ACE launches editing seminar

Edit Fest to explore topics including animation, comedy

American Cinema Editors is launching a first of its kind weekend seminar designed to illuminate the business and art of editing.

Edit Fest -- set for Friday and Saturday at Hollywood and Universal City locations -- will explore topics and genres including animation, comedy and blockbusters.

Dan Lebental ("Iron Man"), Paul Rubell ("Transformers"), Mark Helfrich ("Rush Hour") and Mark Goldblatt ("X-Men: The Last Stand") will participate in a panel about blockbusters. ACE president Alan Heim ("All That Jazz") will lead the discussion.

"Summer blockbusters tend to be large-budget, VFX-driven films with high expectations and firm schedules," Lebental said. "It certainly is a race against time to get everything done."

Rubell said that special challenges and circumstances surrounding the genre include navigating the anxieties that accompany high expectations and supervising large crews and numerous vendors amid capricious deadlines.

Added Lebental: "Since VFX takes a long time to make, the sequences must be started with the VFX houses even before the film's story is properly flushed out. This is necessary but feels like the cart leading the horse."

Edit Fest also will feature ACE's second annual "Prime Cuts" look at television editing, co-presented with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Moderated by Shawn Ryan ("The Shield"), the panel discussion will feature editors Alan Baumgarten ("Recount"), Andrew Seklir ("Battlestar Galactica"), Greg Featherman ("Entourage"), Steve Lichtenstein ("Project Runway") and Chris Nelson ("Mad Men").

The animation angle will be explored with Jim Stewart ("Monsters, Inc."), Clare Knight ("Kung Fu Panda"), John Carnachan ("The Simpsons Movie") and Paul Cihocki ("WALL-E.")

Tom Atkin, co-director of the Edit Filmmakers Festival in Frankfurt, will moderate.

Kevin Tent ("Sideways"), Craig Alpert ("Pineapple Express"), Peck Prior ("Meet the Spartans"), Janet Ashikag ("Seinfeld") and Dana Glauberman ("Juno") will bring their insights to a session on cutting comedy.

ACE vp Randy Roberts ("Chicago Hope") will lead a discussion on breaking into the business with editors Michael Tronick ("Harispray"), Carol Littleton ("The Other Boelyn Girl"), Tina Hirsch ("The West Wing,") and Bonnie Koehler ("House").