About ACE

ACE Luau 2019


4th Qtr, 2019

Allan Holzman, ACE, who conceived ACE’s annual “Invisible Art, Visible Artists” preAcademy Awards® series, received the society’s Heritage Award during the ACE Board Installation Luau, Aug. 27 at Toluca Lake-based Ca Del Sole.

Presenting the award, ACE president Stephen Rivkin, ACE, noted that in addition to IAVA, Holzman suggested that ACE team up with a publicist, and both efforts have helped to raise awareness of editing and of ACE. He described Holzman as a “filmmaking chameleon, working in narrative, documentary, big budget and independent, genres from comedy to drama, action to musical.”

Rivkin also gave special thanks to outgoing Vice President, Alan Heim, ACE, who chose not to run for re-election after more than 25 years on the board. “He will always be an inspiration to the ACE board, and we hope you don’t stay away too long,” he said. Heim served four terms as president and four as vice president.

During the luau, Rivkin announced the results of the board elections. Carol Littleton, ACE, was named vice president and Stephen Lovejoy, ACE, was named treasurer. Elected Directors were Maysie Hoy, ACE; Bonnie Koehler, ACE; Mary Jo Markey, ACE; and Kevin Tent, ACE. Anita Brandt Burgoyne, ACE, was elected to a one-year term, taking over Littleton’s director seat. Jacqueline Cambas, ACE, was elected life member. Kate Amend, ACE; Dana Glauberman, ACE; Mark Helfrich, ACE; and Andrew Seklir, ACE, were given associate board seats. On behalf of ACE, Rivkin thanked Pivotal Post, which hosted the event.

Board Message 4Q


4th Qtr, 2019

ACE is delighted to announce that two distinguished editors and ACE past presidents – Alan Heim, ACE, and Tina Hirsch, ACE – will be honored with ACE Career Achievement Awards, on Jan. 17 at the 70th ACE Eddie Awards.

Alan Heim won an Academy Award®, BAFTA® and ACE Eddie for Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz in 1979, after earning one prior Oscar® nomination for Sidney Lumet’s Network in 1976. He won two additional Eddie Awards for Introducing Dorothy Dandridge and Grey Gardens, and shared an Emmy® for his work on the TV miniseries, Holocaust. Recently, Heim completed more than 25 years of service on the ACE Board of Directors, which included serving four terms as president, from 2004-2008 and 2012-2016, and four terms as vice president, from 2008-2012 and 2016-2019, during which time he was tireless in his advocation of our craft.

Tina Hirsch’s early feature work began with Macon County Line in 1974 and followed with Roger Corman’s Big Bad Mama, Death Race 2000 and Eat My Dust! When she graduated from ‘The Corman School,’ she went on to edit films such as The Driver, Gremlins, Explorers, Twilight Zone: The Movie, More American Graffiti and Dante’s Peak.

As an editor on The West Wing, Tina earned an Eddie Award and Emmy nomination for her work on the popular TV series. Other TV achievements include the pilot of Party of Five, an Eddie nomination for the miniseries Tom Clancy’s Op-Center, as well as for the TV movie Behind the Mask and another Emmy and Eddie nomination for the TV movie Back When We Were Grownups.

During her nearly 30 years on the Board of Directors, Hirsch was the Chairman of the Membership Committee and participated on committees granting ACE internships and promoting diversity within the organization. In 2000, Hirsch became the first woman to be elected President of ACE, a post she held from 2000-2004.

In addition, Hirsch has been an adjunct professor of editing at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts from 2003 to 2016. We congratulate them both on such well-deserved honors. They have made important contributions to the art and craft of editing through their hard work and dedication. In addition, having both served as President of ACE, they brought tremendous awareness and respect to the role of the editor.

Separately, we are pleased to announce that the ACE Student Award has been renamed The Anne V. Coates Student Award, in honor of the iconic editor. The late Ann V. Coates, ACE, earned an Academy Award for David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia and received an Honorary Award at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 2016 Governors Awards. She earned four additional Oscar nominations for Becket, The Elephant Man, In the Line of Fire and Out of Sight.

A Long Time Ago in a Cutting Room Far, Far Away

Book Discount for ACE Members and Friends:

The Publishers have offered a 20% discount from 11/5/19 – 2/5/20.
Use the code ACE20 at checkout!

A Long Time Ago in a Cutting Room Far, Far Away provides a behind-the-scenes look at some of the most influential films of the last fifty years as seen through the eyes of Paul Hirsch, the Oscar-winning film editor who worked on such classics as George Lucas’s Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, Brian De Palma’s Carrie and Mission: Impossible, Herbert Ross’s Footloose and Steel Magnolias, John Hughes’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Joel Schumacher’s Falling Down, and Taylor Hackford’s Ray.

