Jamie Kennedy, ACE is a television and film editor living in Los Angeles who divides her time between the worlds of comedy and YA coming of age, and that has been a recipe for happiness so far. Hailing from Maine originally, she graduated from Emerson College with a degree in Film and has been living in LA ever since. She’s worked on such projects as Modern Family, On My Block, The Summer I Turned Pretty, and of course Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, for which she won an ACE Eddie Award in the category of “Best Edited Feature Film (Non Theatrical)”. One day she would like to edit “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 3”, if that ever exists.
Avid: What did you enjoy the most about working on Weird: The Al Yankovic Story?
Jamie Kennedy: Working on “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” was a dream come true in every sense of the word. I’ve been a huge Weird Al fan since I was a kid and my partner and I have been to every concert he’s had in LA since I’ve lived here. So to have been able to work on this film, truly I feel as though there’s no where for me to go in my career now, I’ve achieved everything! The crew was amazing, I love collaborating with Eric as a director, I love that it’s an unapologetic feature comedy which I hope is a genre that is getting new life breathed into it these days, and I love that I got to flex every kind of editing muscle during the making of the film because it spans so many different genres and tones! It was just such a blast to work on in every aspect.
Avid: How did you find out about the nomination and what was your reaction?
Jamie Kennedy: I am not too proud to admit that my partner and I were anxiously waiting by my laptop refreshing the “Emmys” site on the morning the nominations were announced—how could I not, I was way too excited! When we were making the film, none of us had any illusions that we were working on an “award winning film”, we were just having fun with a passion project! But when it started to gain awards traction earlier in the year, suddenly the Emmys didn’t seem like too far gone a dream. I was watching the announcement on my laptop when my partner turned his laptop around and said “Guess what: You just got nominated for a freaking Emmy!” And we jumped up and down and danced around the kitchen. It’s truly truly an honor to be considered amongst the STACKED category and stacked year, so I’m just thrilled to relish in it all while I can! I never know if I’ll have an opportunity to again!
Avid: What tools of Media Composer helped you craft this episode?
Jamie Kennedy: Media Composer is my loyal tried and true NLE dating back to college, it has never served me wrong! What I find most helpful about it is its scripting tool, a workflow that I adopted while editing for television and brought over with me onto this feature. I love being able to have all of my takes organized line by line so I can move efficiently in the room with directors and producers when they ask for alt reads or other comedic beats. When you’re collaborating with someone, speed is key so that you can work at the pace of creativity, so I love relying on Avid, a program I know like the back of my hand and that gives so many shortcuts for efficiency to help me work quickly.
Avid: How has knowing Media Composer helped your career?
Jamie Kennedy: I have accidentally maybe already answered this question above!
Avid: Would you recommend editing to someone interested in a career in TV?
Jamie Kennedy: Even though editing is sometimes considered a “below the line” career, I could not disagree more. As an editor you are on the front lines of the creative process with the director and writers on your show—you are there to help problem solve with them, to help make their vision come to fruition, and you do so by imbuing your work with your own sense of creativity and storytelling. Every choice you make is reflected back at you in the finished cut and it means the world to have your fingerprints on a feature or episode of television. Have value in your work because your work has value.