'Arrival,' 'La La Land' Top American Cinema Editors Eddie Awards

Arrival editor Joe Walker and La La Land editor Tom Cross won top honors at  American Cinema Editors’ 67th annual Eddie Awards, Friday night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Arrival won the category for best edited dramatic feature and La La Land for best edited comedy feature.

Both editors are nominated for the Oscar in film editing, along with John Gilbert for Hacksaw Ridge, Jake Roberts for Hell or High Water, and Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon for Moonlight. All were also nominated by ACE.

In 11 of the last 15 years, the winner of the Eddie for dramatic feature has gone on to win the Academy Award in film editing. In 2003, the Oscar for film editing was awarded to the musical Chicago, which won the Eddie that year for the category then-known as best edited feature, comedy or musical.

Tonight marked the first Eddie win for Walker and Cross, who are previous Eddie and Academy Award nominees. Cross won the Oscar in 2015 for La La Land director Damien Chazelle's prior film, Whiplash.

Also during Friday ceremony, the editors of Zootopia, Fabienne Rawley and Jeremy Milton, won the Eddie for an animated feature, and Bret Granato, Maya Mumma and Ben Sozanski’s work on O.J. Made in America earned the Eddie in the feature documentary category.

Winners in the TV categories including the editors of Veep, Game of Thrones, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, This is Us and TV doc Everything is Copy. And last year’s Career Achievement honoree, Carol Littleton, collected an Eddie for All the Way in the category for a miniseries or motion picture for television.

During the evening, J.J. Abrams received the ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year award, which was presented by Jeff Garlin.

“I wrote tonight’s speech without the help of an editor, so it will be long and rambling and repetitive,” Abrams joked, thanking some of the “greatest artists,’ the editors, for the work that they do “at that last unforgivable stage in the creative process.” He noted that as a writer or director, he knows there are next-steps to improving the film, “but as editors you are f—ed. There’s no magical next step. … The artist has to perform a a magic trick [with only the footage that they are provided].”

Martin Scorsese presented a Career Achievement Award to his longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker. “I love the editing process the most,” he said, saying it’s “spending time with Thelma. … Ultimately it’s about trust and her fierceness to fight for the truth in the film.”

Accepting the award, the pair hugged and Schoonmaker said, “the award belongs to Marty as much as to me. … To receive footage that has been shot with editing in mind, it is a blessing.”

Thomas Schlamme presented the second Career Achievement Award to Janet Ashikaga, whose ediitng credits include The West Wing, Sports Night and Seinfeld.

Lori Jane Coleman, Diana Friedberg and William Gordean, received Heritage Award for their work in creating and building the ACE Internship Program. And Arrival director Denis Villeneuve presented the Student Award to Tommy Wakefield of the University of North Carolina’s School of the Arts.

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‘La La Land,’ ‘Arrival,’ ‘This Is Us’ Win ACE Eddie Awards for Film Editing

Fresh off a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations this week, Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” walked away with the American Cinema Editors’ award for best editing of a comedy feature Friday night at the 67th annual ACE Eddie Awards. It’s the first of what is expected to be many industry honors for the musical over the next several weeks.

The prize went to editor Tom Cross, an Oscar winner and ACE nominee for Chazelle’s previous film, “Whiplash.”

In the highly competitive drama category, editor Joe Walker won out for Denis Villeneuve’s alien invasion psychodrama “Arrival.” Walker was previously ACE-nominated for “12 Years a Slave” and “Sicaro,” and along with Cross, was Oscar-nominated this year for his work.

“Zootopia” won the animated feature prize, while “O.J.: Made in America” took the documentary honor.

In the TV categories, “Game of Thrones,” “Veep” and “This Is Us” were among the series that secured wins.

Previously announced, director J.J. Abrams received the organizations ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year honor, presented to him by friend and collaborator Jeff Garlin. Career achievement awards went to editors Janet Ashikaga and Thelma Schoonmaker, presented respectively by directors Thomas Schlamme and Martin Scorsese.

This year’s Oscar nominees for film editing are “Arrival,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Hell or High Water,” “La La Land” and “Moonlight,” all ACE-nominated. Last year’s film editing Oscar winner was “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

Full list of ACE Eddie winners below.

Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic)
“Arrival” (Joe Walker, ACE)

Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy)
“La La Land” (Tom Cross, ACE)

Best Edited Animated Feature Film
“Zootopia” (Fabienne Rawley & Jeremy Milton)

Best Edited Documentary (Feature)
“O.J.: Made in America” (Bret Granato, Maya Mumma & Ben Sozanski)

Best Edited Documentary (Television)
“Everything is Copy: Nora Ephron – Scripted & Unscriped” (Bob Eisenhardt, ACE)

Best Edited Half-Hour Series for Television
“Veep” — “Morning After” (Steven Rasch, ACE)

Best Edited One-Hour Series for Commercial Television
“This Is Us” — “Pilot” (David L. Bertman, ACE)

Best Edited One-Hour Series for Non-Commercial Television
“Game of Thrones” — “Battle of the Bastards” (Tim Porter, ACE)

Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture for Television
“All the Way” (Carol Littleton, ACE)

Best Edited Non-Scripted Series
“Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” — “Senegal” (Mustafa Bhagat)

Student Competition
Tommy Wakefield — University of North Carolina, School of the Arts

ACE Eddies 2017: ‘Arrival,’ ‘La La Land,’ ‘Zootopia’ Win Editing Awards

Denis Villeneuve’s time-bending “Arrival,” Damien Chazelle’s musical love letter, “La La Land,” and Disney’s zeitgeist-grabbing “Zootopia” took editing honors in drama, comedy, and animation at the 67th ACE Eddie Awards Friday at the Beverly Hilton.

“O.J.: Made in America” (edited by Bret Granato, Maya Mumma & Ben Sozanski), meanwhile, won for best documentary. It’s considered the frontrunner for the Documentary Oscar.

TV winners included “Veep: Morning After” (edited by Steven Rasch, ACE) for Best Edited Half-Hour Series for Television, “This is Us:Pilot” (edited by David L. Bertman, ACE) for Best Edited One-Hour Series for Commercial television, “Game of Thrones: Battle of the Bastards”(edited by Tim Porter, ACE) for Best Edited One-Hour Series for Non-Commercial Television, “All The Way” (edited by Carol Littleton, ACE) for Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture for Television, and “Anthony Bourdain – Parts Unknown: Seneghal” (edited by Mustafa Bhagat) for Best Edited Non-Scripted Series and “Everything is Copy – Nora Ephron: Scripted & Unscripted” (edited by Bob Eisenhardt, ACE) In the Best Edited Documentary (Television) category.

In terms of Oscar, this now heats up the editing race between “La La Land’s” Tom Cross (previous winner for Chazelle’s “Whiplash”) and “Arrival’s” Joe Walker.

For Cross, “La La Land” continued the use of alternating rhythms — only more musical, as the romance between Ryan Gosling’s struggling jazz pianist and Emma Stone’s aspiring actress transpires throughout the four seasons. “For Damien, it’s slow during courtship and with an emphasis on round angles, like Vincente Minnelli movies,” Cross told IndieWire. “But in addition, he also wanted to editorially express the fever pitch of being in love.”

For Walker, the non-linear sci-fi thriller about mixing up time and memory to unite humanity was a tricky narrative challenge. “We had the option of interspersing flashbacks in any order in the most elegant and poetic way,” Walker told IndieWire.

Other highlights of the show (hosted by “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Rachel Bloom, in top, zany form) included J.J. Abrams getting the ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year (presented by friend and collaborator Jeff Garlin); and three-time Oscar winner Thelma Schoonmaker and Janet Ashikaga (“The West Wing”) receiving Career Achievement recognition from directors Martin Scorsese and Thomas Schlamme (“The West Wing”).

Abrams, who paid homage to editors (“There’s no magical next step”), recounted a hilarious story of his father (producer Gerald Abrams) taking him as a youngster to a test screening of John Carpenter’s “Escape From New York,” and how the two of them offered editorial suggestions that — to his astonishment — made it into the final cut.

And Scorsese described the special bond he’s had with Schoonmaker since meeting at NYU: He enjoys editing the most, has tried in vain to describe their collaboration, and, finally, “It’s nobody’s business.”

Saturday night brings the Producers Guild Awards.

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