Edith Bowman kicks off gP’s 2017

Edith Bowman, even she needs her showreel updated.

Edith Bowman
The wonderful Edith Bowman

How does one end up with Edith Bowman’s showreel sat on the timeline you may ask, well…its self indulgent and boring so on with the useful stuff!

In late 2016 gassProductions resident editor Dan Radford was hired by starstruck media to update Edith Bowman’s (@edibow) showreel for 2017.

You can read more on what Edith’s up to this year by visiting here twitter feed.

In this article Dan guides you through some of the edit. This includes the original brief, editorial changes and other tips that might be of use to someone cutting/updating a showreel.

Stage 01 – The Brief

The first stage with any brief is the brief we receive alongside a cut of the original edit, in this case it looks something like this…

Edith Bowman Showreel 2015/16

The brief from the lead editor from starstruck media’s Simon Thorpe was as follows..

Please could the reel be updated and also include the existing footage (take out bits that look to old). There are a few junket interviews and red carpet interviews near the end that can go.

Along with this was a drive containing links to some new media to be included from a number of websites such as youtube and vimeo, and a number of off-air mixed DVD’s.

Stage 02 – Conforming footage

Every job need the perfect tool…

At gassProductions we use FCPX, these type of jobs can be turned around rapidly with it…mixed media, interlaced, different resolutions…chew chew chew!!

The final output settings had been specified as 720p, consequently it would be internet only distribution.

I setup my project FCPX Project accordingly. FCPX project settings : 1280×720 25p

Showreels are normally a pretty quick turn around, we normally quote 1-2 days.

A lot of the time can end up being spent conforming source for material for the edit. In this instance i was able to overcome some of the more time consuming processes with the following workflow.

1.Getting footage from youtube, vimeo to FCPX

Getting this source material was not too difficult thanks to sites such as keepvid. I was given password access to download appropriate source material from vimeo.

All of this material was in either 480, 720 or 1080p.

Although I would have liked to have all the source material at the highest resolution the fact is, sometimes it’s not possible.

On occasion it cannot be sourced, or the producer/agent is happy with the lower quality.

Your own aspirations are not part of the brief alas, you must accept it.

2. Getting footage from DVD to FCPX

There is a plethora of options here depending on what hardware and software you have.

I spent 8 years working as a media manager for the BBC and i’ve run a dub or two in my time.

The major challenge was I only need certain sections of the DVD’s..not the whole show. I didn’t want to rip all the DVD’s (well over 15x60min  episodes) just to clip out the Edith parts i wanted…this would take ages, would have to be manned, and would generate a load of huge files, wasting precious drive space… there must be another way!?


In the end i hooked my Mac Pro (2014 cylinder model) up to my Atomos ninja 2.

I simply played out the sections of Edith i needed from each DVD (via the MAC’s HDMI, VLC and a FireWire BluRay drive) straight onto the ninja 2.

This also meant my video was up-res’d nicely to 1080p Pro Res 422 HQ, no processor crawl inducing transcoding required.

Once i had the clips i needed it was a painless import into FCPX. No need for anymore transcoding or file generation.

Finally, in addition: I experimented with both playing the source material de-interlaced from VLC and raw into the Atomos with FCPX then doing the de-interlacing (field re-ordering). In the end i found a method i was happy with but i’ll keep that to myself (message me if you really want to know)

Stage 03 – The Edit

With all of my footage ready to go the first thing i did was take a copy of the old showreel and drop it on a timeline. Next up, i hacked it into it’s comprising shots to get and idea of the structure of the original edit.

I began dropping in sections of the new material. Prominence was given to the newer major projects Edith was involved in.

Sky 1’s Guitar Star, BBC Radio One and iPlayer’s Movies that Made Me, ABC TV’s Songs to have sex to and presenting the Scottish Bafta’s along with her vast array of work on the festival circuit (Including Latitude and Isle of Wight) meant there was a lot to choose from.

It was important to also include some of the original material. I prioritised footage that showcased different facets of Edith’s character and identified the “Planet earth live” material, even given it’s lower quality, especially relevant.

The first cut was done and looked like this

Edith Bowman Showreel 2016/17 Edit 01

Stage 04 – Ch,ch,ch,changes

So the feedback from Edith’s agent for the edit above was as follows…

This is looking really good.
Please could we get a stronger clip for Guitar Star? I like the clip but we need some more of her actually presenting before it goes into that.
Is there an intro section to the show where it introduces Edith e.g – something like the very beginning of this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INdfLqbF1fc Could it also include the show artwork before the clip?
We’d also like you to add the attached material from film 2016 and Edith’s Country File special, perhaps just use Jame’s “Movies that made me”

Overall i was very happy with this. Essentially these are quite minor changes with some additional material..all to be expected as material is fed back to the agent. Taking this feedback into consideration the following cut was delivered the next day..

Edith Bowman Showreel 2016/17 Edit 02 – Final Version


In the end it was a pretty straightforward job. I found that FCPX made quick work of this simple edit and provided the tools necessary to perform any corrections and de-interlacing with a few clicks.

Naturally there was a few emails back and forth i’ve elected not to bore you with, ultimately it was a quick process from start to finish.

Hopefully you’ve found this insightful, interesting, useful or perhaps completely useless.
Either way, if you have any questions then please feel free to email them in via the form on the right of this page (below if on mobile) or send to info@gassproductions.co.uk.

Do you need a showreel like Edith Bowman’s ?

If you need a showreel please get in contact to discuss how we can help.


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