18 April 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network

Irish Film and Television Network


Education / Training


Making the Cut

Making The Cut –Editor John Phillipson
09 Nov 2015 :
John Phillipson is set to work on TV3's new soap 'Red Rock'
As part of the Making The Cut series, IFTN profiles some of the countries most accomplished young graduates of the past few years to find out more about the places they first cut their teeth in the industry.

Editor John Phillipson of Tusk Productions is a former pupil of the National Digital Skills Centre at the Kerry ETB Training Centre (formerly known as FÁS). Credits include ‘Tallafornia’ and ‘Under Ether’ and amongst the other exciting programmes on his slate in the future is ‘Red Rock’, TV3’s brand new soap.

Here, IFTN talks to John about his college experience at the National Digital Skills Centre at the Kerry ETB Training Centre.

IFTN: How did college prepare you for your career in TV Production?

JOHN PHILLIPSON:‘The course I attended in Tralee was fantastic - the lecturers and equipment were top notch. They really think out the lessons and are always keeping up with the latest trends in technology. The classes are really hands on and practical, real life situations that prepare you for the real world. And they really know their stuff. The course leaders were always there to help and to this day offer me advice whenever I need it. They will do all they can to help you. I don't think I would be doing so well now if it wasn't for their dedication to the course and pupils.’

Were you offered practical experience/work placement as part of your course? If so, how did it benefit you?

‘Hugely, getting to see how big production companies operate gave me the confidence to think this is something I could do, this is the life for me.’

How did you make the transition from education to paid employment?

‘I was lucky, I managed to get work experience with two good companies and had racked up quite a bit of experience. So I heard on the grapevine that an editor job was going, I went for it and got the job. It was a baptism of fire but I took so much away from the two years I was at that company to set me up, made everything after that for a while anyway, seem easy. After I left there I took the plunge and bought my own edit suite and from then work flooded in.’

What areas in training for film/TV production do you feel are lacking overall in Ireland? How can improvements be made?

‘Ireland isn't too bad to be honest. There are plenty of courses out there. The only course I find difficult to get is a colourist course. The only ones that are any good are in London.’

What are you currently working on and what plans do you have for the future?

‘I'm just back from Belfast where I was working on a couple of projects for the BBC and currently I am working for Company Pictures / Element Pictures where I am offline, online editing and soon to be the new colourist for ‘Red Rock’ the new soap/ drama for TV3.

Have you any further advice for anyone wishing to get into TV and film production in Ireland?

‘Try to get on a good course, one that covers everything a little in film & TV production, this will give you a good overall look at what jobs actually exist and you can see what your good at. From there research and use the equipment available to you to, shoot and edit as much as you can. Jump in at the deep and don't be afraid, what's the worst that can happen?’

IFTA Q&A Series: Joanne O’Brien on Costume Design
IFTA Q&A Series: Eleanor Bowman on Cinematography
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