ACE Is the Place Where Reality and Fantasy Collide
As awards’ season rambles on, the intersection between reality and fantasy was among the themes front and center at the 66th annual ACE Eddie Awards Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 29. The event, hosted by actor Adam DeVine, was, as usual, a celebration of the editing craft by the American Cinema Editors trade association, with the usual hilarity thrown in from DeVine and various presenters, including comedy legend Steve Martin, who feted director Nancy Meyers as she was presented with the ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker Award (above; photo by Linda Treydte).
Nostalgia was also part of the evening, as Career Achievement Honorees Ted Rich, ACE, and Carol Littleton, ACE, reminisced about their careers editing in television and film, respectively, over the years. Littleton, a Oscar nominee for her work on Steven Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra Terrestrial in 1982, spoke fondly about the “journeys” she has taken as an editor to faraway places, and with characters as diverse as the beloved E.T., and many others, as she explains in this clip from her acceptance speech.
Writer/producer/director Lawrence Kasden with ACE Career Achievement Honoree Carol Littleton, ACE. Photo by Linda Treydte
The best edited animated feature film Eddie went to Kevin Nolting for his work on Inside Out, but in the live-action feature film categories, two radically different feature films were honored as their editors captured Eddies in the dramatic and comedy genres respectively.
Hank Corwin, ACE, Eddie Award winner for editing the best feature film comedy, with presenter Jennifer Jason Leigh. Photo by Linda Treydte.
For comedies, Hank Corwin, ACE, was honored for his work on The Big Short, a comedy built around the machinations of real-world hedge fund managers involved in an all-too-real-life event — the 2007 collapse of the U.S. housing market. Conversely, George Miller’s apocalyptic, non-stop action fantasy, Mad Max: Fury Road, saw its editor, Margaret Sixel, who is married to Miller, honored by her peers in the dramatic category, beating out editors on such heady fare as The Revenant (Stephen Mirrione, ACE), Sicario (Joe Walker, ACE), The Martian (Pietro Sclia, ACE), and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Maryann Brandon, ACE, and Mary Jo Markey, ACE).
In the noisy backstage pressroom, shortly after winning her award, a positively thrilled Sixel told StudioDaily about how long and hard the project was to cut, and why she thinks that, possibly, that degree of difficulty was something her peers decided made her work worthy of the honor they bestowed upon her. In the clip below, she discusses her reaction.
Director and presenter Damien Chazelle, Tom Cross, ACE, best edited dramatic feature film Eddie Award winner Margaret Sixel, and actor J.K. Simmons. Photo by Linda Treydte
Presenter Adam McKay (Left, director of The Big Short) with editor Chris King, winner of the Eddie for best edited feature film documentary, Amy. Photo by Linda Treydte.
Meanwhile, some of the most in-your-face editing work honored during the evening was in the documentary categories. For best edited feature film documentary, Chris King won for his work cutting together the compelling documentary about the rise and fall of the late British singer, Amy Winehouse, called Amy. Backstage, he told StudioDaily that project was hard to piece together because it required filmmakers to figure out what, in fact, their story would be, since Winehouse’s basic story trajectory had already been well documented. Digging deeper, he explained, was a complex and constantly shifting process.
And for best edited television documentary, the opening episode of HBO’s compelling series, The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst brought Eddies to the four editors on that show—Richard Hankin, ACE, Zac Stuart-Pontier, Caitlyn Greene, and Shelby Siegel. That project was particularly difficult for the editorial team, because the core of their story’s ending was completely unknown to them as they culled through thousands of hours of footage documenting the story of accused killer Robert Durst only to eventually discover quite by accident, hidden away in their dailies, some audio footage of Durst appearing to incriminate himself. In this backstage clip shortly after they received their Eddie Awards, first Hankin, then Stuart-Pontier, and then Siegel discussed that experience.
Editors Shelby Siegel, Richard Hankin, ACE, director and presenter Adam McKay, editors Caitlyn Greene and Zac Stuart-Pontier. Photo by Linda Treydte
Here is a rundown of all the 2016 ACE Eddie Award winners:
BEST EDITED FEATURE FILM (DRAMATIC):
Mad Max: Fury Road
BEST EDITED FEATURE FILM (COMEDY OR MUSICAL):
The Big Short
Hank Corwin, ACE
BEST EDITED ANIMATED FEATURE FILM:
Kevin Nolting, ACE
BEST EDITED DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE):
BEST EDITED DOCUMENTARY (TELEVISION):
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst “A Body in the Bay”
Zac Stuart-Pontier, Richard Hankin, ACE, Caitlyn Greene, Shelby Siegel
BEST EDITED HALF-HOUR SERIES FOR TELEVISION:
Inside Amy Schumer: 12 Angry Men
BEST EDITED ONE-HOUR SERIES FOR COMMERCIAL TELEVISION:
Mad Men: “Person to Person”
BEST EDITED ONE-HOUR SERIES FOR NON-COMMERCIAL TELEVISION:
House of Cards: “Chapter 39”
Lisa Bromwell, ACE
BEST EDITED LONGFORM (MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE) FOR TELEVISION:
Brian A. Kates, ACE
BEST EDITED NON-SCRIPTED SERIES:
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown: “Bay Area”
Hunter Gross, ACE
ACE Student Editing Competition – Chris Dold
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