In conversation with Tas Underwood
Tas Underwood is a freelance camera operator and video editor based in London. He has experience across many sectors including corporate events, automotive, short-form documentaries and lifestyle product shoots. His clients include BBC Studios, BMW, Thomson Reuters, The Telegraph and a number of creative agencies.
Tas started out working for Haymarket Media as a Video Producer, directing, shooting and editing native advertising videos for clients such as Samsung, LG, Sony, Audi, Dunlop and many more.
In a very candid interview with the Moonworkers team, Tas talks about his journey in the industry, his first ever job, recommends equipment and day rates.
What was your first job ever in the industry?
So I first started out doing a three month internship, which was actually, pretty much unpaid, starting off at like 50 pounds a week, which was tough, coming in as sort of an immature student. What that gave me was it gave me a real insight into the video production industry, which I probably wouldn’t have got in other places. And that then led to an interview for a media production company, which was a full time role. And from there I started doing work for consumer technology and automotive cars and so on. So yeah, it was a great first step.
What camera do you use and why do you like it?
So the camera that I own is the Sony FS 5. Now, the reason I bought that was because with the upgrade, it’s pretty much the same sensor as the FS 7, which is probably the most used camera at the moment. And it’s also incredibly portable. Once you connect the Atomos Shogun into it, you can create an amazing 12 bit RAW from it. And it’s absolutely brilliant.
What is a good rate to charge for video editing?
As a video editor, it’s important to know what your rates are, and I think you should always have like a bottom rate. So that’s the least amount that you’re going to be willing to be paid. Having seen jobs over the years, I would say that it sort of starts at around 200 pounds, but the more experienced you get the higher your rate will be. So you should, should be looking at sort of 300 pounds to 350 pounds, certainly for doing agency work.
How to find a job with a good video production company?
So there are lots of ways of finding good companies to work for. I found a lot using LinkedIn, searching rather than just sort of looking for job advertisements, try typing in specific searches like ‘a freelance video editor’ in London, that brings up all sorts of people that you perhaps aren’t connected with that might have jobs available. Also, Google companies, find companies that are local, find ones that do stuff that you enjoy shooting or editing and contact them. You know, it’s all very well emailing, but lots of times that can get deleted. Why not call people up? I got a lot of success from doing that.
In your opinion, what are the Greatest Films?
It’s hard for me to choose the best movie ever because there are so many good ones. But I think what I would probably look at, is the directors that I like. So I’m a big fan of obviously the big boys, like Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorcese, but also people like the Cohen brothers. The Cohen brothers are one of those directors that work well. Because there’s two of them. One writes and one directs and they are sort of combined together and they’ve done some amazing comedies. The Big Lebowski is probably one of my favorites and I also loved the way they use fantastic music and the way it’s edited and they bring in a really good cast.
All in all, Tas has developed a wide-range of knowledge of the video production process from the pitching stage, all the way through to final delivery. He is very passionate about his work, embraces new technology and this is evident in the work he produces. You can book Tas on the Moonworkers platform, without paying any recruitment fee here.