Ep. 20 – The Power of Persistence and Social Skills, and the Editing of “Mare of Easttown” with editor Amy Duddleston, ACE

July 26, 2021

Amy Duddleston, ACE has over 30 years of experience in feature and television picture editing and most recently received two Emmy nominations for her work on HBO’s Mare of Easttown. Starting out as an apprentice editor, she made her way up to assistant editor working on films like My Own Private IdahoCorrina, Corrina, and To Die For. As an editor, she has cut 20 features, including High ArtLaurel CanyonElegy, and Gus Van Sant’s remake of Psycho, as well as nearly 80 hours of television on series such as DexterThe KillingVidaHunters, and most recently, Mare of Easttown.

In episode 20, Amy and I talk about the role persistence plays in launching and maintaining an editing career. It’s no mystery that it can be challenging to break in to this industry, but if we believe it’s possible, immersive ourselves in our goals, tune out any external distractions and stick with it, we will achieve our dreams. Amy also points out how 80% of success in this industry is having good communication and a positive attitude. While she has always been good at her job, it’s these social skills that have opened up opportunities for her.

Amy and I also discuss how she got jobs when she first landed in LA by cold calling, the importance of finding a mentor, the difference between working in film and scripted television editorial, how saving money and managing our finances can help us with our editing career, tips for cutting dark or disturbing scenes, and of course we’ll talk about Amy’s experience editing Mare of Easttown and she’ll also share her biggest piece of advice for those trying to break in to film and scripted television editing in Hollywood. 

A lot of the advice Amy shares are things I applied on my own journey to Hollywood and I can tell you from experience…it works! Amy’s been doing this for over 30 years so she knows a thing or two about this industry. Definitely pay attention and take plenty of notes…there’s tons of great information in this one!

We also dive into the following topics in episode 20:

  • How reading an article in college about legendary editor Dede Allen inspired Amy to become an editor
  • Amy’s first film intership in the editorial department of Revenge of the Nerds
  • Working harder to prove yourself as a female editor in Hollywood
  • Working from home and collaborating with directors and producers
  • Amy’s first big break as an apprentice editor and assistant editor
  • Being mentored by editor Curtiss Clayton (My Own Private Idaho)
  • The importance of putting yourself out there and telling people what your goals are
  • Why Amy went from editing feature films to scripted television shows
  • What Amy really liked about editing scripted television shows
  • How the 2008 financial crisis had an effect on Amy’s editing career
  • Getting the job on HBO’s Mare of Easttown
  • The experience of editing Mare of Easttown after the pandemic hit in March 2020
  • Amy taking over the editing of all the episodes of Mare of Easttown when the other editor got fired
  • How Amy got her friend, Naomi Filloramo, to help her with cutting dailies on Mare of Easttown and eventually got to share one Emmy nomination with her
  • Exploring Mare’s (played by Kate Winslet) personal journey of self-growth in the edit
  • Incorporating humor into Mare of Easttown
  • Amy explains the mystery behind the “Dog of Easttown”
  • The benefit of taking a step back in your career

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