Frame of Reference with Editor Linda Ung













Linda Ung graduated from university with a Bachelor in Media Arts Communication Production in 2005. Linda’s first job in the media industry was at the Ovation Channel, an arts channel on Foxtel as a presentation officer. From there she started promo producing and editing, and then freelanced for them as a program editor for all their local productions. Now she works in a production house as a full-time editor, producer and occasional shooter, sometimes all three.

Here i get to speak with Linda about her Post Workflow.

What got you interested in editing?

A light bulb went off when I was in my second year of university. It was an elective class I took, and it stuck from there. At the time I didn’t really know what I wanted to do as a career and was testing the waters in as many subjects as possible. It was clear that I wanted to do something creative, but I wasn’t sure specifically what creative field that would be. It was when we were given some footage to edit in class. We were just told to put it together… it was there that I learned how I can manipulate a situation with a sequence of shots to skew the story one way or the other. I was hooked from then on.

How did you get started in editing?

During my second and particularly my third year of university, I volunteered for anything and everything to do with the film and television industry. I took the advice of the lecturers and tutors to approach film sets and production companies in the local area, from there I gained as much experience as possible, assistant editing and spending time on set, observing and absorbing.

What is your preferred NLE(s) of choice? Why?

Final Cut Pro 7 is my preferred tool of choice. I find it intuitive as a system and I’ve used it since being trained, so for me it’s second nature to use. My second choice would be Adobe Premiere, then Avid. But like anything in life, if we use it enough we become proficient. I just happened to attend a university which chose to teach FCP.

Give us a run through of your editing process

The job determines my process in editing. If it’s an interview style edit, I’d watch all the material, start trimming the fat (outtakes, questions, ums and ahs etc) and get an audio base edit down. Then I start overlaying the appropriate parts, then once I’ve got the duration of the piece where I want it, I’ll edit in the music and finesse the edit to fit.
If it’s say a music video. My process would be to watch all the takes, sync all the takes, mark up little off cut moments that I could use later on in the edit. Then do a multi-cam edit. After that, I get into all the edits and finesse it. I find with music video editing, I edit to the feeling of the song. I can’t really describe it… I guess the rhythm of the music dictates where my cuts lie, not necessary the beats.

What tips were you given that was really helpful?

Learn your shortcut keys. It becomes muscle memory after a little while and turns into a great asset. Also watch as much good and bad editing as possible, there is always something you can learn and pick up the more you’re exposed too.

How organized are you?

I’m very organized. Or I like to think I am. I make sure everything is named and put into the appropriate labelled bins. It is especially important to be organized when you are handing it off to another department. Sometimes you are dealing with hundreds or even thousands of clips (especially in this digital age), you want to be organized so that if you (or someone else) comes back to the project for whatever reason, you want them to be able to find what they are looking for.

Can you work without a script, finding the story and building it on your own?

I have worked on a Tv show that was “reality” based, which involved searching for a storyline. I have a love hate relationship with that kind of job because sometimes it’s frustrating; in some respect you are not really sure what you are looking for when watching the rushes, but when you find it, oh it’s quite a feeling! Sculpting a story that may not have initially been obvious and making it coherent… that’s the power of editing and it’s a thrill when you achieve it.

What is your favorite film? Favorite Tv show?

At the moment I would have to say Downton Abbey is my favourite tv show. Favourite film would be Black Swan.

What style of editing have you done? (Narrative/Documentary/News/Corporate/Wedding/Etc)

I have done narrative, documentary, corporate, music video, promo videos.

If you could meet any editor, who and why?

Sally Menke because she has credits as long as my arm and I would learn so much from her.

What advice can you offer to get through complex edits?

A good night sleep. I find that if I’m tackling a edit that doesn’t seem to be working and I’ve been working at it all day, nice fresh eyes in the morning helps.

Which plug-in(s) do you find most useful? Why?

Not really an editing plug-in but I like using Magic Bullet Looks. Easy to slap on and then tweak for colour grading.

How does the director-editor relationship work for you?
It depends on the director. I know some like to sit in on the edit because they know exactly what they want, and I’m fine with that. And then there are some who allow me to get to rough cut stage before wanting to come in and that works fine for me too.

How do you deal with problem clients/directors?

I try to keep a good vibe. It can be a difficult relationship, but communication is key. Keep all parties informed of what is going on; helps clients/directors understand what you are trying to achieve and overall achieve the best result for the job.

What’s your overall philosophy about editing?

Edit with your heart and judge by how it feels.

Name one thing that you would tell an aspiring editor

Volunteer as much as you can. You never know what kind of contacts you will make, or what kind of paid work will come from it.

You can see some of Linda’s work on vimeo or find her on twitter.

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