Mad Max: Fury Road and The Big Short were the big winners on the film side at tonight’s 66th annual ACE Eddie Awards. Inside Out took the animated feature prize and Amy Winehouse pic Amy won the docu award during the American Cinema Editors’ trophy show at the Beverly Hilton.
Nine of the past 12 Eddie winners for best edited dramatic film have gone on to score the Oscar, which sets Mad Max up as the front-runner on February 28. Then again, The Big Short also is up for the editing Oscar this year. Last year, the ACE nod went to Boyhood, which lost the Academy Award to Whiplash.
Accepting the award for Mad Max, cutter Margaret Sixel said, “I had to look at the (nominees) list today, and I said, “Oh wow, all those heavy hitters. I’ll just go enjoy the party.” Speaking to the film’s director (and her husband) George Miller, she added, “George, next time can you drop the bar a little bit?”
On the TV side, AMC’s wrapped drama Mad Men scooped the prize for hourlong commercial television, and the epic “12 Angry Men” episode of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer won for half-hour. HBO scored wins for Bessie and The Jinx, and Netflix’s House of Cards took the hourlong noncommercial TV prize. CNN’s Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown also cooked up an Eddie.
“Fireworks! Explosions! Hit it!” host Adam DeVine said at the outset. “We were supposed to have explosions. but we’ll put it in in post. … I would like to thank the editors for making us appear funnier, more talented than we really are. … Without editors, many actors, definitely myself, would just talk and talk and talk, ruining the scene.”
Oscar winner Carol Littleton and longtime TV cutter Ted Rich were honored with Career Achievement Awards, only the second year the guild has presented the kudos. In her acceptance speech, Littleton said: “I’m certain of one thing: We have the best job in film. We take everyone’s contributions, their special talent, and combine them, as if by alchemy. … Movies matter. Directors matter. The cut matters. Choose wisely.” Rich said earlier: I was blessed with a wonderful career working with many talented people, many of whom became friends over the years. It was a great time to be in the television business.”
Nancy Meyers won ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year honor. “It’s unusual for a woman in Hollywood to receive an award that doesn’t have the word ‘woman’ on it, so thank you so much,” she said. “I love editing, so this makes the night even sweeter for me. After we do all this long, impossibly hard work, when finally it comes to an end, I find myself breathless and, always for a very brief time, at my optimum weight. And then i go to the cutting room. It’s like coming home. I find the process to be a glorious one.”
Presenters include J.J.Abrams, Adam McKay, Vince Gilligan, Steve Martin, Mindy Kaling, Jennifer Jason Leigh and J.K. Simmons.
Here is the complete list of winners. Below that is a recap of Deadline’s live blog, in reverse chronological order:
Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic):
Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy):
The Big Short
Best Edited Animated Feature Film:
Kevin Nolting (ACE)
Best Edited One-Hour Series for Non-Commercial Television:
House of Cards: “Chapter 39”
Lisa Bromwell (ACE)
Best Edited Half-Hour Series for Television:
Inside Amy Schumer: “12 Angry Men”
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
Best Edited Documentary (Feature):
Best Edited Documentary (Television):
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst “Chapter 1”
Richard Hankin (ACE), Zac Stuart-Pontier, Caitlyn Greene, Shelby Siegel
Student Editing Competition
Chris Dold, University of North Carolina, School of the Arts
And here’s how our live blog looked:
Accepting the award for Mad Max, cutter Margaret Sixel said, “I had to look at the (nominees) list today, and I said, “Oh wow, all those heavy hitters. I’ll just go enjoy the party.” Speaking to the film’s director George Miller, she added, “George, next time can you drop the bar a little bit?”
Said Jennifer Jason Leigh, who presented the comedy feature Eddie: “They say comedy and tragedy are two sides of the same coin. So, that’s depressing.”
Introducing Nancy Meyers as the ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year, Steve Martin said: “Good evening and welcome to the Comedy Central roast of Nancy Meyers. I’ve starred with Nancy in many films: Father Of The Bride, Father Of The Bride 2 — the list goes on. Actually, the list ends right there. We considered doing a third Father Of The Bride, but we agreed neither of us had the energy — to deal with Martin short. … Nancy makes hits. She micromanages hits and reinvests her profits on hits. In a world of greenscreen and CGI like the blockbuster comedy The Martian (huge laughs and applause for the dig at the Golden Globes), she makes movies about real people and creates the few American comedies that can play worldwide.”
Introducing presenter Steve Martin, host Adam DeVine said, “These are the makings of a renaissance man and a true comedy hero of mine.”
Presenting the One-Hour TV award with Kabir Akhtar, Santino Fontana said: “It doesn’t matter how good an actor is — an editor can always make us better. I can just say random words in any order, and I know they’ll come together in the edit! You’re welcome.”
“Outsiders never really understand what editors do, as if our job was to cut out the bad stuff,” Carol Littleton said in accepting her Lifetime Acthievement Award. “Yes, that’s partially true. Do what the director dictates. Yes, partially true. But I’ll let you know a little secret: I feel incapable of doing a film when I first start. ‘One day at a time’ becomes my mantra. I’m certain of one thing: We have the best job in film. We take everyone’s contributions, their special talent, and combine them, as if by alchemy. … Movies matter. Directors matter. The cut matters. Choose wisely. I’ve had a life full of magic.”
