What James Ralph loves about being an editor is the opportunity to channel the full range of his creativity into a number of different projects. The British-native’s imagination is bursting at the seams and he uses it to carry his projects to the next level. Whether he is creating visual styles and effects or using music to enhance or compliment a scene, he is content with the freedom that he has to explore and develop his own ideas in a variety of different ways. He is passionate about expanding his reach throughout the industry, working with new people and genres wherever possible in an attempt to remain fresh, stimulated, happy, and alive. He is a natural-born editor and he is one of those lucky people in this world who can say they do what they do because they love to, not because they have to.
“I love taking hours of film, watching it, working out what the stories are and how best to tell them with what I’ve been given. It’s a challenge that I thrive on. Laying down the structure of the story is the initial step, but after that I have to begin to paint it in an interesting light. I craft it, adding music, pace and rhythm to give it a life and an energy of its own. I find myself getting physically excited when I see each piece molding together. It is an intricate and deeply considered process and getting to watch the final product is the best feeling in the world,” tells Ralph.
The esteemed Editor is a master of his artistry and his combination of raw talent and field experience have earned him prestigious jobs all over the world. His expertise transcends all genres and he has worked on a variety of projects, from talent shows like X Factor, to reality television shows like I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. He has also worked on fixed rig camera documentary series like 24 Hours in A&E, as well as one-off documentaries like Muslim Drag Queens. No matter what he works on, however, he is known for his ability to produce high quality content that attracts and retains high viewership and tremendous praise.
Justin Saculles, who has had the distinct pleasure of working with Ralph on Love Island in 2016 and this year, notes the delight of working with an editor who exudes creative energy without sacrificing his professionalism.
“James is exceptional at his job, drawing experience from the many different genres of television that he has worked in. He knows how to extract every bit of emotion necessary to sell a scene, or how to build suspense and generate tension for his audience. He has a keen ear for the perfect music, using a track to enhance a scene to reach its full potential. He is also very quick at what he does which is a valuable asset when it comes to shows that require a quick turnaround, like Love Island. He has a remarkable ability to tell a story and follow a narrative that goes above and beyond what an audience expects, making the finished product the best it can be,” recalls Saculles.
Love Island is a reality dating show which airs on the British television network, ITV and showcases a drama-filled whirlwind of single hopefuls looking for love through a series of tasks and challenges. Each week, couples are voted off until the final couple wins. Ralph worked as a stitch editor for the show, which was no simple feat. The pressure-filled job requires Ralph to deliver quality content on a daily basis. The show’s guests are filmed 24-hours a day, adding the unique task of narrowing a day’s worth of content down to a single, action-packed hour of engaging footage. As if this wasn’t a difficult enough task, the public have the opportunity to vote on which couples will make it to the finale, which limits Ralph’s time to edit even further. Despite the challenges of the job, however, Ralph has an extraordinary ability to zero in on captivating footage and edit it in such a way that keeps viewers begging for more.
Ralph’s leading-edge editing style has earned him a reputation in his field as one of the best and with that, he is no stranger to success. He has been instrumental to the success of every project he works on and in the midst of praise and recognition, he remains humble and true to the job he adores.
“On Love Island, I had the responsibility for editing the final part of the nightly show, every night, from that night’s material, almost as it happened. It takes a combination of speed and clear editorial nous to be able to get this done on a nightly basis for upward of fifty episodes. This kind of role isn’t for everyone and it takes a certain type of editor, with a certain type of personality, to be able to handle this kind of pressure and still deliver a polished, highly creative product,” recalls Ralph.
With talent like Ralph on the scene, it is no surprise that Love Island dominated the press this year. More importantly, Love Island took over social media and dominated in ratings. Ralph takes great pride in knowing that he had a strong hand in generating the content that people cannot get enough of. The show has garnered recognition from viewers of all ages and backgrounds, and generated buzz within and beyond the UK. Ralph’s contributions may not be at the top of a viewer’s mind when watching the show, but without his efforts, Love Island would not be the show they know and love so dearly.
So, what does Ralph have in store for the future of his career? He hopes to continue dominating his area of the entertainment industry and creating quality broadcast television that viewers will enjoy for years to come. As long as he is editing, he is content and driven to bring only the best to the screen time and time again.