Hirsch breaks down his career movie by movie, offering a riveting look at the decisions that went into creating some of cinema’s most iconic scenes. He also provides behind-the-scenes insight into casting, directing, and scoring and intimate portraits of directors, producers, composers, and stars. Part film school primer, part paean to legendary filmmakers and professionals, this funny and insightful book will entertain and inform aficionados and casual moviegoers alike.

In Memoriam – Barry Malkin, ACE


3rd Qtr, 2019


Barry Malkin, ACE – a frequent collaborator with Francis Ford Coppola who was Oscar®-nominated for The Godfather Part III and The Cotton Club – passed away on April 4 after a long illness. He was at his home in New York with his wife, Stephanie, and daughter, Sacha. He was 80.

Malkin was born in New York on Oct. 26, 1938. He grew up in Queens where he was acquainted with Coppola when they were teenagers. After graduating from Adelphi University he sought a career based on his love of films. This began in 1962 when he became an apprentice to Dede Allen, ACE, on Elia Kazan’s America America.

While working there he met Aram Avakian, who hired him as his assistant while edited Robert Rossen’s Lilith. Malkin’s first full editing credit was in television on The Patty Duke Show, and he also edited Avakian’s Cops and Robbers. Through Avakian, Barry became reacquainted with Coppola who then hired him to edit The Rain People.

He went on to collaborate with Coppola on 11 films including The Godfather: Part II, for which he earned a BAFTA® nomination. He then went on to earn Oscar nominations for The Godfather Part III, which he edited along with Walter Murch, ACE, and Lisa Fruchtman, ACE, and The Cotton Club, which he edited with Robert Q. Lovett, ACE.

Malkin also edited TV miniseries The Godfather Saga, for which he structured the first two films into the correct chronological order and included scenes that were not in the original films. On Apocalypse Now Malkin became an additional editor and was supervising editor when Coppola produced Hammett, directed by Wim Wenders. Malkin also edited Coppola’s Rumble Fish, The Rainmaker, Gardens of Stone and Peggy Sue Got Married.

Additional editing credits include Big for Penny Marshall, The Freshman for Andrew Bergman, Four Friends for Arthur Penn and Last Embrace for Jonathan Demme. On May 1, nearly 100 friends, family and former colleagues gathered for a celebration of Malkin’s life, which began with a poignant speech by Coppola, who shared stories from his and Malkin’s childhood in Queens, regaling guests with untold stories about the playground antics of two 14 year olds playing hoops in the neighborhood.

Said Coppola, “I think the evening after our preview of Godfather II, the over 120 changes I made on a finished movie were executed through the night by Barry Malkin, without code numbers, [and] was the most amazing demonstration of editorial skill that I have ever seen. Film going from room to room on the floor and into synchronizer machines since there were no code numbers on the mixed mag track, was actually impossible, but Barry did it.” He added, “Barry was a brilliant man of integrity with a tireless work ethic.

He was a boyhood friend who became my most trusted collaborator.” Dorian Harris, ACE, remembered Malkin
as, “…an ever-curious world traveler, voracious reader, passionate jazz enthusiast and true-blue Yankees fan.” In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Malkin’s name to the Southern Poverty Law Center or The Neediest Cases Fund-NY Times. –Jack Tucker, ACE

In Memoriam – Terry Rawlings, ACE


3rd Qtr, 2019


Terry Rawlings, ACE – whose collaborations with director Ridley Scott include classics Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982) – died on April 23. He was 85. With a career spanning from 1955 to 2005, he earned BAFTA® nominations for both Alien and Blade Runner.

He was also well-known for editing Chariots of Fire (1981), for which he was nominated for both an Academy Award® and BAFTA. Rawlings was born and educated in north London and entered the printing trade upon leaving school. Between 1951 and 1953 he was a radar operator in the RAF as part of post-War national military service.

After leaving the forces he joined Rank Screen Services at Pinewood Studios in 1955 as an assistant librarian despite professing to have no ambition to get into the film industry. The work did however gain him a union card and his career progressed when he was asked to assist on the sound of Town on Trial, starring John Mills, for director John Guillermin.

Over the next few years he gained experience assisting in the sound department on features including Stanley Donen’s Cary Grant- and Ingrid Bergman-starring Indiscreet (1958) and 1961 comedy Petticoat Pirates. His first lead role as a sound editor was on 1962’s prison-set comedy, The Pot Carriers. Arguably, Rawlings’ big break was dubbing sound for Bryan Forbes’ The L-Shaped Room in 1962. This critically-acclaimed hit was the forerunner of British independent ‘kitchen-sink’ dramas like Saturday Night and Sunday Morning which tackled controversial social issues (in this case pregnancy out of wedlock).

Rawlings’ first partnership with director Michael Winner was The Jokers in 1967 starring Michael Crawford and Oliver Reed. Together they made 11 pictures, with Rawlings responsible for sound editing on The Mechanic and Chato’s Land, two hard hitting American-set action films starring Charles Bronson.

