×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Veteran Editor Helps Newcomers Make the Cut With Online Course

Lawrence Jordan’s family jokes that he grew up with an editing room for a playpen. The son of a man who ran one of the first commercial post-production houses in New York in the 1960s and ’70s, he was exposed to film early. “I started out pretty young in the business,” Jordan says. “When I saw how much editors add to a film, I decided that’s what I wanted to do.”

Jordan learned the realities of the profession quickly. “I saw that the structure of Hollywood and the Editors Guild was very specific,” he says. “You become an assistant editor first; you get yourself into an editing environment. You build your network; you develop your skills. And then, God willing, you get some mentorship from an editor, and you get an opportunity to cut some scenes.”

Now Jordan, who has worked on more than 45 features and TV shows, has developed Master the Workflow, an online course that teaches assistant editors the ins and outs of the business.

The initiative began when he was cutting the Netflix movie “Naked,” starring Marlon Wayans. On that project, Jordan worked with Richard Sanchez, an assistant editor who had developed a digital process that made their workflow run more smoothly. Soon Jordan and Sanchez began talking about bringing what they had learned to the next generation of film editing hopefuls.

“Master the Workflow came from this kernel of an idea,” says Jordan. “You’ve got a lot of people who are learning to edit in Adobe Premiere or Apple’s Final Cut Pro or Avid systems. A lot of people learn the skills of an editor in film school or on freebie projects. In our course, we assume you know the software, and we take you through the entire post-production experience as an assistant editor — from the first meeting with the editor and on to the pre-production and post-production pipeline meetings. We hold your hand every step of the process.”

The course is divided into six modules and 32 lessons. The 13 hours of material were designed to give students crucial information that Jordan and Sanchez believe lays the groundwork for a successful career as an assistant editor so that their pupils can later become editors.

The course takes its students through all aspects of the post-production process, including sound, visual effects, finishing and delivery. “We also try to emphasize what it’s like to be in that environment and what those pressure points are going to be,” Jordan adds, “where the political land mines might come up and how to be diplomatic with directors and editors and the studio — because that’s also part of being an editor.”

Jordan knows the value of what he learned, coming from a family in which editing and post were part of life. “It’s still an old-school process to become a film editor,” he says. “But hopefully with what we have to offer, people who want to become editors can make that leap.”

More Artisans

  • Smithsonian Handmaids Tale Costume

    Why the Smithsonian Chose to Enshrine 'Handmaid's Tale' Servant Costume

    The iconic red-caped, white-bonneted outfits worn by Elisabeth Moss and the other childbearing servants in Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” created by costume designer Ane Crabtree, have become that show’s signature visual.  Hulu immediately knew it had a good thing, hiring groups of women around the country to parade in the garments to promote the show. [...]

  • Sir Lionel Frost (left) voiced by

    Why 'Missing Link's' Title Character Was One of Laika's Biggest Challenges

    Stop-motion studio Laika pushes design boundaries in every film it makes, and the lead character in “Missing Link” is no exception. “It became pretty apparent that [the character] Link was going to be the cornerstone,” says director and writer Chris Butler. “I did this rough drawing many years ago, and it was basically like a [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    New 3D-Printing Technology Was 'Missing Link' for Laika's Latest Stop-Motion Project

    For the upcoming animated comedy adventure “Missing Link,” stop-motion studio Laika set the bar very high. To execute the designs created by director and writer Chris Butler, artists would have to speed up their 3D printing of character faces — and those faces would have to be the most complex they’d ever created. “Missing Link” [...]

  • The Old Man and the Gun

    Ohio’s Midwest Locations and Flexible Tax Credit Lure Producers

    With its small towns, rolling farmlands and industrial cities, Ohio embodies the American Midwest. Other location lures for filmmakers include the shore along Lake Erie, the campus of Ohio State University, the striking skyline of Cincinnati and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. The Buckeye State also provides producers with a 30% [...]

  • Nancy Schreiber Mapplethorpe Cinematographer

    DP Nancy Schreiber Captures Life of Artist Robert Mapplethorpe in Grimy Gotham

    Don’t tell cinematographer Nancy Schreiber that she’s having a renaissance. That would imply there’ve been slumps in her long career, and she won’t have any of that, even if for a time she was taking smaller jobs as the gaps widened between larger gigs. “It’s never been about the money, for me,” says Schreiber over [...]

  • What Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga Share:

    LeRoy Bennett Keeps Top Acts Like Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande in the Spotlight

    You might say that LeRoy Bennett is a shining light among lighting and production designers for pop music. Doing double duty creating both touring sets and their illumination, he started out with a 14-year run as Prince’s collaborator, went on to work with Nine Inch Nails and Madonna and has counted Beyoncé’s and Bruno Mars’ [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content