Tag Archives: Film Editor

Zekun Mao uses editing to create a thrill for audiences

Zekun Mao still remembers the first time she truly noticed film as a form of art, beyond a simple form of entertainment. She was watching Christopher Nolan’s 2000 blockbuster Memento, and she was fascinated by not just the story, but how it was being told. She began to immerse herself in movies, making her realize a passion that she never knew she had. She knew from then on that she was meant to go into filmmaking, and now, as an award-winning editor, she is living her dream.

“Whatever style the story requires, I will cut the film in that way. I would describe my style of editing as naturalism. I came from a documentary background. Being natural, or being real, is the most important thing. When I am editing, I like to stick to the style of the footage and stick to the tone of stories. I love showing the story as it should be. If it should be emotional, then I will make sure the way I cut the movie will make audiences feel that particular way,” she said.

Becoming an industry leader in her home country of China and abroad, Mao knows just what it takes to captivate an audience. This is exemplified with her work on films like Jie Jie, And The Dream That Mattered, Janek/Bastard, and American Dream, to name a few.

Last year, Mao also saw worldwide success with her film Our Way Home. The dramatic thriller tells the story of Chinese-American James, who picks up his older sister Barbara from college for Thanksgiving 1962. After a racist encounter in a diner, they think they’re being followed, but it’s not someone they expected. The story spoke to Mao, who has experienced similar forms of racism in her own life, which is why she felt compelled to work on the film.

“The story is about racism, especially at this moment when a lot of similar things are happening in the world. A lot of the feelings that immigrants have are painful, confused and embarrassing. Through this story, I want to tell the world that racism is a terrible thing and it shouldn’t happen to anyone. Moreover, the story is about Chinese immigrants. I want to highlight stories that are about my own community and about our history. As a Chinese filmmaker, I see that as one of my responsibilities. I think it is very important to show the difficulties and struggles that Chinese immigrants have even today,” said Mao.

Our Way Home had its world premiere at the Hollyshorts Film Festival 2018 where it was an Official Selection and is expected to continue its film festival run this year. Mao was pivotal to the film’s success. As it is a thriller, creating tension and uneasiness is key to captivating the audience, and editing is a vital tool to achieve this. Her work created the tone, bringing the audience into this dark world, making the thriller just that: thrilling.

“I am really happy that our film has been such a success. I feel really rewarded. All the hard work that we put in was really worth it. I am so happy that the story let the world pay attention to racism that still exists today. I am happy that through this film, I speak out loud what a lot of people want to say. I am also happy that I highlighted the story from my own community,” she said.

When editing, Mao made the decision of using fast cuts. During one crucial scene where the characters are being chased, Mao used her skills to create a feeling of danger, using jump cuts. The cuts are constantly jumping between cars and between the inside and outside of the car.

Mao thoroughly enjoyed her time working on Our Way Home. Everyone she worked with was dedicated to making the best film possible, and it shows in the final cut. Mao formed great professional relationships on set, which was almost the best part of working on the film. The best, she says, was sharing the story with a worldwide audience.

“The story is the reason why I worked on this project, and telling the story is the most enjoyable part of this process. I am very happy that I was able to tell this story, because I believe a lot of people experience racism in different ways. And a lot of Chinese-Americans had the confusing moment of figuring out who they really are. I hope after watching this film, audiences can think about all these problems,” she said.

Be sure to check out Our Way Home to see a telling and timely story, and just what Mao is capable of as an editor.

 

Written by Annabelle Lee

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Editor Xiaodan Yang creates visual masterpiece with ‘It’s Not Just About a Film’

Xiaodan Yang knows being a film editor isn’t always the most glamorous job in the industry. When she goes to a film premiere, she will see the cast and crew and feel like she knows them so well after seeing their faces on her screen for the past few months. However, it is often the premiere where they first meet her. Editing isn’t a front-and-centre job, and often involves many isolated hours going through the same five seconds of footage trying to decide how best to use it. That being said, she absolutely loves what she does.

