Adobe Customers Share Editing Insights at the Toronto International Film Festival

by Meagan Keane

posted on 09-08-2017

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is an annual mecca for film lovers, attracting more than 480,000 people. In addition to showcasing international and Canadian films and filmmakers, the festival also offers an industry conference where professionals share advice, insights, and experiences from their unique perspectives.

This year at TIFF, Adobe’s Art of the Edit panel featured some amazing editors to discuss their editing challenges and solutions and the important role that editing plays in making a vision come to life. Panelists included:

The panel was hosted by Meagan Keane, Senior Product Marketing Manager for professional film and video at Adobe, on Friday, September 8, 2017 at 4:00 PM in the CBCB.

Billy Fox: Master Storyteller

Billy Fox, A.C.E., has always had a fascination with movies and storytelling. He got his start at a TV station in San Diego, moved on to a commercial production company doing commercials and corporate videos, and then spent time at NBC in Burbank, California before beginning his freelance editing career. While he edited some music videos and commercials, storytelling and drama has always been his passion.

“I love the editorial process and I like playing with new toys, looking for better more creative solutions to get closer to the creative process,” says Fox. “I place a lot of importance on the core cut of an individual scene. I want it to be solid and speak to me emotionally. I’m also very involved in sound, which is 49% of the storytelling process.”

For Fox, the most arduous part of editing is the first cut. From there, he molds, adjusts, and tweaks a scene over and over again. He switches back and forth between building the sound and editing the visuals until it reaches a place where he no longer sees it as individual shots, but as a real event that is happening.

Fox used Premiere Pro for his latest project, Only the Brave. He was able to come up to speed with the software in no time at all, and enjoyed being able to continuously edit, without constant stops and starts.

“Adobe Premiere Pro trimming is very powerful,” says Fox. “I keep a complicated timeline and Premiere Pro can figure out where I want to keep things in sync and where I don’t.”

Tyler Nelson: Technical Editing Guru

Tyler Nelson knew in high school that he wanted to be an editor. When he first started working in Hollywood, people told him it would take ten years to actually get in the editor’s chair working on feature films. Of course, he thought he could do it faster.

Ten years later, he’s grateful that he didn’t rush his way to the top because he’s learned so much along the way. He started out working as an apprentice editor with David Fincher on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, worked his way up to assistant editor on films such as Gone Girl, and is now an editor on Fincher’s new Netflix series Mindhunter.

“I love going to an office every day and working on something that people are going to see on their TV or in the theater,” he says. “I love that I’m working in a medium that entertains people.”

On Gone Girl, Nelson helped build the post-production pipeline, which included Adobe Premiere Pro CC for editing and Adobe After Effects for opticals and visual effects. The “Fincher family” has carried this workflow forward, always trying to bring something new to each project.

Mindhunter is a television series about a group of FBI agents in the 1970s who use psychology to start understanding serial killers. “I’m a big fan of cutting dialog scenes, and with footage like what we had from Mindhunter, it doesn’t get any better,” says Nelson. “Adobe Premiere Pro makes it easy to use split screens so we can individually adjust the characters’ performances to make them a bit snappier, if needed. We can even take performances from two different takes, so we have total control over how the scene plays out.”

Simone Smith: Indie Editor Extraordinaire

When Simone Smith was 10 years old, her dad (who worked for Adobe at the time) showed her how to use Adobe Premiere Pro to edit video. She fell in love with editing and couldn’t believe someone could do it as a career. Eight years later, she attended Vancouver Film School and spent one year in the film production program before landing a job as an assistant editing commercials at a post house in Toronto. From there, she worked at JWT and in 2013 Smith edited her first feature, Pavan Moondi’s Everyday is Like Sunday.

Smith’s big break came in 2014 when she attended the Canadian Film Centre’s Editor’s Lab. That set her on a trajectory of doing scripted and narrative feature work. Since then, she’s cut four feature films, is in the process of doing two more, and is quickly becoming one of Toronto’s most sought after indie film editors.

After working with Kathleen Hepburn on the short film Never Steady Never Still, Hepburn invited her to edit the feature-length version of the film, which is premiering at TIFF 2017. The biggest challenge with the film was that it was shot on 35mm. The negatives were shipped to Montreal for processing, and then the director of photography used a Cintel film scanner to do all of the scanning himself.

“I love the flexibility of Adobe Premiere Pro CC. From simple things like cutting scenes together to more complex compositing, it is so easy and fast,” says Smith. “Adobe Premiere Pro is far more rock solid than any NLE I’ve ever used.”

Watch the the panel:

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Topics: Creative Inspiration & Trends

Products: Premiere Pro, Creative Cloud