Where are you currently employed?
Currently I’m working at my home studio with Avid and Final Cut Pro while waiting for a green light on a new show.
I’m working on an experimental neo-punk rock musical film and shooting b-roll with my new HD video camera.
Describe your job.
Working as an assistant editor for a talented editor is very rewarding for me. Being able to organize media and edit visual effects, sound effects and music while handling every detail is important because I know my editor is under pressure and relies on and appreciates my dedication. Maintaining neatness and order is essential.
Impeccable logs and lists of elements for pick-up and delivery always keeps the workflow functioning flawlessly.
How did you become interested in this line of work?
Perhaps it was the influence of an uncle who was an executive for Technicolor New York. I started out studying illustration, painting and still photography and longed to see the pictures come to life and tell their stories. The next semester, I entered the film program.
Who gave you your first break?
Jack Fitzstephens got in the elevator one morning to start his workday as I was ending mine at Trans Audio, (now Todd-AO NY) and we exchanged hellos. He hired me to work on an HBO TV movie starring Kate Capshaw and Sam Elliott called The Quick and the Dead and taught me sound editing.
After that, Academy Award-winning editor John Poyner from London hired me to build ADR tracks on a John Schlesinger feature, The Falcon and the Snowman. I was meeting a friend for lunch when the projectionist ran into her editing room and said a production was looking for an assistant editor. They met me and hired me on the spot. Inside the ADR studio were Sean Penn and Timothy Hutton and, as the mag tracks came off the dubber, I built reels to be taken back to London where they had a tight schedule to meet.
My tracks were accurate because soon after that, Poyner returned to New York from London with director Michael Winner. They were shooting Death Wish 3 and we synced the dailies for screenings. Right after that, an assistant editor had to go back to London and John recommended me. I was hired as an assistant on F/X Murder by Illusion, edited by Terry Rawlings and produced by Dodi El Fayed.
What was your first union job?
Syncing dailies for the Children’s Television Workshop series 3-2-1 Contact.
Which of your credits or projects have made you the most proud and why?
A Room with a View made my family proud, and I was happy to please them. It is a lovely film. The Star Trek Enterprise TV series is a piece of history and a memorable experience. I was lucky to work with Daryl Baskin, a wonderful editor.
What was your biggest challenge in your job (or on a particular project) and how did you overcome/solve it?
My first $40 million feature conform. The producers called at 5 p.m. for a screening of the entire film the next day. I worked overnight . Before Avid, Convergence EDLs were created by a computer programmer and were off a frame or two, so the lists had to be checked against the work print at each cut before the pulls were made. The result on the Warner Bros. big screen was flawless. Afterwards, executive producer Steven Reuther walked by me and said, “Well done; thank you.” With sadness, I read that he passed away recently.
What was the most fun you’ve had at work?
Terry Rawlings took me over to an orchestra session for the film Alien 3 at 20th Century Fox. That was just magnificent. Working with Daryl Baskin on the last season of Enterprise was pure fun. Going with him to creative meetings with everyone sitting around a big oval table and to the set that took up two stages at Paramount was a treat. Daryl always smiles and makes everyone around him happy.
Jobwise, what do you hope to be doing five years from now?
Working on films.
What are your outside activities, hobbies, passions?
Photography, Photoshop, gallery exhibits, book publishing, weight training, organic gardening and raw food preparation. My passion is travel; to see how places I’ve been to before have evolved, as well as visiting new ones.
A collection of my photography is on exhibit in the VIP room at the Wiltern Theatre. My book Diamond Rocks is available now:
At the French Film Festival 2010 in LA, I noted that Vincent Rottiers is the new Alain Delon. I saw Million Dollar Baby nine times. Black Girl by Ousmane Sembene is a classic. Emma Thompson in Last Chance Harvey. Sweeping Epics with Keira Knightley; dramas like The Lovely Bones or The Professional with Natalie Portman and Jean Reno. I loved El Cantante with J. Lo and Marc Anthony singing all the Fania hits.
Favorite TV Program(s)?
Lie to Me, because I enjoy the immense talent and charisma of Tim Roth. It is well cast with Jennifer Beals, Kelli Williams and Mekhi Phifer; well written, beautifully photographed, impeccably costumed and designed.
Do you have an industry mentor?
Sam Crutcher and his family were very kind to me when I worked for them. Recently, Sam helped me with a sound project. He is a real gentleman and great sound editor who makes a good cup of tea. Dave Terman, a staff editor at Sony Studios, saw my photos over a decade ago and has been encouraging me to write a book that has finally been realized.
What advice would you offer to someone interested in pursuing your line of work?
Follow your heart. Keep your mind sharp, your ears wide open and your words carefully selected. Use your intuition and peripheral vision to observe the magic that is going on all around you.
Was there ever a circumstance when you had to rely on the Guild for help or assistance?
From the beginning, when I joined 700, the Guild’s Membership Administrator Adriana Iglesias-Dietl has been most helpful and kind. The Board of Directors new technology committee has created a seminar series for members that I found to be helpful.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your fellow Guild members?
I believe each individual has a personal message to express during his or her lifetime. There is no better way than making a movie.
- Compiled by Robin Rowe
Editor’s Note: This column profiles Editors Guild members in good standing. To recommend a member for the column––even yourself––contact Robin Rowe at email@example.com.