kayla sklar (Alum, october 2016)
Assistant Editor, Soundtracks: Songs That Defined History
In October 2016, I took a total leap of faith—I left my full time job and signed up for the Art of Editing class. It was without a doubt the best decision I've ever made. I’d played around with iMovie in high school and had taken a film production course in college that involved some basic Final Cut Pro training. But despite how much I enjoyed that class, it never clicked that being an editor was something I could pursue as a career.
That is until I happened to meet an alumni through a mutual friend at a party. When she informed me that she had just finished a six-week film editing course, I asked if she felt it was a worthwhile investment. "It was life-changing," she replied.
Oftentimes, hearing the words "life-changing" amounts to little more than hyperbole, but I was intrigued. I researched other editing courses offered at similar schools, but The Edit Center was the only one that offered the two things most important to me – the opportunity to cut my teeth on real footage right away, and to work on both narrative and documentary projects. The class surpassed my wildest dreams and then some – I was learning from incredible editors, getting feedback on real cuts from my instructors and directors, and producing work that I was incredibly proud of.
But the help I received from TEC didn't stop on my final day of class. The Art of Editing is the gift that keeps on giving. Only five months after completing the program, I was hired as an assistant editor on a documentary series for CNN. When I later asked why I had been hired despite having no professional credits, I was explicitly told that seeing on my resume that I was an Edit Center graduate gave them full confidence in my Avid abilities. And now, less than a year after "graduation," I am working full-time as an assistant editor for a documentary production company—a company that was given my name after reaching out to TEC for hiring recommendations.
I can honestly say without any exaggeration that The Edit Center did, in fact, change my life. And I'm not the only one—ask any member of this wide and warm community and I'm sure they'll give you the same response. I am immensely grateful to everyone there for their instruction, their mentorship, and most importantly, their encouragement and faith in me.