“I enjoy every moment during editing. I’m glad to be a participant and witness of the whole journey. Editing is my tool to communicate with audiences. It is how I put my emotions into the story. When people connect with the film, that’s my favorite moment, and I know I’ve done my job,” she said.

Born and raised in China, Yang has now taken the world by storm. Her work on films such as Witness and Sixteen received international recognition, and audiences can expect the same from her upcoming films Kayla and Summer Orange, which makes its world premiere at the renowned Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner in May. All those she collaborates with not only appreciate what she is capable of, they admire it.

“Xiaodan is a very talented editor. We know each other because of film Snatching Sword (a.k.a Wang Shan). Snatching Sword is an action film, and over half of the scenes are action scenes. As we all know, editing action scenes is like a big trial for an editor. When Xiaodan delivered her first cut, I saw her talents instantaneously. She is sensitive to the pace of the film and knows how to use sound design to tell a story. I think that’s really important for a film editor. What’s more, she has a very collaborative attitude and the ability of responding promptly, which make her an excellent team player. My other crew members and I all enjoy working with her,” said Rachel Zhou, Director and Writer.

One of Yang’s most impressive works was her film It’s Not Just About a Film. After spending the beginning of 2017 editing the project, it premiered on May 13th, and then made its way to several film festivals. Yang herself was awarded with Best Editing at the Top Shorts Film Festival and the Award of Merit in Editing at the Accolade Global Film Festival. Needless to say, the film could never have seen the success that it did without her.

“It still feels so exciting, knowing my work was recognized on a global scale. Winning those two awards, it means so much to me. To be honest, this is not that kind of regular ‘Hollywood film’. The way we decided to tell the story breaks the routine. I’m so glad there are people that can understand our intention and like it,” she said.

It’s Not Just About a Film tells the story of Max, an actor. To get the lead of a film, Max seduces and has an affair with Cameron, the lead actress and wife of the film’s investor Fabrizio. However, as the shooting goes on, Max realizes that Fabrizio is a violent person with a gangster background. Max wants to end the affair but finds himself unable to break away from it. It is a pretty stylish story, ironic and funny, but also extremely suspenseful.

Working on It’s Not Just About a Film was a very creative process. The director and I had reached a consensus that we had to break the rules. It’s a wild story that needs wild ways to edit. That’s actually not an easy thing to do, but I was ready to try. It was like a brand-new experience for me. When I was working in the editing suite with Chen, the Director, he always encouraged me to try whatever felt good. I could forget about any editing rules in my mind, and it made for an amazing experience. I still feel so lucky that I got to be part of it. All the cast and crew were amazing,” said Yang.

Knowing he wanted Yang on board right away, the director sent her the script. At the time, it was not even completed. The first time she read the script, the story impressed the editor a lot. It was completely different from the films she had edited previously, and Yang is always looking for something new and unique challenges to get her creative juices flowing.

The film follows three different timelines all happening at the same time and includes several dream sequences. These three timelines revolve around the leading character in the story, reality, his dream and the film within the film. This makes for entertaining watching, but immensely challenging editing. With so much going on, Yang knew she had to put the scenes together in not just a creative way, but also one that was logical for audiences not to get lost and confused in the different storylines. She spent a good deal of time on the first cut. Almost every scene in the film had a different location, or even different time and space. Therefore, Yang decided to use different aspect ratios to present different timelines. However, after a few cuts, she still had the concern as to whether or not the audience could understand everything. She then tried to simplify the story by losing minor details, which made the film more relaxed and funny. Yang’s understanding of storytelling proved vital.

“Since the structure of this story was so complicated, editing played an even more important role. I kept reminding myself about one thing, “What am I trying to convey to the audience here?”. Once I was sure about the answer, every decision I made should serve this purpose. Otherwise, it’s easy to get off track under this situation. That’s why my work is particularly essential for this project. I had the responsibility to control the direction of the film, and at the same time to make it interesting,” Yang described.

