Editors Are Spielberg’s Heroes

Cannes Film Festival

Warner Bros. Pictures

Golden Eddie Award honoree Steven Spielberg informed attendees at the American Cinema Editors 63rd Annual Eddie Awards that sitting with editors early in his career was his personal film school that taught him everything he needed to know as a director.

“When I was first starting out, the editors were the only ones who would let me hang out and watch their process,” said Spielberg. “Everybody here, you are my heroes.”

In addition to learning about the importance of coverage and b-roll Spielberg shared a pivotal moment when he observed an editor salvage a poorly performed two and a half minute court-room monologue. Creating a vocal track from forty segments of dialogue, the editor spliced together previously-seen footage, creating a flashback sequence that supported the monologue.

“This was really innovative for that time period,” said Spielberg. “The director hated it, but I realized I saw something that would lead to new possibilities. Editing was filmmaking.”

Before leaving the stage, Spielberg acknowledged his editor of 37 years, Michael Kahn.

“I wouldn’t be standing here if it wasn’t for what you have done for my life,” said Spielberg.

Kahn, adding an Eddie nomination for “Lincoln” to six previous Eddie nominations, four wins and a Lifetime Achievement award in 2006, stood up, thanked the director and waived to the crowd.

Below are the complete list of winners from the 63rd Annual Eddie Awards:

BEST EDITED FEATURE FILM (DRAMATIC)

“Argo” – William Goldenberg, A.C.E.

BEST EDITED FEATURE FILM (COMEDY/MUSICAL)
“Silver Linings Playbook” – Jay Cassidy, A.C.E. and Crispin Struthers

BEST EDITED FEATURE FILM (ANIMATED)
“Brave” – Nicholas C. Smith, A.C.E. & Robert Grahamjones, A.C.E

BEST EDITED DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE):
“Searching for Sugar Man” – Malik Bendjelloul

BEST EDITED DOCUMENTARY (TELEVISION):
“American Masters” – Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune Pamela Scott Arnold

BEST EDITED HALF-HOUR SERIES FOR TELEVISION:
“Nurse Jackie” : “Handle Your Scandal” – Gary Levy

BEST EDITED ONE-HOUR SERIES FOR COMMERCIAL TELEVISION:

“Breaking Bad” : “Dead Freight” – Skip MacDonald A.C.E.

BEST EDITED ONE-HOUR SERIES FOR NON-COMMERCIAL TELEVISION:

“The Newsroom” : “We Just Decided To (Pilot)” – Anne McCabe, A.C.E.

BEST EDITED MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE FOR TELEVISION:
“Hemingway & Gellhorn” – Walter Murch, A.C.E.

BEST EDITED NON-SCRIPTED SERIES:
“Frozen Planet” : “Ends of the Earth” – Andy Netley & Sharon Gillooly

STUDENT COMPETITION
Michael Smith – AFI

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Richard Marks

LIFETIME ACHEIVEMENT AWARD
Larry Silk

GOLDEN EDDIE HONOREE
Steven Spielberg