The Eddie Awards

13 02 2009

This Sunday is the annual Eddie Awards, where the American Cinema Editors hand out their yearly awards for best editing in varying categories of film and television. Don’t forget to watch it on television.

Oops, you can’t. It’s not on TV. But to get up-to-the-minute results, I’m going to try and Twitter the results as they happen. Come and follow me on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/schnittman.

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Predicting The Oscars

18 02 2008

Film School Rejects takes on the unenviable chore of predicting the winner of the Best Editing Oscars.

Frankly, this is a fools’ errand (though I’m perfectly happy to have fools other than myself do it). I’ve been a member of the Academy for years now, and I can never figure out why one film gets the applause and others do not. I’ve sat in the midst of the Academy weekend screenings and heard the audience hiss and boo, and then watched as the film went on to get nominated. (It happened last year with DREAMGIRLS) I know that the films that I nominate or vote for, rarely get the award.

That having been said, the site notes that:

An award since 1934, the winner has often been films that have raked in plenty of other awards. It’s not always shared with Best Picture, but it usually comes out of that category. Seen as a technical feat as much as an artistic feat, editing is important to pacing, story and character. People may not remember all Best Editing winners (like Barbara McLean for Wilson in 1944), but more often than not, it’s known for honoring a major film.

Then it goes on to talk about each film and describe why it might win, and why it might not. A sample of why BOURNE ULTIMATUM might win:

Rouse isn’t new to the Oscars, although he hasn’t won. He was nominated for United 93, so he carries a degree of reputation. Also, this is the only film in the fray that fits the big-budget action style that this category often honors.

Honestly, I can’t imagine that anyone in the Academy actually pays attention to who is nominated (what “degree of reputation”) the editor might have. Most of them barely can figure out what we do, much less what we’ve done before. In my experience, they often choose either the flashiest film (because they believe that editing is all about splicing), or the film that they liked for Best Picture (because — “Hey, I liked that film. So, I guess it was well edited” — actually, not a bad guideline now that I think of it). No one thinks of the oeuvre of an editor’s work, unless that editor is Dede Allen or Verna Fields.

An example of why they think THERE WILL BE BLOOD might not win:

Quite simply, the performances of Daniel Day Lewis and Paul Dano, along with the top-end awards that P.T. Anderson is vying for, might leave Dylan Tichenor in the dust. Additionally, it’s hard to award an editing honor to a film that runs as long as this one did.

Last night I sat at the Eddie Awards, the yearly award given the American Cinema Editors organization. There was much talk of the subtlety of the editing in BLOOD and the success of the editing in NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (there was much laughter at the picture of Roderick Jayne, who is the nom de montage for the Coen brothers, and sighs of relief when the film didn’t win). Ultimately, BOURNE won for Drama, proving that even editors are influenced by quick cutting. [An aside here, I also thought that the editing on that film was masterful — the scene in Waterloo Station is so intricately shaped that I smiled both times I saw it.]

Film School Reject’s pick — BOURNE. No rejects they.





A.C.E. Nominations Announced

11 01 2008

The nominations for the 2008 Eddie Awards (given by the American Cinema Editors, the honorary organization of professional editors), have been announced.

For years, I’ve been saying that these awards are a pretty good predictor of the Best Picture winner in the Oscars. In last week’s piece in the New York Times (see my blog entry about it), they made the same point, though they gave a much more intelligent set of reasons than I do. They talked about editing being a sum total of many of the filmic arts. Me? I think it’s because most of the Academy have the foggiest notion what it is we do, so when they get to the Best Editing category on their ballots they think to themselves: “Hmmm, I liked that film” and then check it off. As a result, the two categories rub off on each other.

Of course, this doesn’t work when the Best Edited Film is a flashy, many-edits, movie (or when Thelma Schoonmaker is nominated). But, when you’re filling out your Oscar pool form at the office, remember that most of the voters are actors.

Whatever that means.

However, to return to the subject I initially start with, ACE announced its awards yesterday. You can find them listed on the ACE nomination page. However, for those of you who are too busy to click on the link above and wait for a new page to load, here are the nominees. The awards will be presented in a black tie dinner/ceremony on February 17, 2008 (just be glad that you don’t have to see me waddle around in a tux; it’s not a pretty sight)

NOMINEES FOR 58TH ANNUAL ACE EDDIE AWARDS

BEST EDITED FEATURE FILM (DRAMATIC):

The Bourne Ultimatum (Christopher Rouse, A.C.E.)
Into the Wild (Jay Cassidy, A.C.E.)
Michael Clayton (John Gilroy, A.C.E.)
No Country for Old Men (Roderick Jaynes)
There Will Be Blood (Dylan Tichenor, A.C.E.)

BEST EDITED FEATURE FILM (COMEDY OR MUSICAL):

Hairspray (Michael Tronick, A.C.E.)
Juno (Dana E. Glauberman)
Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End (Craig Wood & Stephen Rivkin, A.C.E.)
Ratatouille (Darren Holmes, A.C.E.)
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Chris Lebenzon, A.C.E.)

BEST EDITED HALF-HOUR SERIES FOR TELEVISION:

30 Rock: “The C Word” (Ken Eluto, A.C.E.)
Californication: “Hell-A Woman” (Shannon Mitchell)
Curb Your Enthusiasm: “The Bat Mitzvah” (Steven Rasch, A.C.E.)

BEST EDITED ONE-HOUR SERIES FOR COMMERCIAL TELEVISION:

Chuck: “Pilot” (Norman Buckley, A.C.E.)
Damages: “Pilot” (Malcolm Jamieson)
Law & Order SVU: “Paternity” (Karen Stern, A.C.E.)

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

Dexter: “It’s Alive” (Stewart Schill)
Rome: “De Patre Vostro” (David Siegel, A.C.E.)
The Sopranos: “Made in America” (Sidney Wolinsky, A.C.E.)

BEST EDITED MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE FOR NON-COMMERCIAL TELEVISION:

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (Michael Ornstein, A.C.E. & Michael Brown, A.C.E.)
Life Support (Mary Jo Markey, A.C.E.)
PU-239 (Tatiana S. Riegel A.C.E. and Leo Trombetta, A.C.E.)

BEST EDITED MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE FOR COMMERCIAL TELEVISION:

The Company: Night 2 (Scott Vickery, A.C.E. and Robert Ferretti, A.C.E.)
Lost: Through the Looking Glass (Henk Van Eeghen, A.C.E., A.C.E. Mark J. Goldman, Stephen Semel, A.C.E., Christopher Nelson, A.C.E.)
Pictures of Hollis Woods (Paul Dixon, A.C.E.)

BEST EDITED DOCUMENTARY:

Darfur Now (Edgar Burcksen, A.C.E. & Leonard Feinstein)
The Pixar Story (Leslie Iwerks & Stephen Myers, A.C.E.)
Sicko (Geoffrey Richman, Chris Seward & Dan Swietlik)

BEST EDITED REALITY SERIES:

Cops “Country Love” (Chuck Montgomery, A.C.E. & Michael Glickman)
Dancing With The Stars “404” (Pam Malouf, A.C.E., Hans Van Riet & David Timoner)
Man Vs. Wild “Everglades” (Ben Holder & Mike Denny)