Art Vizthum

What are you currently cutting?

I recently worked at the Katie Couric talk show cutting both doc-style short form pieces (2-6 minutes) and multi-cam studio shows.  I also served as the Supervising Producer for Post.  Also, I did some post management consultant work at The Blaze.com, then cut two one-hour episodes of a pilot series for Investigation Discovery (via Atlas Media) and most recently worked on a two hour special for ABC News 20/20.  

Where did you grow up and when did you decide you that you were an editor?

I grew up in Detroit, Michigan and later, for High School, in a small town west of Detroit called Stockbridge.  I sort of “fell” into editing, as I started in the business as a copywriter and commercial producer/director in small market Tallahassee, Florida.  Because it was a small market, one was required to wear many hats, including that of Editor.  This reality continued as I moved north to Pennsylvania, where I had the ultimate “slash” title of Producer/Director/Writer/Photographer/Editor…working on everything from commercials to promos, industrials and corporate training videos to live programs and news docs.  A fantastically thorough way of learning the television/video production and post business.  I started out cutting in traditional tape-to-tape “online” rooms on ¾”, 1” and BetaSP, using such now antiquated gear as switchers, ADO sfx boxes, Chyron for font grfx, etc.  Moving to New York in 1991, I found it much “easier” to land gigs as an Editor vs. Producer or Writer.  As someone told me then, Producers were a “dime a dozen” in NY, while Editors had “actual skills”!  Therefore, the skill sets of an Editor were much more valuable and in demand.  So, my career shifted to a more Editor-centric one, and I soon evolved from tape-to-tape to this new-fangled creation called non-linear editing.

 

What was your first cut you were credited as editor?

1985…a commercial for a pub chain in Florida.  Not exactly Hollywood, but it paid the rent.

 

What’s one thing you’ve seen in the past 5 years that’s influenced something that you’ve cut?

Scorsese, Syriana…that’s two things. Sorry!

 

Who gave you your first break? Who’s one person you owe thanks to, for getting you to where you are now?

Joe Surges…a genius writer/producer/director from Pennsylvania who taught me everything that I know about this business.  He was a mentor, sometimes a tormentor, and a friend.  He still is the best writer/producer I have ever worked with.  He has passed on and the world is less because of it.

 

What’s your degree in?

Political Science, with a minor in economics.  I am not a film school dandy LOL.

 

What do you look for in a good AE?

  1. Attention to detail
  2. OCD style organizational abilities
  3. A thirst for knowledge that goes beyond the parameters of the work day…a “vocational” attitude about the industry
  4. Thinking outside the box
  5. “Ownership” philosophy about projects, and a “partner” mentality regarding their editor
  6. Respect for their “elders”

How did you approach your career trajectory?

I started at the very bottom…market two hundred something…as a writer/producer/director/editor/lawn mower/etc.  I feel truly fortunate to have started my career in such a small market for I was exposed to ALL aspects of television production and post from day one, and received basically the equivalent of a post graduate degree in video production and editing. I was a sponge and willing to do any task, work on any project, take on any role to learn the craft inside and out, from grip to producer.  From there, I clawed my way up through mid-sized markets, small film production companies and a lot of late nights to finally reaching The Big City in the early 1990’s.  Once in NYC, my career focused on editing and post, though I did trail off from time to time to write, shoot, produce and post manage.  I even had my own Production Company for a while. All in all, I feel that my eclectic background has afforded me one of the more varied and interesting career trajectories than anyone could possibly hope for!

 

What’s the most important thing you put into your projects?

Heart and soul.  As a mentor of mine once said to me, “any Jackass can hang pictures and push buttons.  It takes a real editor to tell a story, and the editor has to feel the story!”  My overwhelming thought and goal going into each project, be it long form, reality, commercials, promos, pieces…whatever…is “am I telling the story in the most imaginative, original, entertaining and informative way?  EVERYTHING is about story telling, from music to pacing, reaction shots to b-roll coverage, transitions to L cuts!

