Secrets To Becoming A Successful Freelance Editor
This week we had the pleasure of sitting with one of our most talented freelance editors and previous freelancer of the month Nick Kyriakides (Founder of NK Films). In this interview, we spoke about how Nick got started in the industry, his passion, stories, advice-for anyone looking to break into the media industry and much more. So, keep reading!
We start Nicks’ story with him finishing university, fresh-faced, ready and willing to take on any opportunity that he could find. He started this journey by ‘applying for any creative work on job boards’. The moment Nick finished his studies in the summer of 2017, his search was focused on short films, to build his experience and ‘soak up as much knowledge as possible, learning how short films were created’.
Nick also set out to build as many connections in the industry, a vital part of working within the media world.
Nicks’ first success, of many, came when he entered a short film competition in the US. He unsurprisingly won and with his prize money of $500 set off with his director to create low-budget short films – growing into Nicks’ first business in production.
Nicks' Time and Advice on Education
We spoke about Nicks’ time at university, looking for some advice on its importance to those looking to break into the industry.
The importance of university, Nick believes, comes down to the type of person you are. You need to decide if you are the type of learner who prefers self-guided tuition or guided learning.
Speaking from his own experience, Nick found that he always learnt more through ‘visceral experiences’. “I have so many memories of going home after class, opening the 14-day trial editing software and experimenting with editing techniques and every effect possible!” Nick didn’t have tutors that had worked in the industry and therefore couldn’t pass on the specific knowledge he was looking to learn.
For anyone reading this and considering higher education, Nicks advice is: “the university, course and the tutor have a huge impact on the type of education you’ll receive.”
However, Nick highlights that this option is perfect for those looking for guidance and structure and inevitably come away with formal certification. Not to discredit independent learning, hands-on experience is vital in this industry. Seeking a private mentor or group can be the means to learn faster and at a heavily reduced cost, all whilst being taught by those who live and breathe that subject.
Editing - the passion, struggles and highlights
The best part about interviewing Nick has been discovering his passion for editing. Speaking with someone who enjoys their job is a heartwarming experience. We explored some of the reasons as to why Nick has such a deep interest and love for editing. It came down to the combination of creativity, working with brands he loves, whilst also having the creative freedom to choose when to work and when to focus on personal projects.
“This flexibility and balance is something that I’ll never take for granted.”
Nick spoke of his gratitude for getting the opportunity to work on projects that live on beyond their creators, projects that can be reflected on and seen by millions, and an incredibly “gratifying” experience.
The life of a freelance editor isn’t always glamorous and as much as Nick loves his job, he has faced stresses like everyone. The biggest struggle any freelancer can face is establishing a consistent income and finding great clients.
“Freelancing at its best is when you have the freedom to pick and choose when you want to work and with who to work with. All whilst being paid handsomely in the process. At its worst is when no one is knocking at your door to book you in, you’re not sure you’ll make the rent that month.”
Luckily, as discussed in the previous article the ‘Rise of the Freelancer’, the market is thriving, clients have problems that need solving. So the worry of a shortage of work is subsided, Nick has found.
Nick has had some brilliant opportunities, working with some very well-known brands and companies. Producing work for the likes of Burberry, adidas, the Van Gogh museum and Apple, to name a few. We asked Nick what his favourite projects have been during his time: “It’s really difficult to pick your favourite child, although there are certain projects that stand out. The Adidas projects are always great as you work with high-end content from A-list athletes. The YouTube #madeforyou campaign was fun and was shown all over the London Underground screens and billboards. The ATP commercial was a lot of fun too, working with the world’s top tennis players and was shown during their games in the O2 arena…..as you can tell there’s too many to list!”
Most impressively, Nick has designed online courses to pass on his knowledge and skills. It all started with his three passions, helping people, teaching and creativity. Like many, Nick had to rethink how he could achieve his love of teaching when the pandemic hit, his belief was he would be able to reach the most people with a theme that is close to his heart and enabled him to have the life he does today – freelancing. Friends of Nicks and the majority of the freelancing community found themselves out of work in 2020. So, Nick sat down and began researching, interviewing freelancers and decoding his previous success, to discover the secret to freelancing. This passion for coaching, teaching and freelancing mixed with a lockdown, ultimately created NK Courses.
Freelancer Of The Year 2018/20
It was of no surprise to us that in 2018 Nick won the Freelancer of the Year award, and then went on to win again in 2020! It was more of a shock to Nick himself, “It was a complete surprise, I was nominated for the Film and Motion category by the community, through a freelancer platform I’ve been using called Yuno Juno and just went along to meet other freelancers. I was privileged to be the winner for 2018. I was shocked to win again in 2020.”
Advice For Those Wanting To Break Into Editing
We asked Nick to pass on some of his wisdom. For those reading this and who are unsure where to start with editing or how to take the next step, Nick has some simple words you may find helpful.
“I would say to first find out what you love most about post-production and start by niching down by picking a sector and genre. If you have a passion for video editing charity documentaries, pick that. If you’re drawn to animation and align with films promoting sustainability, pick that. Whatever your career path may end up, start with a niche and then you can branch out and be a generalist to maintain variety. This way you’ll stand out and will be known as ‘the go to’ for those gigs.”
The Man Behind The Work
Although Nick has had some incredible opportunities and undertaken some outstanding work, there is one project his ‘inner geek’ is yearning for. Like many in the media industry, Nick would love to edit for Marvel. As a fan of what Marvel has brought to the screen, it is Nicks dream to be part of something on such a grand scale.
Nick relocated to Barcelona a few years back and now spends his time, when not freelancing, hanging out with friends and family, hiking, listening to podcasts and of course going to the cinema and logging on to Netflix, for ‘research’ purposes he jokes.
Working With TCC
It has been a pleasure for us to work with Nick over the years, friendly and responsive, we couldn’t ask for a better freelancer! Thankfully, he feels the same way. We asked Nick why he has enjoyed working with us over the years, and our incredibly hardworking MD Laura Davis.
“What can I say, Laura is the best! She’s been so supportive over the years and generous with her time and giving feedback. For me, I’ve never been part of such a warm, caring and genuine talent agent before. Everyone at The Crewing Company has taken time to introduce themselves and understand what types of projects I’d like to work on. As a freelancer who’s been in the game a while now. It’s refreshing to have a team of people that work hard to find the perfect fit for both the client and freelancer. The Crewing Company are the gold standard in my eyes for service and finding great clients to work with. Thanks for all your hard work over the years TCC team!”
To Wrap Up
It is always great to speak with one of our incredible freelancers, especially when they have so much knowledge to pass on. Make sure you check out Nick’s work on our website, and you can catch him on the 100k Freelances Club, where he discusses editing and freelancing. We hope you enjoyed reading this interview.