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What Do Our Members Do?

RACHEL CHANG - ASSISTANT EDITOR

January 2019

Where are you currently employed?

Wolf Films.   

 

Current Project?

Season Four of Chicago Med.

 

Describe Your Job.

I prep dailies, organize paperwork and add temp sound and sometimes music. I also export cuts throughout the various stages of the episode and do temp VFX work. Toward the end of the offline process, I prep sound and picture turnovers and VFX turnovers if needed. A lot of organization is involved, and I try my best to maintain order throughout the season. All of the editors on Chicago Medare incredibly generous and often give the assistants scenes to practice cutting.

 

How did you first become interested in this line of work?

I was a film and visual arts major in college but it was all theory, no production or post-production. During the last year of college, I went to Paris for a semester abroad and on a whim signed up for a video production class. We wrote, directed and edited our own projects — and that’s when I discovered I had a passion for post-production.

 

Who gave you your first break?

Through a friend’s father, I met Mark Woollen of Mark Woollen & Associates, a movie trailer company. His company had an internship program and I was hired as an intern in January 2009. Five months later, I was offered a job as a receptionist/office assistant. I learned about movie advertising but, most importantly, I learned that editing was the right path for me.

 

What was your first union job?

The Voice. Interestingly, the opportunity came about during an orientation meeting at the Guild. This was the second break in my career and I thank post supervisor Jim Sterling for taking a chance on me, even though I had very little experience in reality competition.

 

Which of your credits or projects have made you the most proud and why?

I am incredibly proud to be part of the Chicago Med family. They also took a chance on me because I had no scripted experience, but I had a couple of friends there who vouched for me. Chicago Med is the best team with whom I’ve had the pleasure to work, and it’s the most nurturing environment I have been in. We have a lot of love and support for each other.

 

What was your biggest challenge in your job (or on a particular project) and how did you overcome/solve it?

The Voice was my biggest show and most challenging project so far. To survive a show this size, I wrote as many notes as possible and referred to them when needed. It was overwhelming at first — there were so many little things to remember that I created a check list for specific tasks. I made several lists for myself over the years and shared them with other assistant editors.

 

What was the most fun you’ve had at work?

The most fun has been working on Chicago Med. It doesn’t feel like work when you’re surrounded by great people and no task is too mundane. I love watching a scene come alive adding sound effects and music. I also get to practice cutting some scenes, which is a pleasure and a great privilege.

I also enjoyed working as an online editor on The Voice and I particularly loved using the paint tool in Avid to hide crewmembers on stage. It’s an invaluable skill for an assistant editor because more and more shows demand VFX skills. I was able to transition from reality to scripted more easily because of my online skills.

 

Jobwise, what do you hope to be doing five years from now?

I hope to be editing TV shows five years from now, but I’m also interested in working in features, specifically as a VFX editor. I would love to be part of a VFX-heavy show or feature.

 

What are your outside activities, hobbies, passions?

I love to bake, especially pies, and I’m looking into learning how to make Danish and Scandinavian food and desserts. My husband is half-Danish and I would love to incorporate more Danish culture into our everyday life.

 

Favorite movie(s)? Why?

The Matrix inspired me to pursue a career in entertainment; I was 14 years old when it came out. I always loved movies and TV shows, but it was then that I felt the yearning to be part of something that big. It was so many things in one — innovative, thought-provoking and just fun to watch. In college I discovered Elevator to the Gallows8 1/2, The 400 Blows, etc. One of my recent favorites is Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson because it’s about a poet who is not bitter about making a living as a bus driver. It was refreshing to see an artist portrayed that way. I’m a huge fan of public transit, so I loved the premise.

 

Favorite TV program(s)?  Why?

I love The Americans; it may be about Russian spies in the US but it’s really about marriage. I love anything by Amy Sherman-Palladino and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel may be her best yet. The beauty in Better Call Saul is that we know it’s really about the journey Jimmy is on to becoming Saul. The End of the F*cking World was a huge surprise because it was an homage to American road trip movies but set in England. It’s dark, funny and heart-breaking. Barry is original, but we can all relate to wanting to start fresh in a new city and perhaps a new identity. Henry Winkler is just amazing!

 

Do you have an industry mentor?

Editor Lillian Benson, ACE, has inspired me to get out there and participate more within our industry. She is a pioneer and I am eternally grateful for her kindness and advice. It’s a joy working with her every day.

 

What advice would you offer to someone interested in pursuing your line of work?

No one cares as much as you do about your career. Don’t say no to an experience because it’s not quite what you hoped for. Be kind and respectful, especially toward those who may be below your rank. Show people that you care about your work no matter how small it may seem. There will be days when you feel unnoticed or under-appreciated, but people notice. A positive attitude goes a long way — and gratitude takes you further.

