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Every Day I am learning to swim in the vast oceans of brand new ideas. Editor, Cinematographer, Abel Haile ( A2)

By Asmait Futsumbrhan

A2 is a familiar logo in most music videos produced over the years. Abel Haile became interested in camera and media production at a young age. His more than 150 music videos, three feature films and a documentary have earned him respect. Q&A invites Abel Haile.

  • “You didn’t take our picture, I didn’t hear the shutter go off”…… it was a video.

Thinking about it today, camera men at different events inspired me to get into the production media. As a child, watching anyone with a camera fascinated me so much that I believe that is what has led me to today. I can’t exactly say the number, but I have, for sure, more than 150 music videos (some of which had been nominated for awards), three feature films and a documentary. I remember one time, we asked someone to take our picture and we all waited for the shutter to go off, but the guy was recording a video and I started thinking about that. Till this day, that is the memory I have when I think about how I get here. My academic journey was an entirely different story, I studied Drafting, which can of course be considered a field in the artistic circle because drafting is basically drawing and designing. Nonetheless, that is not the profession I chose. Instead I fell in love with something that has to do with media production. It’s what I have been doing since 2009.

After taking some short-term courses of editing, I started working with Yonas Solomon as a beginner. I learned all the basics from him because taking theoretical courses could never be sufficient when you get to the real world. Editing is one vast ocean of brand new ideas every day, and I don’t think one can truly say that they thoroughly know everything there is to know about production. You have to learn and experiment with new ideas in every new job. That is why I became an editor before I became a camera man and later on got back to editing again.

  • Learning the techniques of cinematography clearly makes it easier.

As an editor, knowing the technical terms and rules of cinematography gives the editor a full idea of what’s happening and what angle is the shot taken. For instance, it’s always easier for me to edit videos I shot since I know why I took the angle and how I want to use it. This is one of the reasons there should be an open communication between everyone who is involved in making a video. It is only when we fully understand one another that we can make a good video that tells the story and be creative and competent to be recognized internationally. Before anything else, the editor should understand the story and get in character. Discussing the ideas with the director and cinematographer on how to tell the story, and try to look at it through the professionals’ views and the audience’s eyes. After all the hard work of bringing the ideas to reality, it is the editor’s job to actually put it on the table. Of course, the flow of ideas can be challenging at times, but giving a minute to yourself can help in regenerating new ideas and catching your mistakes early. It is a tiring job and it’s always worth it if you love the job.

  • Tip from A2

To all of us who are doing something in this specific field, I just want to say “let’s keep doing what we are doing and more.” It would be beneficial for all if we had all the access we need, to bring out the best of our potentials. However, I believe we are all helping out in any way we can, which I appreciate very much. I know we all can get better and bring out great works which we can be known for in the international map of production.

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