Where are you currently employed?
At Marvel Studios/Disney.
I am currently working on Thor: The Dark World.
Describe Your Job.
The job of any assistant editor is multi-faceted and changes not only from job to job but seemingly minute by minute. My role on this film has been to prioritize the many requests coming down the pipeline and to make sure that the editors and various other departments have what they need to make the best movie possible. There is really too much to list, but somehow we seem to get it all done.
How did you first become interested in this line of work?
When I went to college, I had no clue what I wanted to major in but I had a music and dance background and a growing love for computers. After I realized that computer science wasn't exactly the right fit, I switched to communications. I took my first video production course and fell in love with editing immediately. At first we had to learn tape to tape, which was fun but definitely not as exciting as when we got to use Media 100. I wound up volunteering to cut a few of my fellow students’ projects and then became a teaching assistant for the advanced editing courses. It was a lot of fun!
Who gave you your first break?
My first job out of college was at Sony Pictures as the executive assistant to Richard Branca in the Sound department. He was a great mentor who encouraged me and gave me some of the best advice. He helped me to land my first job, which was on Sony's Gridiron Gang. I met Michel Aller on that show and she gave me my first big break when she hired me to be her first (and only) assistant on a smaller budget movie she was cutting.
This was huge for me because I had only one project under my belt, so I was flattered but terrified at the same time. Throwing myself into the fire, I used that experience to teach myself as much as I could and I walked away from that film with a much broader knowledge of the editorial process. I also met Joel Negron on Gridiron Gang, and he gave me many breaks throughout my career, starting with The Mummy 3. Most recently, he made me his first assistant on Michael Bay's Pain & Gain. I am very grateful for everything he has taught me throughout the years.
What was your first union job?
My first union job was on Gridiron Gang as an apprentice editor.
Which of your credits or projects have made you the most proud and why?
I am proud of all of my credits, but I was very excited to work on Alice in Wonderland, not only because of the obvious Tim Burton connection, but because it was my first experience with digital dailies and also 3D conversion. I learned a lot on that show, even if I was only hired to work through the dailies process.
What was your biggest challenge in your job (or on a particular project) and how did you overcome/solve it?
My first location job was on The Last Airbender, in Philadelphia, and I was very excited to work for M. Night Shyamalan. People are divided on his work, but I love quite a number of his films, and he was a pleasure to work for. The experience of being on location for a year was a challenge because I was away from friends and family for so long. I developed a hobby for cooking with my new-found free time and that is something I probably wouldn't have had time to do had I been working at home. I made some lifelong friendships on that crew and I will cherish the memories of living through my first "real" winter — Philly experienced record snow fall that year.
What was the most fun you’ve had at work?
I absolutely loved working on Bridesmaids. It was my first experience working on a comedy and the first real divergence from the editorial process I had learned. Comedy is such a difficult genre and the editors and assistants over at Judd Apatow's camp have it down to a science! I have never laughed so hard while watching dailies. The level of collaboration they have on that team is refreshing and reminded me why I got into this field in the first place...cutting is so much fun!
Jobwise, what do you hope to be doing five years from now?
In five years, I would love to be working on a film that I am passionate about and ideally I would be cutting. Shoot for the stars, right?
What are your outside activities, hobbies, passions?
When I have some free time, you can find me with friends, in my vegetable garden, hanging out with my dog Rossi,at the beach, or working on one of the many home improvement projects I drum up and can never seem to finish!
Favorite movie(s)? Why?
My all-time favorite movie is Gone with the Wind. More current film favorites would be Running with Scissors, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Royal Tenenbaums. Someone recently pointed out to me that I must have a thing for forsaken love stories...maybe she's right!
Favorite TV program(s)? Why?
I really don't find myself watching TV very often.
Do you have an industry mentor?
I don't have a specific mentor, but everyone with whom I have worked has helped guide me along my path.
What advice would you offer to someone interested in pursuing your line of work?
Work hard, and if your crew is going out for dinner or some other social outing and asks you along...go! Even if you're tired, this line of work is all based on referrals, and getting to know each other is difficult when you're behind an Avid all day long.
Was there ever a circumstance when you had to rely on the Guild for help or assistance?
Luckily for me, I haven't had to call upon the Guild for assistance because the shows I have worked on have been respectful of the union and its rules and regulations.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your fellow Guild members, some words of encouragement?
I am proud to be a Guild member and I look forward to crossing paths with many more members in the years to come.
- 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.