Since Ordinary People in 1981, no film has won best picture at the Oscars without also having received a best editing nomination at the Eddies. Because the Eddies often predict the Best Picture, it is significant that The Social Network editors, Angus Wall, ACE, and Kirk Baxter, edged out the editors of Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception and The King’s Speech, garnering the ACE Eddie Award for best edited dramatic feature at the 61st annual ACE Eddie Awards, Feb. 19 at the Beverly Hilton.
After an introduction by ACE, president, Randy Roberts, master of ceremonies Ken Jeong, the actor noted for his naked appearance in the Eddie award-winning comedy, The Hangover, warmed up the crowd with continuing references to the size of a certain part of his anatomy. He also managed to get in a plug for one of the evening’s sponsors, quipping, “I have great respect for the editing craft. I love nerds. I’m an Avid fan.”
Aaron Eckhart, the actor/producer who played Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight, presented Inception director Christopher Nolan with the ACE Golden Eddie filmmaker of the year award. Speaking for the awards program, Nolan acknowledged the collaboration he has forged with editor Lee Smith, ACE, since they first worked together on Batman Begins, and admits that the editing process is a largely rewarding experience, “I enjoy it very much and I enjoy watching Lee build it up in layers.”
Editors Michael Kahn, ACE, and Michael Brown, ACE, were presented the ACE lifetime career achievement awards in feature film and television editing respectively.
Kahn won three Oscars and three Eddies for editing Steven Spielberg‘s Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan. On hand to present the award to his long time collaborator, Spielberg commented about losing objectivity during shooting and then coming into the sanctuary of the cutting room to work with Kahn saying, “His greatest gift to me is letting me see my film again and again and again each time as if it were the first time.”
Brown took home Emmys for the HBO films Something the Lord Made, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and Miss Evers’ Boys. In referring to his editing partner of many years as a “god,” director Joe Sargent presented the award to Brown. Commenting about how his editor was “right most of the time,” Sargent joked that Brown would use “storytelling structure and character-driven logic” to win creative arguments in the edit room.
In total, American Cinema Editors recognizes editing in nine categories of film, television and documentaries.
The Eddie in the feature category for musical or comedy was nabbed by Chris Lebenzon, ACE, for Alice in Wonderland, while Ken Schretzmann and Lee Unkrich, ACE, editors of Toy Story 3, took home the best edited animated feature film, a new category that was launched last year.
Temple Grandin editor, Leo Trombetta, ACE, took home top television honors of best edited miniseries or motion picture for television.
Hunter Via won the Eddie for best edited one-hour series for commercial television for his work on The Walking Dead, “Days Gone Bye,” while best edited one-hour series for non-commercial television honors went to Kate Sanford, ACE, and Alexander Hall for Treme: “Do You Know What it Means.”
The best edited half-hour series for television Eddie was garnered by Modern Family, “Family Portrait” edited by Jonathan Schwartz.
Rob Goubeau, Jeremy Gantz, Hilary Scratch, Ken Yankee, Mark S. Andrew, ACE, Heather Miglin, John Skaareand Paul J. Coyne, the team of editors for MTV‘s one-season critical hit, If You Really Knew Me, “Colusa High,” received best edited reality series honors.
Edgar Burcksen, ACE, and Vincent LoBrutto, respectively the former CinemaEditor‘s editor-in-chief and former CinemaEditor‘s Editor, were honored for their journalist contribution to the art and craft of editing, receiving the Robert Wise award.
The star-studded list of presenters included among other, actors Javier Bardum (Biutiful), Amy Adams (The Fighter), Dileep Rao (Inception), Dot Marie Jones (Glee), director/producer/writer David O. Russell (The Fighter) and Oscar-winning editors of The Hurt Locker, Chris Innis, ACE and Bob Murawski, ACE.
Venue: The Beverly Hilton Hotel grand ballroom, the regular digs for the ACE Awards, was decorated with beautiful orchid centerpieces
Parking: The convenient BH hotel garage adjacent for $12, if you got there before it filled-up. Otherwise valet parking was available.
Food n’ Booze: Cocktails began the evening followed by dinner consisting of a delectable bisque starter instead of the more usual salad, excellent surf and turf main course, and a tasty trio of mini deserts, sure to please everyone. Wines were quite drinkable.
Swag: A lighted pen, which came in handy for taking notes in the darkened hall during the ceremony.
Length of Show: A show that always has an editor’s great pacing, this event was finished at a record-breaking 9:26 pm, leaving plenty of time for the traditional after-party at Trader Vic’s. Scorpions rule!
Memorable Line: In receiving his award, Leo Trombetta, ACE, joked about editors and their lack of public recognition, “We spend hours laboring over every cut, insuring our work doesn’t draw attention to itself, and then get disappointed when we’re not mentioned.”