Paul Frost (Alum, September 2003)
Editor, "Years of Living Dangerously" (Emmy for Outstanding Documentary Series, 2014)
I always enjoyed editing my own projects, but as the pragmatic son of a mortician from Minnesota and a recent college grad with a degree in computer science, beginning a career in film and television was close to the last thing I could imagine myself undertaking (Undertaking being the last thing). After a sour economy saved me from writing code in a cubicle but left me questioning what I should be doing with my life, I found myself in Italy using video production to teach the English language to children. While renewing my jetlag by pulling all-night editing sessions, I decided to put my pragmatism on the back burner and chase my passion. I intended on applying to film schools, but I knew I wanted to edit, and I didn't want to go tens of thousands of dollars into debt for grad school.
The Edit Center's six-week course offered both technical skills and a practical approach to learning how an editor tells a story, not just in a scene, but also in an entire feature length movie. I decided to give it a try and if it didn't work out, I would apply to film school. Needless to say, film school quickly went by the wayside. The Edit Center provided me with a technical mastery of Final Cut Pro that has served me unbelievably well in the industry, and I have been able to port those skills to other software platforms as well. The teachers were amazing and nurtured a collaborative learning environment, which is exactly the way you end up working in the industry. The network of friends and colleagues I've been able to maintain with the help of The Edit Center is one of the most valuable things I've gained from the six-week course.
Since completing the course at The Edit Center, I've been fortunate to have a diverse array of editing experiences. I started out working for free, but with the help of The Edit Center's network, quickly made my way into more lucrative jobs. I have worked as an assistant editor to legendary auteur, Melvin Van Peebles. I edited the feature documentary, Doubletime, for Discovery Films, which screened at multiple film festivals. In television, I worked as an editor on a series with the Style Network for two seasons and more recently on "The Years of Living Dangerously" for the Discovery Channel. Not a single one of those experiences would have been possible without the great foundation The Edit Center provided, and not a day passes that I am not thankful for everything The Edit Center has helped me achieve.