Lisa Forrest – Editor

Who is Lisa Forrest?

I’m an editor, born and raised in London. I love telling stories and if I wasn’t an editor, I’d be a writer.

I’m a dual UK/US citizen, and though most of my projects are based in London, I’ve also worked on projects in New York and Miami. Most of my work these days is in Factual TV, and I also teach editing on an undergraduate course.

How did your career path develop?

Slowly but surely. I always knew I was interested in editing, but growing up just before digital video took over, it wasn’t as easy as it is now to get hands-on experience.

After university, I found a runner job where I could learn Avid in the evenings. That gave me the skills to become an assistant editor in commercials and music videos, and then dramas and documentaries.

I really have done a bit of everything and along the way I’ve realised that long-form was my passion, so I eventually moved up to editing. Once I got my foot in the door with a few clients, I was lucky to keep working for them pretty much non-stop.

What do you consider your greatest achievement/s so far?

Whenever I’m asked back by a client. Currently I’m on my third stint at Reef TV, and it’s a great feeling to know they like my work and trust me with their programmes.

It’s also a great achievement when my editing makes people laugh (unless they weren’t supposed to). Once a newspaper reviewed an episode of “Don’t Tell The Bride” which I had cut, and I was very happy when they pointed out the spot-on timing of a particular comedy moment.

Any projects you are most proud of and why?

A short mixed media documentary about an archive of text messages on an old Nokia phone, titled “160 Characters”.

It was a really challenging edit because we had to create something more than just text on screen. We ended up using an iPhone to shoot all sorts of scenarios to recreate the main character’s past. It was unusual to have that much creative input in the edit.

The film ended up being a Vimeo Staff Pick and screening at the BFI London Film Festival, among others. I love that so many people have seen it now.

Share your biggest lessons in life and work

Always stay in touch with people you’ve worked with and got on well with. Not only can they give you references and put you forward for jobs, but ultimately it’s a tough industry and it’s lovely to make some good friends along the way.

Life-wise, I’d say when playing “Mario Kart”, the best character is definitely Roy. He’s big and spiky and even when he loses, he has a whale of a time.

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