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14-15 May 2025
Olympia London

MPTS
01 Mar 2023

Cutting Room launches editing consultancy

Max Miller
First of its kind in the UK offers US-style edit doctor

The Cutting Room has launched an editing consultancy - The Cutting Room Consulting.

The first of its kind in the UK, TCR Consulting is run by MD Jen Lane and offers the edit consulting services of documentary editors Anna Price BFE, Kate Spankie, Sean Mackenzie BFE, Simon Barker BFE, Zoe Davis BFE and Ferg McGrath BFE. It aims to provide “US-style edit-doctor rigour” to UK broadcast and cinema documentaries. 

Founder of The Cutting Room Editing, and now Consulting, McGrath explained the situation in which the services may be needed, assuring that consultants should not replace full-time editors: “There are lots of situations where you might want to bring in one of us. It could be a scenario where you’d like to hire a younger or less experienced editor or director and therefore having a more seasoned editor checking in and advising can help to mitigate the risk and support the edit. Or an edit may be going through a difficult phase and an extra pair of eyes may perceive a new solution. We’re never hired to replace an editor and it’s always for focused periods of input. We toyed with calling the consultancy ‘Wasabi’, because a little goes a long way.”

The Cutting Room Consulting

Edit consultants are either hired directly by broadcasters and streamers or by production companies.

McGrath added: “This is an activity that has been quietly bubbling under the surface. We’re just the first group to formalise it as a service. There’s more and more documentary content required, and a greater expectation from audiences as to what ‘premium’ means. We can only see the need for what we do becoming greater.”

1_TCR_Consulting_MD_Jen_Lane

Managing director Lane said: “The business-case for this venture was obvious to me. Currently the demand for experienced documentary editing talent in the UK and US far exceeds supply. This is due to a combination of new entrants in the marketplace snapping up talent, elevated audience expectations and longer edit schedules. In short, there aren’t enough good editors to go around.”

The Cutting Room Consultants

Jen Lane, MD of The Cutting Room Consulting, is a multi-disciplinary producer and business leader with a background spanning documentaries, channel branding, commercials and post production. She headed up the global ITV corporate and cross-channel re-brand, led teams and changed management at BBC Studios, and founded the creative agency Littlehawk. Lane and McGrath first met in 2005 when she was producing the Eddie Izzard feature documentary Believe: The Eddie Izzard story.

Ferg McGrath BFE is the founder of The Cutting Room Editing, a documentary offline editing company in Holborn and in Angel. He is co-vice chair of British Film Editors and he actively drove BFE’s re-branding (from GBFTE) to become a more outward-looking and diverse organisation. BFE has grown from 100 to over 700 members. His work includes Drive to Survive, Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist and The Girl Who Talked to Dolphins.

Kate Spankie, 30+ years’ experience. She worked on The Hunt for Gaddafi’s Billions and won a Grierson Award for Salt By Selina Thompson.

Anna Price BFE, 25+ years’ experience (Once Upon a Time in Iraq, The Trial of Radko Mladic) Archive specialist with multiple awards including three BAFTA nominations for Best Factual Editing.

Sean Mackenzie BFE, 30+ years’ experience (The Many Lives of Richard Attenborough, Amish: A Secret Life) Two-time BAFTA winner for best factual editing and over thirty international awards.

Simon Barker BFE, 30+ years’ experience (American Murder: The Family Next Door and Bellingcat: Truth in a Post Truth World ) Awards include BAFTA for Best Documentary and Emmy for Best International Documentary.

Zoe Davis BFE, 20+ years’ experience (Alien Worlds, Limitless with Chris Hemsworth) Award-winning films for all the main networks and streamers. Zoe worked alongside the legendary editor Walter Murch on the award-winning feature documentary COUP 53.

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