Not every editor can say that one of his formative cutting experiences was the legendary Guinness "Surfer" spot. Four years ago, Nick Lofting was sitting in London beside editor Sam Sneade, director Jonathan Glazer and Abbott Mead Vickers writer Walter Campbell, assisting on the four-month edit that birthed the famous commercial. It figured then, that when the wacky "Loafers" spoof of "Surfer" came into Sneade's shop, that Lofting would be the one to cut it, this time taking only six hours.
Directed by Douglas Avery, now one of Lofting's frequent collaborators, the good-natured piss take for EB Pils brought early notoriety to the editor's reel, as did his first solo gig, the D&AD-nominated "Landmines" PSA for the Mine Advisory Group. Featuring stilted pauses that heighten suspense as a young girl unknowingly drifts through a minefield, that commercial set the precedent for his editorial approach. "I've kept the same mentality from that spot, which is, Fuck it, just do what you think," he says. "Call it as you see it, go first from your heart and then work it out later with your head. I cut that in a few hours straight from the heart, did a bit of fine-tuning with my head and then it was done."
As Sneade's assistant, Lofting got osmotic exposure to top talents like Glazer, Frank Budgen and Tarsem. On his own, he's already demonstrated a broad spectrum of storytelling skills: comedic prowess on the Cannes-shortlisted "Cyclist," for Preparation H and on Erich Joiner's quirky testimonials for the Newport Beach Film Festival; effects-infused fare for "The Sun"; and a massive music video undertaking for Cornershop, another by Avery, which involved sifting through tons of grainy doc-style footage to create a wild, freewheeling '70s vibe. "This was the most fun because there were no rules," he explains. "Most of the time you're trying to make things slick, but this was making something look like it was done on acid." His most recent work includes a new spot with Joiner for TBWAChiatDay, for the Nissan Armada.
If there's one thing that connects Lofting's eclectic stylings, it's his Everyman sensibility. "I edit as the audience," he explains. "What do I want to see to sell me this car, to make me laugh at this film? That's all it is. I judge dailies or a script by looking at what I like, at how it entertains me and how I can get it to entertain others - and, of course, sell as well." Lofting's fun-loving mindset also makes him decidedly selective about the projects he takes. "I don't want this ever to become work," he says. "I don't want to ever have a job."