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Letter From the Editor – 2nd Qtr 2019

 

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2nd Qtr, 2019

There’s a cool, early-morning breeze off the ocean carrying with it the aroma of woodsmoke and orange blossoms. I’m with CinemaEditor magazine Editor in Chief Edgar Burcksen, ACE, who has just finished a 25-mile ride down the coast on his Cannondale Supersix bike with Velo Club LaGrange. We’re sitting outside Peet’s Coffee on 14th and Montana in Santa Monica.

“I love California. When I left Amsterdam, I came first to Marin County and worked with George Lucas on the EditDroid for a couple of years. The Bay Area film world is all about post-production and it’s a supportive, knowable community. A good transition from Europe. Then on to L.A.

It was by then the early 1990s.” “What brought you to American Cinema Editors and our magazine?” “In Holland, I was part of a group of experimental filmmakers who had an avantgarde magazine, SKRIEN. We learned that
we make different kinds of aesthetic connections in the cutting room and in print.  I value exploring aesthetics and storytelling through the written word as well as with images on the screen in the camaraderie of a like-minded group of artists.

That’s ACE for me. I was invited to join ACE in 1998 and became Editor in Chief of CinemaEditor in 2001 after an article I wrote on the psychology of working in the cutting room garnered some attention.” Edgar took over from Chris Cooke, ACE, who had worked with the magazine in transition after Jack Tucker, ACE, had spent years nurturing it from a small mimeographed member newsletter, getting it on its feet as a full-color glossy periodical.

“Our magazine gives film editors a voice. It advances every aspect of our mission statement at ACE. And now CinemaEditor has a global reach. It’s on newsstands around the world – the only periodical where post advertisers can connect directly with an international audience,” emphasizes Edgar.

It’s the global reach of film editing that has brought us together this morning. After almost 20 years with CinemaEditor magazine, Edgar is stepping down from his role at the helm to focus more fully as an ACE ambassador to film editors and their organizations around the globe.

In 2003, with permission from the Board of Directors, he co-founded the ACE International Relations Committee with Michael Ornstein, ACE. They are now in conversation with editors in over 15 countries including: the U.K., Argentina, Ireland, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, France, Austria, Israel, South Africa, Canada and Australia. “It’s taking more and more time, but I’m delighted at the network we’re building.

Editors in every time zone share the same obstacles, aspirations and enthusiasms.” Edgar’s still working fulltime cutting feature documentaries so, as all film editors know, the hours have to be budgeted carefully. “Growing up in Holland I speak four languages and love to travel, so the international outreach is a natural fit for me.”

Edgar plans to continue to contribute to the magazine and encourage film editors from around the world to do so as well. “Our magazine’s in great hands. The team includes the Zakharys – Luci as our art director and inspired graphics designer and her husband, Peter, as our magazine and events photographer are amazing. And Peter has raised the bar involving advertisers, allowing the magazine to keep growing. Adrian Pennington in London
is our international editor, a beat that’s also blossoming. Carolyn Giardina is a top-notch journalist in the media industry and we’re lucky to have her expertise as our editorial consultant.”

Harry B. Miller III, ACE, and Andrew Seklir, ACE, continue to provide support on our Advisory Board and our membership and Board of Directors are very engaged. Currently, CinemaEditor publishes four issues a year – our annual Eddie Awards issue, the Television issue focused on the Emmys®, our Oscar® issue and our Summer Movie issue.

“There’s an appetite for more. With the inspired guidance of our ACE Executive Director, Jenni McCormick, and the excitement of EditFest, Invisible Art/ Visible Artists, the Eddie Awards – the con- versation around film editing is booming. The industry and the viewing public are seeing filmmaking from the point of view of the cutting room, where it all comes together.

Film editing is the only art form unique to motion pictures. Without it, there is no movie. The young innovators want to ‘disrupt’ but they can only do it effectively after they have mastered all the building blocks, all the beats.

As more and more people get their hands on tools and learn to communicate with pictures in motion, there’s an insatiable hunger to learn how we, the professionals, do it. We are the tastemakers. Storytelling. It’s the master craft.”