 

When approaching a scene, what’s your process?

I determine what is the emotion that the scene is trying to convey, what is the intent of the “beat”, what it is trying to trigger in subsequent scenes…it’s overall place in the whole story.  I then pace out the sound bites / reality moments in the scene accordingly.  Next comes the scoring.  Then I cut the master and cut-aways based on the pacing, reactions if I’m cutting verite reality, transitional montages, etc.  Then I watch the roughed out and paced/scored scene to see if it is indeed conveying the emotion that the producers and I want it to.  Rinse and repeat!

             

What’s the one project you’re most proud to have your name on?

A verite documentary for TLC that I served as a field producer/photographer/editor for called “Police Force: Straight Shooters”.  The doc was about the homicide and narcotics officers & detectives of the Baltimore Police Department’s Western District.  The district is one of the most violent neighborhoods in the United States.  The program served as background research for the acclaimed series “The Wire”.

 

QUICKIES

Stock Music Libraries. Is there one that you actually like? 

JinglePunks!  Fantastic

Where is your Match Frame key mapped? 

F9

Mouse, Tablet or Track Ball? 

Mouse and Tablet

Sitting or Standing? 

Sitting, though I’m starting to think about standing

FCP, Avid, or Premiere? 

Avid, though I’m looking forward to the new release of Premiere

Mac or PC? 

PC, but I cut side projects in Avid on my MacBook Pro 17” laptop.

Easier to Cut: Comedy or Drama? 

Comedy!  Timing, timing and timing!

Childhood movie/show that made you want to work in the industry? 

The Godfather”.  Simply the best film ever produced.

Dream project? 

The documentary that I am trying to get off the ground about the rise, fall, and…hopefully…rise again of the city of Detroit: “The Motor City Is Burning”…a working title.

 

Art is a member of New York Editors Collective

Oren Sarch

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What are you currently cutting? (Or your most recent cut?)

Currently working on some lifestyle webisodes for the NEW YORK TIMES. I just finished a show called GIRL CODE for MTV. Pretty much the same demographics.

Where did you grow up and when did you decide you that you were an editor?

I still haven’t decided that I’m an editor. And I still haven’t grown up.

What was your first cut you were credited as editor?

I started out in commercials, so my first “client” was NUTRISYSTEM. They kept me solidly booked for about a year and a half before I came in one day and heard that NutriSystem had filed for chapter 11 and all their office doors were padlocked. That ended that.

What’s one thing you’ve seen in the past 5 years that’s influenced something that you’ve cut?

This is going to sound cheesy, but I am continually influenced by and learning from my colleagues in the industry. I worked on a Discovery show last summer where an editor named JIM GAYNOR took an act I had cut and gave it a polish and did some really nice stuff to it. It always pisses me off when someone thinks of things that I didn’t, but that kind of thing always reminds me that as much as I complain, there’s always a way to make it better – and there are always editors out there who will do it if you give them a shot.

Who gave you your first break? Who’s one person you owe thanks to, for getting you to where you are now?

There are SO MANY people I have to thank and it seems like more of those people appear every day. But I think for my first break, I have to thank GREGG SUSKIN and JOHN PALESTRINI for hiring me as a “Backup Messenger” (not even a full messenger!) at Palestrini Film Editing some 20 years ago, and then giving me the opportunity to play with the editing equipment and learn from so many masterful editors.

What’s your degree in?

TV, Radio Film Production, believe it or not.

What do you look for in a good AE?

There are so many inappropriate answers to this – but I’m gonna play it safe and say a can-do attitude, a willingness to learn and tenacity not to give up if they can’t figure it out the first time. Everything else is gravy.

How did you approach your career trajectory?

My career continues to feel like a roller coaster – not only in its ups and downs, but in how little control I have over it. You just have to sit back and enjoy the ride, no matter which way you’re going. Easier said than done.

What’s the most important thing you put into your projects?

