As a film studies major at UC Santa Barbara, Dana E. Glauberman knew she wanted to pursue editing. After graduation she secured a production assistant position and began working her way up the ladder, eventually assisting Ivan Reitman’s, long-time editor Sheldon Kahn, (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest). In a case of being in the right place at the right time, she met aspiring director, Jason Reitman, when he came in at night to work on short films in his father’s cutting room. She would often help him, so when the young director was interviewing crew for his first feature, she garnered an interview and was hired.
“I think because we knew each other, and because a trust was already established from me working with his dad and his dad’s editor, we just carried that onto Thank You for Smoking,” explains Glauberman. The film went on to win an Independent Spirit Award and other critical acclaim. Their next project was the Academy Award-winning Juno. Their third, and most recent collaboration, Up in the Air starring George Clooney, opens in December to Oscar buzz.
“A good friendship, as well as trust,” says Glauberman, is the key to her enduring relationship with the director. “You have to want to spend days and days with each other in the cutting room, because so much of the making of the film takes place in there. Once the production is done and the director starts working with the editor, you have to enjoy each others’ company.”
Glauberman started in a 35mm film cutting room before digital editing transformed the workflow. Editing on film pushed her into the method of “really thinking about where to cut” instead of cutting “and then trimming frames here and there until you get it right.” This background also informed her process. “I cut a scene using the natural timing and pacing of the actors during a take. Once I’ve assembled the scene, I’ll go back in and make the appropriate trims, based on conversations I’ve had with the director or based on instincts. I go a lot off my instincts which, I think, is much of what editing is about.”
The greatest challenge Glauberman faced editing Up in the Air was a short 16-17 week post schedule, necessary to make the movie’s Toronto Film Festival premiere. Glauberman remained in Los Angeles editing while the company shot on location in five different cities. Because of the compressed timeframe, Reitman flew back to Los Angeles on weekends to work with her and move scenes closer to the way he wanted them.
According to Glauberman, there were never any issues with performance, working with a pro like Clooney, “He performed time after time. He’s phenomenal, not to mention nice to look at on the screen every day!” – Mary Ann Skweres
Previous Noms and Wins
2009: Win, Hamilton Behind the Camera Awards, Editor of the Year, Up in the Air; Win, Hollywood Film Festival, Hollywood Editor Award; 2008: Nominated, Eddie, Best Edited Feature Film—Comedy or Musical, Juno; 2007: Nominated, Eddie, Best Edited Feature Film— Comedy or Musical, Thank You for Smoking