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Peter Hein on editing to inspire

On paper, Peter Hein can be described as an editor; however, in practice, Hein is far more than this. He is a craftsman and an artist with an unprecedented ability to understand what an audience wants and assemble shots into a coherent sequence that meet those expectations. Hein has mastered the art, technique and practice of arranging film slates and dialogue scenes to wow his employers and keep them coming back for more. Fortunately, he adores his job and with that, comes a relentless drive to work on as many projects as he possibly can, expanding his experience and developing his skills wherever possible.

“As an Editor, I find and shape stories from raw footage and then I finesse it into the best version of itself that it can be. In many cases, you have to find the story within several hours of footage which is a task even at the best of times. Although that is the challenge, it is a fun challenge. There’s nothing better than delivering a story with all of the emotion and quality that it deserves,” says Hein.

The seasoned editor has a very keen eye for identifying the best quality footage and arranging it accordingly. He is very well-versed in the area of reality television, which happens to be a genre of television that depends on creative, engaging editing. Some of his more notable experience has been for shows like The X Factor, where he began working on the show in its first series and helped mold it into the worldwide favorite that it is today. He has also lent his talent to mega hits like Britain’s Got Talent and Gogglebox. In fact, the series of Gogglebox that Hein worked on won a BAFTA award and the show’s tremendous success has everything to do with Hein’s authentic editing style.

During his time working for The X Factor, producers were exposed to Hein’s unparalleled ability to transform their footage from film to phenomenon. For this reason, when the producers of First Dates were looking for a talented editor, they were eager to bring Hein on board. When Hein learned of the show’s premise, he found its lack of negativity refreshing and was more than willing to join their team. First Dates follows the first encounters of romantic hopefuls looking to find love; however, unlike most reality dating television shows, First Dates does not set anyone up for failure simply for the sake of generating view-worthy television. Hein enjoyed working on the show so much so that he continued to work on it for series two, four, and five. He even returned for two subsequent celebrity edition series of the show.

Not only was the premise for First Dates refreshing, Hein found that the work was too. He enjoyed working on the show because the footage was littered with optimism and it was rewarding knowing that Hein could assemble it in such a way that left audiences inspired and entertained.

“Every date is set up as best as possible to generate a match, so the whole show has a wonderful optimism about it. The edits themselves can be very hard and the hours are long, but the reward is huge. You have to make very quick decisions on how best to capture the essence of the date. On top of that, you have to identify where the attraction starts and ensure that the buildup is showcased properly. Essentially, you have four days to get one date into shape, and that’s a great pressure to be under,” recalls Hein.

Fortunately, Hein thrives under pressure. He is ambitious and he takes great care and consideration in his work. When Hein sets out to complete a project, he doesn’t aim to get it done for the sake of getting it done but rather, he aims to craft his work for the sake of quality television. He cares about whether or not his audience is engaged and will stop at absolutely nothing until he can ensure that they are more than satisfied. For the renowned editor, the result typically transcends a happy audience. He is used to his works receiving a large viewership and beyond that, he is used to widespread recognition. For instance, the first series of First Dates that Hein worked on went on to receive a BAFTA award and Hein’s editing style was instrumental to the show’s great success.

Beyond the show’s prestigious awards and high ratings, Hein is also familiar with receiving praise from his co-workers. For instance, Adam Chapman, who has worked with Hein on several projects over the past fourteen years, on shows like Britain’s Got Talent and First Dates, has nothing but positive things to say about his experiences working with Hein. When asked what it is like working with Hein, Chapman raves about his skill set, as well as his professionalism and camaraderie.

“Peter’s intelligent story-telling and comedic instincts have made him a pleasure to work with on every job we have done together and he is one of the first editors that I turn to for any project I have to establish a crew for. What makes him so good at what he does is that his skills derive from a combination of carefully honed and nuanced story-telling to a genuine desire to make people laugh. His comedic instincts have produced some very memorable stories on First Dates, reflecting his own warmth and humor. He is always driven to deliver entertaining content and any producer would be lucky to have him on their team,” tells Chapman.

No matter what show Hein works on, he becomes essential to the project. His attention to detail and mere approach to editing are unlike any other in the industry and he continues to be motivated by the success of the projects he works on. Every time he wraps up a project, he is inspired to bring an even better product to his next job and to continue to challenge himself to improve his work for the better of his audiences.

So, what is in store for Hein? His only set plan is to continue to look for new challenges and expand his horizons wherever possible. He loves acquiring new skills and experimenting with cutting content in a variety of different ways to see what works best. To those who wish to follow in his footsteps, he advises to simply practice over and over and over again. Even the most talented editors in the world always have room for improvement.

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