HILARY crowe (ALUM, march 2016)
Assistant Editor, Finding 52
I never went to film school, but I saw Paris Is Burning just before graduating college and decided I need to be involved in documentary film, someway, somehow. A few meandering years later, I was working at one of many small indie film production companies in Manhattan. They were interviewing editors for a feature documentary and I peeked at a resume. Education: The Edit Center. Although I liked editing short videos in college journalism classes it never never occurred to me until then that I might be able to edit professionally. I had to know more. I researched TEC online and called film friends I’d worked with in the past. All of them spoke highly of TEC. As an alum, I now know why.
Six full weeks of learning Avid from the experienced documentary and narrative editors teaching at TEC was key to giving me the confidence and skills needed to change my career path. Not only do you learn a notoriously daunting software, but with scene studies and roundtable discussions with guest editors, you learn how to think like an editor—how to find the scene in verite doc footage, or how to spot subtle variations in an actor’s delivery that can add nuance to a scripted scene. By course’s end, you’re not just a technician who can splice clips into a timeline—you’re an effective storyteller.
Beyond that, the best TEC takeaway for me has been the community. My classmates have become my friends and colleagues; I can reach out to them with any and all questions (no matter how silly I feel for asking) whenever I hit a technical headache, and vice versa. We support and cheer for each other, which is no small thing in this industry. My former teachers were my best supporters when I began looking for work, and are still; nearly all the jobs I’ve gotten post-TEC (certainly all the jobs I’ve loved) have come through those recommendations. Learning editing and becoming part of this TEC community has been one of the best decisions I’ve made for my career