Susan Brand is Head of Editing at University of York. She works with undergraduates and postgraduates including specialist modules in advanced editing. Susan has over 20 years of international industry experience as an Editor and Edit Consultant. She has lived and worked in the UK, US, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary and South East Asia. She has been hugely inspired as a storyteller by this international experience.
Susan’s undergraduate degree was English Literature at the University of York. She has 2 postgraduate qualifications in film from Bristol university and the NFTS. Her editing has been awarded, including a BAFTA nomination. These films have been broadcast and streamed on the BBC, Channel 4, Sky Arts, Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV, A&E and many others. She sees strong audience connection as vital to the success of her films and a commercial mind set, regardless of the complexity of the stories.
She has taught film editing at numerous universities and film schools around the world. This includes work as Visiting Professor at the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts at New York University on the MFA in film production. Past alumni from the Tisch film school include Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee and Oliver Stone. She has been a frequent guest speaker at industry events in the UK, for example the Scottish Documentary Institute, The Grierson Trust, Women in Film and Television and she runs her own 2 day course entitled Storytelling in the Edit.
Susan is an Avid approved trainer. Her teaching combines technical and creative training where story is the heart of the edit. For her, editing’s closest relative is screenwriting and this informs everything she does with students. She stresses the importance of understanding film story structure in detail and the emotional journey for the audience. Her teaching has a broad range drawing inspiration from myth and legend to Three Act Structure, from sound design to the cinematography/editing interface. She calls herself an actors’ editor, and encourages a sensitivity to truly authentic performance. In this way, her teaching is an in depth exploration of the full purpose and potential of the edit.
Industry approaches and expectations are part of all teaching where Susan draws on her extensive experience in the UK and internationally. This includes how to work with other members of the creative team during production and post-production. She encourages close collaboration. Part artist, part diplomat, part technician, part psychologist, the role of the editor is creative and complex. Susan encourages her students to hone all these faculties and aim high and strive to take position as the next generation of the world’s best editors.
Susan works internationally as an edit consultant. She is particularly interested in film storytelling in the edit.
Susan’s publications are the many films she has edited and consulted on which have been shown on the BBC, Channel 4, Netflix, A & E and many other broadcasters.