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« The Pryor Life | Main | The Next 12 Years Are More Like 50 »
Friday
Jan102014

Editors' Picks. 

Jose here. Today we have the announcement from the American Cinema Editors who - shocker - went for more of the same movies! For almost 40 years, the Eddies were awarded to a single motion picture (their first winner was The Parent Trap and their last was the acclaimed Saving Private Ryan) but then they decided that they too needed to include as many movies as possible and split their award into Drama and Musical & Comedy. Now excuse me if I sound ignorant (I did go to film school and all...) but isn't editing exactly the same for both? It's not like you use different equipment and/or need to have different skills to do each, right? Isn't the editor's job actually (along with the director of course) to decide just how funny or how dramatic each movie will be? So I really don't get why guilds need to invent such categories. I don't see the ASC doing that, but god I love the cinematographers for being the classiest guild...anyway enough with my complaining.

Here are the nominees for this year's Eddies:

Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic)

12 Years a Slave - Joe Walker
Captain Phillips - Chris Rouse, A.C.E.
Gravity - Alfonso Cuarón & Mark Sanger
Her - Eric Zumbrunnen A.C.E. & Jeff Buchanan
Saving Mr. Banks - Mark Livolsi, A.C.E.

This is most likely Gravity's to lose, the Eddies have favored sci-fi fare in the past (WALL-E won in 2008) and excuse me, but is Mr. Banks here only because the movie jumps back and forth in time? Where are the creative choices like I don't know, nominating the editors behind Short Term 12, The Place Beyond the Pines, Only God Forgives, The Spectacular Now, and Blue is the Warmest Color for example?

Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy or Musical)

American Hustle - Jay Cassidy, A.C.E., Crispin Struthers & Alan Baumgarten, A.C.E.  
August: Osage County - Stephen Mirrione, A.C.E
Inside Llewyn Davis - Roderick Jaynes
Nebraska - Kevin Tent, A.C.E.
The Wolf of Wall Street - Thelma Schoonmaker, A.C.E.

Cassidy and Struthers won this award last year for Silver Linings Playbook and other than Pietro Scalia with his one-two punch of Gladiator and Black Hawk Down in the early aughts, no one has won this award two years in a row. Might this be a first or will they reward the legendary Schoomaker once more (she's won four times already)?

Best Edited Animated Feature Film
Despicable Me 2 - Gregory Perler, A.C.E.
Frozen - Jeff Draheim
Monsters University - Greg Snyder

Best Edited Documentary Feature
20 Feet from Stardom - Douglas Blush, Kevin Klauber & Jason Zeldes
Blackfish - Eli Despres
Tim’s Vermeer - Patrick Sheffield

No Stories We Tell or The Act of Killing are surprising and sad. Were they not eligible? 

 

Now, let's take a look at the TV nominees, some of which are actually quite great!

Best Edited Series for Television (Half Hour)

30 Rock: “Hogcock! / Last Lunch” - Meg Reticker / Ken Eluto, A.C.E.
Arrested Development: “Flight of the Phoenix” - Kabir Akhtar & A.J. Dickerson
The Office: “Finale” - David Rogers & Claire Scanlon

How is Arrested Development in here? Not a single episode this season was under thirty minutes and if anything the entire season *lacked* editing, no? 

Best Edited Series for Commercial Television (One Hour)

Breaking Bad: “Buried” - Skip MacDonald A.C.E. & Sharidan Williams-Sotelo
Breaking Bad: “Felina” - Skip MacDonald A.C.E.
Breaking Bad: “Granite State” - Kelley Dixon, A.C.E. & Chris McCaleb
Breaking Bad: “Ozymandias” - Skip MacDonald A.C.E.
The Good Wife: “Hitting the Fan” - Scott Vickrey, A.C.E.

I am hoping all these Breaking Bad episodes will cancel each other out and give the win to The Good Wife, which in my own very humble opinion gave us the greatest hour of television in 2013. "Hitting the Fan" was an episode so flawlessly done in every single way, but granted I haven't seen any of these Breaking Bad episodes and I know y'all worship this show (plus I'm nothing if not democratic) so feel free to tell me which one(s) to check out for the editing and I'll report back.

Best Edited Series for Non-Commercial Television (One Hour)

Game of Thrones: “The Rains of Castamere” - Oral Norrie Ottey
Homeland: “Big Man in Tehran” - Terry Kelley, A.C.E.
House of Cards: “Chapter 1” - Kirk Baxter, A.C.E.

