I attended the American Cinema Editors awards on Saturday night, accompanying my ‘Scott Pilgrim’ editors, Jon Amos & Paul Machliss who were nominated for Best Feature Editing / Musical or Comedy.
They didn’t win, but it was still a great night. Especially since Jon & Paul were nominated for their first ever feature credit.
Also it was a nice ‘Spaced’ reunion of sorts, as Chris Dickens, my editor on ‘Spaced’, ‘Shaun’ & ‘Hot Fuzz’ and Academy Award winner for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ was also present.
Chris and I worked with Paul on ‘Spaced’ (he was online editor on the first series and edited four episodes of the second.) Chris also introduced me to Jon Amos, his former assistant, who did some additional editing on action scenes in ‘Hot Fuzz’. So it was great for the four of us to all be together again.The highlight of the ceremony however, was Michael Kahn’s lifetime achievement award. Steven Spielberg was on hand to give a heartfelt speech that sang the praises of his longtime editor and ‘older brother’.
Then we were shown a montage of Michael Kahn’s credits. It was possibly the most epic, daunting and yet inspiring body of work I’ve seen at any awards show, technical or otherwise.
Later, Kirk Baxter (who won the feature editing prize for ‘The Social Network’) commented that the montage was like his ‘life flashing before his eyes’. I have to agree.
Quite aside from all his amazing work with Spielberg, the number of other mega hits on this reel is incredible; pretty much all the Amblin movies from ‘Poltergeist’ to ‘Arachnophobia’, not to mention the monster smash that was ‘Fatal Attraction’.
When this montage played, the ‘Close Encounters’ clips drew the first round of applause. I may have even started the applause as that film deeply effect me every time I see it.
And I am pretty sure I also said ‘Oh wow’ when ‘Poltergeist’ appeared.
The other amazing fact is that Michael Kahn until very, very recently has cut everything he’s done on film and is one of the very last major editors to join the non-linear revolution. George Lucas apparently said that “Michael Kahn can cut faster on a Moviola than anybody can cut on an Avid.”
That’s probably very true, because on this evidence, he’s edited every film since the late 70’s.
Enjoy the reel that played on Saturday night.
So what’s missing?
Well apart from ‘E.T.’ which I believe is the only Spielberg film since ‘CE3K’ that he didn’t edit (he was busy on ‘Poltergeist’ which was shot around the same time), there’s a number of cult classics like ‘Used Cars’ that didn’t appear. As well as some B movie faves that Kahn cut before collaborating with Spielberg. I would have loved to see a clip of ‘The Devil’s Rain’, ‘Truck Turner’ , ‘Black Belt Jones’ or ‘Trouble Man’ thrown in there too.
But that’s just me. What a reel, eh?
Check out Michael Kahn’s full credits right here.
Tribute reel for editor legend Michael Kahn, A.C.E who received a lifetime achievement award from the American Cinema Editors Feb 19th at the 2011 A.C.E. Eddies Awards.
Reel edited by Carsten Kurpanek & Rosanne Colello
Michael Kahn celebrates his 75th birthday with three new films coming out this year coming out of his cutting room. Associated with Steven Spielberg since the started working together on Close Encounters of the Third Kind in 1976, Kahn has taken home 3 Oscars and a parade of other awards an nominations. He & Spielberg are known as the last converts to digital editing and just this last year Kahn gave up his Moviola for an Avid as Spielberg directed his first digital movie, The Adventures of Tintin. Kahn is receiving a lifetime achievement award from the Association of Cinema Editors this year.