ACE TechFest

ACE TechFest Brings Editors and Latest Technologies Together
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American Cinema Editors Launches New Event to Provide Access to Experts and Important Product Developments

American Cinema Editors has unveiled its newest educational technology event: ACE TechFest (LA). ACE TechFest is a half-day event during which editors and post team members will be able to access users, experts and new products in a limited-seats-available environment that offers all of the information of a major trade show without the hassle, travel and frenzy. It will be held at the Universal Studios lot, June 8, 2019.

To provide greater flexibility to attendees, ACE TechFest allows event-goers to choose one of two separate but identical sessions, either 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The morning and afternoon sessions will feature the same technical and product presentations as well as access to experts and users in our curated exhibit area.

Jenni McCormick, Executive Director of ACE, remarked “Editors often don’t have the time to leave the editing room to go to NAB and other out-of-town trade events where the technical community presents important news and developments. Those developments actively impact editors’ work and working lives. ACE is focused on making sure that editors have access to the latest information and ACE TechFest is a great opportunity to learn what’s new, meet the experts who can most accurately present them, and mingle with peers.”

ACE TechFest is sponsored by Platinum Sponsor Adobe, and Gold Sponsors Avid, Blackmagic Design, Ever/Cast, and NBCUniversal StudioPost. For tickets go to: TechFest.

For information about sponsorship, contact Peter Zakhary, peter@americancinemaeditors.com, 626.695.7493 or call the ACE office at +1 323 956 2900.

ACE TechFest Media Contact:
ignite strategic communications | +1 818 980 3473
christine purse | chris@ignite.bz | mobile: +1 323 806 9696
kate eberle | kate@ignite.bz

Editor Oscar Decision

Academy Reverses Its Oscars Decision

“The American Cinema Editors wishes to thank the Academy for hearing and acting on the concerns of the industry and the artists who are such a vital part of the film making process.  We are pleased that the film editing award, along with all other categories, will be presented in its entirety.  We would also like to express enormous gratitude to the many prominent filmmakers and industry leaders who stood up and spoke out for the recognition of our craft.”

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Stephen Rivkin, ACE
President, American Cinema Editors

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Academy Reverses Decision, Will Air All Oscar Categories Live>>

 

Hollywood Reporter – Academy Reverses Decision, Will Air All Oscar Categories Live

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American Cinema Editors Call on Academy to Reverse Its Oscars Decision
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The Hollywood Reporter, February 14, 2019 by Carolyn Giardina 

`“We respectfully ask that the Academy and ABC please consider an alternative to this decision and equally honor the people who actually make the movies,” writes ACE president Stephen Rivkin.

Leaders of honorary society American Cinema Editors and IATSE’s Motion Picture Editors Guild (Local 700) on Thursday issued statements on the Academy’s decision to present four Oscar categories during commercial breaks.

Film editing is one of four categories affected, along with cinematography, live-action shorts and makeup and hairstyling. Per the Academy’s plan, these categories will be presented during commercial breaks and video of the presentations will air later in the Feb. 24 ABC broadcast of the 91st Oscars. The plan calls for a rotation, meaning that at least four different categories would be presented in this manner in 2020.

Also on Thursday, Editors Guid president Alan Heim sent an email to the Guild’s 8,100 members, voicing his union’s opposition to the Film Academy decision. “It doesn’t matter which categories are affected this year or next; none of them should be,” he asserted. “The very idea is anathema to the collaborative nature of filmmaking.”

Read entire article…

Brad Pitt Christopher Nolan Join Call Academy Reverse Oscar Decision

ACE President, Stephen Rifkin, Calls on Academy to Reverse Its Oscars Decision

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The American Cinema Editors has been dedicated to elevating the perception of the art of film editing for nearly 70 years and we remain deeply committed to that core mission. Although we understand the tremendous pressure put on the Academy by the ABC Network to shorten the show to 3 hours, we cannot agree with any idea that diminishes the effort for which we have fought so hard: to promote and recognize Film Editing as the key creative position that it holds in the process of making a film.

