Who is Steve Teers?
I’m a seasoned documentary editor with a keen eye for narrative but also a Transylvanian farmer, dad, cyclist and ambient piano player.
How did your career path develop?
After a childhood in Coventry immersed in theatre and photography, I graduated in music and dance and spent several years as a professional musician. A chance meeting in a Wimbledon pub led to my first video job – runner on Spandau Ballet’s ‘Through the Barricades’. I went on to run a community video project, which evolved into Diva Pictures, a facility and production company bringing the first Avid editing system to Ealing Studios.
Diva Pictures grew rapidly after a series of lucky breaks – and always saying ‘Yes’. I was asked to film a musical tour of Mongolia, yacht racing for Champagne Mumm, and Hilary Clinton at the White House. While I loved shooting, having an Avid suite to hand meant my editing skills became increasingly in demand and when I met director Jaine Harmston Green, my broadcast career really took off. With Jaine I edited a dozen peak-time one hour ob docs on issues such as anorexia, tourettes, witchcraft and middle-aged mummy’s boys. We also made music docs ‘The Truth About Take That’ and ‘JLo Behind the Behind’.
After nearly 20 highly fulfilling years at Ealing Studios, an upsize in the family meant a downsize in the business and about five years ago I signed up with Blueberry. My first job with them was simply an honour – on the team editing ‘Steve Jobs – iChanged the World’, a fast turnaround tribute put together within days of his passing. Since then work has been a pretty much continuous stream of broadcast credits covering crime, disaster, science, drama docs, nightmare neighbours, benefits, teen mums and gardening.
What do you consider your greatest achievement/s so far?
Looking back, every project salvaged from the jaws of disaster is an achievement, every picture lock brings closure to a work of passion. Then, the following day there’s a brand new challenge. I’m definitely more selective in the projects I take on these days. Juggling a career with a young family and a small farm in Transylvania is an achievement in itself.
Any projects you are most proud of and why?
By day I was editing Jennifer Lopez, but by night I co-produced and edited the independent doc feature ‘Jeremy Hardy vs the Israeli Army’ featuring the Radio 4 satirist’s sardonic observations as he was shot at whilst marching with unarmed demonstrators attempting to bring peace to the West Bank. The doc has gone on to cult status with screenings at film festivals around the world.
In complete contrast, being editor on ITV’s ‘Our Queen at Ninety’ and BBC 1’s ‘Royal Recipes’ has at last given me a credit my mother approves of.
Share your biggest lessons in life and work
Editing is something that requires a wide range of skills, a lot more than just operating software. My early experience performing music and learning about choreography has proved invaluable in making pictures sing, along with a general knowledge derived from extensive travelling and awareness of the world.
Be grittily but cheerfully determined to deliver, while diplomatically dancing to the often contradictory tunes all around you. Know that the job requires infinite patience and know when to meticulously craft or rapidly assemble. And always ‘keep it sweet’, telly-land is a very small place…
View Steve’s full portfolio.