In addition to editor, Yang took on the role of post-production coordinator for the film. As an editor, she cares about the sound and color correction a lot, and she always sticks to the end until everything is done, making her the perfect fit for the position. She also likes to give her input to the sound designer and colorist, knowing what would work best while editing.

Undoubtedly, Yang’s contributions to It’s Not Just About a Film made the film what it is today. Her commitment to the project was evident with every decision she made. However, the awards and accolades are not important to this editor, who remains humble. For Yang, she just focuses on the story she is telling.

“As the director said, “It’s a story about dream and subjective perception of the world.” And there is always a saying that “dream is the reflection of reality”. I don’t know if there’s scientific evidence to prove it, but it makes sense to me. Based on this concept, we developed this wild, dramatic, even absurd story. For me, it’s fantastic. It stimulated my full potential as an editor,” she concluded.

Be sure to check out Yang’s outstanding work in It’s Not Just About a Film.

 

By Sean Desouza

Editor James Ralph is indirectly responsible for success of superstars with work on ‘X Factor’

As a child growing up in London, England, James Ralph wanted to be a chef. He enjoyed the creativity that came along with cooking, being able to create something amazing from simple ingredients. During this time, his hobby was making videos with his friends. As he grew, he started to realize the parallels between cooking and filmmaking. Both involve a high level of creativity and natural instinct, and both are their own forms of art. It was this realization that made making movies turn from a hobby to a true passion, and changed Ralph’s life.

Now, Ralph is one of Britain’s most celebrated editors. His work throughout his country’s television industry is iconic, putting his touch on the nation’s most popular shows. Working on series like Love Island, Britain’s Got Talent, 24 Hours in A&E, The Voice UK, and many more, Ralph has made quite the name for himself. This all truly began with his work on the immensely popular singing competition The X Factor.

“It’s amazing to think that over the years working on this show, I have had a hand in editing the auditions of artists who have gone on to enjoy massive worldwide fame. Early One Direction solo auditions, JLS, Little Mix as soloists and when first together amongst others. It gives me a real sense of achievement to think that, although they’ll have absolutely no idea who I am or what I do, I have in my small way played a part in their journey to superstardom,” said Ralph.

Having worked on the show since 2008 when it began its fifth season, Ralph is acutely aware of how to make the show a success. He brings a consistency and deep understanding of the show and how it works best. He has been involved in all stages of the editing process, from the initial auditions, to arenas, boot camp, judges houses, and the live shows. His extensive experience on the show and his vast understanding of its many elements has meant that he has a senior role, working as a lead or finishing editor. He knows the look and feel better than almost anyone, and without him, the show may not be what it is today.

“What I love about working on a show like this is that it’s a real test of all my skills as an editor, but also because it is transmitting weekly, you are working on something, that is getting real time feedback from the press, the public and social media. A really successful audition can become a real water cooler moment where it seems like everyone is talking about it, and that is a great feeling,” said Ralph.

From the beginning, Ralph is heavily involved in editing the audition stage of the show. He spends weeks going through all the footage from each audition, figuring out exactly what should be highlighted. Once episodes have been cast, he crafts every audition, ensuring to tell each story fully, maximizing the potential of each act. He also has to connect each act, and building the bridges and connections between them takes a great deal of time and skill, as viewers need the entire show to be seamless. According to Ralph, the choice of music and the pacing of the stories is so important in making the most of every scene. Simon Cowell is also highly involved in the process, and Ralph sends edits to him regularly for feedback. Ralph’s editing skills are vastly appreciated by all who work on the show.

“James is a pleasure to work with. Over the years numerous Series Producers and Edit Producers have worked alongside him and the feedback is always extremely positive. James is someone we try to book as an editor for the show every year, he is very much a part of the core edit team. We also work very long hours and James will never lose his sense of humor and always has a smile on his face,” said Ashley Whitehouse, Series Producer. “James is a very creative editor who can work extremely well under pressure, often cutting to very tight deadlines. He is a great editor when it comes to telling emotional stories, but equally skilled when it comes to cutting comedy. James is also very accommodating when working with junior members of the editorial team and will often help nurture less experienced producers. James is often used as a ‘finisher’ on our shows too, great attention to detail.”

