Ep. 11 – ‘Cutting It’ in the Music Industry with editor Mari Keiko Gonzalez

November 23, 2020

Mari Keiko Gonzalez is an award-winning editor whose extensive list of credits include: The Weeknd’s show open performance for the 2020 MTV Video Music AwardsJimmy Carter: Rock and Roll President, which was slated as the opening night film at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival; Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur, NWA, Stevie Nicks and The Cure’s induction films for HBO’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony; ABC’s Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?Tony Bennett Celebrates 90, which won the 2018 Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album; and she is currently editing a documentary about the making of Tom Petty’s ’94 album Wildflowers.

Mari also produced, directed and edited the documentary, The Music Never Ends about The Mambo Legends Orchestra, formerly known as The Tito Puente Orchestra.

In episode 11, Mari and I talk about her experiences while working at Sony Music, her process behind editing multi-camera concerts and documentaries, working closely with sound mixers and directors, the evolution of the music industry and it’s impact on editing jobs, and the benefits of adopting a health and fitness routine. 

Other topics of discussion include:

  • Being exposed to the arts while growing up in New York City
  • How working at a bar in NYC led Mari to start her career in editing
  • Getting interested in editing while working as a receptionist at a film distribution company
  • How Mari started her longstanding career at Sony Music
  • Why Sony Music kept hiring her
  • Cutting internal presentations for Sony Music made her better at editing music
  • Being one of the few female editors in town in the earlier part of her career
  • Moving from internal presentations to multi-camera concert series 
  • Being surrounded by artists such as Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Tony Bennet, Snoop Dog and many more
  • Her process of working with artists on editing sessions
  • Learning to play piano, flute, and drums 
  • Mari’s experience editing comedy and sports
  • Working with her assistant on documentary projects
  • The importance of mentorship and some of Mari’s mentors
  • What Mari looks for in a potential hire
  • Why we need to adapt to new technology and other methods of storytelling
  • Mari’s advice for anyone wanting to start an editing career

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