For each day in the month of February, the African American Steering Committee will be highlighting Local 700’s 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.
Name: Colin Taylor
What’s your job? Freelance Picture Editor
List the credits you’re most proud of? Editor: 79th Academy Awards Nominee Packages (ABC 2007). I am more than likely the first person of Belizean descent to work on the Academy Awards in this capacity. I am still trying to discover who was the first Black Editor to work on the Academy Awards. I would love to get the answer to that question. Editor: “An Opry Salute to Ray Charles” (PBS 2019). It was the first time that the Grand Old Opry paid tribute to an African American. Plus it’s Ray Charles. Editor: “Johnson,” Season 1 (Bounce 2021). My first credit on a scripted drama series. I edited five episodes on this historic ground breaking series.
What are you working on right now? Kevin Hart’s “Hart 2 Heart” Season 2.
Who and what are your influences and/or mentors? I get my strong work ethic from my Mom. She worked two jobs until she retired. She taught me the value of being dependable and the importance of doing a good job. My mentors have been my three college professors at the California State University at Los Angeles, Alan Bloom, Suzanne Regan and Robert Vianello. They’ve advised and supported me from the day I joined the Broadcasting program there back in 1984 until this day. My wife, Necko serves as my inspiration to be the best me that I can be.
What books are you reading, shows are you watching and/or movies you’re excited about? Books: “The Tragic Life Of A Black LA Cop” – Joe Jones, “Ask And It Shall Be Given: Learning To Manifest Your Desires” – Esther and Jerry Hicks; Shows: “Women Of The Movement” (ABC/Hulu), “Money Heist” (Netflix), “Formula 1 Drive To Survive” (Netflix), “Abbott Elementary” (ABC), “Godfather of Harlem” (Epix), Fargo” (FX); Movies: “House Of Gucci,” “Being The Ricardos,” “King Richard,” “Black Widow”
What are your Black history month memories and any cultural or historical impacts on your life? For me Black history month has been a time to reflect upon all of the sacrifices made by those before me, which is the motivation to keep pushing forward. My initiation and continual 40 year involvement in the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. has been the source of cultural and historical impact upon my life, from continuing in the footsteps of men such as George Washington Carver, Alain Leroy Locke and A. Philip Randolph, to making an impact in the community through our various social programs as well as allowing me to provide an annual $1K scholarship to deserving minority students.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Find something you love to do and do it well enough to earn a living at it.
What’s a little known fact about you? What are your hidden (or not so hidden) talents? Residential Design: This would have been my career if I wasn’t an editor. I have actually done the majority of the design work on a million dollar property in the past. Electrical Technician: I have a background in Electrical Engineering, which was my major in college before I switched to Broadcasting. I’ve been a part of the design team for 4 studios as well as repaired TVs, monitors, production switchers, and VTRs in my career. I also perform the majority of the electrical work in my home.
What’s your favorite (Black) television/movie moment? That’s difficult. There are so many moments it’s difficult to pick one. Where does one begin? There’s the famous slap scene (Sidney Poitier) in “The Heat Of The Night.” Any scene with Pam Grier is gonna be one of my favorite moments. Michael Jackson’s “Moonwalk” on the Motown 25th Special, the “Let’s Go Crazy” performance that opens “Purple Rain,” I can go on and on.
One of my favorite moments was going to watch “Black Panther” during Black history month and being part of making box office history.
Was there a television show/movie that inspired you to pursue your career? Actually it was just the idea of television itself. There were very few TVs in Belize when I was a young child. When I immigrated to the U.S. in 1969, we finally had a TV and I could not get enough of watching TV. I would stay up late at night. My Mom would always tell me to “Stop watching TV and go to bed. Those people on TV have already made their millions. You need to go to bed so you can get up and go to school so you can get an education and make your millions.” That stuck in my head and led me to want to work in the television business.
What’s your personal/professional mantra? “CYA (cover your ass)” which basically means that I will find a solution to any problem placed in front of me in order to create a better product or situation. It originally stemmed from the well worn phrase in this industry of “fix it in post,” where post has to discover solutions to any problems that arrive during production. I have become so adept at this that it is now part of my professional credits.
What’s the last show/movie that left you speechless? The last series that I worked on. “Uprooted” (Discovery+ 2022). As we worked on telling this story we uncovered many things that left me to wonder how many more cases were there like this that were never reported and how people could live with themselves knowing the details of an unsolved murder case and suppressing that information.
What would be your dream project to work on? A theatrical action adventure feature.