Ralph takes a great sense of satisfaction from the fact that his work is not only appreciated by colleagues, but also fans. The show is consistently popular with the public and press, with extremely high ratings and award wins. When a fan retweets an audition, or likes a video on YouTube, they may not realize they are congratulating Ralph for a job well done.

“I love working on this show for a number of reasons. It’s a heady mix of intense pressure to deliver against deadlines for transmission, super creativity, and the chance to work on discovering acts that have gone on to become some of the biggest global acts in recent years. I have been involved in all areas of the edit from the opening sequences, pre-titles, guest artist videos for people like Katie Perry, Robbie Williams to actual parts of the show, live show videos as well as lead and finishing editor roles. There isn’t really a part of the editing of the show that I don’t know about,” he concluded.

Editor Minghao Shen helps terrify audiences in award-winning horror flick ‘Emily’

Growing up in Beijing China, Minghao Shen always loved film. Unlike many who enjoy watching a movie, he would think about how it was being made. The details behind how each scene was put together were what captivated him; he wanted to be a filmmaker. Eventually, the nuances and strategy behind editing caught his attention, and he knew that was where his future was. Now, he is an internationally celebrated editor.

Shen has worked on countless critically-acclaimed projects, earning him a reputation as one of China’s best recent film editors. His work on films such as Inside Linda Vista Hospital, Stay, Cartoon Book, and Red String has allowed worldwide audiences to see what he is capable of, showing without a doubt why he is so respected in the industry. His work on the horror film Emily perfectly encapsulates what the editor is capable of.

“It is a simple but tense horror film. The movements of shots and the whole visual style are really outstanding. I knew that there would be challenges, but that it would be a great chance for editing,” said Shen.

The film tells the scary story of a woman named Emily. Emily dies giving birth at home after her husband, John, abandons her. However, she will have her revenge from beyond the grave when she returns as a ghost set on killing her widowed husband.

“My favorite part of the whole production was talking about the story, because we found out that there were multiple options would work for it. Although each of the options would have been great, but couldn’t mix them all together, otherwise the tone would be chaos. As an editor, having to narrow this down and figure out how to properly tell the story and convey the right tone was great,” said Shen.

Shen’s instincts proved to be spot on, as Emily went on to do very well at several prestigious film festivals. It was an Official Selection at the Los Angeles CineFest, the SoCal Creative and Innovative Film Festival, the Pittsburgh Independent Film Festival, the Action on Film International Film Festival, the California Independent Film Festival, and the Columbia Gorge International Film Festival. It won Best Overall Micro Film at the Indie Gathering International Short Film Festival and at the Accolade Global Film Competition it won the Award of Excellence.

“I had many complex feelings when I discovered the film was getting a lot of awards. It was a blend of excitement and satisfaction after the hard work everyone had done. We know that we took a bunch of time and work on the film, so I was so glad that our hard work got such encouragement from the festivals,” said Shen.

None of this could have been possible without Shen’s editing talents. He spent his time taking notes every time he met with the director, ensuring he still achieved the vision of the film while bringing his own touch to it.  After the first rough cut, there were a lot of points that needed to be ironed out and redone, but based on notes he did originally, it greatly assisted to the time it took.

“Horror film is always about beats, so the director worked really hard with me to specify each second to make the film the best,” said Shen. “I talked with the director about our thoughts and he trusted me for the style based on my previous experience. There were always some different editing choices between me and the director. He is a talented and continuously brainstorming how to make the film better, so I always let him know more than one choice to let our minds be more open, so that we could avoid some useless change and waste of work time. We actually had some different thoughts in some parts. After a lot of meetings, we finally compromised our differences and both of us thinks this made the finished product better than what just our own ideas would have.”

