Where are you currently employed?
I'm currently between projects, so I am enjoying spending the summer with my six-year-old.
My most recent project was DreamWorks’ Rise of the Guardians with Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman and Jude Law among the character voices.
Describe Your Job.
As animation editor on an animated feature film, I support the supervising editor in cutting the movie. At the beginning of pre-production, I help assemble the story reel — using storyboards cut with sound effects, temp music and temp dialogue called scratch dialogue. The story reel serves as a blueprint to help the director tell the story in the most compelling way before any animation is done.
After the production hires the actors, I help replace the scratch dialogue with production dialogue recordings of the cast. Once the story and the timing are at a place the directors like, sequences are approved to go into the animation pipeline. This is a collaborative process with Editorial serving as the hub at each stage — layout, rough animation, final animation — with shots being sent to Editorial to be cut into the film, edited and approved for the next stage. During that process, the music composers and sound designers are busy creating and building the sound, which we also cut into the film to tweak in directors’ sessions.
Throughout this process, I assist in editing the film by adding or changing sound effects to match the animation and at times re-working sections of the story. At the end, the post process is similar to a live-action show, as we deliver reels to the stages and help oversee the final picture and sound as it makes its way to the theatre.
How did you first become interested in this line of work?
I was taking classes at Los Angeles Valley College hoping to enroll in its nursing program when my friend Hibah Frisina, now an ACE. member who was then an assistant editor, offered me a job as an uncredited assistant on her next project. It was a TV movie with Brooke Shields and I said yes without any hesitation. I was surprised to learn that the editor, Mark Rosenbaum, was open to hiring someone with no experience. I decided to put nursing school on hold, at least until I finished the project or got fired. I didn't get fired and I quickly realized that I had an affinity for this work. I really loved it. I'm so grateful to both Hibah and Mark for giving me such a great opportunity. It's not easy to land a job like that.
What was your first union job?
Which of your credits or projects have made you the most proud and why?
For many reasons, I would have to say that Kung Fu Panda 2 is the project I'm most proud of. I had been the first assistant editor on the first Kung Fu Panda under supervising editor Clare Knight, A.C.E. On the sequel, KFP2, she gave me more scenes to work on, as well as major responsibility in re-cutting newly recorded dialogue in the final stages of the post process. I am proud to have been a part of the making of such a wonderfully creative film. I also felt truly proud to be able to invite six of my son's pre-school friends and their parents to a family preview screening. It was fun to share their excitement, as they were the first kids in their pre-school to see it.
What was your biggest challenge in your job (or on a particular project) and how did you overcome/solve it?
Every job has its challenges. I'm a firm believer that if you don't know how to solve an issue, call your contacts as they may have an answer for you. I assisted on a show that began on Final Cut Pro. The show needed to be converted to Avid Media Composer 5. I had one week to do the conversion before the lead editor was to start work. With the help of my peers I was able to achieve the task at hand.
What was the most fun you’ve had at work?
I've been very lucky to have worked with crews that have gotten along exceptionally well. We work long hours and when you work with an Editorial team that jells, it makes it less stressful to meet all of the production demands and schedules. Though we work long hours, it seems like we're always able to laugh about something.
Jobwise, what do you hope to be doing five years from now?
I hope to continue doing what I'm doing now.
What are your outside activities, hobbies, passions?
I enjoy traveling and photography.
Favorite movie(s)? Why?
I love all the John Hughes' movies. The one that stands out the most for me is Sixteen Candles. I was in high school when I first saw it. I remember walking out of the theatre thinking, "I can totally relate to Samantha," except that my family did not forget my birthday and my Jake Ryan never knew I had a crush on him. Big sigh! The scene when they passing the note with the list of embarrassing questions depicted a daily event in my high school, along with the dances in the school gym and the house parties. John Hughes understood the traumas of teendom. He definitely portrayed high school life more accurately in his films than any other director.
Favorite TV program(s)? Why?
I'm a reality show junkie, maybe because these shows are so different from the kinds of stories we tell in animation. The Amazing Race, Survivor, Big Brother, Dance Moms, The Real Housewives of New Jersey — just to name a few. I love unwinding after a long day of work by watching all the drama and the cattiness that come with these shows.
Do you have an industry mentor?
Yes, Clare Knight. She believed in me and took me under her wing on Kung Fu Panda and KFP2. She enthusiastically gave me feedback on the sequences I cut. Her notes were consistently helpful and I always learned from them. I am my own worst critic and she is very encouraging and supportive.
What advice would you offer to someone interested in pursuing your line of work?
If you know someone in the business, ask if they wouldn't mind teaching you the ropes. Try to become their shadow. I've learned almost everything through on-the-job training.
Was there ever a circumstance when you had to rely on the Guild for help or assistance?
I have taken advantage of the classes and equipment provided by the Guild to continue my growth in this field.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your fellow Guild members, some words of encouragement?
Stay positive and pay it forward.
- 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.