His sound editing work in this period also included Bedazzled, starring comedy duo Peter Cook and Dudley Moore also for Donen; Isadora (1968) for Karel Reisz, the 1974 Robert Redford-starring version of The Great Gatsby and several pictures for director Ken Russell including Women in Love (1969), The Music Lovers (1971), The Devils (1971) and Lisztomania (the first Dolby stereo feature film, 1975).

He was also music editor on Russell’s screen version of The Who’s rock opera, Tommy (1975). After Winner trusted Rawlings to complete the picture edit of supernatural horror The Sentinel (1977), when the original editor dropped out, his career took a major change of direction into full film editing. That year he had already worked with Ridley Scott on sound editing his feature debut, The Duellists, and the director invited Rawlings back to edit Alien.

Released in 1979, the picture redefined both horror and science-fiction storytelling, entered cinema folklore and led to multiple sequels including David Fincher’s Alien 3 in 1992 which Rawlings was widely credited as saving in the edit. With Scott again on Blade Runner, Rawlings had to work away from the Warner Bros. lot and was credited only as supervising editor because he did not belong to an American film union.

Rawlings was never happy with the film’s voice-over narration or happy ending which were required by the studio and were removed along with reinstatement of unicorn footage to signify Deckard’s dreams in the Director’s Cut release in 1992.

He co-devised with director Colin Welland, the slow-motion opening and closing sequences of British sprinters run- ning barefoot along a beach to Vangelis’ score on Chariots of Fire and helped revive the James Bond franchise with Pierce Brosnan’s debut as the spy in GoldenEye (1995).

Other features of note which he edited included Legend, starring Tom Cruise, also for Scott; action films The Saint (1997), U.S. Marshals (1998), Entrapment (1999) and The Core (2003); the 1990 comedy, Bullseye! (1990), starring Roger Moore and Michael Caine; and musicals Yentl (1983) starring Barbra Streisand and The Phantom of the Opera (2004) for director Joel Schumacher, which was Rawlings last major credit.

Always modest about his significant achievements and talent, he received a total of five BAFTA award nominations – three for film editing and two sound – as well as its 2014 Special Award, and was honored with the ACE Career Achievement Award in 2006. In 1960, Rawlings married Louise Kirsop, a secretary at Elstree Studios. He is survived by his wife and their three sons, David, Robert and Simon. –Adrian Pennington

EditFest London 2019


3rd Qtr, 2019

A stellar cast of editing talent headlined by Lee Smith, ACE, shared tips, knowledge and experiences during a sold-out EditFest London.

Presented by ACE, the July 29 event at the British Film Institute on London’s South Bank featured a keynote conversation by Smith and panels on episodic dramas, reality programs and feature films.

There are few editors who have enjoyed a greater run of critically-acclaimed hits as Smith – who during his conversation shared clips from his longtime collaboration with Christopher Nolan, including Inception, Interstellar, The Dark Knight, and his Oscar®- and Eddie-winning Dunkirk. He also screened a clip from Peter Weir’s Master and Commander: The Far Side of  the World, as well as the opening sequence to Sam Mendes’ Spectre which was designed to look like a single uninterrupted take with subliminal edits. “My father was an optical-effects supervisor, my uncle ran a small optical lab, my aunt was a neg cutter and my brother an animator so I guess I didn’t have a choice,” the Australian-born editor said of his early career.

Smith described Weir as a “very organic” filmmaker. “Some directors rely on storyboards and arrive on set with a very accurate plan of what they will shoot. Peter just responds to what he sees on the set and will change tack on the day when he realizes something is not working.”

Nolan, by contrast, “has precision knowledge of how he is going to shoot. The edit is built into how he shoots. He knows what he wants and gets what he wants. He’s a force of nature.”

Smith has also collaborated with director Sam Mendes on projects including the in-production period drama 1917. “He will abandon a scene in the middle of shooting if he intuitively feels it’s not working. Doing that requires conviction and the budget to back it up.”

Audience test screenings are the scariest part of the process, he said. “You can’t make any excuses. If the audience doesn’t understand it then you have a problem. But they can’t tell you how to fix your film. The studio will come up with a blueprint for repairing your movie. It is never right. “For example, the third act could be pitch perfect but maybe you’ve brought the weight of a slack second act coming into the third act. There will be lots of people running around in a panic wanting reshoots but you have to take a pause and be confident enough to look again.” Smith added, “You don’t work any less hard on an also-ran movie than on a cinematic masterpiece. You gain experience on every film but if the DNA of a film is simply not there then there’s nothing much you can do.”

How A-list editors managed to get their big break is of perennial interest to aspiring editors and assistants, and this was covered in the feature panel. Turns out you typically need to endure frustration and multiple bad jobs before seizing the moment when it comes along. You also need a lucky break. For Tom Cross, ACE, that was meeting director Damien Chazelle. “We found we liked a lot of the same movies and then made a short version of his script for Whiplash which did well enough to secure finance for a feature,” Cross related.