The director, Jun Xia, agrees, and knows that without Shen his film could not have achieved what it did. The two have worked together on multiple projects since Emily, and Xia knows that Shen’s talents are essential to making a good film.

Minghao and I had worked together for a few times before, and he is always a good listener. He can take feedback and produce more ideas all the time. Minghao is an experienced editor. We talked a lot about a lot of different ways to make Emily better, and it did. He can always come up with unique thoughts when it comes to editing,” said Xia.

Everyone that works with Shen is continuously impressed by his editing skills. Without his work on Emily, audiences may not have been on the edge of their seats, terrified about what would happen next.

You can watch Shen’s impressive editing work on the short film Emily here.

Editing Genius Rudy Vermorel Engages Millennials with his Work

At the heart of every production, whether it’s an advertisement or an epic drama, is a story with a purpose. The writers, cinematographers and director are all critical to a project’s creation, but it’s at the editor’s desk where it becomes more than just raw footage and words on a script. It’s up to the editor to see the forest through the trees — to know the story that’s being told, and to be able to put the right scenes together in the right places like so many puzzle pieces, to create the final product that movie theater audiences and home viewers will ultimately see.

The job of an editor can be grueling, but for Rudy Vermorel it’s all a labor of love. Painstakingly parsing through hundreds of hours of footage, one second at a time, is just the beginning of Vermorel’s zenlike process. He cuts, splices and rearranges scenes with a methodical efficiency and confidence honed by experience, breathing life into the story with every move.

“Once I have the footage I start to watch it to get an idea of the general tone,” Vermorel said. “If there is music in the background of the video I listen to the song to feel all the emotions and adapt the song to the footage. Then, I start cutting and I create my magic.”

In 2016, Taco Bell hired Vermorel as the lead editor for the company’s web series “Taco Tales,” an innovative marketing campaign geared toward the millennial demographic. In each episode, actors reenact Taco Bell-related stories found online at sites like Facebook and Reddit. Lighthearted and at times zany, editing the web series gave Vermorel the chance to showcase his talent for comedic timing. Moreover, the decision by such a massive company to hire Vermorel for a major social media marketing campaign speaks volumes about his talent.

Vermorel worked hard to earn his reputation as a leading figure in the field, a reputation which in turn earned him the trust of a wide array of high-profile clients internationally. Among countless other productions he’s served as the lead editor on advertisements for Ford, music videos for artists including MTV Video Music Award winner Demi Lovato, and in 2016 he expanded his repertoire with a venture into the rapidly growing market of mobile gaming.

Supercell – the group behind the runaway hit game “Clash of Clans” on iPhone and Android smartphones – has relied heavily on its strategy of widespread marketing to entice players into joining, to great effect. When the company released “Clash Royale” in 2016, it began preparing for a massive advertising blitz and Vermorel was recruited as the campaign’s editor.

“I am not a big game player so… at first I was apprehensive about how to edit it,” he said. “I figured out that the best way to work on it was to start playing the game, and I enjoyed it a lot. After that, I had so many ideas for how to highlight ‘Clash Royale,’ and all the fun, strategy and entertainment that make up the game.”

Initially the campaign was challenging for Vermorel, but he quickly adapted and before long the campaign had produced 20 videos publicizing “Clash Royale.” The videos racked up more than 120 million views, and the game became the top downloaded and highest-earning app on the iOS App Store overnight.

“I was very attached to the characters. I attributed to them a very different style, which allowed me to vary the editing techniques,” he said. “I wanted to showcase the funny side of the characters. For that we worked on their design to make them endearing, then I opted for modern dynamic editing in order to attract the interest of a large audience.”

The campaign was such a wild success that Vermorel was asked to continue editing the game’s ad campaigns for the next three years, the first of which will begin development this year.

