My aim is to fuse great structure with emotional storytelling.

I use techniques from narrative film to shape the documentaries I edit. My special skill is bringing the emotional life of the characters to the fore. I strive to keep the energy I saw in the raw footage until the final cut to bring the emotional heart of your story to the audience.

Editing

Selected Credits

  • Edge of Obedience

    Bought by Sky Arts and Deutsche Welle
    Dir. Jin Craven, 1 x 60m.
    Editor and Story Consultant, Susan Brand

    Zakii Anwar paints nudes, that’s pornography to the Islamic Malaysian government. Singaporean director, Jin Craven, hired me to help create a ‘Western’ sense of drive and momentum and help create a story from her poetic biography on one of Malaysia’s most important artists.

  • Hip Hop Hijabis

    Bought by AL JAZEERA 
    Dir. Mette Rietzel, 1 x 30m.

    Two female Hip Hop artists convert to Islam and want to take their music to a Muslim audience. This controversial film received abundant editorial coverage in the press and on the radio including multiple interviews with our protagonists.

  • From Buddhist Monk to Rockstar

    Bought by BBC Music
    Dir. Dualtagh Herr, 1 x 22m.

    This was brilliant casting by director Dualtagh Herr. With careful pacing, we left time in the cut to allow the huge charm of this former monk to shine through as we see his dramatic story unfold.

  • 88 Keys in Cuba

    Bought by AL JAZEERA 
    Dir. Elizabeth Jones, 1 x 30m. 

    It can be hard to make people think again about a topic they have heard about many time before. Here the director follows a group of Irish piano tuners as they renovate the termite infested and rusting pianos of the Havana Music School. A poignant insight into the impact of the US trade embargo.

  • Matchmaker

    Bought by Channel 4
    Winner: Sheffield Doc Fest Pitch Prize
    Dirs. Jobeda Ali & James Parr, 1 x 30m.
    Co-producer, Susan Brand

    Jobeda Ali narrates her own film about British Bangladeshi women and their search for Muslim husbands. I liked her quirky approach to the subject and cut this observational film to showcase her rye humour, creating a provocative documentary about 21st century Muslim women and their search for love.

  • The Century That Wrote Itself

    BBC 4
    2 x 60m.
    Keo Films – Dir. Claire Whalley

    With 3 episodes to direct, Claire Whalley was keen to find an editor who could contribute to editorial. I worked to beef up the historical context and find personal details of our characters’ lives to help the audience connect to this distant era.

     

  • Wonders of the Universe – Messengers

    BBC 2
    1 x 60m.
    Dir. Chris Holt

    It’s tough to make astrophysics accessible and here I understood it was imperative to get the pace and flow of information right. I enjoy working with pieces to camera, honing and shaping as I cut down numerous takes. To me it really is a performance, like it is with any actor. Brian Cox is generous with emotion and with his help, we all got nominated for a BAFTA.

    BAFTA NOMINATED: Best Science Series

  • My Life in Verse with Cerys Matthews

    BBC 2
    1 x 60m.
    Wall to Wall Television – Dir. Mark Bates

    Cerys Matthews was very strong as presenter for this documentary on Celtic poetry. There was ample opportunity to work with music, sound and beautiful imagery to create strong atmospheres in the different locations and different poets’ work.

  • What we still don’t know

    Channel 4
    2 x 60m.
    Darlow-Smithson - Dir. Srik Narayanan

    Srik’s imaginative filming and powerful intellect provided me with a wealth of material. The result was two fascinating and entrancing films. They were well received and we won Best Science series at the Indie awards.

    WINNER: Best Science Series, Indie Awards

     

  • The Man Who Ate his Lover

    Channel 4
    1 x 60m
    Mentorn – Dir. Srik Narayanan

    This documentary uses the thriller genre to great effect to tell the story of a macabre romance. Srik and I worked on 4 films together, 3 of them won awards or were nominated. This one got Best Single Documentary.

    NOMINATED: Best Single Documentary – Televisual

  • The Art of Spain

    Channel: BBC 4

    1 x 60m
    Director Robin Dashwood

    Using beautiful photography, evocative music and compelling stories, I cut Art of Spain to create the magic and mystique of the Moorish occupation.

  • Britain from Above

    2 x 30m
    Lion Television – Director, Nic Young

    With aerial photography of the UK shot over a century, my aim was to weave the personal and the historic to evoke nostalgia and love for our eternally evolving island home.

    NOMINATED: Best Documentary Series – Broadcast Magazine

  • American Nightmare

    ChannelBBC 2 This World

    1 x 30m
    Director, Emeka Onono

    Emeka found heart-breaking stories of people who lost their homes in the U.S. housing crisis. I cut the observational scenes to bring out the emotion the director had sought to capture.

     

  • Unorthodox Vows

    Bought by BBC 2
    Dir. Susan Brand 1 x 30m.

    Irit and Eli are liberal Israeli Jews who want to get married. However, the only legally binding wedding available in the country is the strict Orthodox religious service. The wedding is a vehicle to explore the splits in this very troubled country.

     

  • Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music

    1 x 90m.
    Theatrical Release, Lincoln Centre, NYC
    Dir. Vivek Bald

    Vivek was after a punk aesthetic with this raw film about the British Asian music scene of the late 1990s. Over 6 years, Vivek shot interviews and concerts. We cut this with startling archive to explore the deep and troubled roots of Asian music – the racism, creativity and rebellion.

  • Mad Justice

    1 x 60m.
    Bought by A & E, USA
    Dir. Rachel Grady,
    Co-writer, Susan Brand

    Oscar nominee, Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp), directed this moving account of mental illness and crime on the streets of New York. Shot in an observational style, we are lead by a dedicated parole officer, Michael Lesser, to the heart of this neglected community.

Editing Facilities

Edit suite with Avid and Adobe Premiere in London, N1.

Awards

Nominated
Bafta: Best Science Series Brian Cox – Wonders Of The Universe
Winner
Indie Awards: Best Science Series What We Still Don’t Know
Nominated
Televisual: Best Single Documentary The Man Who Ate His Lover
Nominated
Broadcast Magazine: Best Documentary Series Britain From Above
Honours
Grierson Awards-Jury Member 2016, Dok Incubator-Selector 2017, WFTV-Board Member 2013-2017:

Testimonial

'Susan is creative, talented, patient and fun to work with. She is an instinctive storyteller...'

Dualtagh Herr, BBC Dir. From Buddhist Monk to Rockstar

TESTIMONIALS