“The new financiers didn’t want any crew from the short film apart from Damien but [producer] Couper Samuelson wanted me to do it and assured them that he had a more prominent editor in the wings in case there was any problem.” Cross went on to win an Eddie and Oscar for the film. Jeremiah O’Driscoll cheerfully related how he “planned to be the world’s oldest assistant but got foiled in that plan.” Like Cross, he found it a struggle to be trusted to edit solo even by Arthur Schmidt, ACE, for whom O’Driscoll assisted over 11 years. “It was Bob Zemeckis who turned to me on Contact and asked me to cut the opening audio montage,” he said. “Later, when Artie couldn’t work on The Polar Express, I thought Bob would go hire an A-lister like Michael Kahn (ACE) but he asked me. I’ve stuck with Zemeckis ever since.”

He added, “You really have to suffer or put yourself in at the deep end or basically lie like I did to get yourself in the door.” Paul Machliss, ACE, also had to climb the ladder to the top. “I was a runner at a facility in Melbourne when Sony UK asked if I would do some demos for them of equipment at trade shows.

Aged 23, I turned up at Heathrow with a suitcase knowing no one and that it would be my fault if it all went wrong.” A decade later with experience editing comedy shows he met director Edgar Wright, for whom he most recently cut Baby Driver. Machliss described their current project, Last Night in Soho, as “Edgar’s love letter to a place which is rapidly disappearing.”

He told the audience, “Luck is when timing meets preparation and when that moment occurs, if you are ready, you can grab it.” Virginia Katz, ACE, candidly admitted her route to the cutting room was via her father, editor Sidney Katz, ACE, but faced a different kind of struggle. “Dede Allen [ACE] aside there were very few women editors, but I learned from some of those rare and strong women about being a woman in this business. I’ve also been fortunate in assisting editors who give you a chance to gain experience. I give my assistants scenes to cut since really the only way you can make it as an editor is by getting your hands dirty.” Elliot Graham, ACE, (Milk) says he pestered Mark Goldblatt, ACE, with letters and phone calls until he agreed to meet for a coffee. “Out of that, by circuitous route, I ended up assisting for director Steve Norrington who was cutting The Last Minute at James Cameron’s Lightstorm.

Since the film required me to work seven days a week, 18 hours a day, I ended up literally living in the edit bay for two months. Since I had access to the Avid all night, I went ahead and cut some scenes without telling anyone. Steve ended up recommending me to Bryan Singer for X-Men 2.” Graham underlined, “You can assist as much as you want but it is essential that you cut.”

In a conversation moderated by CinemaEditor’s international editor, Adrian Pennington, another panel of editors spoke on the topic TV drama and agreed that television and series content has reached a Golden Age with more and more talent from the feature world taking part.

“We have an Oscar [nominated] director,” said Pia Di Ciaula, ACE, of working with Stephen Daldry on The Crown, which she called “a perfect example of treating a series like a feature film.” She also showed a clip from A Very English Scandal – another such example as it was directed by Oscar-nominated Stephen Frears and stars Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw. “I had brilliant performances,” she said, adding that the editing challenge was “keeping the viewer informed of time” with flashbacks.

Tony Kearns, editor on Netflix’s interactive drama, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, agreed that a growing number of A-listers are getting involved with the rising number and range of new content outlets. He welcomes services such as Jeffrey Katzenberg’s new shortform mobile content platform, Quibi, with its 10-minute format, saying of these new models that they will work “as long as the story is compelling and fits the format.”

“It will make binge-watching a shorter experience; we won’t be up until 6am,” he quipped. Of the potential of interactive content such as Bandersnatch, he said, “I don’t think it will replace anything. I think it will be an adjunct.” He advised of working on interactive content, “You need to understand coding. … [Audiences] are not viewers; they are users. And you have to be super organized. It’s a really different experience. It’s technical; it’s daunting; it’s a tremendous experience.”

Terilyn Shropshire, ACE, described her work on Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us, the Netflix drama about the Central Park Five. “When I read the script, the interrogation scene was a linear structure,” she explains, noting that when she and DuVernay got to the edit, it was decided to crosscut between the different boys and their individual interrogations. “You needed to understand that the boys didn’t know one another … and you see the detectives using coerced testimony to implicate the others.”

There were three editors cutting different episodes of the four-part miniseries and collaborating. They were Shropshire, Spencer Averick, ACE; and Michelle Tesoro, ACE. “When we pared [an individual episode] down, we had to make sure it wasn’t something that would be needed later in the story,” she explained. “It was extremely helpful to have that collaboration. Our footage was cross-pollinating.” Editor Cheryl Potter showed an action scene from Amazon series Hanna, on which she worked with director Anders Engstrom. That challenge, she explained, “was setting up that title character Hanna (Esme Creed-Miles) is in danger and the geography of the action.”

