IWCEP - Cultural Education Partnership Ident - Teal, Pink and Fern
Fulfilling the creative potential of young people on the Isle of Wight

Alex Lewington Broadcast Documentary Editor

Employer: Freelance – BBC/Sky/Nat Geo/C4/Discovery/Smithsonian     
Secondary School: Ryde Academy
Where do you live and work now? Ryde IOW

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Was there an experience you had at school that made you want to go into the area of work you are in now?

My first introduction to IT related creativity was in the art department of Ryde High when they purchased their first Mac!

What are the main roles and responsibilities of your job?

I make long form television documentaries (from home these days) for major broadcasters.

Could you briefly share a bit about your career journey? (What did you study? How did you end up where you are today?)

I came to tv via an extremely odd route having joined the Royal Navy at seventeen years old. I served five years before taking voluntary redundancy to attend university. I studied (mainly modern history) at Queen Mary’s London and particularly enjoyed film studies albeit no practical filmmaking. After graduating I returned to the sea, qualifying as a Yachtmaster at the UKSA in Cowes. I subsequently spent a couple of seasons as a flotilla skipper in Croatia and Greece. With my thirtieth birthday fast approaching, I came into a small amount of money and decided it was time to pursue a more lasting career. I bought a good (at the time) miniDV camera, an Apple Mac and editing software with the intention of becoming a freelance videographer. My first paid gig was a promo for Wight Leisure which led me to being asked to collaborate with Platform One in directing coverage of the first revived IW Festival 2002. This opportunity led to two years running the media level 3 course at the IW college. After this period I moved back to London and fairly soon found work as an Assistant Editor at Darlow Smithson productions, at the time a major indie.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I’m allowed a degree of creative freedom (in terms of shot selection, cutting, music and narrative pacing) though always with an eye on meeting the brief and impressing the commissioner.

What is the hardest thing about your job?

Occasional negative feedback.

What skills or attributes do you believe have been crucial to your success in your career?

A good eye. Watching the shots, not the cuts. A thick skin. A good ear for music.

If you could give advice to someone aspiring to have a job like you, what would it be?

Start filming your own stuff. Then edit it, perhaps just initially to music. Editing will inevitably inform your choices when it comes to shooting.

What do you want to do next?

Pass on some of my 20+ years of experience.

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