Cut to Black: Davone Alexis, Editor

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: Davone Alexis

What’s your job?
I’m a Film Editor who currently works under the Assistant Editor classification.

List the credits you’re most proud of.
“Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody” – Assisting on my first feature film under the astute leadership of Daysha Broadway, ACE telling the story of Whitney Houston – the greatest voice that has ever lived, has filled me with pride. Witnessing it on the big screen affirmed my sense of belonging in the film industry. “Between The World And Me” – this show served as a valuable source of knowledge and learning, allowing me to explore archival footage and gain a profound understanding of the Black experience in America. It not only heightened my awareness of the ongoing struggles faced by the Black community but also highlighted our resilience and ability to overcome these challenges in America.

What are you working on right now?
I’m currently collaborating with talented directors on independent projects crafting stories that need to be told.

Who and what are your influences and/or mentors?
Editor Stephanie Filo, ACE has been a profound mentor of mine. I’ve worked as her assistant on “We Grown Now” and “A Black Lady Sketch Show.” She has created a safe space to share my thoughts and feelings about scenes, ask for career advice, and numerous memes. In my film editing career, I have a diverse group of mentors who significantly influence my approach to my career, namely Daysha Broadway, ACE, Derek McCants, ACE, David Teague, and producers such as Hollann Sobers, Nasir Kenneth Ferebee, and Vanessa Caesar. They provide a continuous source of wisdom, enriching my craft and broadening my perspective. These combined influences create a dynamic foundation, propelling me forward in my pursuit of excellence as a film editor.

What books are you reading, shows are you watching, and/or movies you’re
excited about? Currently reading: “The Invisible Cut” as a study guide, watching films suggested by the author Bobbie O’Steen, and “The Alchemist.” Watching: “Ashoka,” “Rustin,” and “Raising Kanan.”

What would be your superhero name? Because I love Anime, Naruto being my favorite, my superhero name would be “Eternal Shinobi.” Embodying both enduring strength and the indomitable spirit of a ninja.

What are your black history month memories and any cultural or historical
impacts on your life? Growing up in Carriacou, Grenada, W.I., amidst rich cultural traditions like big drum dancing, Shakespeare mass, and Black cultural celebrations, I’ve been deeply immersed in the cradle of a culture shaped by generations of slavery and colonialism. These experiences instilled in me a profound connection to our ancestral spirits, serving as guides in this lifetime. The passing down of traditions ensures that we never forget our roots and the enduring impact of our cultural history.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? The best advice I’ve received is to eliminate “I can’t” from my vocabulary. Despite facing numerous challenges in my journey within the industry, I’ve learned to view every “can’t” as a challenge. Instead of accepting limitations, I seek guidance from those who have overcome similar obstacles, firmly believing that if someone else has done it, I can too. This mindset has propelled me from where I started to where I am now in my career.

If you could time travel, when would you go and why?
If I could travel through time, I’d choose to be in the room with Bob Marley during the creation of his iconic music. The desire to witness the magic firsthand and engage in the conversations that shaped the music we cherish today.

What’s a little-known fact about you? What are your hidden (or not-so-hidden) talents? A little-known fact about me is my affinity for technology – I’m a computer geek who has built my own edit system and home server, showcasing my skills in constructing computers. A not-so-hidden talent, a skilled DJ. lol

What’s your favorite (Black) television/movie moment? The most impactful black television/movie moment for me is the scene in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” where Will’s dad leaves. I relate to the experience of desiring a fatherly relationship only to face abandonment. However, I find solace and gratitude in the wisdom and love bestowed upon me by the “James Avery” figures who have played a crucial role in my life.

Was there a television show/movie that inspired you to pursue your career? Growing up on the island of Carriacou, I wasn’t aware of the role editing played in filmmaking or that individuals like me were behind the scenes. The revelation occurred during a workshop in Brooklyn, New York, with editor Sam Pollard as the speaker. Exploring his work on “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts,” I realized that editing transcends software – it’s about storytelling and crafting human narratives, inspiring me to pursue a career in film editing.

What’s your personal/professional mantra? Dr. Martin Luther King’s quote, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy,” resonates deeply with me. It serves as my personal mantra, guiding me through the challenges of navigating the world as a Black man. Despite the difficulties, I believe in leading with love and respect for everyone, irrespective of the treatment received in return.

What’s the last show/movie that left you speechless? “True Detective” Season 4 Episode 1

What would be your dream project to work on? My dream projects involve editing shows like “Game of Thrones,” “Stranger Things,” “The Hobbit,” and any captivating horror movies. I thrive on the thrill, suspense, and emotional intensity that these genres bring. The unpredictability, especially in mystery and suspense, where the story can turn upside down, leaving the audience hanging, is what truly excites me. While I have a natural affinity for documentaries and political drama, my dream is to contribute to the fantasy horror genre, immersing myself in the unique vibes it offers.