Ep. 09 – Starting a Career in Hollywood as a Foreigner with editor Sasha Dylan Bell

October 26, 2020

Sasha Dylan Bell moved from Australia to LA a couple of years ago and through a lot of hard work and perseverance was able achieve his goal of editing feature films and scripted TV shows in Hollywood.  He’s joining me today to share advice not only on how to prepare for making such a big move to the US from another country, but also the things one can do after landing in LA that can help build a network in order to obtain editing opportunities.

He’ll also share his thoughts on the importance of building confidence, seeking creativity outside the cutting room, and how to manage the emotional rollercoaster we often go through when trying to find editing work. 

​In addition to hundreds of series episodes & short form projects, Bell has edited the feature drama Face To Face, directed by Michael Rymer (American Horror Story). Currently he is editing on the drama series David Makes Man, by oscar-winning creator, Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight).

Find out more about Sasha’s work at https://www.sashadylanbell.com and https://sashadylanbellphoto.com

In episode 9, Sasha and I touch on the following topics:

  • Growing up in Australia and working as a music video director
  • Making the move to editing feature films in Australia
  • How Sasha got to travel to LA to work on Australian productions
  • Learning how to be better at networking
  • Sasha’s approach to networking and belief in building genuine relationships
  • How Sasha got the editing gig on his second feature
  • Finding consistent work in LA
  • Why it’s important to not talk only about work at networking events
  • What makes a good editor and how producers chose to hire for that position
  • Why Sasha hired me to be his assistant on a feature film
  • Having a successful career in Australia, but left with a desire to work in film
  • The moment Sasha decided to move to LA
  • Making the plan to move from Australia to LA
  • From getting visas to shipping his belongings…how Sasha made the move from Melbourne to LA
  • Sasha’s advice for anyone moving from abroad to LA
  • Landing in LA and trying to find an apartment, buy a car, etc when coming from another country
  • Finding out Sasha’s editing experience in Australia didn’t count for Union membership in LA
  • Working on small projects to eventually get bigger opportunities
  • Tips on how to get better at networking and talking to people
  • Sasha’s experience getting into the Union
  • Going through a rollercoaster of emotions when trying to find editing work
  • Going through dry spells of work
  • How everyone in the post production industry starts at the bottom
  • The importance of building confidence
  • Sasha’s stages of editing work after landing in LA
  • Sasha realizing how he needed to make more personal connections
  • How relationships take time to develop
  • Sasha’s experience on David Makes Man and how he got the gig
  • Interviewing to be an editor on David Makes Man
  • How Sasha got through working on a challenging project with a heavy workload
  • Seeking creativity outside of the cutting room
  • Sasha’s need to connect with his creative side

Original Music: “Apollo’s Haze” by Jesusdapnk
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