 

Was there ever a circumstance when you had to rely on the Guild for help or assistance?

Some years ago, I left an advertising company (not Woollen & Associates) to work in non-union reality TV. During the exit interview, I requested a written letter stating that I had worked as an assistant editor there because my pay stubs did not list my job title. The company denied my request. I was extremely upset and reached out to the Guild for guidance. It was a place to air my grievances, and the Guild gave me hope for a better future. I realized how important it was to have the Guild behind me. (By the way, that advertising company recently closed up shop.)

 

Is there anything you’d like to say to your fellow Guild members, some words of encouragement?

I want to thank my fellow Guild members for showing their support over the summer during contract negotiations. We showed everybody what a mighty group we are, and I’m proud to be a member. No one makes it on her or his own. I wouldn’t be where I am without the help of fellow assistant editors and editors. Let’s continue to support one another at work and outside of work.

 

Compiled by Edward Landler      

Editor’s Note: To recommend a member (including yourself) to be featured on CineMontage.org, and the home page of the Editors Guild website, please contact edlandler@roadrunner.com.

A. HOBART YOUNG - DIGITAL OPERATOR

December 2018

Where are you currently employed?

I work at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, with Disney Digital Studio Services.

 

Current Project?

I have an ongoing staff position in Media Distribution. 

 

Describe Your Job.

I prepare localization assets for worldwide digital distribution and streaming. That involves collecting and creating localized picture elements — including main titles, locators, end credit sequences for live action, actual scene or background changes with text or images that are in the local language for animation, and dubbing credits for the foreign voice actors — to insert into masters that will be distributed around the globe. The main titles, locators and end credit sequences are created by Disney’s Title Graphics department in Burbank. For the animation pieces, Disney Animation and Pixar will create the identical scenes with the different languages for each market. 

 

How did you first become interested in this line of work?

I was a teenager when I took a behind-the-scenes tour of KNBC with a family friend who was the community relations director at the station. The control room with all the lights must have influenced me because I took a television production class at my high school. The rest is history.

 

Who gave you your first break?

Falcon Cable TV’s local origination hired me while I was still in college. Later on, a co-worker went on to Wold International, a Los Angeles-based satellite communication service, and I followed him there. A few years later, another co-worker went to Compact Video, a Burbank video post-production firm; I followed her and started my post-production career there. 

 

What was your first union job?

Videotape duplication operator at Compact Video Services.

 

Which of your credits or projects have made you the most proud and why?

I was the telecine assistant and later the editorial assistant at 4MC/Ascent Media working on ER from Episode One in 1994 to the very last episode in 2009. Over this same time, I also worked on shows like The Drew Carey Show in 1996 and 1997, Just Shoot Me! from 1997 through 2003, Third Watch from 1999 to 2005, The West Win, 1999 through 2006, Without a Trace 2002 to 2009, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip in 2006 and 2007. Plus and a few others that I can’t remember. ER overlapped all of these shows and it was the longest run on a single show that I have ever worked on. The producers we worked with on the show genuinely valued our contributions.

 

What was your biggest challenge in your job (or on a particular project) and how did you overcome/solve it?

The biggest challenge has been keeping up with the constantly changing technology and the new workflows that incorporate the new technologies. 

 

What was the most fun you’ve had at work? 

The work itself is most often tedious and long. The fun comes from when you have good co-workers, because you spend so much time together that you become more like a family, and you know what kind of mischief you can get into with your siblings.

 

Jobwise, what do you hope to be doing five years from now? 

Still working… I say that with a laugh because in five years I should be very close to 30 years in the union and possibly retirement.

 

What are your outside activities, hobbies, passions?

I enjoy playing basketball, softball and sometimes golf. I also like cooking and gardening.

 

Favorite movie(s)? Why?

My favorites are Blazing Saddles for its satire of stereotypes, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for its action combined with imagery, and Kill Bill for the action. 

 

Favorite TV program(s)?  Why?

JeopardyFox NFL Sunday, which is the most entertaining of all the pre-game shows; Man, Fire, Food — BBQ, do I have to say more?. Also Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and the Huell Howser reruns on KCET. 

 

Do you have an industry mentor?

I have learned something from almost everyone with whom I have worked. Some of them have taught me a lot and some have taught me something small, but all of it combined makes a lifetime of experience that I have been able to use to keep viable in this industry. 

 

What advice would you offer to someone interested in pursuing your line of work?

Keep on learning and embrace change because it is inevitable. The tools you use will change — and nowadays they change often — so don’t be afraid of something new. Be the one that others ask, “How do you do this?” And be nice to people on your way up because you want them to be nice to you on your way down.

