Matt Colbourn (Alum, Spring 2015)
Editor, Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee (Toronto/Showtime)
Before becoming an editor I was a touring musician. The only experience I’d had with editing was putting together music videos for myself and my friends. When my wife and I decided to have a baby, I knew I wanted do something close to home. I’d had a lot of fun putting together videos, so I thought I’d try editing as career. I’d heard about the Edit Center through a friend of a friend and I decided to go for it.
I was immediately hooked. I was surprised that I was able to make something that looked so legit so quickly. Other programs teach you several different software programs, but I like this approach where you just pick one (Avid, in my case) and get right to the fun stuff: pacing, storytelling, etc. Before the class, I was able to learn which buttons do which things from online tutorials, but the Edit Center helped me learn what things I wanted those buttons to actually do. Working on real movies with real directors is invaluable experience and I’ve thought back to lessons learned with each new producer/director I’ve worked with.
After being a TA at the Edit Center (which is a great way to learn how to be an assistant editor) I started assisting right away to pay the bills while cutting independent docs on the side. I got my break when a big name director I was assisting for had me start cutting and didn’t tell me to stop. Since then, I’ve been finding work in the fertile fields of docu-television series. Not bad for a six-week class.