Time. And I say that because, as my career is leading me more into TV instead of Commercials, I find that the most coveted asset in an editor is speed. I’m fast, but I don’t enjoy being fast. I’d much rather watch all the footage, find the gem moments and know that I have the best cut possible. More often than not, it seems like that is not possible working on a TV show. I have a lot of respect for editors who can blow through a cut superfast. I’ve been starting to do that and am getting better at it, but I really don’t enjoy it.

When approaching a scene, what’s your process?

When I have the time, I really like to watch all the footage, pick selects, and really know the film before I start cutting. I always end up with a better product that way and it generally makes the back end revisions go much faster. Sadly, I almost never get a chance to do that any more.

What’s the one project you’re most proud to have your name on?

I think π, which I did 15 years ago, still opens the most doors for me. More recently, I did some films for a a world premiere of a set of Phillip Glass pieces with Benjamin Millepied that I was pretty proud of – mostly because I thought I really brought something to them creatively. I always feel more satisfied when I feel like I’ve contributed.

Stock Music Libraries. Is there one that you actually like?

Propeller Music – but mostly because the main composer, Doug Hall, is a genius.

Where is your Match Frame key mapped?

F2 of course! It was F1 (where it SHOULD be) but that doesn’t work on PC's...

Mouse, Tablet or Track Ball?

Mouse, although I have dabbled with tablet – it’s what all the kids are doing these days.

Sitting or Standing?

Sitting but Stand-curious.

FCP, Avid, or Premiere?

FCP and Avid. I think I like both equally now.

Mac or PC?

Mac. Duh!

Easier to Cut: Comedy or Drama?

I’m gonna go with drama because it’s so hard to know what’s going to play as funny. Drama you just throw in some music and Bang!

Childhood movie/show that made you want to work in the industry?

I decided I wanted to work in this industry after attending a taping of LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN. (Yes, Late Night – not Late Show). The way the crew flowed like clockwork amazed me.

Dream project?

Anything I can direct. Or anything involving nudity.

How long have been an editor?

20 years. Oy.

 Oren Sarch is a member of New York Editors Collectve.

Mike Huetz

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What are you currently cutting? 

TruTV's WORLD’S DUMBEST. We're in our 15th season.

Where did you grow up and when did you decide that you were an editor?

I was born and raised in Maplewood, NJ. I decided to become an editor in college, after declaring Communications as my major in my second year. Shortly after, I became the “go to” editor for all my clasSmates – mostly jamming on the Sony RM440. I suppose my interest stemmed from playing music and doing tons of 4 track recording when I was a kid – events on a timeline.

What was your first cut?

My first official editing credit was a 1994 commercial for General Mills DUNKAROOS for Saatchi & Saatchi. It was a combination of live action and animation featuring a young Party of Five alum, Lacey Chabert. Check it out

What’s one thing you’ve seen in the past 5 years that’s influenced something that you’ve cut?

I've got young kids, so I haven't really seen anything other than animated films for the last 1/2 decade, but even those flicks offer moments that make me forget that I know all about the technical behind the scenes stuff. For example, the scene in RATATOUILLE, when the critic tastes the signature dish and is instantly transported back to his childhood, where he is being comforted by his mother after skinning his knee. Pretty powerful stuff from Pixar. I'm always looking for the “magic” in movies, and trying hard to bring it to my work.

Who gave you your first break? Who’s one person you owe thanks to for getting you to where you are now?

I became Jerry Fried's assistant editor at Red Car Editorial in the early 90s. He taught me so much about editing – and not just the technology (which was in its infancy then... Cosa After Effects anyone?), but also the techniques. Pulling selects, the power of sound design, and other methods that still float around in my head to this day. I truly thank him for his invaluable instruction. He went on to become the mayor of Montclair, NJ. He handed me the first few commercials I cut.

How did you approach your career trajectory?

I've always tried to be flexible and prepared to work in many different genres.

What’s the most important thing you put into your projects?