Very few people involved in a production can ever be as intimately familiar with the project as the editor. A dedicated editor can spend days or weeks poring through every scene countless times. They can spend years perfecting the ability to bring the narrative together using the timing, cadence, and music of each scene. An editor’s job is to build order from chaos, to understand the director’s vision for a project and to bring that vision to life. A production is only as good as its editor, and Rudy Vermorel is the best there is.

EDITING THE MORE SENSITIVE PARTS: LUIZ SCHIEL

Technology has brought the entire world closer. Social media such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook have given a global platform to anyone who desires it. What one gains in exposure, you lose in privacy. The generational difference of opinion on this is vast. Older generations are wary while younger generations don’t even think about an idea as archaic as privacy. It’s certain that different ages and different cultures feel differently about discussing the topic of sex. V-Card the Film is a perfect example of how society’s discussion of the subject has changed. The film’s editor Luiz Henrique Schiel Gigolotti understood that he needed to be as precise as a surgeon to navigate the subject matter of which could both attract or offend differing viewers. The duplicity was challenging for Luiz as he wanted the artist’s message to ring true while still representing the humor and real social stigma associated with the main character Dillon’s situation. The proper editing can completely change the audience’s decision to respect or feel pity for the protagonist.

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V-Card is the story of Dillon, a twenty-three year old virgin. Dillon has been trying but things haven’t worked out as planned. Depending on your cultural and religious background you might be offended or intrigued by his story. Luiz’s job as an editor is to help the filmmakers find that middle ground that interests everyone without turning them away. Dillon is a likeable, early 20’s New Yorker with a job, friends, & the things that most of us desire. Dillon is the film’s proxy for all of us to examine how we feel about virginity. The question put to the audience is whether we make our own decision about when we lose it or if we feel pressured by society to make it occur within a certain time frame in order to feel “normal.” The documentary examines Dillon’s life and feelings as well as those of random interviewees (and some scheduled ones) from many different cultural, racial, sexual, and social backgrounds. The star and writer of V-Card is Dillon Birdsall. When Dillon approached Luizto be the film’s editor, he was eager to accept. Gigolotti recalls, “When Dillon asked me to edit V-Card, I didn’t think twice about jumping into this project. The challenges of editing a feature documentary are something that I really get excited about, even more so with a film like this that so openly discusses a subject that many people are still uncomfortable talking about on a personal level.”

Editing is sometimes thankless. When it is done poorly, the audience is aware of it and a film seems cluttered and cumbersome. When editing is highly professional, you become lost in the story and don’t notice the skillful editing. An editor’s job is not for those who require constant praise. Still, editors are just as much a part of the creative process as the cinematographer, director, and others involved in filmmaking due to the fact that they have the ability to enhance the emotional impact the audience feels towards the action on screen. In a film like V-Card the emotions are varied and the different people involved in the discussion are very numerous. Once the actual filming has taken place, it’s Luiz’s job to connect the audience with Dillon and his interviewees, even when they sometimes only appear for seconds. Jamaal Green is the director (nominated at the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival in 2014 for Chronicles of a Profiler) of V-Card the Film and the person who most closely works with Luiz on the tone set by the film. Jamal praises Gigolotti’s work stating, “Luiz is a vital asset to any film. He has become my go to person for editing and ‘After Effects.’ I can think of three specific projects we worked on in which his abilities took the films to a higher level. A good editor can present what you have and make it work, but a great editor will make what you have filmed look even better. That’s what Luiz has done with V-Card. He is an amazing artist and a pleasure to work with.”

