Cut to Black: Celebrating New Members

For each day in the month of February, the Committee will be highlighting African-American members, both past and present, and their accomplishments. We look forward to showing the contributions and influences African-Americans have had on the industry.

Today, The African American Steering Committee celebrates the African American men and women who are new members of MPEG Local 700. We’re excited to honor these emerging post production professionals and eager to see what amazing future projects they will help create. Welcome, New Members!

Fred Brown II, Assistant Editor (read his Q&A below)
Stephanie Filo, On Call Editor (read her Q&A below)
Erica Mountain, Story Analyst
Aneesa Nash, Assistant Editor (read her Q&A below)
Anton Vidale, Assistant Editor (read his Q&A below)
Ian Willoughby, Assistant Editor

Joi-Noelle Worley, Animatic Assistant Editor


Name: Fred Brown II

What’s your job? Assistant Editor

List the credits you’re most proud of. I’m proud of them all. Every show
I’ve worked on has taught me more and more about the craft and helped
define the path I’d like to take. If I had to pick a favorite credit, it’d be
“Mindhunter” S2 for the incredible people I met and the unique workflow
experience.

What are you working on right now? Season 2 of “Into The Dark”
(Hulu/Blumhouse)

Who and what are your influences and/or mentors? There are so many
wonderful people working in this industry that have lent their hand,
resources and time to help me get started in scripted. Whether it’s giving me a hard-drive of assets to copy, or showing me something new in Avid, or
with VFX, or answering my silly questions. If I were to list names, I’m sure
I’d leave someone out. Almost everyone I’ve met has offered advice and
influenced me in some way or another. Personally, I like to glean and take
inspiration from others’ stories as it helps inform my own decisions. So
whether it’s simply meeting for coffee or drinks, visiting a friends’ show, or
just going-out and hitting the town, there’s always some new experience to
run with.

What books are you reading, shows are you watching and/or movies
you’re excited about? I’m juggling two books right now, “The Water
Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates and “When the Shooting Stops…the Cutting
Begins” by Ralph Rosenblum and Robert Karen. For TV, I’m thoroughly
enjoying “The Chi” since I’m from Chicago and can relate to the storylines.
I’m also really late to the game but I recently finished “Breaking Bad.” “His
Dark Materials” was also pretty great! Other than that I’ve been diving into
some older classic movies that are still on my list to watch.

What would be your superhero name? Freddie

What are your Black History Month memories, and what cultural or historical impacts have they had on your life? I grew up on the south-side of Chicago which is rich in activism and honorable in paying patronage to those who paved paths before us. I attended Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. high school and between school, my dad, and my church, they all fostered and instilled a duty to continue along the paths set. To go out into the world and dare to be successful, but not just for myself, in order to have something to pay-forward: community building, a wealth of resources, hope, and change. And story-telling is one of the more powerful mediums in doing so.

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What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Fail big. Fail-forward. Kick all the doors open.

If you could time travel, when would you go and why? I’d get one of those flying cars so I can skip LA traffic.

What’s a little known fact about you? What are your hidden (or not so hidden) talents? I played trumpet through high school and college and even got a scholarship! I’m also really good at ping-pong and bowling.

What would be your dream project to work on? It’d be great if “The Water Dancer” was adapted into a film and I got to work on that. It’s a great novel. I’d also relish any opportunity to work on any major film. “Space Jam 2” would be a pretty cool dream project too.



Name: Stephanie Filo

What’s your job? Picture Editor

List the credits you’re most proud of. This probably sounds like a cheesy answer, but I am really proud of everything that I’ve worked on, big or small. My career proves that my hard work coupled with my parent’s sacrifices and support over the years were worth it!

What are you working on right now? I just finished locking an indie thriller feature called “Root Letter.”

Who and what are your influences and/or mentors? Mentors: When I was first starting out, Bill Macomber at Fancy Film Post Services took me under his wing and taught me so much about the craft, and so much about the tech behind said craft. He fought for me when people didn’t think I could do it. When I started out, I honestly didn’t know if post production was the route I wanted to take but Bill’s passion for post was honestly contagious, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Otherwise, anyone who has gone out of their way to highlight and raise up underrepresented voices in film and television is an inspiration to me, both behind and in front of the camera. Lastly, Prince of course.

What books are you reading, shows are you watching and/or movies you’re excited about? “Watchmen” is my favorite graphic novel, so it is fitting that I am obsessed with the HBO show “Watchmen” as well. Recently became addicted to “Schitt’s Creek,” “Medical Police,” and “Castle Rock.” I also just read and loved a really powerful book of poetry called “Questions for Ada” by Ijeoma Umebinyuo.