Sound design and graphics. The occasional note-drawing red herring (Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink)

When approaching a scene, what’s your process?

Sound, then picture. I pace out a pretty tight radio-edit first, then fill in picture. If there is a ton of b-roll footage, I'll pull a select reel or multiple select reels per subject matter, which is a useful technique from the pre-metadata era. It's nice to have a string of pre-cut footage going in.

The one project you’re most proud?

I recently wrote, directed, and cut the first episode of a YouTube series that I came up with, called BLOCKBUSTERED! It's probably the first time that I created something that didn't require addressing notes. Priceless. Check it out

Stock Music Libraries?

Killer Tracks. Love the vintage stuff. Songs don't fade out. 

Match Frame key?

Before Avid on PC, it was F1–now F6 

Sitting or Standing?

Sitting. It's one of the perks of the job!! If I wanted to stand, I would
have become a chicken farmer. 

FCP, Avid, or Premiere?

Premiere for home projects, and probably pretty soon for
work too. I use After Effects all the time and the integration is huge for me. Plus, the subscription pri-
cing plan is genus. FCPX is a joke. 

Mac or PC?

I was a Mac fanboy for years, but without Apple supporting the Mac Pro, I see a souped-up HP in my future to support the Mercury Playback. (Miss you, Steve.) 

Dream project?

Louie Prima Bio Pic

 Mike Huetz is a member of New York Editors Collectve.

Kyra Coffie

Kyra has been cutting for 16 years.

Kyra has been cutting for 16 years.

What are you currently cutting?

 UK Reversion of TREASURE QUEST

Where did you grow up and when did you decide that you were an editor?

I grew up in Washington, D.C and I decided I was an editor in 2000 when I decided I liked air conditioning versus being in the field shooting stuff to edit. (I learned how to edit in the Army.  If you were in the Army, you’d be an editor too!)

What was your first cut?

Ummm, NEW YORK GOES TO WORK for VH1? I think. I can’t keep track of that stuff! 

What’s one thing you’ve seen in the past 5 years that’s influenced something that you’ve cut?

Casino Royale

Who gave you your first break? Who’s one person you owe thanks to for getting you to where you are now?

Anthony Zaldivar.  He’s created a system that allows promotion of assistant editors to editors and that is where I made the jump.

How did you approach your career trajectory?

There wasn’t a path. I took jobs as they came along and now I’ve got a wealth of knowledge under my belt that lets me cut almost anything.

What’s the most important thing you put into your projects?

Music and SFX.  They are the literal icing on the cake to every cut I work with.  Drives me nuts when I don’t get to put in everything!

When approaching a scene, what’s your process?

I like to string everything out and do a radio cut to see how it flows.  Then I’ll dig through the raw material to see if there are any other nuggets that deserve to be included.  Despite the non-linear editing system, I work very linearly by going from beginning to end adding music, sfx, and cutting the video.

What’s your degree in?

Communications

What do you look for in a good AE?

What a loaded question! If they follow the tenets of my book, then I’d say that they are a good AE. :-) A great AE doesn’t cut corners, wants to learn and knows how to figure stuff out without a lot of hand holding.

The one project you’re most proud?

Show for National Geographic called OUR WORLD.  It was a semi-formatted show that teaches kids how to speak English.  I like knowing that when I’m worm food, something good came out of my career other than entertaining people.

Stock Music Libraries?

This isn’t a serious question, is it?

Match Frame key?

Today it’s F3

Mouse, Tablet or Track Ball?

TABLET!

Sitting or Standing?

Sitting on an exercise ball

FCP, Avid, or Premiere?

Avid all the way

Mac or PC?

Mac 

Easier to Cut: Comedy or Drama?

Comedy

Childhood Inspiration?

I accidentally fell into the industry so I’ll say THE MUMMY since that is my favorite movie

Dream project?

Any of the BOND films

Ali Muney

Ali has been cutting for 11 years.

Ali has been cutting for 11 years.