 

Is there anything you’d like to say to your fellow Guild members, some words of encouragement. 

Remember a cut is still a cut; it’s just that the blade changes.

 

Compiled by Edward Landler      

Editor’s Note: To recommend a member (including yourself) to be featured on CineMontage.org, and the home page of the Editors Guild website, please contact edlandler@roadrunner.com.

HARRY OXNARD - METADATA ANALYST

November 2018

Where are you currently employed?

I currently work as a metadata analyst for Sony Pictures Content Licensing.

 

Describe Your Job.

As a metadata analyst, it is my job to curate the metadata around Sony’s stock footage, film catalog and internal databases to make our content more discoverable for reuse. This means that I get to work on a lot of different projects that are always changing.

Some days I go through the dailies of a television show looking for stock footage that can be sold to another show. Other days I help with film clip research requests by scrubbing through a dozen movies looking for that perfect iconic moment. Pretty much every theatrical feature film at Sony is sent to my department before home entertainment release. We watch the movies and create scene-by-scene descriptions to make our favorite moments easier to find.

We also create metadata for use internally. Right now, we are working on a special project where we are watching every episode of the current run of Wheel of Fortune from the beginning to add these archival episodes to the current production database. We’ve already completed this project for Jeopardy!

 

How did you first become interested in this line of work?

I first became interested in movies when I was a very little kid watching Looney Tunes on TV. I knew that some of the jokes were about old movies I hadn’t seen, so as I got older I tried to figure out what they all were. This was back in the heyday of the art house video store, and I was lucky enough to live in a college town that had several, so a large portion of my youth was spent watching classic movies. At the same time, I developed a very deep love for photography, and I was always trying to get my hands on film, which soon turned into Super-8mm and video.

I also worked as a projectionist at a movie theatre in high school and as a manager of a video store while I was in film school. Later when I lived in New York, I worked as a non-union editor and I worked in a classic film photography archive. I also helped create a media archive for the Rhine Research Center, a famous paranormal research center in North Carolina. Stock footage felt like a natural fit for me, because I had experience with different film and video formats, as well as a love for working with large collections of film materials.

 

Who gave you your first break?

I actually found out about my current job as I was in the process of moving from New York to Los Angeles. I was driving somewhere in the middle of the country with all my stuff when I got an alumni newsletter e-mail about the job opening. I applied while on the road, went to the job interview the day after I arrived in Los Angeles, and I’ve been working there ever since.

 

What was your first union job?

My current job. I was unionized as a part of an arbitration settlement between Sony and Local 700. Before the settlement, I was a non-union temp with no benefits. Now I have real health insurance and a pension plan, which is something that seemed very far away when I was working as a non-union editor. I’m also a Member at Large on the Editors Guild Board of Directors.

 

What was the most fun you’ve had at work?

My job has been a real education in filmmaking because it allows me to experience the creation of cinematic form from many different angles. Not only do I get to see all the footage that doesn’t make it into the film, I also have to analyze the film itself on a frame-by-frame basis. At one point, we had a special project where we conformed old subtitle files to the new edited-for-television video files. I watched 50 episodes of Hart to Hart, and really developed an eye for unnecessary lines of dialogue. I think that it’s made me a better writer and a better filmmaker.

 

Jobwise, what do you hope to be doing five years from now?

Hopefully, I’ll still working at Sony Pictures Content Licensing. I’ve also written a feature film and I’m planning to make a short based on it in the next year or so.

 

Which of your credits or projects have made you the most proud and why?

The projects I’m most proud of are my six-year-old daughter and my three-year-old son.

 

What are your outside activities, hobbies, passions?

I think the best part of living in Los Angeles is all the incredible film screenings and archival gems that aren’t shown anywhere else. This year, I saw a projected Technicolor nitrate print for the first time, and I felt like I finally understood a form of cinematography I had studied my whole life. The great part about movies is that there are always more of them, and there’s always more to learn about how to make them.

I also love camping and traveling, which always give me a good excuse to break out a funny old camera.

 

Favorite movie(s)? Why?

The Maltese Falcon — because that’s the movie that really made me want to see every classic film that I could lay my hands on.

 

Favorite TV program(s)? Why?

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Speedy Deliveryman Mr. McFeely’s documentaries on the show were my first exposure to the concept of filmmaking as something you could do yourself. He also gave me an important lesson about not quitting your day job. Muppet Babies must have given me an early love of stock footage and film clips. Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theater developed my love for B-movies. Bob’s Burgers is my favorite show that’s on today.

 

What advice would you offer to someone interested in pursuing your line of work?

I think the secret to survival in general is to always be learning and willing to try new things.

 

Is there anything you’d like to say to your fellow Guild members, some words of encouragement?

