One of the difficulties that many up and coming editors face in this age of DIY has to do with social connections. With the size of editing crews down to the bare minimum, it is hard for people to learn from other editors, and much harder to meet with people who might be able to help them improve their skills and job prospects. When I was starting out, back in the Stone Age of editing (I often joke that I cut my first film on a flip book), I apprenticed for a few years, stood next to some really great editors as an assistant for some years after that, and only then did I start editing. It was a fantastic way to learn all of the skills needed in an editing room — technical, aesthetic and political.
Now, I’m not romanticizing those Good Old Days. The idea that my students (and thousands of You Tubers) don’t have to wait eight years to start editing something on their own is pretty great, considering that they’ve grown up surrounded by edited material in a way that I did not. And my students, for better or worse, have spent 3-5 years experimenting with the form and developing great skills.
Still, the chance to meet and hear really fantastic editors talk about their craft is never to be passed up, as is the chance to have some drinks and pizza with them. Which is why I am heartily recommending that those of you within driving distance of Manhattan on June 11-12 register today for the upcoming EditFestNY. This is a 1-1/2 day meetup of editors where we are going to discuss our craft. There are panels galore, with editors such of features and television, fiction and documentaries.
It starts off on Friday June 11 at 7:15pm with a panel that I am thrilled to be moderating (called with the editors Michael Berenbaum, A.C.E. (Sex and the City 1 and 2), Joe Klotz, A.C.E. (Precious, Junebug), Andrew Mondshein, A.C.E. (Remember Me, Chocolat, The Sixth Sense), Susan Morse, A.C.E. (Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters), and Andrew Weisblum, A.C.E. (Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Wrestler). I’m asking each one of these editors to show a scene from a film that inspires them in some way, and the entire panel is going to talk about the clips. It should be a huge blast.
To get more information about this two-day event (including the guests) and to register, just click on the link at A.C.E., which is sponsoring the event along with the Manhattan Editing Workshop. Discounts are available for students and for members of a ton of user groups (including any Avid or Final Cut Pro user groups — and since membership in LAFCPUG, for instance, is free you can get the $100 discount just by signing up). The event promises to give you great access and knowledge all in one friendly weekend — and there’s drinks on Friday night, and pizza and beer on Saturday, so how can you go wrong?