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A Sit Down With: Charley Lebetkin

December has come and gone so quickly, but one thing not to be forgotten is our incredible Freelancer of the Month, Charley Lebetkin. We were thrilled to catch up with Charley about her exciting time in the industry, both as an employee and starting her freelance journey. We discuss Charleys’ time in the industry, how to develop your skills as an editor and career highlights. Make sure you keep reading about this incredible female editor. 

Starting The Editing Journey:

Charley found her love for editing whilst in college, crediting her interest started with how inspiring and passionate her media teacher was. Charley’s first dalliance into editing was cutting two short films over two years. Charley jokes that “looking back on both films, they were terrible, however, it sparked that initial passion and interest for editing”. 

The next step for Charley was to decide between university, or going straight into the industry. Charley chose to take the bull by the horns and reach out to Sassy Films’ boss. He advised Charley, “for the industry you would like to go into, university won’t be necessary”. Charley was then offered a three month trial on the completion of her A-Levels, she eagerly accepted and then spent an incredible eight years working for Sassy Films! 

During Charley’s time at Sassy, starting as a Technical Runner in 2011 and then working her way up the ranks was an incredible feat. Charley progressed from Runner to Junior Video Editor, Video Editor, Video Editor/Technical Supervisor and finally ended up as the Deputy Head of Post Production. We wanted to know how Charley achieved so much in such a short space of time – “My approach was to work hard, stay extremely loyal, take criticism and respect my colleagues above me. I learnt everything I know from people around me.” 

The Freelance Journey:

In 2019, Charley decided to step out of her comfort zone and take on a new exciting chapter in her life – freelancing. Moving from secure employment and starting your own business can be a scary thought, but Charley was determined to make a change. Freelancing would allow Charley to have that ‘change’ she was looking for and allow for “more freedom and the ability to pick and choose what she wanted to work on”. 

Charley has gone on to become a successful freelancer, having worked with the likes of Vodafone, Honda, Jaguar and many household name brands. It may interest you to know Charley has also put together premiere sizzles for Transformers 5, Aquaman and Mission Impossible 5. This incredible work has demonstrated the passion and dedication Charley had, allowing her to become a stand out Editor in the industry.  

A Job To Aspire To:

We mentioned earlier that Charley has had some incredible opportunities, so we wanted to know what the highlights of her time as a freelancer have been – “It was great fun working with brands where I could travel. Editing is never as glamorous as it sounds! We spend the day at the respective motor shows editing content for socials and the main presentation. It has though, allowed me to travel to places I’ve always dreamed of visiting. Such as Dubai, Beijing, Sydney, LA, NY. I would be lying if I said we didn’t have lots of fun.”

Tips For Aspiring Freelancers:

It is key, in our industry to learn from those who have put in the time, so we’ve asked Charley what advice she might have for any aspiring editors. In regards to university, many aspiring editors are unsure what the correct path is for them. Charley’s opinion stands out for us and one we want to make clear – you don’t need to attend university to become an editor! 

“I believe for our industry, university is redundant, it just isn’t needed. Especially with how social media is these days, and how much money can be made. I found the best way to learn is being thrown into the deep end. Take notes from other editors, everyone has their own style and a lot of them are amazing.”

Charley emphasised if there was one thing she could say to those looking to become an editor – it is this: “Listen to other editors, take criticism and write everything down!” 

Getting to Know the Person Behind the Editor:

We work in what is still a very male-dominated industry and although change is gradually beginning to happen, more can be done. Charley believes that this change is already working to her advantage. When we asked how being a woman in the industry might have impacted her career we were surprised, and pleased, by the answer – “With the way the world is becoming, many companies are shifting to hire more women, which works well for me!” 

In her spare time, Charley doesn’t keep cooped up in her room on her computer, an avid boxer and footballer, Charley keeps as active as she can. However, as Charley says, what kind of editor would she be if she didn’t enjoy binge-watching a series or two! 

Working With TCC:

It has been a delight working with Charley over the years, she is super flexible, responsive, friendly and has carried out some incredible work in our time with us. We asked Charley why she has enjoyed working with us over the years.

“Everyone is so lovely, I can be honest about whether I want to work on a job or not and are also sending multiple emails with potential work through. They make my life so easy!”

Wrapping Up:

We just want to thank Charley for taking the time out of her busy schedule to talk to us, it has been wonderful getting to know more about one of our talented freelancers. Make sure you check out Charley’s showreel on our website. 

We hope you enjoyed learning more about this talented editor.