AFDA | Interview | Film Editor

Daniel Lottering is a 22-year-old man originally from Qumbu and Mthatha but now hails from East London. Daniel has many nicknames: Daniel Son, Danny, Dan, Dan the Man, and D (some even call him ‘Brian’ – his second name). Daniel’s major for this year is editing, with a minor in VFX.


Daniel is the kind of person who wears many hats, and he wears it well. The original plan for him was to study either Accounting or Computer Sciences… He did well in those departments, but never fell in love with it. His indecisiveness forced his mom to take him to a career counselor, and the results revealed that his strengths lie in business and art.

Daniel had hoped to study at the New York Film Academy, but due to COVID restrictions, that option was sadly taken off the table. Then he heard through the grapevine from his cousin Bobby that his friend was studying at AFDA and ‘doing extremely well for himself.’ Daniel took a risk and applied, which is how he ended up at AFDA GQ.

‘I thought that I would be wearing suits and showing up to corporate jobs. But now I work with creatives and dress up in tracksuits and hoodies. I prefer this lifestyle a lot more,’ Daniel tells me. And it suits him well indeed.


Since Daniel’s been at AFDA, he’s made it his goal to produce the best work he can deliver. ‘It’s a way of showing my parents and close relatives how much I appreciate their support. Most importantly, it’s something that I’ve done for myself. I want to prove to myself that no matter what I’m going to do, to do the best that I can with the help of Jesus Christ, my Lord.’

When I ask him how he would like to be remembered, he doesn’t hold back: ‘Firstly, as a man who always kept his faith strong and spread the word of Jesus Christ. Secondly, as someone who never stayed in his comfort zone and always strived to be a better version of himself every day.’


What he likes most about AFDA is that it is a safe space to make mistakes. ‘The film industry is extremely demanding, and they only expect the best work out of everyone. With AFDA, I am allowed to allow my imagination to run wild and see where my talents lie while still producing good academic results.’  

Even though his major for this year is editing – with an outcome in VFX – he’s also now trained and qualified in sound and MMP. ‘I love every aspect of filmmaking, which is why I did these classes during my undergraduate years.’

He says, ‘I am the type of person that needs to be challenged and delved into different tasks or else I get bored quickly. Studying film is something that I know is risky… but the reward of challenging myself is indisputable.’


His dream job is to become a director one day and follow the route of Edgar Write. ‘He is my favorite director of all time and started as an editor. Later in my career, I want to go into animation and produce original shows and movies… or even animate some of my favorite comic books and manga.’

His biggest dream, however, is to give back to his parents for all the support and sacrifices they made for him. ‘Without their love and support, I would have never been where I am today. There is nothing I can say or do that could show them how much I love and appreciate them.’


Daniel has to write a 30-page research thesis this year. His original research question had been the following:

How do invisible cut editing techniques in African cinema and literature challenge traditional narratives and explore post-colonial themes of identity and representation?’

‘Thanks to my supervisor, he showed me the length of this topic and how I might not be able to discuss this topic on an Honours level due to how broad it is,’ Daniel tells me. ‘So, I am currently in the process of elimination as I carry on with my topic.’

Daniel is also researching the impact of hidden cuts and how good editing flows the narrative. ‘Through reading on empathy in characters and the world of story that helps the editor understand the flow of the film, I am well on my way with my research topic.’


When I ask Daniel what’s his greatest skill, apart from editing, he tells me: ‘Passion and determination.’ Through learning how to use VFX, capture sound, and do music scores for cinema, he is also now learning how cinematography and grading work. The reason for all these extra – but valuable – skills? ‘So that I can effectively communicate with everyone without struggling to understand the team. The more skills you understand, the easier it becomes to assist the team when they need it.’

Just through interviewing Daniel, I am blown away by how talented and multi-faceted this man is. He is confident, knows who he is, and knows where he is going. He is constantly equipping and stretching himself, challenging himself to get out there and to live outside of his comfort zone. When I ask him what’s the one thing he would try if he knew he couldn’t fail, he gives an honest and humble answer: ‘Dancing and singing in front of a huge crowd…’ I am surprised, because looking at his track record, it seems like there is nothing he cannot do… That’s exactly the kind of person he is.


When I ask Daniel about his favorite movie, he doesn’t have just one.

I have a favorite movie for each era in my life. Some movies have brought me tears, made me excited, and got to experience joyous times with friends and families. There are too many that have left a mark on me and inspired me to produce such a great movie.’

But he still gives me a ‘shortened list’ – Scott Pilgrim Vs the World, the Rush Hour trilogy, Everything Everywhere All at Once, & Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

. You can watch the trailers for three of those films here:

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