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Compressing four categories and presenting them in a shortened version later during the Oscar telecast, will not amount to enough running time to save more than a handful of minutes. This is hardly enough to be worth the amount of negative sentiment expressed by our ACE membership and the industry as a whole. We respectfully ask that the Academy and ABC please consider an alternative to this decision and equally honor the people who actually make the movies.
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Stephen Rivkin, ACE
President, American Cinema Editors

Alan Heim’s Letter to the Academy – President MPEG

Dear members,
In its mandate to shorten the Academy Awards’ telecast, the Academy has insulted all of us who work “below the line.” Many of our members and those of other IATSE Locals are understandably upset.

The people who watch the Awards across the nation and the world should be fully exposed to ALL of the crafts that go into the creation of a film. The Awards should be entertaining but they are also an opportunity to enrich the film-going experience of the audience by informing them of the creativity our crafts bring to every project. How many people over the years have been motivated to pursue careers in film after watching the Awards? The educational value may be even more important than the entertainment.

It doesn’t matter which categories are affected this year or next; none of them should be. The very idea is anathema to the collaborative nature of filmmaking. The Academy has historically honored ALL of the crafts involved in filmmaking and the search for better TV ratings shouldn’t affect that. We have always been told that the Academy honors the very best in filmmaking, but removing some categories from equal acknowledgement on the air seems to contradict that narrative.

There is much outcry for the Academy to reverse its decision, and the Motion Picture Editors Guild joins those voices. If it does not reverse its decision, let us all do everything we can to see that this demeaning experiment will not be repeated.

Yours in solidarity,

Alan Heim, ACE
President, Motion Picture Editors Guild IATSE Local 700

“Edited By” – A New Website

A new website devoted to the art of editing has just been launched.

EDITED BY is a survey of one hundred and thirty-nine editors who invented, developed, fine-tuned and revolutionized the art of film editing.

The site was researched and built by the filmmaker Su Friedrich and is hosted by Princeton University, where she has taught film production since 1998. Friedrich began the project a year ago after reading a chapter about editing in a film production book in which only the director’s names was mentioned in discussing each film–not the editor’s.

EDITED BY is not meant to be comprehensive; no site could contain the names of all the great, hard-working editors since the advent of cinema and from around the world. Instead, it represents the field through a selection of sixty-four editors by profession and an additional group of seventy-five “filmmakers who edit” and was done with the hope that others will continue to research, promote and honor this most essential aspect of the art of filmmaking.

In addition to photographs of the editors, short informational texts about each one, samples of their own words about their work, and several posters of films they’ve edited, it also has an extensive Appendix with carefully selected links to articles about, and interviews with, each editor.

And finally, one can watch and download Edited by: The Companion Film,  a 75 minute film made up of one-minute clips from a film edited by each of the editors by profession.

In Memoriam – Ted Rich, ACE

Ted Rich, ACE, passed away from heart failure on Sept. 1. He was 88. He was a friend to me and an inspiration and mentor to so many editors.  Besides the legacy of the films and television shows he influenced, Rich leaves behind his son, Steven, a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren and the many filmmakers he touched.

Rich was born in the Philippines on December 2, 1929, to an English father and French mother. He had one sister and four brothers. Before the outbreak of World War II the family moved to Beverly Hills.  After graduating from Beverly Hills High School in 1948, Rich entered UCLA majoring in Business Administration.

In 1950 Rich married his high school sweetheart, Lois Pivar. His father-in-law, Maurice Pivar, was head of the editorial department at Universal and he suggested that Rich try his hand at editing. Through Pivar, Rich met Danny Cahn, ACE, who brought Rich to Desilu Productions to assist Bud Molin on I Love Lucy. Molin taught him to edit.

Frequently they would drive down to Palm Springs with a Moviola to run cuts for Desi Arnaz. They would bring the trims along so changes could be made immediately. They would stay until Arnaz was satisfied. One time, Arnaz sent them back in Lucy’s car to get home after the driver had left with the equipment.