Never underestimate the value of your labor. Every day we see billions of corporate dollars consolidating around intellectual property. The future will be based around information and our collective artistic endeavor is the portal through which this information takes its final form. No one stands to benefit more from this future than we do. The only things that limit us are our fear and lack of imagination.

Compiled by Edward Landler
Photo Jeff Schuman                      

 Editor’s Note: To recommend a member (including yourself) to be featured on CineMontage.org, and the home page of the Editors Guild website, please contact edlandler@roadrunner.com.

TAKAKO ISHIKAWA - SOUND EDITOR

October 2018

Where are you currently employed?

Sony Pictures Studios, where I usually do sound effects and design work for TV. During hiatus, and time permitting, I pick up freelance sound editing work. 

 

Current Project?

With Sony in hiatus, I am working a freelance job as a dialogue editor; I also cued and cut ADR and groups for a feature. Back at Sony, I will work on Empire and The Blacklist.

 

Describe Your Job.

Sound Editors are responsible for creating all the sounds in a movie or TV show (excluding music). Usually sound editing is divided into specific specialized tasks: dialogue, sound effects and design, Foley and music editing. All these editors prepare sounds for the final mix.

 

How did you first become interested in this line of work?

Intending to be a music studio mixer, I went to Boston’s Berklee College of Music, where I took a required class in synchronizing and creating sound for moving pictures. After graduation, I wanted to stay in the US to gain experience before returning to Japan, and Berklee sponsored a “practical training” visa to stay another year and, as with a work visa, have a paid job.

Advised that the West Coast had more work, I moved to LA. A mixer from when I was an intern recommended me to a music studio there, where I had to be an intern again…at minimum wage! I could not qualify later for a work visa at that salary. Then I looked for jobs in post-production sound. I was hired at Bouquet Multimedia, a post house, and worked as an assistant mixer and sound editor.

 

Who gave you your first break?

Wanting to work as a sound effects (SFX) editor, I applied for work at Nancy and John Ross’ Digital Sound and Picture (DSP), which had a cutting-edge way to edit SFX using music software. My first job at DSP was Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Later, I worked on Xena: Warrior Princess and some features. Nancy and John helped me get a work visa and I worked there three years, developing the creative mind necessary for SFX editing.

 

What was your first union job?

Sound effects editor on the TV series Early Edition at Sony Pictures Studios.

 

Which of your credits or projects have made you the most proud and why? 

I’m proud of developing my fundamental editing skills on Hercules and Xena. More than proud, I am honored to have worked on Deadwood, for which I received a Primetime Emmy Award. Later, I realized that I was one of only a few Japanese to have received an Emmy, and the first to receive one in post-production sound. My family and friends seemed impressed that I was surviving as a woman working in this country and had received such a prestigious award.

 

What was your biggest challenge in your job (or on a particular project) and how did you overcome/solve it?

Balancing the demands of motherhood and work. Juggling work, household management with my husband (with his own demanding work schedule), and raising a child was overwhelming. As she grew and developed a full life, coordinating three schedules grew increasingly challenging. To avoid dropping the ball in work or family life requires a lot of planning. Often during my lunch, I became my daughter’s limo driver. I enjoyed it because we could talk and catch up. Of course, this applies to my husband, too.

 

What was the most fun you’ve had at work?

I was sound designing a show. It was supposed to be funny, but I wasn’t laughing. Then I edited and added the sound. I played it back and, the moment it hit me, I laughed so hard I fell off the chair, rolling on the floor in tears. All day when I played that spot, I laughed. The show got me.

 

Job wise, what do you hope to be doing five years from now?

As a rare Japanese sound editor here, I hope I will survive in this industry with few female sound editors in general and even fewer female SFX editors. I like to work with people who can bring the best out of me, but I’ve had some unpleasant experiences, especially when trying for a different or higher position. I experienced harassment and discrimination. I felt being a woman held me back and sometimes my English abilities were pointed out as a barrier.

In these very emotional situations, I learned to be strong. Bullies take away my sword and expect me to fight without a sword? I can still fight with a bamboo stick, moving forward with many small, light footsteps. I fight for those who follow who also refuse to succumb to injustice and abuse.

 

“I was sound designing a show. It was supposed to be funny, but I wasn’t laughing. Then I edited and added the sound. I played it back and, the moment it hit me, I laughed so hard I fell off the chair.”

 

What are your outside activities, hobbies, passions?

It’s all about my daughter and her activities. I’ve sort of forgotten my own hobbies and passions, but I like gardening, and I plan to travel many places after my daughter goes to college. When I was young, I was a good volleyball player and maybe I’d like to join a team. And maybe I will create music again.

