Cut to Black: Dezi L. Sullivan Jr., Assistant Editor/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: Dezi L Sullivan Jr.

What’s your job/classification? Assistant Editor/Editor

List the credits you’re most proud of. I’m proud of all my credits, but right now I would say “Rap Sh!t” season 2 sticks out because I received my first scripted editing credits. My goal for 2024 is to fully transition from assistant editor to editor so if you’re reading this and you hire editors, you should hire me (shameless plug).

What are you working on right now? “Reasonable Doubt” season 2

Who and what are your influences and/or mentors? My editor Lynarion Hubbard has been my biggest mentor; we’ve been working together since 2021. She took a chance on me when I didn’t have much scripted experience for that I am forever grateful. One of the best things about working with Lynarion is that she’s always given me opportunities to cut scenes and recaps. She’s helped me grow as an editor and I’ve seen her grow as well.

Cinema itself and everyone in the industry that came before me serve as my greatest influence. I love how just placing moving pictures on a timeline, in a particular order can tell a story and evoke feelings of happiness, sadness, anger etc. I’m hooked on that.

What books are you reading, shows are you watching and/or movies you’re excited about? I just started David Goggins’ book, “Can’t Hurt Me” I’m not a huge reader but I’m trying to fit it in more.

As far as shows go I’m a fan of “Married at First Sight.” I just finished season 2 of “This Fool” and loved it. A few other shows I’ve enjoyed are, “Invincible,” “The Curse,” “Hard Knocks Miami Dolphins,” and “Swagger.”

What would be your superhero name? I was originally going to say I have no idea. However, I did one of those superhero name generators online and they gave me Agent Powerful so I’m going with that.

What’s a little known fact about you? What are your hidden (or not so hidden) talents? I served in the United States Army and can deadlift close to 800 pounds (on a good day).

Was there a television show/movie that inspired you to pursue your career? Some of my favorite films are what I call (Hood Classics). “Friday,” “Poetic Justice,” “Boyz n the Hood,” “The Wood,” “Baby Boy,” “Booty Call” etc. My aunt Red loved movies too and showed me many of these for the first time. She let me watch things I couldn’t at home so we had a bond when it came to movies. When I spent the night we would go to the video store to rent the newest flicks or pick from her vast array of VHS tapes. These films and experiences definitely fostered my love of cinema which later manifested itself in the form of a career in post production. Unfortunately, she passed in 2008, but I know she’d be proud of me. 

What’s your personal/professional mantra? In many cases perfection is unattainable, but if you chase perfection you’ll catch excellence. Tomorrow is another day to get it right. You don’t always get the edit you want, just one that works. You can do this Dezi. Lol

What’s the last show/movie that left you speechless? American Fiction!” I watched the trailer and it just looked like a normal comedy. I didn’t expect to be fighting tears in the theater. This film has heart and balances elements of comedy and drama in a way not many can, highly recommend.

What would be your dream project to work on? I want to be a part of classic projects that stand the test of time and live rent free in your mind. Films and shows people quote for no reason to their friends and family. I want to make you feel… something. The crappy thing about our industry is like actors, editors can get typecasted. So if you cut too many comedies and interview for a horror film producers might not think you’re capable. I want to do it all, or as much as I can. I would love to work on a hard hitting A24 feature, then go edit a rom-com, after that an action movie etc. But who knows! I guess we’ll see where life takes me. And if you made it this far thank you for listening to my Ted Talk.