The Cutting Edge of Cinema

On Friday, Nov. 21, members of the Santa Monica College Student Filmmakers Association came together to watch "The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Film Editing" and to hear from guest speakers from the film and television industry. The event was hosted by Professor Josh Kanin, coordinator of SMC's Film Studies program.

From the beginning of the event, Kanin seemed very excited to show the film and present the guest speakers. His excitement set a very friendly and laid back tune for the evening. Guest speakers included television director Adam Nimoy, both editors Nancy Forner and two-time Emmy award winner Randy Jon Morgan.

Before the speakers said anything, the students gathered around to watch "The Cutting Edge." The film displays the history of the movie and film editing side of the entertainment business.

The film was co-produced and sponsored by the American Cinema Editors, also known as ACE. According to its website, ACE is an honorary society for motion picture editors and was founded in 1950.

A press release statement from the Association of Student Film Makers best explains "The Cutting Edge" and what it's about: "an instructive and entertaining survey of the art and craft of movie editing that spans 100 years of film history, from the 'Great Train Robbery' to 'Cold Mountain.' Through interviews with many of Hollywood's leading editors and directors, 'The Cutting Edge' covers everything from basic editing techniques to modern editing theory as inspired by MTV and 'The Matrix.'

Strong director-editor collaboration is emphasized as being one of the most important factors in the success of any motion picture. This is a must-see film for students of the film/television production and postproduction!"

After the film, Nimoy, Forner and Morgan sat down to talk with students about their experiences in the entertainment business and to answer students' questions.

Forner spoke first and told the students the importance of ACE and how it has two different programs that can help them get experience in either the film or television industries. "One of them is an internship program; you can come be an intern with features or television and through that many interns do actually make contacts they need to get jobs. We also have an annual competition, where you can apply for the competition. You can send in your own movie that you made to enter the competition. This is one where we watch student films and they win an ACE Edi award, which is like an Emmy or Academy Award."

Each one stated the most important thing that anyone should if they want to be an actor, director, writer or even an editor. All three speakers had one common message: "You have to know the story." The workings of a story are very important in film and television production. It is the job of both the directors and editors to bring together all elements of the story to make the most logical format for an audience.