In terms of his involvement in V-Card, there were some obvious challenges and other, less expected ones for Gigolotti. He explains, “Editing V-Card was a huge challenge in my career. When we talk about virginity or sexuality, there is always some concern to not offend the person we are talking to. In this specific case, I needed to make sure that the edit and the graphics are not offensive to the audience.” Far from offensive, thanks in large part to Luiz’s editing, V-Card achieves a heartfelt tone. Rather than leading the viewer to any judgment of Dillon, we are warmly invited to question our own experiences and how we perceive others who may have had radically different entrees into the world of human sexuality. The subject matter of the film could have taken several different and more highly salacious slants but Gigolotti worked with Dillon and Jamaal to place the topic in a nicely gift wrapped present with a colorful bow on top. That colorful bow was realized in the formatting of animation sequences. Luiz’s skill at combining real life footage and animation is a primary reason that he was asked to edit V-Card the Film. Dillon Birdsall, writer and star of V-Card the Film comments, “The main reason I hired Luiz for the film is because he is a fantastic editor, especially when it comes to after FX and animations. When we first seriously considered the idea of intermingling animation to the film, it was Luiz’s ideas and expertise that enabled us to successfully achieve the results we wanted. We needed a light heartedness that wasn’t gimmicky and also wouldn’t take you too far away from the storyline.  He has been a vital part of the documentary and brings a ton of great ideas and enthusiasm to the project. I’ve known him for a little over two years now and I’ve become a huge fan of his work. I feel very lucky to have worked with him and I definitely hope to do so again.”

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In addition to another documentary currently in production (Luiz admits to being smitten with this approach to telling a story), advertisements, and other films; Gigolotti has most recently been editing for Martha Stewart’s Living. The diversity and amount of work he finds in New York these days reaffirms his decision to move from Brazil to work in the US as an editor. He recognizes, “There are so many great artists, directors, and all around professionals in the industry here in the US. It seems like I am challenged everyday by people who only want the best. That’s what I always have wanted to be a part of, a community committed to always bringing their best.”

 

Editor David Guthrie Nails the Perfect Cut

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Editor David Guthrie shot by Nick Nelson

 

In the entertainment industry, every creative position on a production plays a vital role to its success, and the job of the editor might be the most important of all. Even more so than the writer’s words or the actor’s lines, the editor is responsible for crafting the final version of what the spectator sees.

The editor helps make the footage speak to the audience, which is exactly why David Guthrie stands out among some of the most brilliant editors working in the industry today. Without his wonderful ability to tell a story, the sheer volume of film footage from the productions to which he’s lent his skill would lack a cohesive narrative. 

“Most of the skill in editing comes from making creative decisions, what shot to use where, what music tracks to use, the pacing, rhythm, etc. All of that is easily done on all three platforms,” according to Guthrie.

The Toronto born editor has a knack for creating an effective, riveting story regardless of how many hundreds of hours of footage he has to sort through. Guthrie has also benefited from having a background in music, which greatly enhances the cadence of his edits.

“You try a hundred different tracks of music and none of them are the right one and you just don’t know why and then you find the one that works and you just know, you can feel it and then you cut it in and the whole scene comes to life.”

Guthrie’s exceptional talent landed him the role of editor on the critically acclaimed televised adaption Billy Bishop Goes To War  directed by Academy Award nominee Barbara Willis Sweet, as well as the smash hit documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

Currently streaming on Netflix, Jiro Dreams of Sushi has been an official selection at numerous festivals including Toronto, Berlin, and New Zealand International Film Festivals, as well as the Tribeca Film Festival.

After the documentary’s overwhelming feat, Guthrie took on the challenge of working on the labor intensive Weather Channel reality show Cold Water Captains.

“You can give me hundreds of hours of footage with no direction and I can sift through it and find the story thread. Having a writer‘s approach to editing has always been my strong suit, as well as having a music background,” says Guthrie regarding his editing process.  

In Guthrie’s next project, he carried multiple hats as a director, writer, editor and star in the TV comedy Room & Bored. The project paid off immensely by becoming an official selection at the New York Television Festival, which led Guthrie to secure a development deal with the Gannett Network.

The outstanding editor recently completed production on the comedy series Beck & Call, produced by Rockfield Productions, Inc.  The series follows two talent agents struggling to make it in Brooklyn. Season 1 of the show is slated to be released later this year.

Regardless of the genre or medium, David Guthrie’s remarkable editing prowess has placed him among the best editors in the industry; and, as he continues to flex his skill across platforms, it seems there is literally no stopping this talented Canadian.