Letter From The Editor

When editors are members of American Cinema Editors and use the ACE acronym after their names on credits of motion pictures and other cinematic endeavors they have worked on, it signifies excellence in the art and craft of editing. We have always concentrated on the quality of the work, through initiatives like our magazine, CinemaEditor, the Eddie Awards and EditFest. Work-related issues like pay and labor conditions are more than adequately dealt with by our friends and colleagues at the union, the IATSE Motion Picture Editors Guild, Local 700.

They have devised “The Post-Production Code of Conduct” that primarily deals with labor related issues. The ACE Board of Directors started work early on to improve the overall atmosphere in the editing rooms by advocating diversity in gender, ethnicity and class because we believe that a diverse post-production team will engender a more stable work climate.

We also started a survey under the direction of ACE associate board member Andrew Seklir, ACE, about working conditions in and around the editing room to find out what we could do to come up with an official ACE list to suggest ‘Best Practices.’ It covers diverse issues from parking to temperature control in the editing room.

The ‘Best Practices’ deals with suggestions for a comfortable working environment because the less you have to worry about your place of work the more you can concentrate on the quality of your art and craft. In light of the serious allegations of harassment and misconduct that have exploded in the news media lately, we at ACE want to make sure that the excellence of our art and craft also extends to excellence in behavior toward other workers in the editing room, post-production and production.

We know that stress sometimes can deteriorate into unbecoming behavior and attitudes in any business, so we want to make sure that none of our members will sink to the level of the bullies that have allegedly put smut on the motion-picture industry we all love.

Even though allegations of the infamous ‘casting couch,’ sexual favors and perceived obligations do not seem to be as pervasive in post-production, there are still people with power that could  abuse it. As the leader of the post production team, the editor must adhere to the highest standards of collegiality and respect for coworkers. Earlier this year, the ACE Board of Directors started to devise an official ACE Code of Conduct that will become part of our new, revised and updated bylaws currently being inspected by our legal counsel.

Longtime ACE board member Bonnie Koehler, ACE, started to write a Code of Conduct based on her own personal experiences through multiple decades of editing for features and TV series. The ACE Board will soon discuss and finalize the language of the statement. Members of the ACE family – whether they are Active, Life, Affiliate or Assistant members – must abide by the bylaws of our organization as before, and now also need to underwrite the new ACE Code of Conduct. We want to ensure that the highest standard of quality in editing extends from the image on the screen to the conduct in the editing room. –Edgar Burcksen, AC