Where are you currently employed?
My career has moved back and forth between live action editing in television and animation editing, which has been both for television and home video features. I am looking at my options for my next project.
How did you first become interested in this line of work?
One of my very earliest memories is of sitting in an opulent movie palace in Redondo Beach and watching my first movie, 101 Dalmatians. I started to write my own scripts in high school. By that time, I knew I wanted some kind of career in the industry. Then, while earning my MFA in film production from USC, I fell in love with editing.
Who gave you your first break?
My first live action TV job was for Robert Parigi and Bernie Laramie at Lorimar. My first animation TV job was for Elen Orson at Disney TV animation.
What was your first union job?
Apprentice editor on House Party 2.
Which of your credits or projects have made you the most proud and why?
My first animation editing job was for an animated sequence in a live-action feature called Stay Tuned. It gave me a chance to work with the legendary Chuck Jones, director of Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century and other classic Looney Tunes. There are two animated Disney Cable series, Brandy and Mr. Whiskers and the first season of The Replacements—where I edited every episode. Those highlight my abilities. As for live action, I cut the finale for the HBO series Dream On.
What was your biggest challenge in your job (or on a particular project)?
Getting the live action community to recognize the skills of an animation editor and that those editing abilities could be of great value to a live action show.
What was the most fun you’ve had at work?
The Brandy and Mr. Whiskers creative team—director Tim Bjorklund and writers/producers Bill Motz and Bob Roth—were not only really good at what they did, but they had this confidence that made for a great relaxed atmosphere. For example, the first question during my interview for the position was, "If you were going to be attacked, would you rather it be by a bear or a shark, and why?" I just thought that was really funny. My sensibilities really meshed with theirs. In live action I just love the chance to tell a good story. I also love to cut sequences that have strong musical components to them.
Jobwise, what do you hope to be doing five years from now?
Cutting and/or directing character-driven features.
What are your outside activities, hobbies, passions?
My wife and I are foodies and love to travel. Next destination: Spain. I’m also a Los Angeles history buff and a weekend bicyclist. I feel strongly about supporting non-profit organizations, especially the arts and arts education.
Favorite movie(s)? Why?
I've been struggling recently to whittle down a list of favorite films to just my top 100, but here are a few highlights: To Kill a Mockingbird, a great adaption of a great book with a great cast, including non-professionals, by a great director, Robert Mulligan, and a great producer, Alan Pakula; Fantasia and Yellow Submarine as peak examples of animation; and Trouble in Paradise, directed by Ernst Lubistch, because I would like to make contemporary movies that are that sexy, that funny and that smart.
Favorite TV program(s)?
I watch a lot of non-fiction programming—from the History International Channel to Myth Busters. I also love comedy—from Frazier to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Do you have an industry mentor?
I can't single out one person in particular. I feel very lucky to have had 10 or 15 people who've made a difference in my career at one point or another. There's a reason those awards thank you speeches are so long!
What advice would you offer to someone interested in pursuing your line of work?
Find out what ancillary skills—like Photoshop and ProTools, etc.—make you more valuable for the specific area of post you're interested in. You may decide to learn a different skill set than you originally thought you needed. And get a professional job under your belt, versus a student project, as soon as you can, even if the first one is unpaid.
Was there ever a circumstance when you had to rely on the Guild for help or assistance?
I have been lucky enough to work mostly for large companies like Disney and Warner Bros., so there's never really been an issue. But I feel it's been important to have the Guild presence in the industry to set the bar for wage minimums and the work environment.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your fellow Guild members, some words of encouragement?
The best part of my job is working with talented people who, despite smaller crews and reduced schedules, keep turning out exciting creative work every day. I really find that inspiring.
- Compiled by Edward Landler
Photo by Marta Evry
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