In the Ghanaian film industry, a statement made by producer Yvonne Nelson has stirred a debate that cannot be ignored. Nelson boldly claimed, “There are no editors in Ghana.” As an editor myself, I have observed the lack of appreciation and understanding for the editing craft within our industry. It is time to address these misconceptions and shed light on the challenges faced by editors in Ghana.
Editing is a multifaceted process involving the selection, preparation, and modification of various media elements to effectively convey a message or information. However, many producers in Ghana fail to grasp the intricacies of post-production and often disregard its importance.
I have witnessed firsthand the struggles faced by young filmmakers like myself, who are subjected to bullying and belittlement by established industry figures in the pursuit of fame and reverence for their seniority. This behavior is both enraging and disheartening. Instead of focusing on collaboration and creating quality content, many Ghanaian producers are consumed by their desire for personal recognition and the need to be the face of their projects. Unfortunately, this mentality often leads to films being released solely in cinemas, followed by limited exposure or distribution.
It is crucial to understand that not everyone who can operate editing software qualifies as an editor. Being an editor requires a comprehensive skill set and expertise that surpasses technical proficiency alone. Regrettably, Ghanaian producers often fail to conduct proper research when selecting editors for their projects. Each editor possesses unique strengths and storytelling abilities, and it is essential for producers to recognize this diversity and make informed decisions about who will best serve their film’s narrative.
Editors are not magicians who can complete their work with the wave of a hand. Editing a finished project depends on various factors, such as the duration of the shoot, the amount of footage captured, and the allocated budget for post-production. It is imperative that producers understand the significance of time and resources required for effective editing.
Budgetary constraints should not lead to the employment of inexperienced editors. Producers must value the expertise of seasoned professionals and compensate them fairly for their work. Conversely, editors should be assertive in knowing their worth and refuse to compromise their craft for the sake of fame. Protecting one’s brand and saying no to unworthy projects is vital for maintaining the integrity of the editing profession.
Mortinno Morton is a Ghanaian filmmaker and Editor who won the Best Video Editor of the Year at the recent Ghana Film and Television Crew Awards.
Yvonne Nelson’s grievances regarding delayed projects and perceived editor irresponsibility should be approached with a balanced perspective. If Nelson truly wants her work to be completed on time with high-quality output, she must prioritize professionalism and fair compensation for editors. I haven’t personally worked with Nelson, but I have observed challenges in her post-production processes that often stem from budget constraints and rushed release schedules. Rushed projects have become a common occurrence in Ghanaian films, and it is essential to establish proper production timelines that account for the necessary editing processes.
Collaboration and support are paramount for the growth of Ghana’s film industry. Instead of being driven solely by competition and personal gain, producers and editors should work together to elevate the industry as a whole. Ghana boasts talented editors, and it is the responsibility of good producers to recognize and appreciate their skills. By fostering an environment of unity and respect, we can create remarkable films that resonate both locally and internationally.
In conclusion, the claim that “There are no editors in Ghana” is unfounded. Our country possesses skilled editors who deserve recognition and fair compensation. It is time for producers to prioritize the art of editing, support their fellow professionals, and collectively contribute to the growth of the Ghanaian film industry. Let us move away from using limited budgets to demand unrealistic outcomes and instead embrace a mindset of collaboration and support, as we work towards creating exceptional films that leave a lasting impact.