William Goldenberg’s training as an editor began long before film school, when he was flipping eggs and washing dishes at his father’s Philadelphia deli.
“I would be on the phone with a beer distributor, while having the breakfast rush, dealing with the waitresses, vendors would be coming in and I had to pay them,” he says. “Doing all those things at the same time is similar to running an editing room.”
This year, those multitasking skills helped Goldenberg nab two Oscar noms for film editing, for “Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” (He shares his “Zero Dark Thirty” nomination with Dylan Tichenor.)
Goldenberg’s first Hollywood job came in 1983, when he joined the teen-themed picture “High School U.S.A.” as an apprentice, becoming an assistant after just four months. Ten years later, he received his first editing credit for “Alive,” alongside his mentor (and fellow Oscar nominee) Michael Kahn.
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Over the years, Goldenberg says, Kahn helped him get jobs, sometimes offering to cut films for free if his protege didn’t work out. (Kahn never had to follow through.)
Goldenberg also credits his father for his success. In the editing room, “you have dailies, you have the lab calling,” he says. “The deli trained me for all these tasks in a way that I don’t think I could have learned any better.”
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