What is your current project?
I’m currently between jobs but the last film I worked on was Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules.
Describe Your Job.
The assistant sound editor is responsible for the workflow of the post-production sound crew. The most important aspect is keeping the most current version of picture and guide tracks available for the editors, since versions are constantly changing. This includes sending current versions to the various stages—ADR, Foley and the mix stages. The assistant prepares the dialogue sessions for the dialogue editor by assembling the reels and making sure all of the production dialogue is in sync with the picture editor’s tracks.
We also provide the editors with change notes and notes from the supervising sound editor and picture editor. We are the liaison and conduit between the picture and sound department so the sound editors can keep up with the current version of the project and with all the notes and requirements of the picture department. We work hand-in-hand with the picture department to be sure we are on the same page as they are at all times.
The most challenging aspect of the job is handling all the different technical formats and differing work styles of each picture crew and project. Sometimes we have to figure out how to make things work in a limited amount of time. The schedules are more compressed, we are all doing more work per person, there is very little margin for error and everyone is depending on us to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
How did you first become interested in this line of work?
I always liked puzzles and putting things together. In my first year of college, I took a film class as an elective and when we started talking about editing, I thought that would be a good fit for me. I then transferred to NYU Film School.
Who gave you your first break?
When I was in film school, I worked for free for one of my professors who was a documentary editor. As a gift to me when I graduated, she got me a job on a feature called Bloodhounds of Broadway.
What was your first union job?
Bloodhounds of Broadway. I was the apprentice picture editor; I originally started in picture editorial.
Which of your credits or projects have made you the most proud and why?
Every film has its own set of challenges that sometimes makes work very frustrating, but ultimately very rewarding. I’m proud of all of them.
What was your biggest challenge in your job (or on a particular project) and how did you overcome/solve it?
I can’t remember what film it was—it was a long time ago—but I thought I could save time if I got the dailies from the Avid instead of loading them from the DVD-ROMs from production. I spent a lot of time renaming all the files and, when I got an EDL to do an assembly, it was then I realized the Avid had time-stamped all the dailies with new time code; they no longer had the original time code from the production recording! The files were useless for us without the original time code. I had no choice but to go back and load the production dailies from the original DVD-ROMs. My bad for not checking the time code first…
What was the most fun you’ve had at work?
I’ve been really fortunate to work with a lot of really fun people over the years. I can’t think of one specific fun moment, there have been so many.
Jobwise, what do you hope to be doing five years from now?
I hope to be working on a union film.
What are your outside activities, hobbies, passions?
I work part-time on weekends at 89.9 KCRW as a Board Operator/Radio Announcer because I love public radio. I also love glassblowing. I started glassblowing about a year and a half ago and fell in love with it. I also like to hike.
Favorite movie(s)? Why?
Robert Altman’s A Wedding and Woody Allen’s Manhattan and Crimes and Misdemeanors. I can watch them over and over and still find things I hadn’t noticed the previous time. And there’s a documentary called Burden of Dreams about the making of Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo that’s outstanding. Herzog is so passionate about his films and it gives a real inside look at what he’s like in production. The whole idea of getting a boat over a mountain was crazy.
Favorite TV program(s)? Why?
House, because he solves problems. I had some favorite cable series but they are no longer running; Six Feet Under and The Sopranos were definitely my two favorites.
Do you have an industry mentor?
Supervising sound editor Don Sylvester. He has taught me lessons in editorial and in life.
What advice would you offer to someone interested in pursuing your line of work?
Find an internship that offers an up-close look at what an assistant sound editor does and how workflow is achieved. Another avenue is working on non-paid films for students and small projects listed on mandy.com. Stay involved with the film community by visiting websites like filmworksla.com
Was there ever a circumstance when you had to rely on the Guild for help or assistance?
Not directly, but I appreciate the Guild website for the “available for work” feature, Editors Guild Magazine and the seminars offered through the Guild.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your fellow Guild members, some words of encouragement?
Winston Churchill said it best: “Never, never, never, never give up.”
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.