Mr Flibble Talks To... Marked For Time
Red Dwarf has always been known as a demanding show for editors. Those who brave the challenge of getting the lengthy episodes down to a 28 minute time for broadcast must prepare for late nights and a lot of coffee. Mr Flibble meets the man who slices the footage.
23 March, 2001
Mark Wybourn
Mr Flibble's right hand provided by
Andrew Ellard

Can you give us the lowdown on digital editing?

Digital editing has made things a lot easier. If you use normal, non-digital tape, you get a loss of quality as you start to make the duplicates of that original. The signal that's on the tape is analogue, so there's an inherent addition of noise to what's on the tape [when you make a copy].

It's like if you do a VHS off the telly, then copy it to a friend, and then they copy that, you end up with the pirate video scenario where you can just about see the picture through the snow. (Laughs) With digits, there isn't that. The machine just runs ones and noughts.

If you put a CD in a machine and play it, the quality of what comes off the disc is the same no matter how many have been printed. They're all exactly the same. That helps massively when you're doing any programme. You can do an edit of a show that's an hour and reduce that to thirty minutes and you don't get a loss of quality as you do those changes.

Can you also explain the difference of linear and non-linear editing?

Linear editing is tape-to-tape. So if you've got three sequences - A, B, C - that all run twenty minutes, and you want them to go B, A, C, it takes twenty minutes [to play the footage onto the new tape]. Whereas non-linear [editing] is like a word-processor. From A, B, C you just pick B up and stick it in front - it's done. That's the beauty of it, you can spend more time getting it right without having to worry about how long it's taking.