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PPW Keynoters on the Editing Edge

(click thumbnail)Steven RosenblumThe Post|Production World Conference weekend sessions at NAB2007 will offer a number of sessions beginning Friday, April 13, and ranging from certification workshops on both Avid Xpress Pro and Apple Final Cut Pro to an in-depth seminar on Advanced Motion Graphics and Visual FX.

In addition to the sessions, Saturday and Sunday will be highlighted by two keynote addresses from editors whose careers put them on the leading edge of today’s post-production stars.

On Saturday, at 10:30 a.m., Steven Rosenblum, A.C.E., will discuss his experience editing Edward Zwick’s movie “Blood Diamond” for which he earned an Oscar nomination. This achievement follows his other Academy Award nominations for 1995’s “Braveheart” and 1989’s “Glory” as well as winning an Emmy Award for his work on the TV series “thirtysomething”.

“As both a strong message movie and mainstream Hollywood entertainment at the same time, ‘Blood Diamond’ provided the challenge of intercontinental editing,” Rosenblum said. “While I was cutting on my Avid Media Composer systems in Santa Monica, Calif., I would stream the results to director Zwick in South Africa for his feedback. We used the capabilities of this collaborative workflow to the maximum.”

(click thumbnail)James ThomasCutting “Blood Diamond” was the first time Rosenblum had not worked on a film with Zwick in the edit bay.

“We have worked together since we met at the American Film Institute back in the ‘70s so by now we are on the same wavelength. In fact, I usually just tell stupid jokes while Ed kicks back and takes a well-deserved break.”

But the main reason Rosenblum thinks people should come to his session is that he is a walking example of a person who made a successful career in film without any contacts to give him a start.

“If I can do it, anyone can,” he said. “But with the way the movie industry is changing, the role of the editor is becoming more important than ever before. The studios have come to realize that good editors are essential to a film’s success and the film editor is getting increased recognition as a key component of the collaborative process.”

The keynote speaker for the 10:30 a.m. session on Sunday will be James Thomas, editor of this year’s mockumentary comedy hit, “Borat, Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.”

Londoner James Thomas got his start editing commercials and music videos for artists including Sting, U2, and Prince in the late ‘80s before moving over to series television. There he honed his pacing on “Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends,” “Red Dwarf,” “The Day Today” and other British comedies before landing the job editing “The 11 O’Clock Show,” which kicked off a nine-year collaboration with writer/producer/actor Sacha Baron Cohen, the star of “Borat.”

Editor Thomas will share experiences from inside the “Borat” cutting room handling the challenge of a genre where there are no second takes. Along the way, Thomas will reveal the way the editing team on “Borat” applied techniques from both worlds, showing and discussing key clips from the film along with some takes that didn’t make it. He will also discuss his current work cutting “Flight of The Conchords,” directed by James Bobin for HBO.

Both weekend days will be topped off by special events. On Saturday evening, attendees of the Post|Production World Conference can purchase tickets to The NAB Content Creator’s Party at ESPN Zone in the New York, New York Hotel and Casino, voted Vegas’s best sports bar. The Sunday sessions will finish with the Digital Cinema Summit Reception.