My only comment about this will be to point out that the division of TV between "commercial" and "non-commercial" is dumb. Isn't all mass media made to be consumed and is therefore a commercial product? (especially cable and Netflix which require you actually *pay* money?) If they meant cable and networks, why not just call it that instead? 

Best Edited Miniseries or Made for Television Movie

American Horror Story: Asylum: “The Name Game” - Stewart Schill, A.C.E.
Behind the Candelabra - Mary Ann Bernard
Phil Spector - Barbara Tulliver, A.C.E.        

They oughta go bananas for Jessica!

Who do you think will win an Eddie in a few weeks? Can you help me understand the random category divisions?  

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Reader Comments (23)

"...the greatest hour of television in 2013 ("Hitting the Fan")...but granted I haven't seen any of these Breaking Bad episodes..."

Nuff said. ;-)

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

I wonder if the commercial and non-commercial means one has breaks and the other doesn't?
(if I remember the times I watched "game of thrones" on actual cable it didn't have breaks)

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

That nod for Mr,. Banks is offensive. The constant flashbacks are intrusive, annoying and sometimes senseless.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGustavo

and with that I mean maybe they really value the distinction between editing considering commercial breaks and when you don't have them (I mean when they exist we get those scenes before the break that end in suspense, idk lol)

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

"I am hoping all these Breaking Bad episodes will cancel each other out and give the win to The Good Wife, which in my own very humble opinion gave us the greatest hour of television in 2013. "

But it's about editing and Breaking Bad's strengths from the very beginning have been its technical, formal attributes such as editing and cinematography. "Ozymandias" or "Granite State", FTW.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

marcelo: I'm sure that's what it means but what I'm saying is that it's so poorly explained. Makes it sound more like an economics decision than an aesthetic choice. I should stop watching History Channel shows about Marxism...

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJose

Jose, Paul,

I saw BOTH Breaking Bad and GOOD WIFE and BELIEVE ME, Hitting the Fan was a better episode than Ozymandias. Yes, I said that.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

That said, the win will probably go to Breaking Bad's best episode this season, Ozymandias.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

Just from a comedic perspective, editing takes such a different place in a comedic film then a dramatic film. As the cliche goes, comedy is all about timing and unlike the theatre where that is solely done by the actors in film you need the editor. Dramatic editing though is more about tension and pacing and just like dramatic acting is viewed as better than comedic acting, editing in comedy films isn't given the credit it is due. So I see why separating the two here in particular makes sense although since people will never take comedy as seriously as drama (unfortunately) I think everyone doing it makes a lot of sense to recognize greatness where having only one category wouldn't allow.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterQueermyntcritic

Thank you, Jorge! I will make sure to check it out then, I've heard nothing but wonderful things about that specific episode - and I do like the title hehe - I'm just not familiar with the show as a whole. I do like "The Good Wife" a lot but I swear that before that episode I was getting ready to quit it because I was sure it would go nowhere new. I'm so glad it proved me wrong.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJose

Yes, I agree with Marcelo, I think the distinction is that there is different editing and pacing required for shows that are broken up every 15 minutes by commercials and shows that are allowed to have an uninterrupted narrative across 60 minutes.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteven

Ugh. SAVING MR BANKS!? That is some lazy-assed nominating right there. Far worse than even NEBRASKA at the costume design guild. So terribly naff.

And the four nominations for BREAKING BAD seems excessive. Can editors enter every episode they worked on or something? That one guy has three nominations! Can the editors of CAPTAIN PHILLIPS submit "boat sequences" and then "liferaft sequences"? How silly.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

I'm catching up on Breaking Bad (starting Season 5 now), but seriously, "Hitting the Fan" is an exemplary hour of television, and if there was really only room for one non-Breaking Bad episode in that category (I LOVE the show but REALLY?), I'm glad it was that.

That Saving Mr. Banks nomination is indeed offensive. The cutting together of the main story and the flashbacks was pretty much what I hated most about the film. The rhythm was so off it ended up with tonal whiplash. But then, with flashback films, I don't really know how much of that is decided on a script level versus an editing one. It seems like a screenplay thing, but it's always brought up in editing conversations, so I'm confused. In its place, why can't we have The Conjuring, which used editing rather smartly to give some oomph to old horror tropes? Or Blue Jasmine, which edited far better around its flashback structure?

