DDI Editing and Post

The Movie You Cut: Editing and the Magic that is Post

November 17, 2016 A Director Development Initiative Event

DGA members looking for ways to improve and help themselves get ready for their next episodic job gathered in the Guild’s Los Angeles Theater 2 on November 17 for the latest offering of the DGA Director Development Initiative’s curriculum-based speaker series, The Movie You Cut: Editing and the Magic that is Post. The series is designed to provide current information on the Director’s craft in order to further the Guild’s mission to increase the diversity of the industry and this installment featured a panel of seasoned Directors discussing the process that needs to occur after the cameras stop rolling.

Following a welcome from DGA Executive in Charge of Diversity Programs and Committees Frank Bennett Gonzalez, who spoke about goals of the Director Development Initiative, DGA Diversity Task Force Co-Chair Todd Holland (The Real O'Neals) explained how this event was based on the Hollywood aphorism, “There are three movies: the movie you write, the one you shoot and the one you cut,” and the discussion that followed would explore the relationship between the three phases of filmmaking.

Holland then turned the proceedings over to Director Oz Scott (Scream: The TV Series), who was serving as the moderator for this evening. Scott welcomed to the stage Directors Kabir Akhtar (Unsolved Mysteries), Arthur Forney (Chicago Fire), Mimi Leder (The Leftovers), Diana Valentine (NCIS: Los Angeles)  who joined him and Holland for a conversation that delved into the working relationship between an editor and director, how critical it is for a director to know his or her creative rights, how tone meetings with the editor shape the approach on set, making the jump into directing from an editing background, and how to shoot for a specific style of a show and how that translates into the editing room. Panelists also discussed workflow and differences between editing for television versus features.

The panelists also took questions from the audience then mingled with the attendees in the reception that followed. 

You can watch video highlights from the discussion in the gallery below.
DGA members, please log in to view the full discussion from this event.

Members can watch the full video from all of the
Director Development Initiative Speaker Series events by clicking here.

About the Panelists:

DDI Editing and PostKabir Akhtar
Akhtar is an Emmy-winning editor and director whose work includes The Academy Awards, Arrested Development, Unsolved Mysteries, Speechless and New Girl. Seven pilots he has edited have gone to series. He won an Emmy in 2016 for editing the pilot of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and is directing episodes of that series this season. He also directed segments for both the Academy Awards and the Primetime Emmy Awards. A former co-chair of the DGA’s Asian American Committee, Akhtar currently serves on the Television Academy’s Editors’ Peer Group Executive Committee. He has been a DGA member since 2005.


DDI Editing and PostArthur Forney
An executive producer on Dick Wolf’s series including Law & Order: SVU, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med and Chicago Justice, Forney also heads all of Wolf Entertainment’s post-production activities. He began directing in 1994 and has since helmed numerous episodes of New York Undercover, Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Wolf’s Chicago-based series mentioned above. Forney is a member of American Cinema Editors and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He joined the DGA in 1992.

DDI Editing and PostTodd Holland
A DGA member since 1986, Holland broke into the industry after Steven Spielberg saw his short film, Chicken Thing, and hired him to write and direct for the series Amazing Stories. Since that start, he has directed three feature films and more than 170 episodes of television spanning the gamut of genres from dramas like Twin Peaks, My So Called Life, and Shameless to comedies like Tales of the Crypt, Friends and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in comedy. His work has earned him three Emmy Awards and eight nominations; five CableAce Awards; a DGA award and six DGA nominations; and a WGA nomination. He was a key creative force behind The Larry Sanders Show, Malcolm in the Middle, and co-creator of Wonderfalls. His recent work includes executive producing and directing the pilots for the series The Real O’Neals and Furst Born.

DDI Editing and PostMimi Leder
Leder is an award-winning director who began her career on L.A. Law. Her feature film credits include The Peacemaker, Deep Impact, Pay It Forward, and The Code. A three-time DGA Award nominee in the Dramatic Series category for her work on ER, in 1995 she won an Emmy Award for her “Love’s Labor Lost” episode of that series. She also garnered other Emmy nominations for her directorial work on China Beach, ER and The West Wing. Of the nine pilots Leder has directed, six have gone on to series including The Beast, John Doe, Johnny Zero and Vanished, all of which she executive produced. Her filmography also includes multiple episodes of Shameless, Full Circle, Luck, and The Leftovers where she also currently serves as Executive Producer/Director. Leder has been a DGA member since 1985.

DDI Editing and PostDiana Valentine
After making her episodic directorial debut with an episode of Nip/Tuck, Valentine has directed multiple episodes of series including NCIS: Los Angeles, Criminal Minds, and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. Her other credits include the independent feature film Down the Barrel and the short films Pennies… and Blood Moon, which won “Best Short Film” at the IFS Film Festival in Los Angeles. Valentine joined the DGA in 2000.

DDI Editing and PostOz Scott (moderator)
A DGA member since 1978, Scott is an award-winning television, film and theatre director with more than three decades of experience. His credits include the feature film Bustin’ Loose; the DGA Award-nominated movie for television The Cheetah Girls; and more than one hundred episodes of television for shows such as Gotham, NCIS: New Orleans, Everybody Hates Chris, Boston Legal, Hill Street Blues, and The Jeffersons. Scott also served as an alternate to the DGA Western Directors Council and National Board, is a former Co-Chair of the DGA’s African American Steering Committee, and currently serves on the DGA Diversity Task Force.

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