Film Industry Role: Editor
Major Works: "The Wind that shakes the Barley" (2006) and "I, Daniel Blake" (2016)
Major Awards and Nominations: BAFTA nominee for "Hellfighters of Kuwait" (1992)
Jonathan Morris is one of the most renowned names regarding feature film editing.
Morris’ name generally comes hand-to-hand with references to esteemed director Ken Loach. Jonathan Morris’ collaboration with Loach dates back to the ’80s when they paired up to bring to life a controversial documentary that focused on social realism. This marked the beginning of a relationship that has been growing for the last 38 years.
Ken Loach is widely known for embracing the thematic of “social realism”. This means that the director shifts his efforts into making films that have a strong realistic component, generally addressing topics like the struggles of the working class in Britain. Having worked with Loach in over 30 films, Morris brings to the table a sense of aesthetics that he has matured while working with the director and, generally being the first viewer of the films, the editor is well accustomed to the constrictions that social realism entails.
Loach’s use of regional dialects and very closed accents, his faithful mise-en-scène, and his movies naturalistic cutting techniques lead to some restrictions when it comes to editing. When the work is passed on to Morris, so he can edit it, he has to take the genre of the film into consideration. This means that every editing decision he makes has to tie the film together, making it look and feel as real as possible, which can be a challenge.
Originally from Middlesex and born in 1949, Jonathan Morris began his career as a child actor. He worked on stage in the original stage production of “Oliver”, in London’s West End and in films such as “I could go on singing”. In 1966 he went on to look for more stability than the acting career could bring him and took a job as a trainee second assistant editor at Elstree Studios. He also worked briefly as a dubbing assistant as Tigon Films and, in the ’70s, he went on to work at Central Television (former ATV), where he met Ken Loach. This marked the beginning of years of collaborations, making Morris the go-to editor for Loach’s films.
Morris worked in 12 films selected for the Oficial Competition at Cannes Film Festival, two of which took home the Palme D’or; three films in competition at the Venice Film Festival and the Berlinale.
This BAFTA-nominated editor (for the 1992 documentary “Hellfighters of Kuwait”) has given editing seminars in Denmark, France, and the United States and has 48 IMDB editing credits under his belt.