Rich moved up to edit on Desilu’s, Harrigan and Son (1960), a show about an Irish father and son who happened to be lawyers. He went on to edit such shows as I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster, The Bill Dana Show, My Living Doll, The Wild Wild West, McMillan & Wife, My Favorite Martian and Kolchak: The Night Stalker.

Rich’s business background came into play when he became the post-production supervisor on The Good Guys television series. This merger of business and artistry was destined to make him one of the best post supervisors in the business.

With his background in editing and a strong business education, Rich was perfect to helm post-production departments. He understood budgets, personalities and how things worked in the film and television businesses.

These were the glory days at MTM, making such shows as Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere, Remington Steele, Lou Grant, WKRP in Cincinnati, The White Shadow, The Bob Newhart Show, Rhoda, Phyllis, The Tony Randall Show and, of course, The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Thanks to the lessons learned from Arnaz, Rich successfully kept these shows on track. From MTM, Rich moved on to Lorimar. They were doing such hits as Dallas, Knots Landing, Falcon Crest and The Waltons along with several miniseries and movies of the week. Rich was head of the postproduction department and responsible for the completion of all those shows.

When Lorimar was acquired by Warner Bros., Rich became head of their television post department until he retired. During his retirement years, he enjoyed spending time with his son and his two grandchildren, his sister and brother-in-law, longtime friends and, of course, his dog, Milo.

He also enjoyed attending industry events, screenings and dining out. He received the ACE Career Achievement Award honoring his many years in the business, his contributions and the many people he helped with their careers. We have lost a pillar of our craft and will not see his like again. –Jack Tucker, ACE

In Memoriam – Murray B. Jordan, ACE

Murray Jordan, ACE, passed away on July 1 at his home in Elche, Spain. He was 81.

He had the advantage of working for both legendary directors, Richard Brooks and Sam Peckinpah.

Jordan came a long way from Bremerton, Washington, where he was born on October 5, 1936, the son of Jack Jordan and Margaret Leighty. Jordan’s entrance into the entertainment business came from his father, Jack Jordan, who alternated between a naval career and being an actor.

In 1945 his youthful sons, Murray and Keith, made their acting debut playing the children in the national touring company of the Broadway hit, Life with Father. Acting did not claim him, but Jordan did love movies and had an almost encyclopedic knowledge of movie history.

The Jordan family moved to Hollywood and Murray finished his high school education at Hollywood High.  In 1966 he entered the film industry with the help of director Richard Brooks who was impressed with Jordan’s knowledge of film history. He helped get him in the Editors Guild. Jordan met Brooks through his wife who was the personal assistant and stand-in to Brooks’ actress wife, Jean Simmons.

He apprenticed under Peter Zinner, ACE, who was editing Brooks’ film, In Cold Blood (1967). That went well, and Jordan moved up to assistant editor on Brooks’ The Happy Ending edited by former ACE President George Grenville, and then also edited  by Grenville. The latter film was edited in Hamburg, Germany. After completion of the film he joined the editing team for Cross of Iron (1977), Sam Peckinpah’s World War II epic of the Russian front. Besides editing, Jordan worked as the second unit director on the production and was associate producer. Jordan was associate producer and editor for John Derek on Fantasies and then he directed a German feature in 1983, Happy Weekend.

Returning to Hollywood he edited a number of documentaries, television series and specials such as Happy Anniversary 007: 25 Years of James Bond; Gary Cooper: American Life, American Legend; The New Gidget and The Dukes of Hazzard. He also worked on the 60th Annual Academy Awards®. Jordan’s love of filmmaking gave him the background that led him to becoming a producer.

He supervised the production of Cops from 1989 to 2009; and produced The New You Asked for It and Smile… You’re Under Arrest!

He was married four times. In 1958 he married Sally Parks and briefly moved to Chicago. His second wife, Oliva, led him to Richard Brooks and with his third wife, Margit, he had a daughter. When Jordan’s fourth wife, Maria Remiro Brotons, passed away in 2009, he retired and moved to Elche, Spain, to be near her family.