 

Favorite movie(s)? Why?

Since childhood, fantasy movies were my favorite. My most favorite is Lord of the Rings. I am drawn to stories of loyalty and friendship. Movies often make you realize what is important. I love The Avengers! I love all superhero movies. I can relate to their struggles. With difficulty, heroes overcome bad people and encourage the innocent. That gives me power to do the same, not going to the dark side and not turning to greed. Every day is training day for when I can become what I’m supposed to be.

 

Favorite TV program(s)?  Why?

Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Fawlty Towers, because they are just so funny! Laughing is such a good and joyful feeling. I wish I could join Monty Python; maybe I should apply for a job at the Ministry of Silly Walks…

 

Do you have an industry mentor?

I worked with many supervisors; some taught me to see outside of the box when cutting SFX —nutrition for my creativity. I’ve met many talented sound designers that are simply nice people who share the way they do things. All of these are mentor moments.

 

What advice would you offer to someone interested in pursuing your line of work?

If I can do it, then you can do it. Work hard to show the best you’ve got. Talented people see what you are capable of and what you will become. Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know” — that’s how you learn. Be a reliable person, not just a talented sound editor. I’d rather work with a good person than with the best editor who is a jerk. Plus, you have fun working. One more thing: Sound editing is all subjective. Sometimes what you think is your best work is not accepted, so don’t get too attached. Don’t take criticism too personally. Be professional. You are cutting a sound for the client to hear.

 

Was there ever a circumstance when you had to rely on the Guild for help or assistance?

Once. I consulted the Guild about the relevant rules and regulations after working fewer than five days a week for several consecutive weeks.

 

Is there anything you’d like to say to your fellow Guild members, some words of encouragement?

We are in this together, so we understand what it’s like to work in this industry. When I feel stressed, I think I should express my feelings to trusted colleagues. Probably they have had a similar experience. Find a good trustworthy colleague who may have helpful advice or at least can ease your feelings and help you keep moving forward.

 

Compiled by Edward Landler      

Editor’s Note: To recommend a member (including yourself) to be featured on CineMontage.org, and the home page of the Editors Guild website, please contact edlandler@roadrunner.com.

MARQUITA "LYRIC" RAMSEY - PICTURE EDITOR

September 2018

Where are you currently employed?

I recently wrapped a Viacom show for the 2018 BET (Black Entertainment Television) Awards.

 

Current Project?

The project was called 2018 BET Experience: Acoustically Speaking.

 

Describe Your Job.

Acoustically Speaking was a live taping of the BET Awards concert at the LA Convention Center. This was the first year the awards show aired on TV and included interview segments with the R‘n’B artists who were performing. As the supervising editor on the show, I was responsible for creating a fresh new style and managed a team of talented editors. Along with reformatting the live show for a TV audience, I also oversaw the mixing and editing of the music to fit the one-hour airtime.

 

How did you first become interested in this line of work?

I attended Howard University for Television and Film. When I arrived in Los Angeles with zero contacts, I landed a production assistant job on a reality show. Then I hustled at a post company called Rocket Science and began to see how TV was created. The editors were the members of the team who really held the driving keys. I wanted that power and a position where my work spoke louder than my race or gender. As a young editor, I idealistically thought that my work would get me into doors that my race wouldn’t and, mostly, this has been accurate.

 

Who gave you your first break?

I’ve been beating down doors in this business from day one and I’m still looking for that career- and life-changing break. But I am thankful to post supervisor Ryan Abbott, who advised me to learn Avid, and post supervisor Ralik Rachman, who gave me my first job as an editor. I was a lead assistant editor, lacking confidence to make the jump, and he believed in me from day one.

 

What was your first union job?

For my first union gig, I was honored to cut on two seasons of Project Runway Junior.

 

Which of your credits or projects have made you the most proud and why?

On Tour with Meek Mill is a documentary film where I could really flex my artistic skills. A lot of companies hire me because I’m a style and music editor, but rarely are you allowed to push the art in unscripted. Still, I’m very proud of Project Runway Junior. My editing partner and I worked on the finales for both seasons, and that was some of my best work.

 

What was the most fun you’ve had at work?

Attending the runway shows for Project Runway Junior. Since we were responsible for cutting the finale, the show runner thought it would be great if we attended. In general, the most fun is when I can get out of the edit bay. On the second season of Sisterhood of Hip Hop, as a supervising editor I was brought into the field as a producer (considering myself a “preditor”). Bridging production and post, I crafted story and heightened my effectiveness leading in post. 

 

What was your biggest challenge in your job (or on a particular project) and how did you overcome/solve it?

