This month we speak to emerging film editor, Patrick Peni, whose editing skills helped Men of the Number win awards at major student film platforms this year, including AFDA, M-Net EDiT (Emerging Dynamics in Television) and the Bafundi Film & TV Festival.


Patrick Peni
Peni (27), who trained as an editor at AFDA and is currently completing his honours at the same institution, wants to see editors consulted more for advice on the technical implications of what is done on set.


"Assumptions that things can be magically fixed in post are often not correct. The editor's input may yield a better constructed story that will be a lot smoother and more visually enticing to the audience," he says, adding that the editor is the one who has to bring back the sense of the story through putting together the dismantled images shot on set.

"We have to retell the visual story, just as the writer does in literary terms. How the editor tells the story is exactly how the audience will take it."

This, he says, means young editors have to develop the idea that they have to implement their skills and abilities in a way that appeals to the audience visually, without losing track of supporting the story."

Peni takes his work seriously and to him "it definitely goes beyond just putting images together. The editor needs a high level of precision in joining images. A good sense of timing is also essential on the technical side of things."

Editing all kinds of films as well as piecing together different bits of action is his love.  But the challenge on the latter has been "to be able to construct a comprehensible action sequence from at least four different angles or perspectives."

He mentions the editing work done on the TV series Jacob's Cross as an example of the excellent local work being done.

For Peni, South Africa is only now beginning to see filmmaking as a beneficial tool towards the country's development; but he believes this will now dramatically improve.