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Jorge, I'm not even sure I would agree that "Ozymandias" is the best-edited of the four Breaking Bad episodes nominated. But all four are certainly as worthy if not more so than "Hitting the Fan," which I've also seen.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

ive only started bingewatching the good wife. i enjoy it in a broadcast lawfirm/courtroom sort of way. that is, it's well done, but its whole thrust is so conventional that i can't see how it could ever become something that challenges a great cable series like breaking bad. but then i barely watch broadcast tv unless it's on netflix or amazon with no commercials. so my tolerance has gotten really low for narrative rhythms made for commercial insertion and three acts in 44 minutes and on-the-nose characterizations and resolutions and weekly affirmations of inherent human goodness.

my vote would go to "felina" which i thought was the very rare case of a conventionally rounded series finale (loose ends mostly tied) working brilliantly. it succeeded in finding the right rhythm not just in the shootout with the aryans but in each set piece: the wonderfully perverse and tense opening at the rich couple's house, the encounter with walter's wife, the scene with lydia at the cafe.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterxander

Why are we talking about best episode of the nominated when this is for rewarding editing? 'Hitting the Fan' in terms of writing is quite strong but Breaking Bad has always had aces editing. The way things cut in the final 3 Breaking Bad episodes drove it home it is an expertly crafted series.

Also if you notice there are three different editing credits for Breaking Bad for 4 episodes, it denotes how that show is often about the team effort which Vince Gilligan has been the first to state as being anti-'TV has reached auteurism' period.

'Ozymandias' actually has not gotten a lot of love from the DGA or WGA. That may change come Emmys, where I am sure Cranston and Gunn will submit that episode in acting, but it seems to not be the catch-all industry-picked 'best' episode of Breaking Bad to consider. That happened a lot with Mad Men early on when I was always surprised looking back at Seasons 1-3 what was chosen by the Guilds as their best episodes as opposed to the Emmys, that had a much stronger track record.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Episodic television is different from film in that you usually have two crews working alternate weeks because of the amount of work and the demands of the schedule and the need for sleep so there isn't one editor. There are also different directors/head writers, sometimes for each ep and therefore yes, they can enter multiple episodes as they are seen as different pieces of work.

What really stands out to me about Good Wife is that they manage this incredibly high quality level despite being network and all the limitations/restrictions that entails. They are filming sometimes only a week or two before airing while most of the cable shows are nearly completed before the first ep airs and have a lot more time to tinker. Good Wife is also 22 eps a season while Breaking Bad was only 8 or so and most cable series are only 13. House of Cards and OITB were both completed and polished before released so any fixes could be made before the public saw them. Network does not have that luxury. I really wish they could find a way to recognize this on the awards circuit.

And can someone pull American Horror Story out of miniseries. It isn't.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

I suppose it's been said elsewhere, surely when the Globes nominations were announced, but I just caught August Osage County and how in hell is it a comedy? I had more laughs watching Dallas Buyers Club and 12 Years a Slave! I'm not kidding! There were more laughs in those two movies than in August! It's ridiculous!

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBensunce

I should have added that the rules for most of these awards predate the arrival of cable and were written when it was a much more even field in terms of structure of production. So Breaking Bad can have the same editor for every ep but no one could stand up to the strain of editing every ep of a 22 ep network show. Even if someone could do it physically, the work would suffer due to brain freeze. At some point, they are going to need to break the television awards into a lot more categories if they are going to be fair to all. Then we face the decision of what gets presented off camera and what makes the televised show a la the Tony's because no one is going to sit through an 8 hour awards show, even people who find the tech awards as important as the on camera awards like myself.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

thanks henry for the good info. but i do wish commercial broadcast tv would just die already.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterxander

"So Breaking Bad can have the same editor for every ep but no one could stand up to the strain of editing every ep of a 22 ep network show."

Except it doesn't, as the nominations show with 4 different editors credited from that show in the nominations. But even for comparison sake, many TV editors have a million different other commitments and there are surely union rules on labor. Again, the TV nominations are for a single episode, not a whole season of television- given that every given show nominated would have more than just a few editing credits.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

How could AH get cited for Editing? The movie looks like it was cut with garden sheers. AH mania is getting ridiculous.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I'm just glad that two of the best shows in TV are nominated for best editing. I agree that both Ozymandias and Hitting the Fan are exemplary works in editing (might I add writing, directing, and acting also), so I hope the award will be given to either of these two. Since Breaking Bad has been showered with enough praise, I kinda hoping The Good Wife gets the award. I still remember the tension from the fall-out of events in that TGW episode.

January 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenternikko

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