Q3 2018

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25 Q3 2018 / CINEMONTAGE by Peter Tonguette A s a youth in Dublin, Ireland, Clare Knight (née De Chenu), ACE, had a decidedly artistic bent. The daughter of a stage actor-turned-architect and a schoolteacher, she dreamt of becoming an artist. She won numerous art competitions, including the world-famous Texaco Children's Art Competition. For her prize, the child was given her pick: Would it be money or a life-size toy panda? "I chose the panda because the Irish Zoo had no panda," Knight relates. "In Ireland, we didn't have pandas, or even see pandas, so they were very unusual. And my father said to me, 'When you didn't choose the money, I knew you were going to go into something creative.'" Her dad was on to something: Upon graduation from Saint Martin's School of Art in London, where she studied film, Knight entered the British motion picture industry, first working on live-action projects before turning to animation post-production. As an animation editor in Hollywood, she has worked on several of the best-remembered animated features of the past 15 years, including Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002) and Madagascar (2005). And just as significantly, Knight's youthful enthusiasm for pandas anticipated one of her career milestones: her solo editing of the three-film Kung Fu Panda series (2008, 2011, 2016), produced by DreamWorks Animation and released by Paramount Pictures. In the China-set, talking-animal trilogy, Jack Black lent his verbal talents to a kung fu- besotted panda named Po. Dustin Hoffman voiced Po's mentor Master Shifu, a red panda, and the voice cast also included Angelina Jolie (Master Tigress) and Lucy Liu (Master Viper). Not lost on the editor is the link between her prize as a child and the acclaim she won as an adult for her panda-centric films. "Cut forward from this Irish girl from Dublin coming all the way over to work at DreamWorks," Knight reflects. "A lot of things happened for me that connected me back to Ireland, back to my family, back to things that my MY MOST MEMORABLE FILM Clare Knight on 'Kung Fu Panda' Clare Knight. Photo by Marcus Taylor. Kung Fu Panda. DreamWorks Animation

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