Living Legacies


by Tomm Carroll

Here we are again at the height of Awards Season, which culminates Sunday, February 24 with the 91st Academy Awards, the legacy awards show. Most Guild members will be watching the telecast at home or at Oscar parties, aside from those lucky few who received nominations in the Achievement in Film Editing, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing categories and will be watching the proceedings nervously from their seats at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. We wish all of our nominated members the best of luck (and you can read interviews with them on

Tomm Carroll.
Portrait by Wm. Stetz

However, three Guild members will not be watching the Oscars — not because they’re not interested, but because they’ll be working the live show. They are the technical directors, whose jobs are to ensure that the broadcast comes off without a hitch. Yes, the live show has become so complex that a trio of TDs is needed to make it happen flawlessly.

And Kenneth Shapiro, the technical director who handles effects, is the one who has worked the Academy Awards the longest: 20 shows in the past 30 years. Without giving away any tidbits or teases of what we can expect to see on the 24th (a confidentiality agreement with the Academy prohibits him from providing any spoilers), Shapiro tells our writer Laura Almo about the complicated work technical directors perform on the Oscars, as well as how the demands of TD’ing the worldwide telecast have increased over the years as technology continues to advance.

From the legacy of the Academy Awards to legacy characters: The stars of the animated Disney Channel show DuckTales are octogenarians. Huey, Dewey and Louie (better known as the nephews of Donald Duck) first appeared in a newspaper comic strip 82 years ago this February. Technological changes have transformed the work of animation editing as well, as DuckTales editors Jasmine Bocz, Barbara Ann Duffy and Mike Williamson, along with assistant editor Susan Odjakjian, explain to writer Debra Kaufman in this issue’s cover story.

Another character whose origins harken back to the funnies is Sabrina the teenage witch, who initially materialized in a 1962 issue of Archie’s Madhouse comic book before gaining her own comic book series and, most memorably, the Sabrina the Teenage Witch live-action television series (1996-2003). Well, the witch is back. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, currently in its first season on Netflix, is a reboot featuring a darker depiction of the characters and the environment. Sound for the series is posted at Technicolor at Paramount by supervising sound editor Edmond J. Coblentz, Jr. and his team, along with re-recording mixers Vicki Lemar and Ken Kobett. Mel Lambert goes on a sonic witch hunt to learn how the spooky soundscape is created.

Legacies have to start somewhere, and for many young filmmakers, that beginning is often the public unveiling of their projects at a film festival. January’s Sundance Film Festival is the prime spawning ground for such debuts, so CineMontage decided to take a look at a few of the films that made their Sundance premieres and were cut by Guild picture editors. Joseph Herman talks to three editors who had films in the competition for the first time this year: Waldemar Centeno (Big Time Adolescence), Phyllis Housen (Clemency) and Kent Kincannon (Before You Know It).