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Mélisa Cohen, editor

French-born video editor Mélisa Cohen got a crash course in Kiwi culture working on two documentaries about Kiwi icons. The first was The Dick Henderson Story, the story behind the famous painting that shows a WW1 medic standing beside a donkey, a the medic actually a Kiwi, but claimed by Australia. The second doco is more of a pop culture icon: she edited the 25th anniversary doco of local soap Shortland Street, and had to catch up on 25 years of cliffhangers, romances and feuds, and feels she managed to show how the TV soap often mirrored Kiwi culture, "like it or not!"

It was while on a working holiday in New Zealand that Mélisa realised her passion in life was simply to tell good stories.

In Paris she'd completed a Masters degree in Environment, Local and Dynamic Urbanism for developing countries. She returned, this time to the French National Broadcast school, to study video editing, then found work in her home town of Strasbourg, for the French-German TV Network Arte.

"I edited short and longer stories, mostly for the news. That was very good experience and I learned a lot about stress management, deadlines and team work."

She then freelanced for the European Parliament, which is also in Strasbourg, working on corporate videos, MEP's speeches, video coaching, political group communications, and European political TV programs.

"It wasn't that creative, but I developed strong technical skills and got a great insight into this special world."

However she still burned to make a documentary.

"For an editor, storytelling is the holy grail, especially in documentaries. So I finally edited my first doco in 2008, a story about the last bell founders in France. A great souvenir!"

It's not easy building a new network from scratch, but after two years in New Zealand,  Melisa has steadily built up her corporate video and TV editing CV.

"I'm still full of the hopes, dreams and energy that I arrived with, and I'm looking for more projects to edit, and also to write and make my own documentaries. I think that with my experience and my European background, I can bring another point of view."


View Melisa Cohen's membership profile.