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67th ACE Eddie Awards: Arrival and La La Land Take Top Editing Honors

January 30, 2017 09:30 | By
Joe Walker

Joe Walker

At the 67th Annual ACE Eddie Awards, Joe Walker, ACE took home the Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic) Eddie for Arrival, while Tom Cross, ACE won Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy/Musical) for La La Land.  Zootopia, edited by Fabienne Rawley and Jeremy Milton, won Best Edited Animated Feature Film.

In accepting his award Walker mused, “How amazing that a film that is about unity and tolerance, that celebrates intelligence and education, with a strong female lead should do so well.” Talking about his work with writer/director Damien Chazelle on La La Land, Cross shared, “Damien always wanted to make a love letter to the city of Los Angeles. He also wanted to make a love letter to editing so I am very grateful to be here. My collaboration with him is my dream come true.”

O.J.: Made in America, edited by Bret Granato, Maya Mumma and Ben Sozanski, won Best Edited Documentary (Feature). In the Best Edited Documentary (Television) category Everything Is Copy – Nora Ephron: Scripted & Unscripted, edited by Bob Eisenhardt, ACE, took top honors.

In thanking ESPN for the support they gave to the film, Mumma shared her thoughts about working on the documentary about sports icon and murder suspect, O.J. Simpson, “This has been an incredibly complex project to work on. ESPN gave us the creative space to make this film what it needed to be.”

Recognizing the best editing of 2016, trophies were handed out in ten categories of film, television and documentaries. The black-tie affair was held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Friday, January 27th with over 1,000 in attendance. ACE president, Stephen Rivkin, opened the ceremony by sharing the mandate of the American Cinema Editors “to promote the art of storytelling and the craft of editing.”

The evening’s host, actress Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) started the evening on a political note addressing “the corrupt members of the media,” continuing to the delight of the audience that, “today is about fun, honoring art, not marinating in our collective, existential panic” about the next “four [expletive] years.”

J.J. Abrams receiving the ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year

J.J. Abrams receiving the ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year

Award-winning filmmaker J.J. Abrams received the ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year honor presented to him by longtime friend and collaborator, actor Jeff Garlin. During production, Abrams explained, “We do have grand illusions about how the shots would come together, taking solace knowing this is not the last step. As editors, you’re f***ed. There is no magical next step. You are not allowed to have dreams of later. All you have is the footage you are given. The buck stops with you. You are tasked to tell the story with the sh*t the director gives you. I have personally been responsible on more occasions than I would like to admit, of giving that quality of work to a number of wildly talented editors, who like Rumplestilskin find a way to make me appear like a actual member of the DGA.”

Career Achievement Awards went to industry veterans Thelma Schoonmaker, ACE and Janet Ashikaga, ACE. Their work was highlighted on screen with clip reels exhibiting their tremendous contributions to film and television throughout their careers.

With five Emmy wins and seven nominations, Ashikaga’s career in television is long and distinguished. She has edited iconic television shows Seinfeld and West Wing. Among her other credits are Sports Night, Frasier, My Name is Earl and Franklin & Bash.

The lifetime honor was presented to Ashikaga by writer/director/producer Thomas Schlamme, (The West Wing, Sports Night, The Americans), who asked West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin for a quote about the editor. Sorkin quipped, “When I found out Janet got her start in adult films, I was thrilled, though I was a little disappointed when I learned she got her start as an editor.”

On a more serious note, Schlamme said, “I’ve always believed in the theory that there are three stories that we tell: the one that we write, the one that we shoot, and the one that is cut. I speak on behalf of the many, many writers, directors and producers that have had the good fortune of working with her, to say how lucky we all are that the last filmmaker to handle our stories was Janet.”

Sharing a bit about her background, Ashikaga credited her dysfunctional family for putting her on a “fast track to failure,” although they did one thing right. “They bought a television,” revealed Ashikaga. “I watched everything… Over the years I fell in love with the idea of visual storytelling and discovered editing, my dream job. Here I am today.”

With three Oscar wins for editing of Raging Bull, The Aviator and The Departed, as well as four Oscar nominations and various other honors, Schoonmaker originally planned a career in the foreign service until Scorsese “started teaching me how to edit.” Her impressive credit list includes this year’s Silence, Hugo, Gangs of New York, Goodfellas, Woodstock, and many more.

Ben Sozanski, Maya Mumma and Bret Granato

Ben Sozanski, Maya Mumma and Bret Granato

Producer/director Martin Scorsese, who collaborated with Schoonmaker over the course of 53 years and 23 films, was on hand to present the award to her. He commented, “I like editing the most of the filmmaking process. I lot of that has to do with spending time with Thelma. When we make a picture we live immersed in the film’s universe. Sometimes it’s not a pleasant place to be. Each film really becomes a lifetime and each film becomes a great adventure. We share that adventure together. So we spend many lifetimes together.”

Schoonmaker reinforced the relationship that Scorsese shared saying, “This award belongs as much to Marty as to me. We cut all his films together.” In expressing her appreciation for editors and their craft she expressed the desire to “cut up all the luck I have had and put it in little packages on your tables.”

Lori Coleman, ACE, Diana Friedberg, ACE and William Gordean, ACE received ACE’s Heritage Award for founding and guiding the ACE Internship Program with its goal of developing the next generation of editors.

Oscar nominated director of “Arrival,” Denis Villeneuve presented the Student Editing award honor to Tommy Wakefield of University of North Carolina, School of the Arts who beat out competitors from film schools and universities around the country. 

ACE executive director, Jenni McCormack produced the show. Among the evening’s presenters were editors Brandi Bradburn, ACE (This Is Us), Chris Cooke, ACE (Speechless) and Tom Wilson, ACE (Mad Men); actors Mason Cook (Speechless), Letoya Luckett (Rosewood), Chrissy Metz (This Is Us), Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight), Rich Sommer (Mad Men), Nondumiso Tembe (True Blood, Six), Mykelti Williamson (Fences) and Saniyya Sidney Williamson (Fences); and actor/director Tim Matheson (Killing Reagan).

A full list of winners follows:

   

BEST EDITED FEATURE FILM (DRAMATIC):

Arrival

Joe Walker, ACE

 

BEST EDITED FEATURE FILM (COMEDY):

La La Land

Tom Cross, ACE

 

BEST EDITED ANIMATED FEATURE FILM:

Zootopia

Fabienne Rawley & Jeremy Milton


BEST EDITED DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE):

O.J.: Made in America

Bret Granato, Maya Mumma & Ben Sozanski

 

BEST EDITED DOCUMENTARY (TELEVISION):

Everything Is Copy – Nora Ephron: Scripted & Unscripted

Bob Eisenhardt, ACE

 

BEST EDITED HALF-HOUR SERIES FOR TELEVISION:

Veep: “Morning After”

Steven Rasch, ACE

 

BEST EDITED ONE-HOUR SERIES FOR COMMERCIAL TELEVISION:

This is Us: “Pilot”

David L. Bertman, ACE

 

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

Game of Thrones: “Battle of the Bastards”

Tim Porter, ACE

 


BEST EDITED MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE FOR TELEVISION:

All the Way

Carol Littleton, ACE

 

BEST EDITED NON-SCRIPTED SERIES:

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown: “Senegal”

Mustafa Bhagat

 

STUDENT COMPETITION:

Tommy Wakefield  – University of North Carolina, School of the Arts