Reprinted from The Los Angeles Times by Anousha Sakoui on July 5, 2021.
“When Chloé Zhao was nominated for best film editing at this year’s Academy Awards, it boosted the chances that her movie, Nomadland, would win best picture,” writes Anousha Sakoui in The Los Angeles Times.
“The Oscar win continued a long-running streak. Every best-picture winner since 1981 — with the exception of 2014’s Birdman — had also been nominated for film editing. This statistic tracked closely by Oscar prognosticators illustrates just how vital the role of the film editor is.
“There have been many illustrious long-term collaborations between Hollywood’s most acclaimed directors and their film editors, such as Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker, who has edited all of his movies since Raging Bull in 1980. Michael Kahn edited all but one of the films Steven Spielberg directed over the last four decades, and Barry Alexander Brown edited six of Spike Lee’s films, including Do The Right Thing and BlacKkKlansman.
“Traditionally, a film editor, or more precisely a picture editor, was the person snipping celluloid together to make a film reel. Today, the work is almost completely digital. And like many roles in Hollywood, the route into the industry is not clear-cut.
“Here’s a primer on the profession and how to break into it. …