Cut to Black: Paul E. Alderman, Picture 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: Paul E. Alderman

What’s your job? Editor

List the credits you’re most proud of. All of them! Just getting one is so difficult and the next is never a guarantee. Though, these past two seasons with “Shadow and Bone” have been a blessing. The show, the show-runners, and the post-crew are very dear to me.

What are you working on right now? “Shadow and Bone season 2 for Netflix

Who and what are your influences and/or mentors? Sci-fi, creature and monsters, and big action influence me. Then anything exploring extremes in the human condition. I’ve had countless mentors at the editor and assistant editor level. And I have been thankful for each and every one. Here are a few: Alan Bell really offered me a ton on being an editor outside of the software. Kirk Baxter was the first editor to show me how to break down a scene. He also evaluated scene edits I did for practice in my off time when I was on his editorial team and offered feedback. Lillian Benson and Sabrina Plisco have supported me from day #1. They’ve been in my corner from the first time I met each.

One of my earliest influences is my older sister. My favorite person in the entire world. Basically, I’d watch everything she’d watch because she was cool. Later, because she has fun interesting taste! She was the person who took me to see the first “Jurassic Park” movie in the theaters.

What books are you reading, shows are you watching and/or movies you’re excited about? I am reading a short graphic novel series titled “Low.” Watching and loving “The Last of Us” on HBO. Excited for the two upcoming “Shaka Zulu” series, both the South African production and the Antoine Fuqua-led production. I enjoy the original immensely. Also, “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts!”

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? That I cannot and should not fight every fight. Has become invaluable in the cutting room.

What’s a little known fact about you? What are your hidden (or not so hidden) talents? I am a HUGE fan of the tv series “Farscape!” HUGE!

What’s your favorite (Black) television/movie moment? I absolutely love the show “A Different World.” There was an episode in which Walter, played by Sinbad, was speaking with Dwayne Wayne, played by Kadeem Harrison, about rape and consent. The scene ends with Dwayne Wayne saying “Guys need to talk about this stuff too.” It was so profound when I first saw it.

Was there a television show/movie that inspired you to pursue your career? Robert Townsend filmed “Meteor Man” in Baltimore City. My uncle had a top-floor apartment in the neighborhood where the shoot was happening. I was able to lean out his windows looking down into the closed set to see James Earl Jones, Marla Gibbs, Robert Guillaume, and Big Daddy Kane! That was the first spark which gave my dream life. Seeing those legends in person made it real. Something attainable.

What’s the last show/movie that left you speechless? “Everything Everywhere All At Once” and “Top Gun: Maverick” were marvelous!

What would be your dream project to work on? A Godzilla movie or an epic action sci-fi adventure containing an overly romantic love story… with lots of creatures!