Time is a huge challenge, with schedules for episodes getting shorter and shorter. I think it’s key to be honest with producers and post supervisors — if you’re drowning in material and feel you need extra support, say it! Another challenge was working on a reality project and cutting dailies while on location. Most days they didn’t set up a “video village” on set, so I had to cut from “hot sheets” (daily summaries from the set) in a hotel room for 15 hours a day!

 

Jobwise, what do you hope to be doing five years from now?

I need to win a personal Emmy for editing, and I promised my late mother I would work on a western, which was her favorite genre. Also in the next five years, I hope to be out of unscripted, and directing, producing and editing my own content for networks or streaming services.

 

What are your outside activities, hobbies, passions?

I have a passion for giving back, especially to gay and lesbian youth and people of color. It’s important to show my community that we exist in all areas of media. I also work on content for “(blak)•Unicorn,” my own production company, feeding my soul and keeping me hungry. I recently finished Shakedown, a documentary that premiered at Outfest this summer.

 

Favorite movie(s)? Why?

The movie that blew my mind as a kid was Gone with the Wind. It shocks people when I say that, but I remember this epic story of a way of life vanishing, my first taste of movie magic. Other favorites are The Color Purple, Imitation of Life, Schindler’s List, Kill Bill and The Descent. And Set It Off, a great underrated film; when the lesbian Cleo (Queen Latifah) is gunned down by the police, I felt it!!! Growing up black and lesbian, I had never seen images of myself on the big screen. Later, The Celluloid Closet, a great doc about how movies portray queer men and women, brought my feelings full circle.

 

Favorite TV program(s)? Why?

TV shaped me. As the baby of three kids, I watched All in the FamilyThe Jeffersons, Sanford and Son and Good Times (thank you, Norman Lear). Taking over the remote, I loved The Cosby Show and A Different World (a major reason I attended Howard University). As a young adult, The Real WorldTrue LifeBuffy the Vampire Slayer and Saved by the Bell. Now, favorites are Stranger ThingsHow to Get Away with MurderNoisey, Insecure and The Good Fight.

 

Do you have an industry mentor?

Joining the Guild’s Diversity Committee has given me a great resource for meeting so many talented men and women. Among them are people I admire who may not know they are mentors, like Mary DeChambres. I can always reach out to her and she’s always open to give sage advice.

 

What advice would you offer to someone interested in pursuing your line of work?

I’m still learning that the best advice is to network. Editors spend all their time making others look great on the screen, but we need to be advocates for ourselves. It works to be visible on social media. And it’s important to stay working! Remember that you are only racing with yourself. Keep working, keep meeting new people and trust that your time to shine will come!

 

Was there ever a circumstance when you had to rely on the Guild for help or assistance?

Being part of the Editors Guild is a source of pride and has helped me continue my education as an editor. There are always activities or seminars that allow me to network and learn to be not only a better editor, but a better individual.

 

Is there anything you’d like to say to your fellow Guild members, some words of encouragement?

I would strongly encourage the Guild to continue to reach out to POC (people of color) and to create a mentorship program so we can really get to know more of the talented men and women who share the title “editor.” Lastly, thank you for opening so many doors for me since joining. I hope to continue working with many of you in the future.

 

Compiled by Edward Landler      

Editor’s Note: To recommend a member (including yourself) to be featured on CineMontage.org, and the home page of the Editors Guild website, please contact edlandler@roadrunner.com.

SETH GLENNIE-SMITH - MUSIC EDITOR

August 2018

Where are you currently employed?

I am currently working as a music editor for composers Brian Tyler and Keith Power on Hawaii Five-Oand the upcoming Magnum P.I. reboot, premiering this fall.

 

Describe Your Job.

When people tell you that they are music editors, it’s fair to say they could be wearing any number of different hats. It really varies gig to gig. The main goal is to streamline, expedite and generally help the composer and filmmakers achieve their creative vision through the various stages of production. For me, the most exciting part of the job is taking music written by the composer and finding sneaky ways to reintegrate it into different parts of the show. This not only establishes thematic continuity, but also helps speed the process along.

 

How did you first become interested in this line of work?

Growing up in a creative, musical family who nurtured my interest in music inspired the career path I’ve taken. I caught the bug for writing and was on a mission to be a composer, working at it for years. Honestly, I didn’t even know what a music editor was or did before becoming involved in bigger projects, and I certainly had no idea that I was on the path to becoming one.

So, music editing sort of found me, and I’ve run with it. I’ve found that having the perspective and insight of a composer in an editorial context has been very empowering and rewarding. It’s given me the opportunity to work with some really stellar composers, and I’ve enjoyed the creative problem solving and teamwork that I get to engage in as a music editor.

 

Who gave you your first break?