Rounding out the panel was Gary Dollner, ACE, who showed the opening of BBC-produced series Killing Eve, which begins as Villanelle (Jodie Comer) locks eyes with and imitates a child in an ice cream parlor. He related that the challenge was intro- ducing a new series in a scene with no dialogue. “The scene was about mimicry, which is a big part of what she does, she observes and regurgitates.” Also during the day, Job ter Burg, ACE, NCE (Elle) moderated a panel on “Cutting for Truth and Finding the Story.”

Editor Anna Price shared a clip from The Trial of Ratko Mladic, which examines the trial of a general convicted of war crimes during the Bosnian War. The challenge, she related, was to “make the political personal. … to get across the historical information about the war in the trial of this one person … also to get the emotional story of the lawyers trying to convict this person, and the victims.” She admitted, “It was a very difficult film to organize.”

Will Gilbey showed his work on After the Screaming Stops, which follows the band, Bros. He described how the clip involved steadily building an argument between the band’s Matt Goss and Luke Goss. “They didn’t have cut approval,” he added.

Also featured was Three Identical Strangers, the story of triplets that were adopted by separate families and learn that each other existed at age 19. Editor Michael Harte, ACE, explained that he wanted to make the film feel like the eras during which they happened.

Elements included archival footage and music. In his clip, he showed the wedding of one of the brothers, Eddy, to his wife Brenda. Harte related that he and director Tim Wardle wrote a letter to Billy Joel asking permission to use “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” Joel’s ‘70s classic whose lyrics tell the story of a ‘Brenda and Eddy.’

The Bachelorette’s Sharon Rennert, ACE, shared a tearful scene during which a contestant tells the bachelorette that he is bowing out. “We are mostly on her face; it’s the discovery of  her realizing what’s happening to her,” Rennert explained, calling the cut “deceptively simple” while saying she “cut from the gut and followed her instincts … less is more, and it was addition through subtraction.”

Platinum sponsor Blackmagic Design kicked off the day by hosting a presentation by Patrick Hall, head of post and editor at Liverpool-based LA Productions, who talked about the company’s toolset that includes Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve. “We have been using Resolve for finishing for the last three years,” he said, noting that projects have included 10-episode prison drama Clink for U.K. Channel 5, which required a fast turnaround. The series was delivered within 20 weeks – two weeks per episode. “In terms of Resolve, the beauty was it’s incredibly fast,” he said, describing a collaborative and creative workflow.

The day concluded with a reception. ACE would like to thank EditFest London sponsors, including platinum sponsor Blackmagic; gold sponsors Avid, Adobe, Ignite Strategic Communications and Motion Picture Editors Guild; silver sponsors Evercast and FotoKem; media partners Editjockeys, Master the Workflow, Optimize Yourself and Televisual; and trade partners BECTU and theroughassembly.com

TechFest Debut 2019


3rd Qtr, 2019

If you want to be dazzled/blown away by the developments in editing technology, you need to go to the next ACE TechFest. It is nerd heaven. And it is a glimpse into the not-distant future. The debut ACE TechFest was held June 8 on a brilliant sunny day at Universal Studios.

Those cool summer days are the perfect ones to spend inside, as we editors do, for four hours seeing the best editing software and lots of other fun stuff. It was an event filled with interesting equipment, software and fascinating presentations. And, if desired, a foot massage.

Jason Ballantine, ACE, wrote, “TechFest was terrific! It was so convenient to visit all vendors of interest in one easy to access point. The seminars were very informative and your generously provided food and drink trucks [were] yummy.” The main hall was filled with all the participating vendors.

There were the three main editing platforms (Avid’s Media Composer, Adobe’s Premiere Pro, Blackmagic Design’s Resolve), four media sharing/review companies (Evercast, Wipster, Sohonet’s Clearview Flex, Shift.io/Screeners), and several health-and-wellness providers (hence, the foot massage possibility).

Sort of fitting into that last category was Optimize Yourself from Zack Arnold, ACE, featuring products for a healthier work environment including chairs and standing desks. Also, Universal Studios had a sign-in sheet for those who wanted to tour the studio’s post facilities; Mary Poplin of Boris FX demonstrated their latest software (Sapphire, mocha Pro, Continuum Complete). AJA featured the Io 4K Plus for ingesting media and connecting your NLE to a display.

Master the Workflow had a booth for assistant editor classes. The Motion Picture Editors Guild had a display. Special mention goes to G-Technology, which sponsored lunch for the event and Filmtools was onsite and handed out hard drives to raffle winners.

Adobe showed the latest version of Premiere Pro to two audiences of about 80 attendees each. Although Mike Kanfer, Adobe’s Manager of Strategic Development, said that the latest release was mostly for performance gains rather than features, the demo featured a lot of terrific new features.

