What Do These Films All Have in Common?
They were all edited by women.
Women were the original film editors in Hollywood and they propelled the craft from the Silent Era into the Sound Era and beyond.
Margaret Booth was a “negative cutter” on her first film for D.W. Griffith in 1915 at the age of 27. “Negative cutters” often transitioned into film editors and the majority of them were women at the time. She made $10 per week in 1915 which translates into $240 U.S. dollars per week in 2017.
Along with other women, she helped change the role of the film editor forever. Margaret contributed in making it the creative, collaborative and critical element of filmmaking that it is today.
Later, as the supervising editor at MGM, every film had to pass through her screening room and get notes and adjustments from her before it was released.
She was a film editor for over 70 years and received an Academy Honorary Award for her contributions to film editing in 1978. The last film she worked on as supervising editor was ANNIE (1982).
She passed away at 104 and left a tremendous impact on the filmmaking world.
Read about Margaret’s legacy and other early editors that were women HERE.
My favorite films cover many genres and several filmmaking eras.
Why are all the editors women in the films I chose?
Is it just a coincidence? Perhaps.
Did I cherry pick the films to get this result? No.
Am I tuned into my feminine side? I like to think so!
It must be because of what I’ve heard from “intelligent” filmmakers in Hollywood. Classic cliches such as: Women are more emotional, hence better editors. Women can’t cut action films. Women are more organized so it’s easy for them. Women can’t handle vulgar and explicit content.
Nope. All of that is utter bullshit.
Every film editor is a storyteller. No one can tell if a man or a woman edited a film just by watching it. They can only tell if the editor told the story in a thoughtful and elegant way that evoked the right emotions at the right times from the audience.
End of story.
So why are most of my favorite films edited by women?
Because they all knew how to tell a story in a brilliant way…
Do any similar patterns pop up in some of your favorite films? Let me know…
Until next time…