What are you currently cutting?

 THE NEW BLACK, an ITVS funded feature doc.  Also cutting IN THE MORNING, a micro-budget narrative feature from home on nights and weekends.

Where did you grow up and when did you decide that you were an editor?

I grew up in Maplewood, NJ.  I didn’t discover editing until I was 30 and bought a bubble iMac (purple) and a miniDV camera.  I fooled around with FCP 1.2 on my own. Then I took a workshop at The Edit Center taught by Kate Sanford.  I thought, “You can do this for a living?  An they’ll pay you?  And there’s a union with set wages and benefits and a hierarchy for building a career?  Sign me up!”

What was your first cut?

BUTCH IN THE CITY, a spoof short I cut on the purple bubble iMac.  It screened at Frameline and boy, did it look and sound like crap in the Castro theater.

What’s one thing you’ve seen in the past 5 years that’s influenced something that you’ve cut?

Jim Lyons gave a talk at MPEG where he explained the use of OTS shots and motivated cuts.

Who gave you your first break? Who’s one person you owe thanks to for getting you to where you are now?

Brian Kates talked to me in an elevator.  He asked if I knew FCP and was in the union for a Movie of the Week gig at Oxygen.  The next day I had a phone call from Keith Reamer who hired me and showed me the ropes of Narrative editing.  I worked for Keith for 9 months an Brian for 5 years.  These are two key people I owe thanks to, but there are many people I’ve learned from and who have helped me out over the years.  I hope there will be many more.

How did you approach your career trajectory?

Work with good people.  If they are better than you, you can elevate your game.

What’s the most important thing you put into your projects?

L cuts!  No, really, I strive to make people feel something real.

When approaching a scene, what’s your process?

Watch everything.  Make notes.  Re-read the script and notes from the shoot.  Try to build to a moment.

What’s your degree in?

BA-History, University of Wisconsin

What do you look for in a good AE?

Attention to detail and technical knowledge.  Hygiene is good too.

The one project you’re most proud?

THE SAVAGES

Stock Music Libraries?

No

Match Frame key?

F2

Mouse, Tablet or Track Ball?

Mouse

Sitting or Standing?

Sitting

FCP, Avid, or Premiere?

Avid and FCP when requested

Mac or PC?

Mac and PC when requested

Easier to Cut: Comedy or Drama?

Just different

Childhood Inspiration?

Blazing Saddles for the WB commissary scene.

Dream project?

Girls

Ali is a member of New York Editors Collective.

Allan Piper

Allan has been cutting for 16 years.

Allan has been cutting for 16 years.

What are you currently cutting?

 I’m cutting PLAYING WITH FIRE at Atlas for E! It’s a docusoap following NY chefs, food writers, and restaurateurs.

Where did you grow up and when did you decide that you were an editor?

I grew up in McLean, VA, outside Washington, DC. I began making short films as a kid. I still think of myself primarily as a filmmaker, but somewhere along the line I came to agree with Sergei Eisenstein’s view that “the art of cinema is first and foremost editing.”

What was your first cut?

My first real project was a short documentary I made about Admiral Byrd’s 1933 Antarctic expedition, but the first time someone else gave me an editing credit was on the CBS/Eyemark show, THE WILD WEB.

What’s one thing you’ve seen in the past 5 years that’s influenced something that you’ve cut?

I’ve had the privilege of being on teams with some incredible editors. Seeing what they do with the same material I’m working with has inspired me. 

Who’s one person you owe thanks to for getting you to where you are now?

My mom made experimental art films in the ‘70s, before I was born. When I was in third grade she taught me to edit on a reel-to-reel/Moviola set-up in our basement with a Guillotine splicer. That’s when I got hooked.

I also have to credit Mike Wechsler for bringing me to New York. I came here from LA for one month to cut his first episode of What Not to Wear. Eight years later I’m still in NY. 

How did you approach your career trajectory?

