A.C.E. Eddie Awards recognize editing excellence
Daniel Restuccio and Nicholas Restuccio
February 28, 2011

A.C.E. Eddie Awards recognize editing excellence

BEVERLY HILLS — At the 61st American Cinema Editors (A.C.E.) Eddie Awards, Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall A.C.E. could Facebook winning the dramatic category for their socially engaging editing on David Fincher’s The Social Network. Chris Lebenzon A.C.E. also won for his phantasmagorical cutting in the comedy or musical category for Alice in Wonderland. The formal affair was held in the International Ballroom at the Beverly Hilton and attended by over 1000 post production industry professionals . Actor Ken Jeong, ( Community, The Hangover) was the evening’s host.

In A.C.E. president Randy Roberts’ opening remarks he said A.C.E. was formed “to promote the art of storytelling to the next generation of film editors. To teach them why editors are such a significant part of the filmmaking process. Today, because of our belief in this mission, there are A.C.E members on university film school faculties. Many of us have been invited to speak about our art around the world. We have come a long way from being merely film cutters.” His comment, “P.S. nobody in this room has sent out a rough cut, okay.” got a round of heartfelt applause. 

Lifetime Career Achievement Awards went to veteran editors Michael Brown, A.C.E. and Michael Kahn A.C.E. 

“Michael Brown and I have done 16 films together,” said director Joe Sargent (MacArthur, Jaws:The Revenge) presenting Brown the award, “Oh, we’ve had a few arguments, but not once did he pull rank and throw a lighting bolt into the editing room.  He always used film-telling structure, character-driven logic for every point he wanted to make. He’s a great editor, screenwriter and human being.” 

Brown said it was real honor receiving the award and that he was truly gratified. He thanked all the people he’s worked with because “without them I wouldn’t be who I am.”  Brown also thanked his wife and family. 

In presenting the award to Kahn, director Steven Spielberg (Jaws, Close Encounters, Schindler’s List) said, "Sometimes it's really easy to forget that we're artists because we're so busy doing nothing but making choices. For me, there's relatively few choices that I'm allowed to make because of the limitations of the budget, the schedule and the time allotted me to tell a story on a set. But in the cutting room that's the one venue that gives us unlimited opportunities to make the film better than we ever dreamed possible or to screw it up beyond our worst nightmares."

About his long collaboration with Kahn, Spielberg said, “We were both Boy Scouts, we were both Eagle Scouts. There's just so much about our backgrounds that are very similar and we just hit it off as friends. We were friends instantly on Close Encounters and I just never wanted to work without him and that's the way it's been for 35 years.”

Kahn said, “It’s hard to know what to say after it's all been said so beautifully. Thank you so much Steven for such a terrific introduction and for so many remarkable years we shared together editing these movies. It's been great. And also I found that if I listen more than I talk, I can really get into what Steven would like to have done with the film, so I try not to talk. I do a lot of listening when he expresses himself.”

Actor Aaron Eckhart presented director Christopher Nolan (Inception, Memento) with the A.C.E. Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year honor. Eckhart said, “Christopher Nolan is fearless. A fearless filmmaker. Fearless in taking on complex stories and complicated plots. Fearless in pushing emerging technology to its limits and using existing technology as it never has been before.”

On accepting, Nolan commented, “I'd like to thank the American Cinema Editors for this incredible honor. I'm fortunate to work in an era where, with the technology we have, it's very possible and appropriate for the (director) to be in the edit suite with the editor enjoying that experience.”

Continued Nolan, “I think that what editors do is, to me, very mysterious and very exciting, and I think it's a very misunderstood craft. I think to call it a craft is to acknowledge the misunderstanding, because at it's best, editing is an invisible art and it's effect is very difficult to explain. I've been privileged to work with some great editors who've been extremely talented at their craft but also great fun to be with.”

Ken Schretzmann and Lee Unkrich, A.C.E won best edited animated feature for Toy Story 3.

Tom Fulford and Chris King won best edited documentary for Exit Through the Gift Shop.

Edgar Burcksen, A.C.E. and Vincent LoBrutto received the prestigious

Robert Wise Award for their work on the A.C.E. magazine CinemaEditor. 

Television Eddie Awards went to: Jonathan Schwartz, Modern Family: Family Portrait  (half-hour series for television); Hunter Via, The Walking Dead: Days Gone Bye (one-hour series for commercial television); Kate Sanford, A.C.E. and Alexander Hall, Treme: Do You Know What it Means (one-hour series for non-commercial television); Leo Trombetta, A.C.E., Temple Grandin (miniseries or motion picture for commercial television); Rob Goubeaux, Jeremy Gantz, Hilary Scratch, Ken Yankee,

Mark S. Andrew, A.C.E., Heather Miglin, John Skaare and Paul J. Coyne , If You Really Knew Me: Colusa High” (reality series).

The student competition A.C.E. award went to Ruben Jacques Sebban A.F.I.

Other presenters included actress Amy Adams (The Fighter), director David O. Russell ( The Fighter), actor Javier Bardem ( Biutiful) writer/producer Dan Harmon ( Community), actress Lauren Velez ( Dexter), actress Dot-Marie Jones ( Glee), actor Shaun Toub ( The Last Airbender) actor Sam Tramell ( True Blood), actor Dileep Rao ( Inception) Derek Hough ( Dancing With The Stars), actress Jillian Jacobs ( Community) and actress Helena Mattsson ( Iron Man 2).