A black-tie ceremony celebrating the year’s best editing, the 62nd Annual ACE Eddie awards was held Saturday night in the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel with over 1,000 attending. Starting off a night filled with heartfelt tributes and “editing” humor, actor and comedian Patton Oswalt (Young Adult) returned to host the ACE Eddies for a second time. Playing to his audience, the master of ceremonies quipped, “I’m going to run through this monologue eight times. You guys pick your best take.”
Kevin Tent, ACE – the favorite, judging by the reaction of the crowd when the nominees were named – garnered the best edited feature film (drama) for his work on The Descendants. The award is his first win after three previous ACE nominations, all on films that he has edited for The Descendants’ director Alexander Payne.
For next week’s best achievement in film editing Oscar, Tent goes up against Anne-Sophie Bion and director Michel Hazanavicius, editors of The Artist and winners of the best edited feature film (comedy or musical). In accepting his Eddy, Hazanavicius, shared his love of the editing process, commenting, “If I was not a director, I would love to be an editor, but I don’t know how you deal with directors… I could not deal with me.”
In the remaining feature film categories, the Eddy for best edited animated feature film went to Craig Wood, ACE for Rango while Lewis Erskine and Aljernon Tunsil took home the Best Edited Documentary award for Freedom Riders.
Several honorary awards were given out to filmmaking veterans. In accepting the ACE Golden Eddie filmmaker of the year award, Alexander Payne referred to the honor as “mid-career encouragement.” The award was presented by Reese Witherspoon, who appeared in his film Election, and Kevin Tent, ACE, his editor on The Descendants and several past projects.
On Payne’s character-driven films Witherspoon says, “He pulls back the curtain on real human life.” She commented that Payne’s characters show “the humility, the humanity, the pathos and the comedy,” while Tent explained that “He shows us ourselves in good light and bad. That takes a lot heart, a lot of talent, and a whole lot of guts.”
Exercising his chops as a comedic writer, Payne joked in his acceptance speech that the art of editing is “the ongoing process of disguising how bad a film really is.” Payne repeatedly highlighted the important contributions of Tent, saying, “The five features that I have made have received some degree of recognition for writing and acting, but the secret is Kevin Tent.” Speaking about his on-going collaboration with the editor, Payne shared his feelings, “We bring out the best in each other. He is really my co-writer.”
Revealing editing to be his favorite part of the filmmaking process, Payne admitted, “The more experience I get, the more my screenwriting, on-set my choice of angles – even how I direct and judge performance – increasingly involves thinking exclusively about the editing.”
Director Clint Eastwood was on hand to present his long-time collaborator Joel Cox, ACE with a lifetime career achievement award in film editing. Early on in the actor-director’s career he was told to “get to know the editor.” After almost 40 years of working together, it is obvious that Eastwood took that advice to heart. Cox in turn complimented the director saying, “Clint, you are truly one of the greatest filmmakers we have.”
Producer Dick Wolf presented television industry veteran Doug Ibold, ACE with his lifetime achievement award. After years of working on some of television’s most iconic shows – Quincy M.E., Magnum P.I., Miami Vice and the Law and Order franchise – Ibold still says, “I love editing. I love being an editor. I love going to work… most of the time.”
Television editors shared in the glory. In the best edited half-hour series for television category, Steven Rasch, ACE beat himself winning for Curb Your Enthusiasm, “Palestinian Chicken” over his Modern Family nomination. “There is a difference between one and two nominations,” explains Rasch. “If you get one nomination, your editor friends call you up and say ‘Great. Good Luck.’ With two nominations, they call you up and say, ‘You greedy bastard!’ To those people I say, I am not a greedy bastard. It’s the other Steve Rasch that edited Modern Family. He’s the greedy bastard.”
Breaking Bad, “Face Off,” edited by Skip MacDonald, received the Eddy for best edited one-hour series for commercial television. Homeland, “Pilot,” edited by Jordan Goldman and David Latham took the best edited one-hour series for non-commercial television award. Sarah Flack, ACE and Robert Pulcini were honored with best edited miniseries or motion picture for television, for their contributions to Cinema Verite.
In receiving his best edited reality series award for Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, “Haiti,” editor Eric Lasby apologized to the audience about the time it took to cross the ballroom to the stage, joking, “Sorry about the long trip. I would have cut that short.”
In the student editing competition, esteemed film editor Anne V. Coates, ACE (Lawrence of Arabia) presented the ACE Eddie award to Eric Kench of Video Symphony who beat out hundreds of competitors from film schools and universities around the country.
The evening was presided over by ACE president Randy Roberts. The line up of presenters included Laurie Holden (The Walking Dead), actor Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights, Super 8), Erika Christensen (Parenthood), Robert Forster and Matthew Lillard (The Descendants), Penelope Ann Miller and Missi Pyle (The Artist), Donald Faison (The Exes), Hannah Simone (New Girl), Jonathan Silverman and Jennifer Finnigan (Better With You).
Forster shared a bit of advice about filmmaking that he found posted over a trim bin in a cutting room early in his career: “If you didn’t shoot it, don’t look for it here.”
The winners of the 62nd Annual ACE Eddie awards are:
Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic)
Kevin Tent, ACE
Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy or Musical)
Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
Best Edited Animated Feature Film
Craig Wood, ACE
Best Edited Half-Hour Series for Television
Curb Your Enthusiasm, “Palestinian Chicken”
Steven Rasch, ACE
Best Edited One-Hour Series for Commercial Television
Breaking Bad, “Face Off”
Best Edited One-Hour Series for Non-Commercial Television
Jordan Goldman and David Latham
Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture for Television
Sarah Flack, ACE and Robert Pulcini
Best Edited Documentary
Lewis Erskine and Aljernon Tunsil
Best Edited Reality Series
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, “Haiti”
Eric Kench, Video Symphony