I really got lucky. Right out of college I made STARVING ARTISTS, an indie comedy. I taught myself Avid so I could cut it, and when I was done, I discovered I had a marketable skill doing something I loved. This was in Boston in the late ‘90s, when there happened to be a flurry of New England film production, and editors were in short supply. 

I’ve tried always to work with smart, talented people, and that’s led me to a lot of fun projects.  I’ve also avoided shows about rich people throwing tantrums, even though they seem to be an increasingly large part of the industry.

What’s the most important thing you put into your projects?

I think empathy might be the most important trait for an editor. Someone posted on NYEC  that he catches himself making the facial expressions he’s looking for in a scene. A lot of us do that because we feel (or at least relate to) the emotions of our characters. It’s what let’s us tap into the emotional rhythm of a scene.

What’s your scene process?

I lay down the skeleton before fleshing it out. For most scenes, that will be the dialogue, but for a music video or music driven montage it would be the song, and for some scene it would be a certain piece of action.

What’s your degree in?

Literature. It’s all about telling stories.

The project you’re most proud?

In 2011 I made MARRIED & COUNTING, a feature documentary about two men who celebrate twenty-five years together by traveling the country to get married in every state that will let them. In 2012, I cut videos for President Obama’s campaign video team. 

Match Frame key?

P

Sitting or Standing?

Does anyone other than Walter Murch actually cut standing? If I wanted to stand in one spot for ten hours at a time, I’d go back to being a museum security guard.

FCP, Avid, or Premiere?

I don’t use Premiere enough to have an opinion on it, but FCP and Avid are equally good. The haters on both sides can stuff it. Unless it’s a project with a lot of stills, then it’s got to be FCP because Avid Moving Picture is so clunky. I do have a special fondness for Avid though, because I cut my first feature in the attic of the guys who invented it.

Easier to Cut: Comedy or Drama?

Drama’s a little easier, but comedy’s often more fun.

Childhood inspiration?

My mom’s art/dance films. Also, like all boys who grew up in the ‘80s, I was in love with Star Wars.

Dream project?

Just did two of them. Now I have to come up with a new dream.

Allan is a member of New York Editors Collective

Anne McCabe

Anne has been cutting for 20 years.

Anne has been cutting for 20 years.

What are you currently cutting?

 I am not cutting now, but I have a movie coming out this summer called THANKS FOR SHARNG. It's a Comedy/Drama about twelve step programs with Josh Gad, Tim Robbins and Mark Ruffalo. I am about to start cutting a TV pilot; a scripted comedy show about behind the scenes at the Onion News network. Should be fun.

Where did you grow up and when did you decide that you were an editor?

I grew up in Boston and I decided editing was for me when I got sick of getting up for 6 AM production calls.

What was your first cut?

I think it was a short film a Columbia Grad student directed. A comedy about a guy obsessed with Neil Diamond called  I AM I SAID

What’s one thing you’ve seen in the past 5 years that’s influenced something that you’ve cut?

I thought THE GREEN ZONE was really well cut. Also the TV shows BORED TO DEATH and BOARDWALK EMPIRE.

Who gave you your first break? Who’s one person you owe thanks to, for getting you to where you are now?

I offered to help out Greg Mottola as a friend on his first feature, whatever he needed, I was thinking as an assistant and he said "Why don't you cut it?"

How did you approach your career trajectory?

I didn't really have a plan, but as an assistant I cut shorts on the weekend. As an editor, I work on a lot of  different kinds of jobs; TV, Movies, Commercials, News, Documentary. I didn't want to get too pigeon holed and I think different types of editing keeps you flexible.

What’s the most important thing you put into your projects?

I am very self critical. I try not to leave things in I know are weak. I often rewatch the thing from the beginning and see where I get bored. I try to stay focussed. So I guess the answer to the question is wait what was the question?

When approaching a scene, what’s your process?