He was a man for all seasons and lived a full life while contributing to our craft. He is survived by his brother, Keith; his daughter, Vanessa; and two grandchildren. –Jack Tucker, ACE

In Memoriam – Jack Carter, ACE

John Carter, ACE, who holds the distinction of being the first African American to be named a member
of American Cinema Editors, died at his home on Aug. 13. He was 95.

Born in Newark, N.J., he grew up in Asbury Park and was a member of the basketball, football and track teams during high school. In 1943 he was drafted into the Army and served with distinction in Europe. Having received his discharge in 1946, he trained at the New York Institute of Photography and the Brooklyn Institute of Motion Picture Production.

After graduation Carter began an apprenticeship at the Signal Corps Pictorial Center in film editing. He said, “I was drawn to film editing because it provided the opportunity to tell a story with pictures.”

In 1956 John became the first AfricanAmerican film editor to be employed by network television in New York when he was hired at CBS. Eye on New York was the CBS documentary unit and John worked his way up to supervising editor.

CBS proved a good experience and offered the chance to hone his skills. After 12 years, Carter left to form his own company, John Carter Associates. His first feature in 1968 was Paper Lion, which he edited with Sid Katz.

After the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., producer Ely Landau approached Sidney Lumet and Joseph Mankiewicz about doing a film of King’s life. Paul Newman, Marlon Brando, Burt Lancaster, James Earl Jones and Harry Belafonte all came on board, along with John Carter. For King: A Filmed Record … Montgomery to Memphis, Carter received an Emmy®.

Milos Forman’s Taking Off was Carter’s next challenge. It required him to make the transition from the Moviola to the Forman liked Carter’s documentary work, but he preferred the linear flatbeds to the nonlinear Moviolas.

Among Carter’s many credits are Mikey and Nicky, The Heartbreak Kid, The Formula, Hemingway (TV), The Karate Kid Part III, The Five Heartbeats, Boomerang, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Men of Honor, Barbershop and Madea’s Family Reunion.

In addition to ACE, he was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Motion Picture Editors Guild and the Westchester Clubmen. In 1984 Carter edited Solomon Northup’s Odyssey for director Gordon Parks on television’s American Playhouse. ‘

This is the story that was filmed a few years ago as 12 Years a Slave, by director Steve McQueen. His skill and dedication to his craft has greatly enhanced the films of directors including John Avildsen, Bill Duke, Elaine May, Gordon Parks, Stuart Millar, Tyler Perry and Reginald Hudlin.

His last film was 2006’s 5up 2down for Steven Kessler, and he retired at the age of 85. In 1981, when Karen Kalish first met John Carter she recalled, “I’d ask him what he does at his New York home, in between flying back and forth for his L.A.-based projects. He’d always say he was ‘just tinkering and fixing things around the house.’”  He made light of his helping other people though he mentored other editors and provided support and guidance to filmmakers.

Carter met his wife, Carole, while he was apprenticing in the Signal Corps and they had two daughters, Victoria and Carolyn; a son, John; and six grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Foundation of Westchester Clubmen, c/o McEvoy & Associates, 32 Union Square East, Suite 406, New York, New York 10003. –Jack Tucker, ACE

In Memoriam – Pasquale Buba

Pasquale Buba, ACE, passed away on September 12 from cancer after a brave fight. He was born in Braddock, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh on April 16, 1946, the son of Edward and Angeline Buba.

He was musically gifted and a career in that field seemed inevitable. He played the clarinet in an orchestra at Carnegie Hall at the age of 15 and received a full music scholarship to Carnegie Mellon University.

He was the first person in his family to attend college. Because of the university’s relationship with WQEDTV Pittsburgh he became interested in film. Many of the students interned at the station.

Buba worked there on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood where he developed his editing skill. It was on that show that he met the love of his life, Zilla Clinton, whom he married.

