Do you know of an editor that has won two ACE Eddie Awards in the same night?
That’s Will Znidaric, ACE who’s my guest on episode 23 of the Hollywood Editing Mentor podcast. We have a deep and honest conversation about the psychology of editing and also get some insight into the world of documentaries because Will has worked on some amazing, high profile projects such as the Oscar-winning documentary Winter on Fire, Five Came Back, Jane, Quincy, The Black Godfather, Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez, and Biggie: I’ve Got a Story to Tell. If you’ve watched a documentary in the last couple of years, you’ve very likely seen Will’s work. He’s going to be talking not only about his editing process, but also share his thoughts on how psychology is 50% of the work, and how it can be attributed to finding success in post production and becoming a better editor.
But aside from being an awesome person and talented editor, Will is also very knowledgeable about the post production industry and has a lot of experience. About 5 years ago, he gave me some piece of advice that helped me make a mindset shift with regards to job rejection. For many years, I’d take it personally if I was not given a job opportunity and it created a lot of self doubt for me, which led to me losing motivation and belief in myself and my abilities. I have a story to share about how Will changed my perspective on rejection that will help you next time you miss out on a job you wanted.
Will and I will also be discussing his path from cutting commercials to award-winning documentaries, how it’s okay to take the long road to success in the post production industry, ways you can gain confidence and keep growing as an editor, finding personal growth through pain, the importance of being an optimist as an editor, tips on how you can improve your storytelling skills, why it’s important to take care of your health, and we’ll get some practical advice from Will on how to become a documentary editor.
Will and I also discuss the following topics:
- The connection between cinematography and editing
- Discovering that a job or career is not right for you
- The slow, steady approach from being assistant to becoming an editor
- Starting to build relationships as an assistant editor
- Having a bright, open, helpful attitude will allow you to become a better editor
- How there are no shortcuts to good editing
- The realities of working in editorial
- How Will got first documentary gig on the Oscar-winning documentary Winter on Fire
- The essential skills of being a good editor
- How Will finds the essence of the story in documentaries
- Debunking the myth that unscripted assistants or editors can’t work on scripted projects
- The importance of overcoming shyness, putting yourself out there, and communicating your goals
- Why it’s important to seek new challenges to keep growing as an editor
- The health & wellness aspect of an editing career
- How taking work breaks helps with mental clarity and finding solutions in the edit