Award-winning editor Azi Rahman has proven himself as a diversely talented editor who is capable of bringing captivating stories to the screen through the magic of his edit. Originally from London, Rahman has catapulted himself to the top of the industry as an editor through his work on the films Drake, American Dreams, Viral, Sin and many others, as well as the television shows Christie and British Andy.
His ability to take hours of footage and seamlessly sew them together into an engaging end product that perfectly fits the director’s overall vision for the story has led him to be headhunted by production companies including Alive Entertainment and Next Stop Media.
Rahman’s talents also extend to the commercial industry — in fact, one of his recent accomplishments as the editor of Target’s “Gift for Revenge” campaign, made on collaboration with the highly popular television series Revenge, was dubbed as the “future of advertising” by Hollywood.com.
Additionally, Rahman has edited commercials for lingerie company Soft Paris, Bomberg Watches, Mason House, DecorumLYD, Blue Colla Media, NYE Timber, Defected Record, Spring Studios and many more.
To find out more about this exceptionally talented editor, make sure to check out our interview below.
Please introduce yourself to the readers:
I’m Azi Rahman, an editor from London. I specialize in editing promos and commercials and I am now transitioning to feature films and TV shows.
How and when did you first get into editing?
My media studies teacher gave me a video camera for a school project we had to create a film and edit in camera. We had to think about the shot ahead of time and think how the next shot will work in context with the previous one. It showed me the power of editing and how the best editing is when you don’t notice it. It’s a very subjective medium and every project is different and comes with its own challenge. As an editor you are one of the final stages of the jigsaw. It’s your responsibility to put what the director/producer has in his vision onto the screen. That’s the most satisfying for me as an editor, watching a story come together and evolving and along the way coming up with creative solutions to any problems.
Who were some of your biggest inspirations in the entertainment world?
I think filmmakers who embraced editing as a form to tell stories really inspires me. Working with directors and producers who are open to a creative way to tell a story is something that excites me. With this said, I would say Martin Scorcese, Quentin Tarantino and Darren Aronovsky are not only guys who make really successful films, but they are auteurs which is rare mix in the current climate.
What has been your favorite production to be part of so far?
Probably my most interesting job so far was the commercial I edited Target “A Gift Of Revenge” simply because it was a new and innovative way editing a commercial. It was edited like a typical scene from the show but show consisted heavily of products from Target. Effectively it was a collaboration between Target, Neiman Marcus, ABC, the CFDA and Spring Studios to create five 3 minute minisodes of the Gift of Revenge all featuring gifts from the Target Neiman Marcus holiday collection which revealed an important plot point in Revenge Series 2. These episodes were broadcast during the mid-season finale of season 2 during every commercial break of that episode. The gift to the audience was an ad free episode where the only advertisement was the branded content. During the live broadcast links to even more exclusive content were tweeted for the audience. The Hollywood Reporter described this campaign as “the future of television advertising”
What has been one of your biggest achievements in your career so far?
I guess winning the best foreign film at the action on film festival for “Drake” a short film I edited. Although it was a short, it had such a cross genre element to it so it called upon my experience in drama, commercials and music videos to really bringing it to life. I had edited an action fight scene with limited rushes and to hear it get special praise at the award ceremony was really satisfying. It also helped elevate the fledgling “Fight Me Productions” to be in the book of “Top 100 Independent Filmmaking Companies in the World”.
What projects do you have coming up?
In terms of drama I have just finished editing a comedy pilot “British Andy” about a relocation company that helps celebrities from the UK to relocate from LA. It was real fun to do. We had Beppe and Janine from Eastenders and some other soapstars playing an exaggerated version of themselves. The producers have currently sold it to Banca Studios and are currently in talks to ITV2 to turn it into a whole series, so once that starts shooting, I’ll be editing a whole TV series. I edited it remotely from London with the producer in America which was an interesting experience. They had a lot of trust in me due to my experience in editing comedy and I think we have a really funny show on our hands. I can’t wait to see it on TV!
Who would be the director, you would most like to work with?
It has to be Martin Scorcese. I grew up watching his films. He is a masterful story teller. He uses all elements to really drive a story. I would love to sit in an editing booth with him.
What are your plans for the future?
To edit amazing feature films and TV shows.
What is your advice to aspiring editors?
Learn keyboard shortcuts! Don’t turn down work. Build relationships. And don’t forget to shower. Your clients/directors/producers will be sitting next to you, so goodbye to your personal space!