He graduated with two Masters degrees – one in music and one in film. Music or film editing: What to pursue? Since there were only six major symphonies that interested Buba, he felt film editing would be a better career. He hooked up with another Carnegie Mellon graduate, George A. Romero and edited such films of the early 1980s as Knightriders, Creepshow, Day of the Dead, Two Evil Eyes, The Dark Half and Monkey Shines. He acted in Romero’s Martin and did double duty in Dawn of the Dead (1985) as both actor and editor.

With longtime friends John Harrison and Dusty Nelson he produced and edited the cult thriller, Effects, in 1980. Buba was incredibly creative and quick witted. He was kind and mentored and advised young filmmakers throughout his career.

He edited episodes of television series Tales from the Crypt and American Playhouse. In 1993 Buba returned to his hometown of Pittsburgh to edit the Bruce Willis thriller, Striking Distance. The following year he joined the editing team on Michael Mann’s Heat before going on to collaborate with the film’s star, Al Pacino, on Looking for Richard (1996) for which he received an Eddie Award for best edited documentary.

As directed by Al Pacino, Buba skillfully combined scenes from Shakespeare’s play with rehearsals of the actors, discussions among them and interviews in Pacino’s attempt to discover who Richard III really was. In 1997 he collaborated with Johnny Depp on The Brave. Depp directed and costarred with Marlon Brando. This was followed by Simpatico, Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius and I Witness. Buba reunited with Pacino to collaborate for the documentary, Wilde Salome, in 2011, an exploration of Oscar Wilde and Salome.

In his passing Pasquale Buba leaves behind his wife, Zilla; his brother, Anthony; sisters-in-law Ozzie Cowan and Jan McMannis; and his brother-in-law, Joe Cowan; nieces Kelly and Jody; great nephews, cousins, countless friends and numerous godchildren who adored him. Zilla was by his side to the end.

He will be remembered for his great artistry that he put into his work and his willingness to share with other filmmakers. Those wishing to honor Pasquale’s memory can send donations in his name to the ACLU or any animal shelter. –Jack Tucker, ACE

In Memoriam – Francoise Bonnot, ACE

Francoise Bonnot, ACE, who won an Oscar® for Costa-Gavras’ 1969 political thriller, Z, died June 9 in Paris. “We have lost a tremendous talent,” says Carol Littleton, ACE.

“Francoise’s career spanned more than a half century, starting before the French New Wave with her work for Jean-Pierre Melville. Her work was always full of energy, intelligent and skillful with an incredible mixture of tone. Much of her early work was groundbreaking, especially with Costa-Gavras’ Z.

Her editing for Julie Taymor elevated the films beyond expectation.” Francoise grew up in the editing room as her mother, Monique Bonnot, was an editor. She collaborated with her mother as assistant on Two Men in Manhattan; and as  co-editor on A Monkey in Winter, which was Francoise’s first credit as an editor.

She also married the film’s director, Henri Verneuil, and did three more films with him: Any Number Can Win, The 25th Hour and Guns for San Sebastian. With Costas-Gavras, she edited nine films including Z, about the takeover of the Greek government by the military; and Missing, the historical drama starring Jack Lemmon
and Sissy Spacek.

She collaborated with George Cosmatos on Massacre in Rome and The Cassandra Crossing. Additionally, she edited Year of the Dragon and The Sicilian for Michael Cimino; The Tenant with Roman Polanski; The Burning Season with John Frankenheimer; Black and White in Color for Jean-Jacques Annaud; and Fat Man and Little Boy for Roland Joffe.

In 1999 Bonnot began collaborating with Julie Taymor, first on Titus, based on the Shakespearean play, and then on Frida, about the life and career of Frida Kahlo and her volatile relationship with Diego Rivera. This collaboration continued with Across the Universe and The Tempest.

Bonnot is survived by a son, Patrick; a daughter, Sophie; and two grandchildren. She had a great sense of humanity and a heart full of love and a talent for capturing those magic moments that happen on a set. She cannot be replaced. –Jack Tucker, ACE