Do you recall the first time you saw LGBTQ+ representation on screen?
I watched But I’m a Cheerleader with friends at a sleepover, and it totally changed my life. Everything about it I loved, especially the campness of it. I loved camp films like Breakfast on Pluto or Clueless when I was growing up and I didn’t even know I was queer. I am definitely influenced by this in the way I edit. When I edit stuff I definitely want to have a sense of humour, I like to have my own style, but at the same time I get inspiration from so many different places, so I definitely think the campy funness of films like these would definitely come across in the way I’m editing.
How can representing LGBTQ+ stories on screen help young people recognise/stand up to homophobia in school?
Film can show young people how to be better allies by showing how people can be different to you, and that difference isn’t always something to be scared of, or to make fun of.