×

ACE Honors J.J. Abrams, Janet Ashikaga and Thelma Schoonmaker

American Cinema Editors will bestow the awards at its annual fete on January 27

J. J. Abrams
ACE Filmmaker of the Year Award Winner
The uber-successful and prolific producer-director-writer-composer’s DNA is all over some of film and TV’s biggest hits of the past 15 years, including “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Star Trek,” “Super 8,” ABC’s “Alias” and “Lost,” Fox’s “Fringe,” CBS’ “Person of Interest,” and HBO’s “Westworld.” Born in New York and raised in L.A., Abrams got his start in TV and co-created his first series, WB’s “Felicity,” in 1998 with collaborator and long-time friend Matt Reeves. Next, Abrams created and executive-produced “Alias” for ABC, and co-created and exec-produced ABC’s “Lost” with Damon Lindelof. The show won him Emmys for directing a drama series for the “Lost” pilot as well as drama series for “Lost.” He also received Emmy noms for his “Alias” and “Lost” pilot scripts. The multi-faceted creative composed the theme music for “Alias,” “Fringe,” “Lost,” and “Person of Interest,” and co-wrote the “Felicity” theme song. He directed his first feature, “Mission: Impossible III,” in 2006, followed by 2009’s “Star Trek,” 2011’s “Super 8” (written and directed by Abrams, and co-produced with Steven Spielberg), 2013’s “Star Trek Into Darkness,” and the recent “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Abrams produced 2011’s “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol,” 2015’s “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation,” and last year’s “10 Cloverfield Lane” and “Star Trek Beyond.”

Janet Ashikaga
ACE Career Achievement Honoree
A 10-time Emmy Award nominee and four-time winner, Ashikaga has edited such high-profile TV series as “Seinfeld,” “Sports Night,” “My Name is Earl,” and “The West Wing.” Her recent work includes “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” and “Franklin & Bash.” Ashikaga is also a seven-time ACE Eddie Award nominee. In addition to her editorial work, Ashikaga has dedicated much of her time to educational programs on behalf of the editing community and ACE.

Thelma Schoonmaker
ACE Career Achievement Honoree
Schoonmaker is a seven-time Academy Award nominee and three-time winner for “Raging Bull,” “The Aviator,” and “The Departed” — all helmed by longtime collaborator Martin Scorsese.  She has been nominated for the ACE Eddie Award eight times and won four times.  Her work with Scorsese goes back almost five decades and has also yielded “Who’s That Knocking on My Door,” “Street Scenes,” “The Last Waltz,” “The Last Temptation of Christ,” “Shutter Island,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and “Silence.” The New York Film Critics Circle recently honored Schoonmaker for her editing career.

Popular on Variety

More Artisans

  • Alita: Battle Angel VFX

    How Previsualization Helps Create Pitches for Projects Like 'Alita: Battle Angel'

    Filmmakers are increasingly using previsualization, a now-standard technique for planning highly technical shots and sequences, as a tool for pitching a project to production companies, investors and studio executives — before a single full scene has actually been shot. More creatives are relying on the technique, dubbed “pitchvis,” to fashion a compelling and engaging presentation [...]

  • A Quiet Place

    Production Growth Stretches Crafts Talent Pool, but Experience Is Still Needed

    The growing number of outlets for movies and television means that demand for qualified artisans is at an all-time high. But while job opportunities have multiplied, the path to success — and potential elite status — is still a difficult one that requires on-the-job training, experience and skill development to deliver top-notch results. Some of [...]

  • Queen and Adam Lambert Live

    How the Queen + Adam Lambert Tour Brought the Opera to Arenas

    Just as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the biopic of late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, wowed moviegoers last year, stage design firm Stufish Entertainment Architects has helped Queen + Adam Lambert’s current U.S. tour deliver a screen spectacular of its own. The tour, which plays New Orleans on Aug. 20 and Atlanta on Aug. 22, touched down at [...]

  • Mark Damon, CEO & Chairman, Foresight

    Mark Damon's DCR Finance Receives $150 Million for Financing Georgia Films (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mark Damon’s DCR Finance Corp., co-headed with financer Adi Cohen, has received a $150 million investment from Go Media Productions for Georgia projects, Variety has learned exclusively. Damon, whose credits include “2 Guns” and “Lone Survivor,” made the announcement Monday with Cohen. The deal calls for Atlanta-based Go Media Productions to join a private placement as [...]

  • The Handmaid's Tale -- "Household" -

    ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Crew on Why the Lincoln Memorial Shoot Was Worth the Effort

    Shooting on location at a national monument may seem glamorous, but it often involves extensive prep to comply with strict regulations, restrictions and crowds — all for a short on-screen moment. For the cast and crew of Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the seven months of planning and negotiations required for a one-day shoot at the [...]

  • Producer and crew on set. Twelve

    'Driven' Kept Shoot in Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria to Help Locals

    Behind-the-scenes featurettes have long enumerated the many obstacles any movie or TV show has had to overcome to reach the theater or TV screen. But few films faced hardships as severe as those overcome by “Driven,” the real-life hero-to-zero story of automaker John DeLorean (played by Lee Pace) and his misadventures with ex-con pilot-turned-FBI informant [...]

  • The Righteous GemstonesAdam Devine, Danny McBride,

    How Televangelists, Elvis Inspired Costumes for HBO's 'The Righteous Gemstones'

    HBO’s new comedy series “The Righteous Gemstones,” about a famous family of televangelists whose dysfunction runs far deeper than its Christianity, seems to exist in its own time and place. Set in present-day Texas, the inspiration for the Gemstone family — played by John Goodman, series creator Danny McBride, Edi Patterson and Adam Devine — [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content