Films win kudos for editing at Saturday ceremony

Saturday night’s ACE Eddie awards focused on the often forgotten filmmaker: the editor. Leo Trombetta, who won the Eddie for miniseries or motion picture for television for “Temple Grandin,” joked: “We spend hours laboring to make sure our work doesn’t draw attention to itself, and then we’re upset when we’re not mentioned in the reviews.”

“The Social Network” and “Alice in Wonderland” took the evening’s top prizes. Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter won feature film (Drama) for “Network,” while Chris Lebenzon took home the trophy for “Wonderland” in the comedy or musical feature category. “Toy Story 3″ (Ken Schretzmann and Lee Unkrich) scored animated feature and “Exit Through the Gift Shop” (Tom Fulford and Chris King) won in the doc category.

For TV, “Modern Family: Family Portrait” (Jonathan Schwartz) was the winner for half-hour series, and “The Walking Dead: Days Gone Bye” (Hunter Via) for one-hour series.

A tone of humor and self-deprecation was present throughout the night, with host Ken Jeong feigning anger at the editing in “The Hangover” for not making his penis look bigger. “You may know my penis from such movies as ‘The Hangover,'” he opened with. “You’re laughing too hard at that joke.”

American Cinema Editors president Randy Roberts stumbled over his opening remarks, saying, “I feel like ‘The King’s Speech.'” But joking aside, present in the room was some serious talent: Steven Spielberg was on hand to present longtime collaborator Michael Kahn with a career achievement award, and had some kind words to say of editors: “You are all a band of brothers and sisters with the directors you work with when the chaos of production is just a memory and we return to the sanctuary of a cutting room,” he said. “Sometimes it’s easy to forget that you’re artists because we’re so busy doing nothing but making choices.”

Michael Brown also received a career achievement award.

Helmer Christopher Nolan was on hand to receive the Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award. “It’s the sequencing of images that I’ve always found fascinating about filmmaking,” he said of editing. “It’s a very misunderstood craft — its affect is difficult to explain, but it’s undeniable. Editing is at is best invisible.”

Complete list of winners:

BEST EDITED FEATURE FILM (DRAMATIC):

“The Social Network”

Angus Wall, A.C.E. & Kirk Baxter

BEST EDITED FEATURE FILM (COMEDY OR MUSICAL):

“Alice in Wonderland”

Chris Lebenzon, A.C.E.

BEST EDITED ANIMATED FEATURE FILM:

“Toy Story 3″

Ken Schretzmann & Lee Unkrich, A.C.E.

BEST EDITED HALF-HOUR SERIES FOR TELEVISION:

“Modern Family: Family Portrait”

Jonathan Schwartz

BEST EDITED ONE-HOUR SERIES FOR COMMERCIAL TELEVISION:

“The Walking Dead: Days Gone Bye”

Hunter Via

BEST EDITED ONE-HOUR SERIES FOR NON-COMMERCIAL TELEVISION:

“Treme: Do You Know What it Means”

Kate Sanford, A.C.E. & Alexander Hall

BEST EDITED MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE FOR TELEVISION:

“Temple Grandin

Leo Trombetta, A.C.E.

BEST EDITED DOCUMENTARY:

“Exit Through the Gift Shop”

Tom Fulford & Chris King

BEST EDITED REALITY SERIES:

If You Really Knew Me: “Colusa High”

Rob Goubeaux, Jeremy Gantz, Hilary Scratch, Ken Yankee, Mark S. Andrew, A.C.E., Heather Miglin, John Skaare & Paul J. Coyne

Student Competition

Ruben Jacques Sebban

A.F.I.

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