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BLOG: An evening with a Hollywood editor

Zafar Anjum | July 26, 2013
LA-based Emmy Award winning editor Kris Trexler has some great advice on using editing software for videos.

Kris Trexler

Yesterday, I spent nearly two hours in the company of a veteran Hollywood video editor.

His name is Kris Trexler and he is an Emmy Award winning editor. Los Angeles-based Trexler has been nominated for the Emmy's five times in his 30-year career. Twice he has won it. He has worked on hit TV shows in the US, such as In Living Color, Ellen, Titus, According to Jim, and Rita Rocks. He has also edited some music videos of Michael Jackson and Tina Turner and has worked on the taped segments of the Academy Awards.

Most recently, Trexler has been editing the hit Disney dance and comedy show, Shake It Up. After three successful seasons, the show is folding up and Trexler has been hired to edit another hot TV show in Hollywood. His new work starts from next month.

Trexler was addressing some local video editors in the Singapore Media Academy (SMA) in a talent forum yesterday. He is a regular visitor to Singapore and he conducts an editing master class here once a year. He also taught editing at Nanyang Polytechnic a couple of years back and loves Singapore as a city.

Trexler is a self-taught editor. He did not go to any film school. He learnt all the tricks of the editing trade on the job.

Trexler started out in his editing career at a time when digital editing was just taking birth. There was a demand for technicians who could learn to edit films (video) on computers and Trexler jumped into the fray. He became one of the pioneers of computerised video editing, using the revolutionary CMX system to edit "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons", top rated CBS network comedies in the late 1970s.

Ever since, he has been constantly employed. He works for eight months and then takes a four month break. It is during the breaks that he conducts his editing classes.

Video literacy and editing

Today, video is ubiquitous (thanks to smartphones and YouTube and Facebook) and there are plenty of awfully edited videos on the Internet, he said. If people could learn the basics of editing, they could really improve their home videos.

I call this need video literacy. Today we live in the world of videos-from surveillance footage to our casual videos taken through our iPhones and iPads. They all end up somewhere on the Internet. Like we learnt how to read and write in school, how to use syntax and grammar, the same kind of literacy is required to handle the language of video.

In the SMA forum, most of the discussion centred on editing software.


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