Philip Kapadia

Artist in the Spotlight – Philip Kapadia

With a Whiplash sense of hunger about him, Philip Kapadia‘s love for drumming sparked an affair in post production that changed the trajectory of his career. In his element, he decided to film a performance aged 12, and with the help of his dad, cameras were set up and they hit record. From there, Philip experimented with lining up the footage from the multi camera set up and putting it through. ‘After producing that video , I was like, “man, I really like the editing and post production aspect of producing a film”. Editing became for me about building stories and portraying that on screen for people to enjoy…and that’s where it all started’.


Being self taught in the basics, Philip landed himself an internship at the production company Bloomsbury Films, learning a lot whilst working on their services: producing wedding videos. With a few more post houses under his belt and a strong understanding of the tech involved in putting together a film, he now works as a Support Engineer for Avid Technology supporting high-profile projects across newsrooms and post-production environments, whilst pursuing editing independently.

‘For me, it’s not only about the creative aspect of making a film, but likewise, I’m interested in the technical engineering aspect as well, and how they both play a role’.

Philip’s set up

This intersection between tech and creativity is vital in post production: ‘if you know the tech stuff, you can just sit down and get on with the edit or the grade. Instead of focusing on the technical details, you can just focus on being creative – the tool becomes an extension of your body. It can be so frustrating to work with an editor or colorist, who can’t deliver what you’re asking them to deliver in the spec or who’s really slow because they’re constantly googling how to do things. You can’t focus on the creative aspects if you don’t have a good understanding of the technical aspects’.

The most important to being an editor, apart from a good understanding of the tech? To Philip, it’s good pacing. Finding the rhythm and the speed to shots is really important to tell a narrative and do it justice.

As a jack of all trades, Philip can grade, edit and design sound, although he would say film editing is his thing. This comes in handy when working on indie movies that might not have such a massive budget. ‘When you’re in a low budget kind of production, lots of details that would be done with enough prep, like camera settings or lighting, just get pushed to production and you’re left to fix the issues. That’s where the Nucoda system really, really works well for restoring, fixing and addressing those kinds of problems.’


Some friends had come to Philip with a passion project – Heather Burning (2023) – and he was immediately in. Largely unknown, this feature length documentary looks at the age-old tradition of managing moorland by burning large parts of it to encourage the growth of new shoots and the grouse shooting it enables. However, heather burning is also met with controversy over the possible effects on carbon storage, water quality, and flood risk. The film follows Ben Douglass, a young Northerner, who’s stance against the shoots is tested by locals, as he is entangled with legacy, adventure, and tradition in this year-long journey.

Heather Burning (2023)

Philip received over 150 hours of footage to sort through, which took over a year to edit. Sorting through that much material is a mammoth task – Philip watched nearly 100 hours in any spare moment he had, whereas the rest was at double speed and deduced from its thumbnail whether the material would be helpful.

Once he managed to sort his way through all the material, he shared that one of his favourite scenes to edit was the montage of the burning and cutting of the heather ‘which was really fun to put together because of all the cinematic shots they’d gathered’.

Principally focused on the online editing, Philip would remove grain, remove noise, enhance the footage, and restore some clips amongst other jobs (this technical capacity differs to film editing which is the ordering and placing of the footage together). His workflow was to bring rushes that he felt needed work into a Nucoda system to then be put through the wide range of ‘great’ DVOs that are on offer in the system. 

Heather Burning (2023)

His favourite tool to use is DVO Velvet because ‘it can fix some awful compression artefacts and darker shots’ and he claims there’s nothing like it in other systems. He believes that Nucoda has the best caching engine and management out of all of the mastering systems which makes it a very good platform for the intensive DVO tools.

Philip is also investing in his own precision panel, believing that ‘they don’t make things like this anymore – it’s one of the best in the world frankly’. 

‘All the buttons are large and you don’t have to dig around in menus: everything is where you want it. The interface is one of Nucoda’s greatest strengths and it means that I’m not wasting time digging around like you are in other systems’.

Heather Burning (2023)


His latest project, Royal Blue, is another feature documentary that was taken to Sheffield Doc Fest, this time looking at diamond mining in Sri Lanka, following the story of a particular miner and how they are trying to protect his and his colleague’s pension. Royal Blue faced lots of challenges due to the short filming schedule and the nature of the shooting conditions. This affected the crew, who had issues with the heat and subsequently their sleep, and also the status of the equipment which struggled to adjust to the environment. ‘This will be a project that will need a lot of restoration work – the DVO tools are going to be very helpful with enhancing any of the footage that we have’. Chromatic aberration, grain, and frame rate are all things that can, and will, be fixed in the software.

A lot of the time, documentaries aren’t planned as meticulously as live action films, which would have a script beforehand and a narrative structure. In documentaries however, a lot of that planning ironically comes in the edit once everything’s been shot. Not only are you trying to pace the film, you’re also trying to tell a story which hasn’t been planned yet, which can be challenging. In addition to that, often a documentary won’t be filmed in a studio which can cause more technical issues because you’re working in an environment that’s not controlled. 

This is why Philip believes that Nucoda is the best system to be on for grading and mastering multiformat documentaries, where material comes from various tape-based and tapeless sources but needs to be combined into one deliverable. ‘It can easily fix those kinds of issues that are more likely to come up and restore images to how you would want to see them.’