He also pointed out that Adobe has a facility in Santa Monica where they offer free training to ACE members. Yes: free. There is also a direct email for ACE members to ask questions. The email is available from the ACE office. There are online tutorials available at adobe.ly/cuttingrooms.

Finally, within the Premiere Pro application is a ‘Provide Feedback’ selection in the Help menu. This is an Adobe feedback page, where new features can be suggested and voted on.

Two presenters, Karl Soule and Matt Christensen, then showed some of the newest features in Premiere Pro: ‘pancake’ style editorial where two timelines can be displayed at once, including the source timeline for editing from one sequence into another; the ability to make sub-sequences of a main sequence; a new View menu to allow for on-screen rulers and grids for working with titles and graphics.

Next, they demonstrated how editors can share projects, with the ability to lock bins. For the first time editors on Premiere can work on the same project at the same time. This has been an essential need on episodic or feature projects which have multiple editors and assistants.

Also in the mix were Adobe Sensei, their version of artificial intelligence and machine learning, and new color, graphics and sound panels or workspaces. The most impressive new feature is a bin view called Freeform. Each bin with clips can be displayed in a list, thumbnail or this new Freeform view. Not only can clips be arranged in any position on the screen within a bin, but each clip can be separate sizes (four in all). In addition, there is a hover-scrub feature available, and if clips are stacked, hovering over the stack can reveal the underlying clips. And each layout can be saved and recalled. This is a fantastic and unique innovation.

Next to present was Blackmagic. Resolve is the free (for projects no larger than HD or 1920) software primarily known for color grading, that also has editing, sound editing, and visualeffects workspaces. Senior director of marketing Paul Saccone led the presentation as three gentlemen operated three networked workstations running Resolve. The first was editing, the second was color grading, and the third was creating visual effects in their Fusion FX workspace. All with the same media, updating the same editing timeline. Saccone narrated and switched screens as an edit was in process, while it was being color corrected on the second workstation, and VFX were created and added to the timeline on the third. As it was a shared-media environment, the timeline could be updated as different clips were modified and readied.

Resolve includes a secure chat feature, so people on the network can easily communicate. One very cool aspect of Resolve is proxies of the full-resolution media can be easily managed in the background. Cut sequences can be quickly output and posted to media sharing site frame.io. There, the cut can be viewed, annotated, drawn on and then posted back into the editing timeline for fixes. Although Resolve operates in one window, it can work with two monitors and bins can be opened as independent windows.

The ability to work on these three aspects at once was impressive. It does point to the slight misunderstanding some vendors have about what ACE editors do. It isn’t generally important for our editing rooms to have color and VFX working on the same timeline at the same time. Having Fairlight, the audio workspace, able to work on a sequence at the same time would be more valuable, but isn’t a current feature.

Next to present was Michael Krulik, who demonstrated Avid Media Composer 2019.6. Based on feedback from editors and new users, the whole workspace is now modular. Basically there’s a bin container, composer and timeline windows in one overall ‘host panel.’ There is no longer a project window. The whole interface is much more colorful. There now are only two ‘skins,’ dark and light. Dark mode is much in line with the macOS dark mode. Controls on the color of the interface have been reduced, but there still is customization possible. Avid’s goal, according to Krulik, is to keep all the features of Media Composer, but modernize the look and feel.

Some innovations to this version of Media Composer include a bin map that shows the layout of clips in a bin that may not be large enough to show all clips, an Inspector tool that gives metadata on any highlighted clip or sequence, and the ability to work in and export in full-quality 32-bit float. (That last feature is well above my pay grade of understanding. You’ll have to look it up on your own.)

Krulik also showed several neat tips and tricks, which he always includes when demonstrating Media Composer. It now can have 64 tracks of video (the crowd groaned); clips in a timeline can now be selected by their common colors, copied, then placed in a new sequence in sync; and both video and audio clips in a timeline can be muted.

The final presentation of the morning session was for Evercast, presented by Roger Barton, ACE, who is currently editing a Netflix movie for Michael Bay. This is a remote video sharing/ collaboration system. From his editing room in Los Angeles, Barton can have an interactive editing session with a director anywhere in the world, provided there is a “robust” internet connection. He first used this system on Godzilla: King of the Monsters, where he said he had more face time with a director because of this system than on any movie he’d edited before.

Evercast described features for security (two-factor authentication, no files are uploaded or sent), ease of use (no proprietary hardware necessary), extreme low latency between workstations (it’s fast), increased efficiency, and the ability to record the edit session to use as a reference while making changes later. Barton shared that as a new single father, working close to home to be near family was more important than ever to him. “It will improve the quality of our work, as well as the quality of our lives.”

As this was the debut TechFest, ACE Executive Director Jenni McCormick asks members to provide feedback about what they’d want to see for future TechFests.

It was a fantastic day, learning about all the features of the current editing systems, and other new software and hardware. And it was a good day for a foot massage.