Brian Tyler hired me as an intern in 2013, which quickly turned into an assistant role. Right off the bat, I was thrown into the deep end with three concurrent projects: Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesThe Expendables 3, and an NFL rebranding gig for ESPN. Brian gave me license to make mistakes, learn from them and really get hands-on with awesome projects for the next three years.

What was your first union job?

Power Rangers in 2017.

 

Which of your credits or projects have made you the most proud and why?

Two projects come to mind. Criminal, co-scored by Brian Tyler and Keith Power. It was super cool to do some additional synth programming and arrangements in addition to assisting with conforms and delivery. That movie rocked! The second was being an assistant music editor on Power Rangers. It was a great experience to work on the Sony dub stage with Brian, Dean Israelite and so many incredibly creative professionals to realize original creator/producer Haim Saban’s vision. And we did!

I’ve found that having the perspective and insight of a composer in an editorial context has been very empowering and rewarding.

 

What was your biggest challenge in your job (or on a particular project) and how did you overcome/solve it?

A tricky scenario that happens occasionally when the higher-ups will dislike a scene for one reason or another, and try to fix the issue by changing the music. While it can be frustrating, I get it, because it’s faster and cheaper to have the music team throw together different solutions rather than going back several steps in the process. However, these problematic scenes or cues can take serious time and put you in the weeds. The challenge lies in finding a balance of what is feasible and reasonable to do in editorial versus sending it back to the drawing board altogether. With close coordination between the composer and the filmmakers, we always find a happy solution.

 

What was the most fun you’ve had at work?

Going to Brian Tyler’s recording sessions for films like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Furious 7. It was so cool to hear his top-notch music brought to the next level with all the life and sheen that the best session players in LA bring to it.

 

Jobwise, what do you hope to be doing five years from now?

More music! Whether it’s editorial or composing, I just hope to continue working with great collaborators.

 

What are your outside activities, hobbies, passions?

I love fiddling with hardware synthesizers. For whatever reason, I find them completely intoxicating and can spend hours patching cables and turning knobs to find a fun sound or texture. When I am not in the studio, I try to get out of the chair as much as possible. Surfing at Palos Verdes and San Clemente and climbing at Hollywood Boulders are some of my favorite things to do.

 

Favorite movie(s)? Why?

Three movies I love. First, No Country for Old Men. There is basically no music in this. It’s not lazy; it works. And when there is music, it’s great. I love Carter Burwell’s sensibility on this one. The second and third would be Inception and Interstellar, both with music by Hans Zimmer. Jam-packed with so much rich emotion that when you listen to the soundtrack, you are transported back into the film.

 

Favorite TV program(s)?  Why?

Love the ’80s synth style that Stranger Things helped re-popularize.

 

Do you have an industry mentor?

Without a doubt, Brian Tyler, Keith Power and music editor Joe Lisanti, who essentially taught me everything I know; I’m lucky to call them friends.

 

What advice would you offer to someone interested in pursuing your line of work? 

The best advice I can give is to never accept failure as an option, network your butt off and maintain connections with others in the industry.

 

Was there ever a circumstance when you had to rely on the Guild for help or assistance?

Fortunately, I have not had a reason to rely on the Guild for help; however, it is very comforting to know that should something ever come up, I have a team to wage war on my behalf.

 

Is there anything you’d like to say to your fellow Guild members, some words of encouragement?

Get out of the chair. Deep breaths and stretching are nice ways to decompress.

Compiled by Edward Landler      

Editor’s Note: To recommend a member (including yourself) to be featured on CineMontage.org, and the home page of the Editors Guild website, please contact edlandler@roadrunner.com

RITA SANDERS - PICTURE EDITOR

November 2017

Where are you currently employed?

I work on the Paramount lot, which is great because my last two shows have been in the same building there.

 

Current Project?

I am one of the editors on a new thriller, You, for Lifetime Television. Get ready, because it’s going to be an incredible show!

 

Describe Your Job.

I generally work in one-hour television on shows with three editors, each one taking charge of every third episode. I endeavor to take the roughly four hours of footage shot daily for my episodes (prepared by my excellent and talented assistant editor, Erin Wolf) and sculpt it into its most compelling form.

I try to make creative choices that will align as closely as possible with the writer’s and director’s intentions, trusting my instincts and personal tastes as my guiding principles. Choosing when and where to cut, I shape performances, pacing, tension and comedy; then I sprinkle in some temp music, sound effects and (sometimes) visual effects After my initial editor’s cut, working with notes from directors, producers, showrunners, and studio and network executives, I polish the show into a tight 42-minute masterpiece (hopefully) of storytelling.

 

How did you first become interested in this line of work?

