Eric Zumbrunnen, Editor of ‘Being John Malkovich,’ Dies at 52

Film editor Eric Zumbrunnen, who won an ACE Award for his work on “Being John Malkovich,” has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 52.

Zumbrunnen graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in journalism, and began his career editing music videos for the likes of Weezer, Smashing Pumpkins, Beck, and Bjork, which is also where his fruitful relationship with Spike Jonze began. From there, he expanded into commercial editing for clients like Nike, Xbox, and Apple, as well was editing several documentary shorts and other short films, often for Jonze, eventually graduating into feature film editing alongside Jonze with “Being John Malkovich” in 1999.

Zumbrunnen’s work also included the Jonze’s 2009 film “Where the Wild Things Are,” Disney’s “John Carter” in 2012, and Jonze’s acclaimed film “Her,” which won the writer-director an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

His most recent collaboration with Jonze was a 3-minute short film and perfume advertisement for Kenzo World, entitled “My Mutant Brain,” which earned Zumbrunnen a Bronze Lion for Editing at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. He was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year based on his body of work.

In 2014, Zumbrunnen co-founded Santa Monica-based post-production company EXILE with partners Kirk Baxter, Matt Murphy and Carol Lynn Weaver. Regarded as one of the most technically proficient editors of his era, he valued the opportunity to learn from the gifted writers, directors and editors he worked with.

He is survived by his wife Suzanne and children Henry and Greta.Arrangements are being made for a fellowship in his name.

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