Lea Yardum


3rd Qtr, 2019

Lea Yardum has been a reliable constant for American Cinema Editors for over two decades. Her beginnings with legendary publicist Murray Weissman cemented her metier in entertainment and she’s been on an upward trajectory ever since.

Last June, ACE presented her with a Heritage Award for her tireless work in keeping editing on the Hollywood radar and being just an all-around amazing ally of the honorary society. “I immediately took to the account,” recalls Yardum. “The ACE Eddie Awards were one of our clients.

When I ended up leaving Murray to start my own thing, ACE decided to stay with me because I had been their account rep. It was one of my favorites.” Yardum admits, “While it was very interesting to me, I didn’t know that much about editing at the time. I didn’t understand the storytelling aspect of it.

Back then, ACE had a PR committee, which they are now reviving, and Janet Ashikaga, ACE, was on that committee. I asked her, ‘I want to be able to share with journalists what editing means in a really easy way – sort of an elevator pitch.’ Janet said, ‘The best way to tell you is to show you.’ She invited me into the editing room and she showed me what she does. It was an aha moment. I realized in that moment, the technology was a secondary tool that you use to get there, which seems so obvious now.

If you’ve never been to film school or been in an editing room, it feels like this giant machine that you push buttons on. I can learn how to push buttons, but Janet showed me it was about the nuance of storytelling. Not so much about what you cut, but when you cut or why you hold on something. The tone shifts with the slightest change. That was a huge moment for me. Nobody can really teach you how to do that. That’s the difference between learning how to type or being a writer.”

From that moment on, her mission was clear. She continues, “That’s the moment when it clicked to me what my job was and really ignited my passion for it. It can be a hard thing to explain to people so if you can make it easily digestible and relatable, then you avoid being repetitive or paying lip service. If you see it, you really understand. It is art. And it can be done well or poorly. That’s why everyone can’t be an editor.

I’ve always seen my job as illuminating for the average person what editing is. Not for other editors. I’m thinking, oh that agent or that executive is going to love to read about this and get it. Plus, the people were really nice and it was a lot of fun.”

Over the years, the relationship and the job have evolved and grown stronger. Even though Yardum has plenty of clients and was the awards-season expert for Paramount Pictures for a time, she has always made ACE one of her top priorities. “ACE is singularly the best partner you can have as a publicist.

The membership will send me reviews where the editing is often [mistakenly] credited to the director [e.g. timing, tone, montage]. I’ll then reach out to the journalists to discuss their piece. Many journalists have written me back and said thank you for pointing that out.

One of the most gratifying things I do is help out ACE with placing an obituary. I appreciate the opportunities to work with families to get their loved ones the recognition they deserve during such a difficult time. I call obit editors and advocate to the Academy that our editors are included in the Oscars® In Memoriam or the Emmys® In Memoriam. We don’t always win but I’m always thinking of a way to do that. I call film festivals to see if they would consider an editing award,” explains Yardum.

“My relationship with Jenni McCormick is also one of the main reasons why I love working with ACE so much. Jenni is just as active as I am. She has great instincts. Her knowledge stretches back so far and she’s like an encyclopedia of information on what’s in their archives and what we have available to us. I consider her a good friend,” relates Yardum.

Yardum made headlines herself in the spring of 2018 when she and colleague Gena Wilder left Paramount to start their own company, Perception PR. Headquartered in Burbank, Perception PR also has a New York satellite office where partner Julie Tustin takes lead on local clients like Late Night with Seth Meyers.

A year on, the three women have amassed a very impressive and growing roster of clients and staff. “Twenty years ago, there were probably three journalists that were interested in editing without having to beg,” confides Yardum. “Now there are over five times those who regularly cover ACE-related or editing-related news. It may not seem huge but that’s a big growth. I attribute that to the work that ACE and Perception have done together.

Some successes that really stand out include being an answer on Jeopardy!, having the Eddie nominees and winners published in the Los Angeles Times, and having the Invisible Art/Visible Artists event spotlighted on CBS Sunday Morning one year. We’re still changing the perception that an editor’s job falls into technology rather than filmmaking or storytelling.

It’s not easy for a non-profit organization to keep a publicist on board for over 20 years. I feel lucky every day of my life.

ACE Annual Meeting 2019


3rd Qtr, 2019

Lea Yardum, who has been ACE’s publicist for more than two decades, was recognized with the Heritage Award for contributions to the organization. ACE President Stephen Rivkin, ACE, presented the award to Yardum before hundreds of members during their annual meeting, held June 4 at The Garland in North Hollywood.

Also during the event, new members received their plaques and Rivkin updated attendees on ACE initiatives. “Lea Yardum has fought tirelessly to elevate the awareness of editing through the media and has played a pivotal role in helping ACE to grow as an organization,” he said, presenting the Heritage Award. He added that ACE Executive Director Jenni McCormick considers Yardum “ACE’s personal rock star.”

