By Anthony Nadeau
It wasn’t so long ago that Paul Winestock, C.C.E., and Paul Day, C.C.E., were studying film in Toronto. Winestock studied Theory at Queens University and Day learned Production at Humber College. Both began their careers assistant editing in film and television, and soon moved up the ranks to become full-fledged editors. Combined, their roster of TV projects includes the series Rookie Blue, Lost Girl (2010), King (2011), The Border (2009-2010), Little Mosque on the Prairie, The 4400, Less Than Kind (2008) and Dead Like Me (2003-2004), among others.
Working in an editing suite, Winestock and Day decided to collaborate on a project of another kind—starting the Canadian Cinema Editors. Winestock shares that the Canadian Cinema Editors (C.C.E.) was formed due to the fact “even the most veteran editors’ opinions were being ignored on both logistical and creative levels. Producers and directors with little experience were running roughshod over some of the finest editors we knew. Paul Day and I saw the need to elevate the perception of editing across Canada. Feeling that the assistant editor was missing out on some of the education of what editing entails, a producer/director might mistake an editor as a button pusher instead of creative storyteller and problem solver.”
Winestock and Day assumed the roles of C.C.E. President and Vice President, respectively. Speaking on the nascent stage of the organization, Day recalls, “Paul Winestock was, at the time, Editor Caucus Rep on the Directors Guild of Canada—Ontario, and we asked [the DGC] if they would support creating an association that would emulate ACE in the U.S., and CSC [Canadian Society of Cinematographers] in Canada. He wanted to take elements of both organizations and build something that could work for the editing community in Canada.” It had to be online to help save costs of rental/leasing space and to help the communications from Vancouver to Toronto, and hopefully, other parts in the near future such as Montreal and the Maritimes. They situated everything online: the articles, membership applications, and announcements. They have no staff—everyone working on the C.C.E. is working editors and assistants and so much of the process had to be automated or made easy to manage from the website.
Nearly four years on, they have succeeded greatly. With nearly 150 members representing some of the country’s finest editors in documentary, drama and comedy, the C.C.E. is now garnering strong interest from animation and reality editors. Their events include: panel discussions (e.g. sound editing and its relationship with picture editing; or post supervisors discussing their various approaches); Q&A Screenings (e.g. District 9, followed by a Q&A with Vancouver editor Julian Clarke, C.C.E., A.C.E.); the C.C.E. Annual General Meeting for members to discuss bylaws and vote (not too dissimilar from their ACE counterparts); and pub nights where about 80 people come out to socialize and see people beyond the confines of the dark edit room.
Their largest event is the Annual C.C.E. Awards. Their first awards show was held in May of 2011. This event grew from a humble idea of holding the awards show in a pub, to having 175 people attend and dine at the Capital Event Theatre, a renovated art deco theatre in Toronto, Ontario, with celebrities and sponsors handing out awards. Legendary American director George Romero was even on hand. In addition, a lot of great assistant editors, editors, producers and directors helped dish out the awards. The gala was considered a great success—great food, great atmosphere—and the guys anticipate an even larger turnout for the 2nd Annual C.C.E. Awards Show on May 17, 2012. Winestock and Day expect roughly 250 people to attend this time. What is most important is that, for a night, the spotlight shines on the craft of editing and some very talented people who sit in the trenches largely unnoticed by most in the industry.
Paul Day relays, “Bit by bit the C.C.E. is making its way into the industry. I’ve said from day one that we need to attain credibility—credibility in the form of support from the industry. The Directors Guild of Canada, The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, ACTRA (Canada’s actors union), the Canadian Society of Cinematographers and so many others have recognized the C.C.E. Many of these organizations and many, many individuals have given their advice and time to help support the Canadian Cinema Editors. I attended the first year of ACE’s EditFest where I met Jenni McCormick who runs the ACE office. She has been a great resource for periodic questions.”
“Our associate membership is very strong; I would even say the backbone of the C.C.E.,” continues Paul. “All the fresh young faces that come out to our events or pub nights are a real motivation to me. When I started out, meeting editors was like looking for the needle in a haystack. With our gatherings, people quickly learned that most, if not all the editors and assistants, were quite approachable and downright fun and forthcoming with their knowledge base. I myself have had at least 20 to 25 people visit my cutting room and just watch. It’s an opportunity for them to make sure this is what they want to do. I hold true to an open-door policy and ask that whoever visits extends the same courtesy in 10 or 15 years when someone contacts them for advice and a chance to visit.”
The mission of the C.C.E. is to elevate editing in Canada to the place it is in the U.S., England, France, Australia, and so many other parts of the world—to be recognized as a premiere place for storytelling in post-production, and not as a place where buttons are merely pressed. With editors still trying to claw their way into the minds of the media in Canada, but without a single full-time (or part-time!) staffer, it is difficult for the C.C.E. to find the time to chase connections. But the industry has been very supportive. Be it not for the DGC-Ontario, the C.C.E. would not exist today, and the CSC immediately provided spiritual support and their fantastic advice. Post facilities were immediately supportive, and as more of the facilities learn about the group, more people are curious about the events and awards. People within the industry are starting to take note of the C.C.E., and hopefully are finding the ears of producers and directors and other interested people who wish to learn about the craft of editing.
2011 1st Annual C.C.E. Awards:
Best Editing in Feature Length Dramatic
Michele Conroy, C.C.E. – Splice
Best Editing in Movie of the Week or Mini-series
Mike Lee, C.C.E. – Keep Your Head Up, Kid: The Don Cherry Story
Best Editing in One hour Broadcast Long Form Dramatic
Lisa Grootenboer, C.C.E. – The Tudors, Episode 405 “Bottom of the Pot”
Best Editing in Half-hour Broadcast Short Form Dramatic
David B. Thompson, C.C.E. – Living in Your Car, “Episode 101”
Best Editing in Documentary
Nick Hector, C.C.E. – Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie
Best Editing in Lifestyle/Reality TV
Jay Prychidny & Jeff Reynolds – Canada’s Next Top Model, Episode 308 “Rockin’ the Runway”
Best Editing in Animation
Annellie Samuel – Producing Parker, Episode 120 “How Green Is My Parker”
Best Editing in Short Film
Roderick Deogrades – The Day I Thought I Died
Student Merit Awards
Deborah Gurofsky (Queens University) – We Make Machines
Lauren Horn (Sheridan College) – Two Cities
Cameron Nixdorf (York University) – Sasha
Ernesto Sosa Lopez (York University) – Kilometres