×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Local Hero: Dave Terman, Sony Pictures’ Supervising Film Editor

The Cut Master is tasked with recutting films for ancillary markets hungry for Sony pics

JOB DESCRIPTION

He’s the honcho of a department that edits hundreds of films each year for broadcast on TV and airlines, re-cutting films to address time constraints and Standards & Practices issues, all while preserving the asset as it travels through the many versions that are created in post-theatrical life. Terman and his team write, edit and direct promo vids, tradeshow sizzle reels and industrials for Sony corporate divisions in addition to editing DVD added-value material, docus, musicvids and screen tests. Terman also works with actors to replace original dialogue with TV-safe alternatives — if actors are unavailable, he auditions sound-alikes to revoice lines — or convinces the original thesps to make it work.

SPECIAL CHALLENGES

For “Beverly Hills Ninja” replacement dialogue: “I went to the actor and shot him in the car while we were driving down Pico Boulevard. He just didn’t have time, and I was like, ‘Dude I gotta get you, we have to do this.’ So he was like, ‘Well, meet me here and we’ll do it in my car as I’m driving to my next gig.’ ” Terman has also had to record in actors’ homes and has flown to the East Coast to wrangle re-edits. “I’m in a spot where I’ve really got to convince people to (redo their dialogue). A lot of actors don’t like doing these TV lines, so it can be tricky to convince them that this is a positive thing.”

BACKGROUND

In his junior year at NYU, where he was majoring in psychology, Terman opted to take a few film electives. “I had a real epiphany in the editing room. I was in there for 15 hours and thought I was only in there for a couple hours. People had always told me that if you find a job that doesn’t feel like work, that’s what you should do.” After some commercial and retail management work, Terman was hired by Sony’s James Honore to assist on an airline edit. “A lot of people ask if I regret being the studio guy — not following my intended path as a feature film editor — but I get to do a much greater variety of work than anybody else I know.”

SIDE INTERESTS

Terman developed and ran his own music education software company for a while, MasterClass Prods., which was sold worldwide. He’s also a musician and has songs in movies, with two recent credits in the Billy Bob Thornton and Eva Longoria-starrer “The Baytown Outlaws.” Songs can be heard for free at ReverbNation.com/TheDaveTermanBand. Terman also recently expanded his role at Sony to become an actor, appearing in a scene with Adam Sandler for Sony’s internal Decoding Digital project, which, he says, generated a major “cool dad” impression for his 11-year-old son.

STATS:

Name: Dave Terman

Title: Supervising Film Editor, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Function: Responsible for the daily operation and P&L of the editing department, as well as editing and re-editing projects

DOMAIN:

Blanche Sewell’s 11- by 12-foot office in Cutters Alley, where “The Wizard of Oz” was edited

YEARS ON THE JOB:

16

NUMBER OF MOVIE EDITS A YEAR:

500+

NUMBER OF FILMS RE-EDITED:

Several thousand

WORKED WITH:

A-listers like Mel Brooks, Julia Roberts and Adam Sandler

(Local Hero is a tribute to the people who are invisible but invaluable: They’re not in the spotlight, but the biz couldn’t function without them.)

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Hopper Reserve

    Dennis Hopper's Dying Wish: His Own Strain of Marijuana

    Even as celebrity brands are starting to flood the emerging Cannabis market, Hopper Reserve stands out. The brand was launched by Marin Hopper, Dennis Hopper’s daughter from his marriage to Brooke Hayward. Hopper Reserve is a gram of California indoor-grown flower, two packs of rolling papers, a pair of matches and a trading card either [...]

  • Snoop Dogg Weed

    In the Cannabis Business, Not All Star Strains Are Created Equal

    With the cannabis green rush in full swing, many celebrities are jumping into the fray with their own brands, including such well-known stoners as Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg and Tommy Chong. But as it turns out, not all star strains are created equal, so we assembled a trio of crack experts to put the product [...]

  • Richard Branson Jason Felts

    Kaaboo Festival Acquired by Virgin Fest Owner Jason Felts

    Kaaboo, which says it has “shifted the music festival paradigm by offering a highly amenitized festival experience for adults,” is now under new ownership. Virgin Fest founder and CEO Jason Felts (pictured above with Virgin founder Richard Branson) has fully acquired all of the festival brand assets through an affiliate of Virgin Fest, the music [...]

  • Live Nation Chief Michael Rapino Talks

    Live Nation-Ticketmaster Chief Michael Rapino Talks Dept. of Justice Inquiries

    Back in August, Senators Richard Blumenthal of New Jersey and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota made the most recent of several requests for an Department of Justice antitrust investigation into competition in the ticketing industry, and it soon became clear that the target of the probe was Live Nation and its 2010 merger with Ticketmaster, which [...]

  • Lowell Smokes Cafe Marijuana

    With Cannabis Lounges, On-Site Consumption, Marijuana-Infused Meals Go Legit

    Can this century’s Roaring ’20s repeat history but with pre-rolled joints instead of whiskey flasks and soccer moms as the new flappers? This month, West Hollywood will see the opening of the nation’s first at least quasi-legal cannabis consumption lounge, officially dubbed Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Café, located at 1211 N. La Brea between Fountain [...]

  • 2020 TV Season Preview

    How 2020's Fall TV Season Is Already Shaping Up

    Aiming to stand out in a crowded field, broadcasters this season have leaned on the stability of their schedules and the return of established hits. But for many of the same reasons, they’ve also begun to seed the ground for next year’s crop of shows, considering that top performers like “How to Get Away With [...]

  • Taylor Swift Talks Scott Borchetta’s ‘Sneaky’

    Taylor Swift Talks Scott Borchetta's 'Betrayal,' 'Sneaky' Deal With Scooter Braun

    While Taylor Swift’s sprawling Rolling Stone cover interview is largely about her music and herself, there’s also plenty about the personal and business dramas of the last three years. And not surprisingly, Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta — who this summer inked a reported $300 million deal for the Big Machine Records catalog and with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content