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Cut The Fast Edits : Advice From The ACE Eddie Awards

M Galas

The ACE Eddie Awards jumped right into their award ceremony presenting the Technical Excellence Award to Avid’s CEO Gary Greenfield for the advancements the Avid Media Composer software has made towards the craft of editing.  “Avid’s software addresses the needs of editors and promotes the art of cinematic storytelling,” said Randy Roberts, A.C.E. and President of the American Cinema Editors.     


“Wow, they’re very efficient,” joked first time Eddie Awards host Joel McHale.  “They’re giving out awards before they introduce the host, now that’s editing!”


After noting his pleasure in hosting the Eddies, McHale complimented the editors, stating “films would be wandering, confusing and hundreds of hours long without the talents of the fine editors in this room.”


McHale wasn’t the only person extolling the virtues of the 60th anniversary event’s attendees.  Geoffrey Richman, winner of the award for Best Edited Documentary declared, “This room contains a master list of brains I’d like to pick!”  He was thankful to be recognized for his work, commenting that he sifted through 800 hours of documentary footage to edit “The Cove.”     


Career Achievement Award winner Paul LaMastra, A.C.E., stated his role as an editor was due to “luck and divine providence.”  He stated that he hopes his life’s work “will be a positive source for young editors.  When you take a job, you don’t have to feel that edit will be your last.  There will be something greater; just get out there, be thankful and enjoy your work.”


Morgan Freeman was on hand to present Neil Travis, A. C. E. with the evening’s second Career Achievement Award. 


“His exepellary work shows how editors can do magic and save your ass,” Freeman said in discussing how an editor can be an actor’s best friend.  After being handed the special award, Travis wanted to take a moment to recognize the assistants he’s worked with over the years. 


“I’ve called all my assistants kids,” said Travis.  “I like to have a feeling of family with the people I work with, and I like to see them develop and grow in their career.”  Travis also took a moment to bestow this piece of advice to budding editors, “Try not to cut too fast.  Go for clarity in the storyline.”


After winning the award for Best Edited Half-Hour Series for Television for his work on “30 Rock,” editor Ken Eluto, A.C.E. took a moment to thank the show’s writers.  “It all starts with the script,” said Eluto.  “Everything we do hinges on good writing.”


Prior to presenting the award for Best Edited Feature Film, Comedy or Musical, actor Ken Jeong corrected Eluto’s speech.  “The truth is, it’s all about the actors!”  Upon receiving her award, Debra Neil-Fisher, A.C.E. thanked ACE for recognizing comedy editing.  “It’s just as much work to make people laugh as it is to make them cry.”


Prior to presenting Rob Reiner with the Golden Eddie Award, actor Christopher Guest reflected on working with the famed writer/producer/director/actor.  “We’ve laughed together, we’ve cried together.  Well, he cried mostly.”  After a rousing standing ovation, Reiner declared he was honored to receive such a fine award.  He paid special recognition to his long time editor and collaborator Robert Leighton.  “I’ve spent more time with him in a dark room than with my wife,” joked Reiner. 



Referring to Travis’ speech, Reiner seconded the importance of good editing.  “It’s not about fast cutting.  Editing is all about making the moments of your story work together.”


To watch red carpet video interviews from the Eddies, please visit:


2009 Ace Eddie Award Winners Include:


Best Edited Feature Film, Dramatic: Bob Murawski and Chris Innis for “The Hurt Locker”

Best Edited Feature Film, Comedy or Musical: Debra Neil-Fisher, A.C.E. for “The Hangover”

Best Edited Feature Film, Animated: Kevin Nolting for “Up”

Best Edited Documentary: Geoffrey Richman for “The Cove”

Best Edited Half-Hour Series for Television: Ken Eluto, A.C.E for “30 Rock”

Best Edited One-Hour Series for Non-Commercial Television: Louis Cioffi for “Dexter”

Best Edited One-Hour Series for Commercial Television: Lynne Willingham, A.C.E. for “Breaking Bad”

Best Edited Reality Series: Kelly Coskran and Josh Earl for “The Deadliest Catch”

Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture for Television: Alan Heim, A.C.E. and Lee Percy, A.C.E. for “Grey Gardens

Student Editing Competition: Andrew Hellesen