The World in the Editing Suite

Photographs: Regula Bearth © ZHdK

Student portrait Riccarda Schwarz

As a child, Riccarda Schwarz made collages with pictures from magazines. Today she is studying film editing at ZHdK and has come into her own between rhythms and dramaturgies.


Tina Tishev: Why are you doing a master’s in film editing?
Riccarda Schwarz: After my bachelor’s, I worked as an assistant editor, editing trailers and short films and thus expanding my technical knowledge. After two years in the business, I knew that I wanted to go deeper into film editing.

Tell us about some exciting projects you’ve been doing on your programme!
In the summer, I edited an episode of the second season of SRF series “Neumatt”. Currently I’m working on a documentary film by Dorentina Imeri. The film tells the story of how her aunt, who runs a wedding and hairdressing salon in southern Serbia, emancipates herself. I have edited trailers in foreign languages, various theatrical and image films, a museum installation for Zurich’s Design Museum, hybrid films and experimental dance films. I find immersing myself in diverse cultures through these projects very exciting.

What is important when you approach a new project?
Exchanging ideas with the director. My editing tries to express the director’s stance. I like getting involved in a film project when a vision exists that I can help develop and support the director in realizing. New ideas and narrative forms emerge from discussions in the editing suite.

Is editing underestimated as a stage of the production process?
Yes, absolutely. Editors can significantly influence a film: we select the material, work out the dramaturgy, the rhythm, and determine the length of the film. Editing helps shape the story, which constantly evolves in the process. I would like all stages of the production process to be equally valued: filmmaking is teamwork.

What about the artistic aspect of editing?
For me, implementing the technical aspects of a film is art. I work with image and sound, evaluate the acting, the dialogues and choose the appropriate music. In my work, rhythm and tempo, sound design and music are crucial in creating the right atmosphere for the film.

What energizes you most?
Exchanging ideas and experiences with people outside my “bubble.” I have friends in different cities, which gives me creative impetus and new energy for my work. I also love to dance.

Further student portraits published in Zett
Tina Tishev ( is responsible for communications at the Department of Performing Arts and Film at ZHdK.
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