I watch everything shot and sometimes pull stuff out while I watch it knowing that this piece is good and maybe should be in. But mostly, I take a lot of notes about good bits, string them all together in a rough mess and start whittling it down. I try to get some kind of rough rough cut as quick as possible and it is all up from there.

What’s your degree in?

BA in English

What do you look for in a good AE?

Strengths that I have less of,---Organization,  technical  expertise, strong VFX ability, punctuality, patience.

The one project you’re most proud?

YOU CAN COUNT ON ME or ADVENTURELAND or maybe the opening scene of THE NEWSROOM (Sorry I know that is three...)

Stock Music Libraries?

Don't use them. I use my own music. Or sometimes I get my brother who is a composer to write something. That way I can describe exactly what I want. And I get what I want.

Match Frame key?

F6

Mouse, Tablet or Track Ball?

Mouse

Sitting or Standing?

Sitting

FCP, Avid, or Premiere?

Avid

Mac or PC?

Mac

Easier to Cut: Comedy or Drama?

Comedy

Childhood Inspiration?

Dr. Strangelove

Dream project?

Peter Sellers, Alan Arkin, Carl Reiner and Carole Lombard star in a comedy written and directed by Federico Fellini

Anne is a member of New York Editors Collective.

Joe Beshenkovsky

Joe has been cutting for 10 years.

Joe has been cutting for 10 years.

What are you currently cutting? 


I’m currently cutting a FRONTLINE and finishing up a doc feature called TEENAGE.

Where did you grow up and when did you decide that you were an editor?

Grew up in Washington Heights, NYC. One day I was a PA on a commercial shoot, literally guarding some traffic cones, and said fuck this shit, I’m gonna be an editor.

What was your first cut you were credited as editor?

I don’t remember exactly, most likely either an EPK or a news piece.

What’s one thing you’ve seen in the past 5 years that’s influenced something that you’ve cut?

I can’t say it’s directly affected the way I cut, but DEADWOOD was awesome. The film that’s made an impression on me more than anything else is FAST, CHEAP AND OUT OF CONTROL.

Who gave you your first break? Who’s one person you owe thanks to, for getting you to where you are now?

I was an intern for a guy named David Fuhrer, who owns a place called Production Central. He shared space with Scott Lochmus and Ken Druckerman. I started cutting for Scott, who gave me my first break. Wyatt Smith (an editor on this board) worked with Scott a lot and I stole all kinds of shit from him that are part of my work flow. I then started working for Ken when he was just getting things underway. If there’s anyone responsible for getting me to whatever point I’m at now it would be him. But it all leads back to David Fuhrer.

How did you approach your career trajectory?

Initially, it was all about learning and gaining experience. There’s still that, but overall I just want to work on the best project possible at that given time. That’s generally not available, so I’m content to charge a lot of money working reality.

What’s the most important thing you put into your projects?

Calm. Willingness to make decisions. A little bit of arrogance.

When approaching a scene, what’s your process?

I’m all about structure, that’s what I want first. I pull my selects, wittle them down, wittle them down some more, brick it out and create an arc for the scene. How I actually assemble that arc and map out the scene is more intuition and feel than anything else I guess.

What’s your degree in?

Just a B.A.

What do you look for in a good AE?

Someone who’s capable and actually interested in being an editor.

The one project you’re most proud?

THIS AMERICAN LIFE. The John Smith episode in particular.

Stock Music Libraries?

They’re pretty much all garbage

Match Frame key?

F3

Mouse, Tablet or Track Ball?

Mouse

Sitting or Standing?

Sitting. Considering a standing for the home setup.

FCP, Avid, or Premiere?

Avid. FCP, unfortunately, for a lot of doc stuff.

Mac or PC?

Mac

Easier to Cut: Comedy or Drama?

Equally difficult

Childhood ispiration?

I don’t think there was one particular movie or show that made me want to work in the industry. My mom got me a video camera one year, that did the trick.

Dream project?

Yes, Mr. Spielberg I might be available. Let me check with Mr. Scorcese.

Joe is a member of New York Editors Collective