Where are you currently employed?
I recently finished working at Runway Productions Inc. as an Assistant Editor on season 11 of Project Runway. It’s one of the biggest franchises in reality TV and I’m proud to have been a part of the shows continued success.
Describe Your Job.
There isn’t a perfect way to describe the job of an Assistant Editor. My experience as an AE involves a multitude of activities. The main duties are to ingest the footage into the editing system, sync and group the matching camera angles and prep the completed groups for the editors to work their magic. But there’s also a huge technical aspect that every AE should be familiar with. The technology is constantly changing and every day brings about new challenges that must be conquered.
How did you first become interested in this line of work?
I became interested in film and television after enrolling in a TV production class in high school, but my path took many twists and turns before settling in post-production. After toiling around in the IT world, I decided to enroll in the Film School at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and the rest is history.
Who gave you your first break?
My first break came from Mark Raudonis, the vice-president of Post-Production at Bunim/Murray Productions. I was hired to work in the BMP dub room and worked my way up to Dailies Editor on The Real World before crossing over to assisting. Mark was always accessible as a resource with a vast knowledge of all things post.
What was your first union job?
My first union job was on Project Runway’s season 7. When the opportunity came for me to join the union, I did my research and realized that being a part of the Motion Picture Editors Guild made the most sense.
Which of your credits or projects have made you the most proud and why?
I’m proud of all my work in some aspect or other, but I’m most proud of Project Runway, one of the most popular franchises I’ve worked on. I say that because my assist team and I were part of the show’s transition from a successful run on Bravo to re-establishing the popular brand on Lifetime Network.
I’ve also been blessed with the opportunity to work as an AE on a trio of short films starring the great Kevin Spacey. The opportunity to watch everything unfold on set and to help shepherd the films through the post process, gave me some much needed clarity as to why I moved to LA.
What was your biggest challenge in your job (or on a particular project) and how did you overcome/solve it?
I’ve had many challenges throughout my career but one in particular was being at the forefront of a post-production company’s transition away from Final Cut Pro into Avid. There were a lot of long, sleepless nights, but we had a great group of AEs and together we helped create a step-by-step, company-wide workflow for all the shows moving forward.
What was the most fun you’ve had at work?
“You always remember your first” — so my first AE gig alongside a group of other first-timers was the most fun I’ve ever had working...maybe too much fun. We were very unconventional in our approach, but we managed to successfully support the launch of a major show into a new network.
Jobwise, what do you hope to be doing five years from now?
As an AE, my goal is to learn as much as I can in hopes of becoming an Editor. Once that’s accomplished, in the next five years I would use my experience as an editor to start transitioning into directing.
What are your outside activities, hobbies, passions?
Outside of work, my hobbies and passions revolve around the world of sports and competition. I’ve played soccer throughout my life and belong to a couple of teams around Los Angeles. If I’m not playing sports, I’m constantly following highlights and/or playing some sort of Fantasy Football or something… “Let’s go, Heat!” I’m obsessed!
Favorite movie(s)? Why?
I have many favorite movies from my childhood to now and the list is constantly changing. Movies like Dune, The Shawshank Redemption, The Hudsucker Proxy, Fallen Angels and The Thin Red Line come to mind, but the list goes on and on. I love these films because they are timeless and I can watch them over and over again and still feel affected. Every aspect of the filmmaking process has to come together seamlessly — from the directing to how the editors re-imagine the storylines, the characters and the production value to create the magic.
Favorite TV program(s)? Why?
I feel that we’re in the best TV era in my lifetime. From the evolution of Reality TV to the quality scripted shows, my DVR is never empty. Right now I’m hooked on HBO’s Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire, Starz’s Spartacus and Magic City, AMC’s Mad Men, The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad, Showtime’s Shameless and the list continues. The creativity, the characters, the storylines, the editing and the production values are all top-shelf.
Do you have an industry mentor?
I don’t have a mentor per se, but I do have a wide variety of contacts and resources to pull from when needed.
What advice would you offer to someone interested in pursuing your line of work?
Be prepared to work hard, be accountable, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’ll be working alongside some really amazing people, so stay focused on your craft and take lots of notes.
Was there ever a circumstance when you had to rely on the Guild for help or assistance?
I’m always checking the calendars on the Editors Guild website for upcoming seminars and workshops. The industry is always changing and it’s great to stay on top of the new technologies and work flows. I always use the Guild as a resource. I enjoy the mixers and catching up with old colleagues.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your fellow Guild members, some words of encouragement?
To my fellow Guild members, I would say thank you for continuing to fight the good fight. We have a power in numbers and to be a part of such a prestigious group is a blessing.
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.