Letter From the Editor 1st Qtr 2018

DISCOVERING EXCELLENCE

 

With the annual ACE Eddie Awards behind us, we always explore what can be improved and how we need to evolve with the changing way content now comes to us – in terms of how it affects our awards ceremony and also the many others during awards season. Because it is not only the financial and economic bottom line and the amount of viewers that select winners but there are also aspirational, artistic and inspirational considerations that play an important role determining what will, needs to be or should be awarded.

The ACE Board of Directors has a standing Blue Ribbon committee that each year carefully and expertly determines and advises the Board about the award categories and line-up. They discuss the changes in production, post-production and distribution affecting the creative assessment of films and shows so the voting ACE membership can fairly choose their favorites.

With the arrival of the cable-cutting streamers like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and an ever-increasing number of choices presented on smart TVs and streaming devices, the competition has intensified. For editors it has meant that creatively much of the most interesting work nowadays seems to be generated by the small screen; and small is, of course, very relative with the ever-increasing size of home theater devices that in size and definition are beginning to resemble the screens of small theaters.

The definition of small screen also includes cell phones and tablets. We might not want to watch a 90-minute drama previously released in theaters on them, but viewing a 20-minute sitcom does not seem to be so weird or unusual. It does, however, mean competition for the big screen, even if it only takes content-consumable time away.

When theaters were the only way content could be distributed, there was room for cinemas that showed culturally and creatively interesting content in addition to the crowd-pleasing box office blockbusters. Now the indies find their audience on iTunes, Amazon and Netflix hoping that a successful run on the streamers can vault them into the mainstream. Even if that does not happen there has been a proliferation of festivals including Sundance, SXSW, Telluride, Tribeca and others that can shine a light on the indies that are daring to innovate.

At ACE, we always try to broaden our view of what goes on in the film and TV business because it is our goal to award excellence in editing wherever it might happen. Excellence sometimes can be found in obscure places of creativity and we challenge ourselves to find ways to give it its proper and deserved attention. –Edgar Burcksen, ACE