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Past Featured Members

MICHAEL JONES - ASSISTANT EDITOR:

April 2016

Where are you currently employed?

 

I’m currently working at Sony Picture Studios for Woodridge Productions and Sony Entertainment.

 

Current Project?

 

My current project is a pilot for ABC, but I am sworn to secrecy about it.

 

Describe Your Job.

 

I'm responsible for any editorial needs our editor has. Editors are always up against a deadline, so part of my job is to help them be as efficient and productive as they can be. I also have the responsibility of making fluid transfers of any media into and out of the Avid; for example, receiving dailies and music from composers, and sending shots to VFX vendors or cuts to studios and networks.  

 

How did you first become interested in this line of work?

 

It was during film school, when I learned how two different editors could be given the same footage and make two totally different movies. I wanted to learn how to use the Avid and Final Cut but also to pick up on directing techniques. I really love how, like a puzzle, you take all these pieces that make up a film and, as an editor, fit them together into something wonderful.

 

Who gave you your first break?

 

My first break into this industry came from Irene Cazares. She was a post-production coordinator who helped convince the powers that be to take a chance on me as an assistant editor. Nine years later, I'm still grateful for that first break.

 

What was your first union job?

 

My first union job was The American Bible Challenge, a really good and funny game show hosted by Jeff Foxworthy. They say don't talk about religion and politics in the workplace, but the other assistant editors and I — all with different points of view — had really good conversations about religion and politics while working on that show. 

 

Which of your credits or projects have made you the most proud and why?

 

The credit of which that I'm the proudest to have been a part is the scripted pilot on which I'm currently working, because my dream has always been to work on features and scripted television. When I look back at my career 30 years from now, I believe this will be a defining moment — just like getting my first break in the industry.

 

What was your biggest challenge in your job (or on a particular project) and how did you overcome/solve it?

 

My biggest challenge is that the role and responsibilities of an assistant editor continue to expand while our time schedules continue to shrink. So for me, it's about staying calm and prioritizing; then I handle each task as quickly and effectively as I can.

 

What was the most fun you’ve had at work?

 

The most fun I have at work is always because of the people with whom I'm working. I have a lot of fun when I work with my brother Mark, who is an assistant editor too. Also, I remember my first three years working nights with about 10 other assistant editors, and not having any social life.  One Friday night, we got done with work fairly early — at 2:00 a.m., when there’s nowhere to go. Being the resourceful engineers assistant editors are, we decided to get a mic and do karaoke music. There’s nothing like seeing a bunch of sleep-deprived assistant editors singing in front of a mixer and an AVID at 2:00 in the morning.

  

Jobwise, what do you hope to be doing five years from now?

 

Five years from now, I hope to be continuing my career working on features and scripted shows.

 

What are your outside activities, hobbies, passions?

 

Recently my wife gave birth to our first child, so my outside activities, hobbies and passion right now are my son, Landon, of whom I cannot get enough. 

 

Favorite movie(s)? Why?

 

One of my favorite movies is Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope [aka the original Star Wars] the first movie I ever saw at a movie theatre. I remember that when I came out of the movie I wanted to do that when I grow up. I didn't even know what that was, but I knew I wanted to be part of making movies. I was amazed at the visual effects — most were models and miniatures but the realism of the set design was amazing. The costumes and creature design was far ahead of any other sci-fi movie of the time. Later, I saw it won a Best Editing Oscar; that really brought it all home to what I'd eventually be doing.

 

Favorite TV program(s)?  Why?

 

My favorite show is Game of Thrones. I really believe we're in the golden age of television, and Game of Thrones has made a lot of networks step up their game. There is so much good TV right now that I never complain that there’s nothing good to watch anymore.  

 

Do you have an industry mentor?

 

I don't have a mentor, but I'd love to have one I've gotten a lot of advice from Lori Jane Coleman and Lillian E. Benson that's been very helpful. Every show on which I work, I try to gain as much knowledge as I can from the editor or editors so that one day, I'll be an ACE-worthy editor.  

 

What advice would you offer to someone interested in pursuing your line of work?

 

Anyone pursuing this work should be humble, patient and have the right temperament and a hard-working positive attitude. Learn the ins and outs of using Avid so when you get a job in post you’re not trying to learn the system and the workflow. Above all else, be fun to be around. 

 

Was there ever a circumstance when you had to rely on the Guild for help or assistance?

 

With apprentice editor positions non-existent, I appreciate the seminars that the Guild provides — especially the ones about the communication process between the different departments. I learned about working in scripted from a seminar called “The Art of Assisting” presented by Meghan Robertson. Learning about the workflow helped me understand the process before being thrown into the fire.

 

Is there anything you’d like to say to your fellow Guild members, some words of encouragement?

 

I encourage all Guild members to take advantage of the Guild seminar classes.

 

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 edlandler@roadrunner.com.

 


Interested in Being Featured?

Tomm Carroll
Publications Director
323.876.4770, ext. 222
tcarroll@editorsguild.com