How Does Someone Know They Have The Skills To Be A Film Editor? by Lawrence Jordan, ACE

Film Courage: From having grown up in the business and watching your father and grandfather, how did you know you had the skills that would make you a successful editor? 

You knew what you probably didn’t want to do but how did you know you had the temperament, the patience, an ability to be alone in an editing room?

Lawrence Jordan, ACE and Owner of Master The Workflow: I didn’t, I didn’t know. I just knew I loved movies and I loved editing but when I was working in my father’s trailer house I started to get a pretty good understanding of what was required of an editor. He even let me work on some promo reels and sizzle reels and a couple of trailers even when I was just sort of like schlepping stuff. I was really able to get my hands dirty. But I had him over my shoulder to tell me where to cut essentially when I was lost.

Again because I had been playing with those splicers and the 35 millimeter film and the tape and the rewinds since I was a little boy, there was an inner knowledge. I just was confident in the mechanics. 

What really sort of became the challenge was learning about story and how to tell stories. Although I didn’t have a formal film school education, I took a lot of night classes particularly at UCLA Extension and I studied story screenwriting classes. More importantly I studied a lot of theater classes and learned about the great plays and took some critical analysis classes and things like that at night. That’s the thing you have to learn as you go if you don’t have a formal film school education and also I think…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

 

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SAWGRASS on Youtube by Jack Peterson. Jack is an American filmmaker based in Chicago. He’s been featured in the New York Times, the Daily Beast, and ABC News for his work as an activist. His first feature film, Sawgrass, is a psychedelic journey through Florida, featuring an extensive interview with the brother of the Las Vegas shooter. Sawgrass also features a performance by the Rock-afire Explosion, a vintage animatronic band created by famed inventor Aaron Fechter. Jack’s next feature film, My Perfect Everything, tells the story of a magician chasing an imaginary woman he met in 1989. My Perfect Everything is currently in the early stages of pre-production.