Kasdan presented Carol Littleton, who has cut 37 films, with her ACE career honor. Her husband, John Bailey, was one of the guild’s inaugural career honorees last year. “For one household, that’s a f*ck of a lot of achievement,” Kasdan said.
Talking about 1981’s Body Heat, Kasdan said: “It was so sexually explicit the producer didn’t even want his name on it. The name he was protecting was ‘Lucasfilm.’ Go figure. I really wanted a woman’s perspective on this sexual material, so I went looking for my own Anne Coat. when this young woman read the script, the first thing she told me was how funny she thought it was. It was love at first reaction. She had a lot more to say, but I was already sold. Now it’s 36 years later and she’s still the one. We’ve done nine movies together, aside from my wife I’ve spent more time with her than any woman in the world.
“My kids grew up in the cutting room and thought she was related to us. They were right. To be locked in a room with someone like that, you need to admire everything about them. With Carol, that’s easy. She’s fascinated by the contradictions of the human heart and wants to make her cuts reflect that unpredictability. She helped me see the difference between the movie I thought I shot and the one I actually shot.
“She’s not infallible, but Carol is fiercely loyal to her director, even when she knows her director is full of shit. I admired her generosity to every person and animal that crosses her path. … She let cats creep around the cutting room. … One day, Carol and I were having a dispute — I think it was about whether cattle have intercourse during a stampede. Did the argument get heated? Yes. Did I raise my voice toward her? Possibly. All of a sudden her cat leaps onto my head and sinks all her claws into my scalp. … We got past that! I let it go! I’ll tell you why. Because I’ve never met an artist with more heart or more humanity. Ive never met a better person than Carol Littleton.
Adam DeVine, introducing presenter Lawrence Kasdan of Star Wars uber-fame:
If there’s such thing as hollywood royalty, this man is a king. There are too many great friends to list—nerds and non nerds have been loving his work for decades and even if he isn’t a real king, I’m still bowing down to his greatness.”
Brian A. Kates picked up the Miniseries/Movie Award for HBO’s Bessie. “Thanks, ACE, for honoring two queer artists of color this year,” he said.
Accepting his Lifetime Career Achievement Award, only the second year the guild has presented it, Ted Rich said: “I brought my paper! I brought my paper. … My eyes aren’t good. I was blessed with a wonderful career working with many talented people, many of whom became friends over the years. It was a great time to be in the television business.” He left the stage to a standing ovation.
Phillip Neel presented the night’s first career honor, to Ted Rich. “I met Ted Rich many years ago while working at CBS. One of the perks of my job was to hassle the heads of postproduction around town for their shows. Ted didn’t need any hassling since he ran a tight ship and got his shows out early. Ted was a nice guy, and he invited me over for an interview. Within seconds I knew I liked him. Like me he was hair-challenged, he wore barefoot gear, we talked for 10 seconds. … He surprised me with a question. He said, ‘Phil, how would you like to work on a new show here called Lou Grant?’” He told me, “Oh hell. You can do it. Anybody can do it.” That’s how Ted was. from that one impulsive gesture, he started my career, just like the careers of many in this room. This says a lot about his character and his respect for those above and below him. At Lorimar, he was smart enough to see where the industry was headed and introduced a new nonlinear editing system: the avid.”
Said Hunter Gross, accepting the nonscripted series Eddie for CNN’s Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown: “Sometimes doing this job –I know a lot of editors who wish they could be nominated for this, and not for lack of effort or skill, sometimes you just need to get lucky. I’m very lucky with this show.”
Chris King accepted the documentary feature award for Amy: “Cutting Amy was a bit of an unusual filmmaking experience. We had no rushes, we had a couple of interviews, and the cutting room looked more like a cold-case detective’s office than an editing bay. It’s a sad and dark, tragic story, a bit of a dark mood prevailed, so I wanted to thank my wife and children more than anyone for putting up with me for the six months of the edit. Every day there was excitement that even though the story was troubling and miserable, there was also a beauty to it.”
Accepting the TV documentary award for The Jinx, Richard Hankin said, “I think we’ve all been lucky to work with mentors sharing everything they know about the craft, and thats what we love about the doc community.”
Presenting the awards for documentary feature and TV, Adam McKay said, “If you are a fan of magic, you should watch a documentary get edited. These people take thousands of hours of raw footage and create a story where there was none beforehand.”
“This one’s for the Fighting Pickles,” student award winner Chris Dold said.
Other gems from the host: “I’ve been in the edit bay for a week one time — I gained 38 pounds. It was all neck fat. Very jowly.” “Many kids grew up idolizing movie stars or politicians — not me. I’ve been a ‘cut nut’ since Day 1. It’s true. I was so obsessed with editing from a very early age. (DeVine showed an obviously Photoshopped pic of himself with Thelma Schoonmaker.) She took me out for froyo one time. She was a sweetheart.”
He added: “I would like to thank the editors for making us appear funnier, more talented than we really are. You often understand our performances better than we do, and your work gives them power. Without editors, many actors, definitely myself, would just talk and talk and talk, ruining the scene.”
The show began with clips from the various nominees,which drew rapturous applause. Said ACE President Alan Heim, “I was listening backstage—a very lively crowd, I like that.” He noted that the University of North Carolina swept the Student Editing Competition nominations, a first. Hine handed off to host Adam DeVine, who drew laughs with a few zingers. “Fireworks! Explosions! Hit it!” he said. “We were supposed to have explosions. but we’ll put it in in post.”