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.)
Louie Prima Bio Pic
Mike Huetz is a member of New York Editors Collectve.