I’ve been editing since my parents let me set up two VCRs in our living room as a teenager. I would try to cut trailers or funny mash-ups from VHS movies we owned. I was also part of a team that wrote, shot and edited my high school’s daily announcements on an Amiga Video Toaster; it was incredible how much fun we had with it. I entered the University of Texas, Austin film school wanting to direct but, by the time I left, I knew I wanted to be an editor. Of all the elements of filmmaking, editing still seems like the most fun and most important to me.

 

Who gave you your first break?

I worked about eight years editing TV news, indie features and documentaries in Austin before I moved to Los Angeles. I qualified for the union because of my documentary experience, but when Terry Kelley, ACE, helped get me a job as his assistant editor on a union TV pilot, I felt like I got my big break. It was a chance to show my stuff at a higher level, and I was better able to find my own jobs afterwards as a union assistant editor and, eventually, editor.

 

What was your first union job?

Before that, my first union job had been as assistant editor on a feature, Breathe In, edited by the patient and talented Jonathan Alberts.

 

Which of your credits or projects have made you the most proud and why?

I am very proud of The Horse Boy, a beautiful 90-minute documentary I edited from hundreds of hours of footage shot mainly in Mongolia. However, getting to cut on the first two seasons of the SyFy show The Magicians was also truly incredible. That show is so complex, so funny, so stylish and so scary, I feel I came out of it a better and much more confident editor.

 

What was your biggest challenge in your job (or on a particular project) and how did you overcome/solve it?

Back in Austin, I edited a documentary in a building that almost burned down in a four-alarm fire. We lost all of our computers, some of our tapes and a lot of our digitized footage. Fortunately, I had backed up all our project files and taken them with me when I left the previous night and we could re-digitize almost all of what we lost. That was a big lesson — always back up your project!

 

What was the most fun you’ve had at work?

My last show, Chance (for Hulu), was an incredibly fun show. Our post department was the nicest, chill-est group of people I’ve had the pleasure to work with. We were always trying to get more exercise because we all sat all day, every day. One day, our whole editorial department took over the Paramount editorial building break room to exercise to a fitness dance video. A lot of people got a big laugh when they saw us dancing so intensely and awkwardly.

 

Jobwise, what do you hope to be doing five years from now?

I am a big science fiction fan and I want to work on shows that tell difficult stories in fantastical ways. Like most people, I also crave being represented in the stories I see. I really want to work on shows that are not only wildly entertaining but will also contribute to women’s understanding of themselves and the world. These goals are not mutually exclusive but sometimes it feels like our industry believes they are.

 

What are your outside activities, hobbies, passions?

I enjoy nerd stuff like cosplay, sci-fi novels and Dungeons and Dragons. I am constantly listening to podcasts and spend a lot of time with my cat; she tells the best jokes.

 

Favorite movie(s)? Why?

Children of MenThe Witch28 Days Later and Fast, Cheap & Out of Control are films I love because they elevated their genres to a higher level of quality and entertainment. The Jerk and Clue remain two of the funniest films ever made.

 

Favorite TV program(s)? Why?

Y’all, I need to remind you that Xena: Warrior Princess was the best television show ever made. Comedy, action, swords and sandals — and a beautiful depiction of female friendship. What else could I ever need? I accept FireflyThe ExpanseMisfitsAre You Being Served?Steven Universe and 30 Rock as runners up.

 

Do you have an industry mentor?

I would not be where I am today without Terry Kelley. He taught me how to be a better editor and a better person. His friendship and career guidance have been invaluable. He has a long history of mentoring young editors and he taught me the value of taking an interest in the people working around me; we can all teach each other something. I want to pay his mentorship forward to other young people who need a mentor like I did when I was starting out.

 

What advice would you offer to someone interested in pursuing your line of work?

Honestly, if you can be happy doing anything other than this, go do that thing! This can be a brutal line of work, but if you have that fire and passion for the work, then give it your all because it will enrich you and nourish you. I wouldn’t trade this job for anything in the world.

 

Was there ever a circumstance when you had to rely on the Guild for help or assistance?

I haven’t needed to go to the Guild with work problems, but the training classes the Guild offers and the opportunity to better my skills on equipment at the Guild has been very valuable!

 

Is there anything you’d like to say to your fellow Guild members, some words of encouragement?

It’s rough out there but we are very lucky to be in one of the few industries left with strong unions. I try to stay involved by participating in union-related social media pages to keep up to date with what is happening with our membership. We are all better off when as many of us are as involved as possible.

Compiled by Edward Landler

 Editor’s Note: To recommend a member (including yourself) to be featured on the home page of the Editors Guild website, contact edlandler@roadrunner.com.


Interested in Being Featured?

Tomm Carroll
Publications Director
323.876.4770, ext. 222
tcarroll@editorsguild.com