What would be your superhero name? I’ve been called ‘The Pulverizer” before, because I pulverize those edits.

What are your Black History Month memories, and what cultural or historical impacts have they had on your life? I don’t know that I have any memories specific to Black History Month only, but I am black every month, and we are in a field that is still simply not very diverse at all. For 10 years, I was convinced I was the only black editor in TV out there and just left it at that. That said, I would say a moment that was impactful and empowering in a way I can’t fully describe was the day I started a project, walking into the office to find that there was not only 1, but 3 black editors on the same project with me. It was like a dream come true to realize I wasn’t alone in this field, and I have luckily met a few more great black editors since then! It also filled me with hope that in time, production and post production can start to have more and more people of color within it.

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What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? “Be in what you’re doing,” and “Sleep on it.”

If you could time travel, when would you go and why? I would go back 15 years and remind myself to breathe and enjoy the process (and also tell myself that it will all work out).

What’s a little-known fact about you? What are your hidden (or not so hidden) talents? My original career was as a professional dancer. Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, etc. Even though that is the polar opposite of editing, I still think a lot of the same discipline from that comes into play in the edit bay.

What would be your dream project to work on? I have my eye on one, so stay tuned!



Name: Aneesa Nash

What’s your job? Assistant Editor

List the credits you’re most proud of. I’m most proud of my first AE job working on a show called “Mixtape.” I got to learn so much about the history of rock n’ roll on that show and it was just so fun for me.

What are you working on right now? I am currently working on finding my next adventure in the form of a job.

Who and what are your influences and/or mentors? As an editor, I have been heavily influenced by the work of Joe Walker. As far as mentors, there have so many great people on my journey. A few people I’ll name are Kristin Valentine, Kat McAuley, and Dominique Ulloa.

What books are you reading, shows are you watching and/or movies you’re excited about? I’ve been trying to catch up on “Fargo.” One movie I am very excited to see is “Saint Maud.”

What would be your superhero name? Captain Save-A-Cat

What are your Black History Month memories, and what cultural or historical impacts have they had on your life? I’ve loved going to the Pan African Film Festival. Being in an industry that’s majority white, it feels like a nice spiritual refresher being around so many beautiful black people

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

If you could time travel, when would you go and why? I think I would go to the 90s. I was born in ’94, so I didn’t get to enjoy all the pop culture of the 90s.

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What’s a little-known fact about you? What are your hidden (or not so hidden) talents? I think my favorite hidden talent is that I know how to throw knives.

What would be your dream project to work on? I would absolutely love to work on black horror films. I want to be able to work on a horror film that becomes one of the next modern classics.



Name: Anton Vidale

What’s your job? Assistant Editor

List the credits you’re most proud of. “ONE,” “Fraud,” “Ramadan on the Road,” “Black Monday,” Season 2

What are you working on right now? “Black Monday,” Season 2

Who and what are your inuences and/or mentors? My junior high and high school TV production teachers were my first influences. My mentors are the veteran editors I have met who have graciously shared their wisdom. My assisting work is largely influenced by other assistant editors in TV and Film.

What books are you reading, shows are you watching and/or movies you’re excited about? I’m currently reading “The Yamas & Niyamas” by Deborah Adele. I really enjoyed “Watchmen” on HBO, and can’t get enough of “The Astronomy Club” on Netflix. I’m excited about seeing “1917.”

What would be your superhero name? The Mastermind.

What are your Black History Month memories and any cultural or historical impacts on your life? During Black History Month when I was 13, BET hosted a nationwide TV contest for the best short biopic created by young filmmakers, and my film won first place. That experience put me on the path I’m on today. My greatest cultural impact has been growing up in Prince George’s County, Maryland, surrounded by black people embodying every aspiration I could have. When I worked downtown during the Obama administration, I would take my lunch break on the north lawn of the White House. Participating in Caribbean carnival festivals around the world have connected me more with the diversity within my own black history.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? I worked in retail for three years when I first moved to LA, and I would ask every industry veteran that I met their advice. The number one response was to never give up and stay in the game, because your persistence will pay off at the right time. I’ve read that in Galatians a million times but it really resonated with me hearing it from people who were once where I was. That advice kept me going when I really wanted to quit.

If you could time travel, when would you go and why? Take me back to when a Bitcoin cost a dollar!

What’s a little-known fact about you? My favorite karaoke song is “Moonage Daydream” by David Bowie!

What are your hidden (or not so hidden) talents? I can play the trumpet, steel drums and DJ.

What would be your dream project to work on? Something with a strong social mission directed by Ava DuVernay and executive produced by the Obamas.

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