Antonin Bonafous: Freelancer of the Month
When did you realise that you wanted to be an editor?
I realised I wanted to make videos when I was 13, filming my friends at the skate park with my Sony VX1000 that I bought thanks to a few years’ worth of birthday gifts. At that point, I was enjoying the whole process, from thinking of an idea, storyboarding it, filming, and thinking of lighting… A few years later, I realised that a big part of the magic happens later, in post-production. This is when I understood that you can almost create whatever feeling you want with the footage you have. Who better than Alfred Hitchcock to sum up with his sentence: ‘Montage means the assembly of pieces of film which [when] moved in rapid suggestion before the eye creates an idea.’
What is your favourite type of material you like to work with?
I love all rushes! From the few GoPro rushes from my last trip, to the hours of high end ARRI Camera footage for a brand or artist.
What are the pros and cons of being a Freelancer?
Pros of being a freelancer, is being able to edit diverse kind of videos, for different type of companies and people, never getting bored, meeting new people and having the flexibility to collaborate with people I want to work with and help with my skills, from wherever and whenever. Cons, the lack of stability and routine can also be tricky to deal with sometimes. And the hundreds of emails with my accountant!
A couple of years ago, you moved to London. What was most challenging about moving to a different country in terms of being an editor?
I moved to London 7 years ago not in the industry yet, so the biggest challenge was to start from scratch. The pleasure of creating and shaping my career up to today was just as rewarding.
How important is networking in improving your job?
Networking means a lot for Freelancers. We are lucky to have agencies like TCC to help us succeed, but we also have to work dynamically and proactively on networking to always create new opportunities and keep being surprised.
What would be your advice for an aspiring editor?
Don’t be scared to reach out to people you admire. They’ve been in your shoes, and they had the same questions and doubts. The worst thing that can happen is that you will receive a friendly email saying you knocked at the wrong door. The best can take many different forms!
What was your favourite project, and why?
I am very proud and happy to have worked on several projects. Some have been trickier than others due to tight timings, number of deliverables, back and forth with stakeholders, but I always found something interesting to take out. This said, spending a day in the studio with FKA twigs at the beginning of my career is one to remember!
Could you please describe your typical working day as a Freelancer?
If you look back to my pros and cons, you’ll see that I think freelance is the opposite of routine so it is hard to describe a typical workday. If I have to, I would say a 9 am Google Meet to be briefed on a new project, making some selects, creating a first version and see which direction we want to take from there.
Who is your favourite editor? Do you have any inspiring people you follow in the film or media industry?
I’ve been lucky to work with Matt Nee and Emma Backman who have constantly inspired me since I discovered their work. You can’t be disappointed when one of their videos is being realised!
Being an editor requires spending many hours in front of the computer screen. Do you have any tips on how you can rest during the workday?
My back is hurting [laughing] when I’m writing this, but I’m trying my best to walk around the studio and do some stretches to feel a bit more human.
What’s your favourite way of spending free time in London?
My favourite way of spending free time in London would either be with some friends (probably in a pub let’s be honest) or having a nice and fresh walk in Clapham’s parks, along the Thames or in the countryside nearby with my boyfriend.