Accepting the honor, Yardum said she was thrilled to receive an award “for doing something you love for persons and artists that you love.” She thanked the board for their collaboration, adding how lucky the members are to have their support. She especially thanked Rivkin and past presidents Mark Goldblatt, ACE; Tina Hirsch, ACE; and Alan Heim, ACE. She called McCormick her “soul sister.”

During the evening, Hirsch and Bonnie Koehler, ACE, announced the newest ACE members, and those that were in attendance received their plaques. This round of new members included Lee Haxall, ACE; Gabriel Fleming, ACE; Amy Linton, ACE; Ben Lester, ACE; Chris McCaleb, ACE; Daniel Nussbaum, ACE; Daniel Valverde, ACE; Darren Hallihan, ACE; Dirk Westervelt, ACE; Elisabet Ronaldsdottir, ACE; Isaac Hagy, ACE; James Ryan, ACE; James Wilcox, ACE; Jeff Buchanan, ACE; and Jeff Gilbert, ACE.

It also included Jeff Granzow, ACE; Jeff Malmberg, ACE; Jennifer Barbot, ACE; Kenneth LaMere, ACE; Kyle Reiter, ACE; Len Ciccotello, ACE; Luyen Vu, ACE; Mark Hartzell, ACE; Martin Singer, ACE; Matthew Philip Smith, ACE; Michelle Tesoro, ACE; Pamela ZiegenhagenShefland, ACE; Patrick J. Don Vito, ACE; Peter B. Ellis, ACE; Richard Sanchez, ACE; Robert Fisher Jr., ACE; Rosanne Tan (Colello), ACE; Ting Yu, ACE; Vashi Nedomansky, ACE; and Yvette Amirian, ACE.

Rivkin noted that in total this past year, ACE has added a record 57 new members plus nine associates. During the meeting, he also emphasized the importance of passing the torch to the next generation of editors. Citing the ACE Internship Program and Diversity Program, he said, “I think it’s fantastic and all the ACE members that contribute to these programs – I salute you.” Several former interns joined him at the podium to thank their mentors, including Qingya ‘Emma’ Li, Luke Palter and Katelyn Wright.

Past intern Tyler Nelson read a statement from Irene Chun who was unable to attend. Rivkin updated members on several initiatives and issues during the evening. For instance, he reported that ACE continues to fight those production companies of unscripted programs that don’t honor the ‘ACE’ acronym in credits. Also, he reminded members of the adjusted 2020 Eddie Awards schedule, reflecting changes to the overall Hollywood awards season schedule.

He also reported that membership requirements had been revamped, and that the ACE Board is finalizing details for a new International Affiliate membership. ACE Past President and current Vice President Alan Heim received a standing ovation for his many years of service, when Rivkin announced that Heim chose not to run for reelection.

He saluted Heim’s contributions of more than 20 years on the board to “build ACE into what it is today.” Meeting sponsor Avid provided Media Composer demonstrations and raffled two editing systems during the evening. Avid’s Michael Krulik welcomed members and thanked them as Avid celebrates the Media Composer’s 30th anniversary.

Letter from the Board 3Q19


3rd Qtr, 2019

Welcome to the annual CinemaEditor Television Issue. We hope you enjoy the feature stories on series including Bandersnatch, Killing Eve, Fosse/Verdon, The Good Place, Lorena and Game of Thrones. This issue also presents roundups of recent ACE events including its successful debut TechFest, as well as the Annual Meeting and EditFest London.

ACE recently announced the 2020 ACE Eddie Awards schedule – culminating with a Jan. 17 ceremony at The Beverly Hilton – and we want to add a reminder that there’s been a shift in timing to almost three weeks earlier than usual. This was prompted by a truncated awards-season landscape, ignited by the 2020 Oscars® moving up to Feb. 9.

Most notable for Eddie entrants, the television categories’ eligibility dates have changed. Television contenders must have aired between Jan. 1, 2019, and Nov. 1, 2019. Feature film eligibility remains the same
with contenders having to be released between Jan. 1, 2019, and Dec. 31, 2019.

The black-tie awards ceremony will again unveil winners for outstanding editing in 11 categories of film and television including: Best Edited Feature Film (Drama), Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy), Best Edited Animated Film, Best Edited Documentary (Feature), Best Edited Documentary (Non-Theatrical), Best Edited Drama Series for Non-Commercial Television, Best Edited Drama Series for Commercial Television, Best Edited Comedy Series for Non-Commercial Television, Best Edited Comedy Series for Commercial Television, Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture for Television and Best Edited Non-Scripted Series.

Submissions for the ACE Eddie Awards open Sept. 13 and close on Nov. 1. For more information or to submit for awards consideration beginning Sept. 13, visit the ACE website at www.americancinemaeditors.org.