Over the weekend I was very saddened to hear about the death of my fellow editor Neil McLauchlan at the age of only 46. His funeral is today and I’m upset that I can’t make it as I am leaving the country for a bit. While I’m not the best placed or indeed the most capable person to write a tribute to him, it feels like the least I can try to do.
Neil was for many years the senior editor in Telegael in Spiddal and it was here where I and many of the other first graduates of GMIT Film and Tv first encountered him. Through his example, a whole generation of post production workers picked up good habits that serve us still to this day. Cliona Nolan in Cork who has become one of the best editors in the country said to me over the weekend that she had learned everything she knew about editing from Neil and Brian O’Corbui and many others in Telegael echoed that sentiment. While I never worked actually worked for telegael, I was often in the building as a freelancer and Neil also had a huge influence on me. We worked together on several series of Passion Fashion and on the last show Neil edited the forthcoming “Clontarf”. I was amazed by his incredible technical knowledge but also his story instincts were always spot on. In the last few years Neil decided to go freelance and he was very much in demand working on countless projects up and down the country. From chatting to a few of my editing buddies in Galway, what emerged was that we all had Neil as our go-to guy when something went wrong. He was always available on the other end of the phone to help with some disaster or other that was usually all our own fault and more then often he was right.
While his influence as an editor to us all in the west of Ireland is important, its not how the Film & television community will recall him. Neil will be remembered by all of us for his warmth, his sense of humour and mostly for being so much good craic. On a personal level I always enjoyed bumping into him around Galway, having a pint, talking music and shop. I only wish I could to do it more.
He will be sorely missed, especially by his partner Moe. My thoughts and those of all the people Neil touched are with you Moe, may he rest in peace.