Q4 2019

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39 F A L L Q 4 I S S U E P E R S O N A L H I S T O R Y Let's just say I have bought John a lot of dinners over the years. "Two Lovers" gave me insight into the A-team of filmmaking that was John, Tom and James. They were the most passionate, intense and kind people. Being new to editing, they all took me under their wings to teach me the ropes of filmmaking. Tom was an open book and would answer any and all of my questions with kindness and ease. John, being the great mentor he is, also gave me my first big opportunity: I could try and cut some scenes on my own and he would give feedback so I could hone my editing capabilities and style. Once I finished my dailies work, I would eagerly cut any scenes that were available and It's Not Just Luck W h e n s t a r t i n g m y c a r e e r i n f ilm and television, I of ten received the advice that to advance in this industry, you need a lot of luck. But in my experience, what I needed wasn't doors magically opening for me; it was the good fortune of meeting valuable mentors at critical points in my career. My journey started like many others'. I moved from my hometown in Wisconsin to LA to pursue my passion of film edit- ing. I was determined to break into the industry. After spending my first year working in reality TV, I decided it was time to go after my dreams. On a podcast, I had heard about a respected editor, John Axelrad, and de- cided to put myself out there. I contacted him to see if he would have time to meet for a chat about film. I had no agenda other than to meet John and see if he had any advice. To my surprise, he called back and offered to interview me for an apprentice position on a film he was starting the following week. I jumped at the opportu- nity and met with John and his assistant at the time, Tom Cross. They were just about to start work on James Gray's "Two Lovers." John is from Chicago, so of course we started off by talking about the Packers and Bears. To this day, we have an ongoing bet whenever the two teams play that the winner buys the loser dinner. By Lee Haugen would show them to John and Tom. I still use the feedback I received during those early learning moments when making edit decisions today. The most invaluable lesson from "Two Lovers" occurred once James came in for the director's cut. John asked me if I wanted to sit in during their edit. That opportunity gave me the greatest access to see the interworking of an editor-di- rector relationship. Not only did I get to see the technical side of John making edits, I heard the thought process be- tween the two of them on why they made the edits. It was the pivotal moment of my career. After "Two Lovers," I went on to be an assistant editor on various projects in FINDING MENTORS MATTERS MORE THAN GOOD FORTUNE Lee Haugen (left) worked with John Axelrad on 'Ad Astra.' P H O T O : E D D Y G A R C I A Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. — Seneca

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