When you listen and get good at taking feedback, you can be smart with the changes you make; you can still keep to your vision and make everyone happy while, most importantly, knowing what battles to pick when you really want something to stay in the edit.
— Hannah Leckey, Editor
Video games were a core a part of my childhood with many happy hours spent playing Joust (BBC Master), Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive), Mario Kart (SNES), Golden Eye (N64) and Medal of Honour: Allied Alliance (PC) over the years.
So I'm excited that, in today's issue of Cut/daily Meets... we get a fascinating look into the world of games trailer editing with Editor Hannah Leckey, who I first interviewed way back in 2018 as part of the Post Team on MI:Fallout.
Hannah's answers also provide a valuable lesson on how to unlock your creative potential by switching industries, embracing feedback and discovering healthy work habits.
All this and more awaits, but first some bonus questions!
Hit reply and be brutal.
How does editing in Games differ from Film?
The most obvious difference between Film and Games is the turn around is much quicker.
I would work on a film for a year and a half or even two years at a time, but for a game it can vary from 2 to 4 months, and I get to work on loads of different fun projects.
In Games I am extremely collaborative and I get to use the ideas I have, whereas film editing is much more limited and restricted as only the main editor(s) are creative and, generally speaking, rarely do the assistants get the chance.
As the editor for a trailer I get to talk to all the different departments involved in a game so I really get to have my cake and eat it.
Once delivered, I also get the reward of seeing my work in the world not long after. In film it might be anywhere from a few months or a year, or, if the project gets shelved, multiple years before the film I worked on gets released.
In terms of software, I work in Premiere Pro as its a much better suited piece of software for trailer projects, in comparison to Avid which is better for long-form shows that go on for hours. (In my opinion.)
And best of all, I play unreleased games everyday. I’d like to say ‘for fun’ as that's what it feels like, but it's my job and I get to do that all the time.
What has working in games taught you that you wouldn’t have learned in film?
Because film is more ridged, mechanical and logical it didn’t give me an opportunity to explore creative ideas I had already learned, so I was unable to work out what did and didn’t work.
Jumping into games my learning curve improved almost immediately.
I can jump in to a game and shoot the footage for an idea, pop it in the edit and see if it works. It’s meant I’ve learnt that, especially for trailers, telling a story needs to be very clear as you have a limited amount of time to convey a large amount of information that ticks all department's boxes.
Therefore, every shot counts, not just to tell the story but each shot needs to deliver multiple elements. If a fan takes a screenshot in a trailer, everything needs to be clear.
Thinking this way has been an electric way to think creatively, constantly thinking about the many factors involved for every shot.