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Spielberg praises editors at ACE Eddie Awards


SSEddie

Jerod Harris/Wire Image

Contributor Marjorie Galas offers this anecdote from Saturday’s ACE Eddie Awards on Steven Spielberg’s acceptance of the ACE Golden Eddie Filmaker of the Year honor:

Spielberg
informed attendees at the ceremony that sitting with editors early in his
career was his personal film school that taught him everything he needed to
know as a director.

“When
I was first starting out, the editors were the only ones who would let me hang
out and watch their process,” said Spielberg.  “Everybody here, you are my heroes.”

In
addition to describing how he learned about the importance of coverage and
b-roll, Spielberg shared a pivotal moment when he observed an editor salvage a
poorly performed 2 1/2-minute courtroom monologue.  Creating a vocal track from 40 segments of dialogue, the
editor spliced together previously seen footage, creating a flashback sequence that
supported the monologue. 

“This
was really innovative for that time period,” said Spielberg.  “The director hated it, but I
realized I saw something that would lead to new possibilities.  Editing was filmmaking.”

Before
leaving the stage, Spielberg acknowledged his editor of 37 years, Michael
Kahn. 

“I
wouldn’t be standing here if it wasn’t for what you have done for my
life,” said Spielberg.

Kahn,
adding an Eddie nomination for “Lincoln” to six previous noms, four
wins and a lifetime achievement award in 2006, stood up, thanked the director
and waived to the crowd.

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