Careers: Editor Carla Roda
November 30, 2021

Careers: Editor Carla Roda

I have been in the entertainment industry pretty much my whole life. I grew up in a family of artists, so since I was a kid, I was surrounded by theater and cinema. 

In 2011, I started a bachelor's degree in cinema and television at Ramon Lull's University of Barcelona. While I was studying there, I was convinced my path was to be a producer, as I was good at people management. But I quickly realized that to be a producer, you need more than that. While in college I produced a lot of my classmates' work. I also had the opportunity to edit some of them, and that’s when I realized that editing was what I really wanted to do. 

I discovered the fun of editing. I taught myself Final Cut 7 by watching videos on YouTube. Likewise, I then did the same when Adobe Premiere became available. However, most of my training was by practicing over and over with different projects, and discovering new elements each time that helped craft my editing. To that, I could add the experience I already had in storytelling. I took some courses in screenwriting, as well as some workshops in story editing. 
Later on, my curiosity for directing started to surface and I directed some short films right when I arrived in Los Angeles in 2014. My first successful project as a director was my movie Camila, which I wrote, directed, produced and edited. I was able to tell a very personal story in a very artistic way. We submitted it to festivals and won some of them, including an Official Selection at Cannes Short Film Corner, Winner of Best Cinematography at LA Short Awards and Winner at Best Shorts Film Competition - Women Filmmaker. I feel Camila was my introduction to the film world as a director. 

I worked for different clients, editing short films, commercials, music videos and feature films until one day I got a job opportunity at Fox Digital Studio to be a part of the editing team for a docu-series called Phenoms. Working on that show was how I discovered the documentary was my ultimate calling. In that genre, I could finally be an editor and director at the same time. 

When you work as an editor for a documentary, you don't have a script, so your responsibility is to piece together a story that will help the audience understand the message of that movie. For me, editing is like being a magician. Nowadays, we are able to do so many tricks that allow us to tell stories however we want. One scene can draw so many emotions just by changing different elements in each edit. I truly feel editors have an invisible power that not many people are aware of. That being said, my philosophy or my “rule” when editing non-fiction is to always stick to the truth of each speaker and never change the truth just for entertainment. 

After I finished at Fox Digital Studio, I edited a feature documentary called We Stand Corrected: Dannemora, an alternative narrative to Ben Stiller’s Showtime limited series, Escape at Dannemora. That same year I edited the feature documentary Our Quinceañera that won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at The Bentonville Film Festival, and Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Panamanian International Film Festival in Los Angeles. 
Thanks to those two projects, in 2019, I was selected to be one of the mentees in the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship, a program designed to cultivate the careers of emerging editors from diverse backgrounds. That fellowship gave me the final push that my career needed. Meeting fellow editors as well as documentary producers and directors gave me a lot of opportunities. 

Between 2019 and 2020 I edited three short documentaries — Big Bons, Soulheal and Vote Neil  (Tribeca Film Festival 2020 Official Selection in Documentary Shorts, which was also licensed by NBC News and Meet The Press, Revry. I also edited a docu-series called Trust Me, I'm Sick, which was released on the YouTube Channel @SoulPancake to over 3.5M subscribers, and a feature documentary called The Green Wave, which won Best Feature Documentary at the Los Angeles Film Festival and was recently released at Crackle.TV.

I also recently edited the feature film 6 Feet Apart, directed by Jessa Zarubica, that will be premiering soon, as well as the feature film Skinny Dipping, a romantic comedy starring Roberto Manrique and Gisella Abroumoud — big influencers in South America — along with Israel De Corcho and Sara Nuñez. That is being distributed by Principal Media.
Currently, I’m working on a four-part docu-series for HBO, but in the near future I want to go back into fiction to direct a feature film that I have been writing for the past 10 years that I feel is ready to come out. I’m now looking for investors that will to give me an opportunity to share that story with the world. It’s a story that invites you to meditate about the importance of one’s care — a story that I feel is very necessary nowadays.