Jennifer Lee (Alum, July 2005)
Editor, My Blind Brother (Tribeca 2016)
The Edit Center's six-week class is a must for anyone serious about launching a career in editing. In 2005, when I was looking to shift professional gears from publishing to film, people told me that I had to go film school. But I didn't have the time or resources to sink into grad school. So I started researching other options, and The Edit Center immediately set itself apart from the pack. Small classes, learning by doing, and having professional editors working closely with you every single day—all of this was exactly what I wanted. But what really impressed me was that you'd walk away from the class not only with a reel, but with an editing credit on a real film. Not a practice film. A real credit on a real feature film. Even film school couldn't guarantee me that. So for me, there was no contest. And that's before I even walked through the door.
As high as my expectations were, when I did take the class I was still blown away by how exceptional the teachers were. They knew the tech backwards and forwards, were generous with their time and, above all, really invested in helping me hone my scenes and figure out what worked and what didn't. And because they were working professional editors, they shared great war stories from the edit room and gave us honest insights into the editor's role as filmmaker, and what the job demanded. Mentorship aside, just having this level of access to working editors was really important to me, because it allowed me to start to see what my life might be like as an editor. And working with the directors of the class project brought me yet another taste of what the job entailed, and to decide if it was right for me. It was such a full experience.
The skills I learned and the relationships I forged at The Edit Center kick-started my career in editing today. I have worked steadily ever since taking the six-week class, and am currently editing my second feature film. And when the time came for me to hire an assistant editor, I knew exactly where to turn. Long live The Edit Center!
Jennifer's editing credits include: The Recruiter with Oscar-nominated director Edet Belzberg and True Adolescents (SXSW 2009).