Rick Russell

Founding Editor & CEO, Final Cut

It’s a great privilege to be a member of this year’s CRAFT ARROWS jury, as the process of judging the work of your peers is an opportunity to celebrate the most recent outstanding contributions to the craft of filmmaking in commercials. A well-crafted 60-second commercial can be as exquisitely visual, entertaining and (at its best) genuinely moving, as its longer-form cousins. The craft of editing is a vital component of any successful story-telling in film. Whatever digital platform, whatever length of format, the art of story-telling is what engages us as human beings. This special skill and craft which is learnt over many years of dedication, must be given the respect it deserves. This expertise should also be shared with the next generation of talent.

Rick studied Drama at Hull University where he was also able to try his hand at making 16mm films. The late Anthony Minghella, who was both a graduate and lecturer at Hull, remains one of his key influences. His career began with a short spell in production before joining The Film Editors in 1989. He worked his way up from running to assistant and then started as an editor in 1991, given his first break by the legendary Tony Kaye. After a few years as a freelancer, he founded Final Cut in 1995 and subsequently opened a branch in New York in 2000 and then Los Angeles in 2005. Final Cut London has won the prestigious Shots Editing Company of The Year award for the last four years.

Rick has edited commercials for directors such as Frank Budgen, Vaughan & Anthea, Tim Godsall, Traktor, Nicolai Fuglsig, Dougal Wilson, Sam Mendes and the Coen Brothers, and for major brands such as Nike, Playstation, Guinness, Virgin Atlantic, Axe and John Lewis.

His work has garnered numerous awards both in the UK and US, including Clios, AICE, BTAA, British Arrows, MVAs and most notably Cannes Grand Prix for Playstation Mountain. He has also edited several short films, with The Tonto Woman, directed by Daniel Barber, nominated for an Oscar. He has also edited three feature films including Mandela: LongWalk to Freedom starring Idris Elba and Naomi Harris. The work continues.