Editor isn’t generally up there on the list of typical things you want to be when you grow up. It’s one of those roles in advertising and film that can feel pretty mysterious for those without a direct connection to the industry: we know it exists, but we’re not quite sure how it works, what the tools are, how creative the whole thing is, or how the role of editor fits in alongside other jobs like director, cinematographer, or post.
However, Joe Guest always had an inkling he’d be an editor. As a kid, he spent a lot of time around recording and editing suites thanks to the fact that his mum is a voiceover actor: she played all the women characters in Bananaman, and one of the trains in Chuggington, among other roles. “It was really cool every time I got to go to one of these amazing big desks with all the lights and stuff … it was amazing. So I thought I wanted to do something in sound editing,” he says.
As it turns out, while Guest has ended up building a career as one of the most renowned advertising editors around, music and sound has been crucial to his career, from his early days cutting promos for MTV and pop bands, to ads that feature music and sound design at their core, for brands including Burberry, Nike, Cadbury, and more.
Guest began his career by taking media studies and ‘TV competencies’ (“directing, editing, post … a bit of everything, all the cool stuff”) courses at Farnborough Technical College. Then at 18, he started applying for runner jobs on the advice of his mum’s sound engineer friends, and began “charging around the streets of Soho putting my CV through doors”.