Zilke Lemmer – Editor

Who is Zilke Lemmer?

Originally from South Africa, I came to London 12 years ago on a 6-month contract and I’m still here.

How did your career path develop?

Ever since my film school days, I’ve always wanted to work on documentaries. Whilst everyone dreamt of becoming the next Spielberg, I was interested in wildlife films and I was fortunate to land a great opportunity, almost straight out of film school, working as an editor at one of South Africa’s top wildlife film companies.

It was an incredible learning experience in filmmaking. Starting off in the unpredictable world of wildlife filmmaking taught me so much about constructing stories, pacing, how to build tension and utilizing music, all of which I could apply later in my career as I branched out into the world of factual and entertainment.

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

Career-wise, I’m proud of the fact that I’ve managed to have a successful career in the UK for the last 12 years, starting off with one contact.

Any projects you are most proud of and why?

The film West Meets East was a real challenge. It was filmed on 3 cameras and with separate audio. There were no matching time codes, only a handful of sync claps and a lot of what was being said was in Hindi too. Initially, when the crew went out to film, they had no idea what to expect, hence there was no real shooting script in place. It was daunting, but I love that film. I think we managed to create an amazing and entertaining watch. It made me realize that I can pretty much rise to any challenge.

Share your biggest lessons in life and work

Your first instinct is often the right one, so make sure to save old cuts! Treat everyone you encounter with respect and kindness, it goes a long way. Learn from feedback and never take it personally. If you are working for yourself you need to have a “can do” attitude and should always be willing to go the extra mile.

View Zilke’s Full Portfolio