Members Past Events

EditCon 2022

EditCon 2022

EditCon 2022 in Review

"Editing is like a passion ... Discovering a whole new world you are going to be in."
Arthur Tarnowski, ACE

The CCE took the 5th annual EditCon online with two days of amazing panel talks, virtual breakout rooms, and networking for over two hundred attendees from Canada and around the world.

Presented under the theme “Brave New World,” we welcomed editors from the binge-worthy shows TED LASSO, BRIDGERTON and SORT OF, as well as some of this year’s blockbusters SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS, ETERNALS and GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE. Additional panels featured the editors from ALL MY PUNY SORROWS, SCARBOROUGH, DRUNKEN BIRDS and NIGHT RAIDERS (films that were all on the TIFF TOP 10 list!) as well as A CURE FOR A COMMON CLASSROOM and BETRAYAL.

It wouldn’t be EditCon without wrapping up the weekend with a good old-fashioned giveaway, thanks to prize donations from our generous sponsors. Afterwards, attendees mingled in a virtual networking world. 

Missed Attending Live?

Subscribe to our podcasts to be notified about future episodes featuring our EditCon 2022 talks.

Presented in English

Presented in French

2022 Panelists EditCon


"I emotionally react to performances and I try to cut faster with my intuition than my thoughts."
Michelle Szemberg, CCE
Michelle Szemberg, CCE


2021 has seen the film industry bounce back with a ferver hardly seen before. With it has come a wealth of powerful and diverse home grown stories, such as the poignant sibling drama ALL MY PUNY SORROWS; the brilliant and raw SCARBOROUGH; this year’s Canadian Oscar entry DRUNKEN BIRDS; and the gripping sci-fi thriller NIGHT RAIDERS. Join the editors behind the best that Canada has to offer as they talk storytelling in an intimate conversation.

Simone Smith-SQSimone Smith is an award-winning film and television editor based in Toronto. Past work includes FIRECRACKERS, GOALIE and NEVER STEADY, NEVER STILL. She recently finished work on the Amazon original series THE LAKE. She is currently editing the feature film FLOAT, starring Andrea Bang and Robbie Amell, for Lionsgate.

Orlee BuiumOrlee Buium is an editor with a passion for films with socially conscious content. She has 15 years of experience in the editorial department including assisting on KICK-ASS 2, THE EXPANSE and THE BROKEN HEARTS GALLERY. Her feature credits as an editor include QUEEN OF THE MORNING CALM (nominated for a DGC Editing Award), THE RETREAT (Showtime) and RUN WOMAN RUN. Most recently, Orlee locked picture on Michael McGowan’s latest feature ALL MY PUNY SORROWS, which premiered at TIFF 2021 as a Special Presentation.

Jorge Weisz, CCEJorge Weisz, CCE was born and raised in Mexico City and is currently based in Toronto. He has worked on award-winning films such as Peter Stebbings’ EMPIRE OF DIRT, which premiered at TIFF 2013, Michel Franco’s LAS HIJAS DE ABRIL, which won the Un Certain Regard’s Jury Prize at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, and recently on Danis Goulet’s NIGHT RAIDERS, which premiered at the 2021 Berlinale. Currently, he is teaming up again with Christian Sparkes for the film SWEETLAND.

Michelle Szemberg, CCEAfter graduating from the film program at York University, Michelle worked for many years as an assistant editor. This allowed her to be mentored and collaborate with some of the leading forces in Canadian cinema. Her selected film and TV credits include, NATASHA, BELOW HER MOUTH, BETWEEN, UN TRADUCTOR (which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival) and NORTHERN RESCUE. Her latest film is the DGC Award winning ALL MY PUNY SORROWS, which had its premiere at TIFF in 2021.

Arthur TarnowskiArthur Tarnowski, ACE is a prolific editor whose work ranges from auteur cinema to popular comedies – with a penchant for action films. His feature credits span many genres and include DRUNKEN BIRDS, BEST SELLERS, THE DECLINE, THE HUMMINGBIRD PROJECT, THE FALL OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE, THE TROTSKY, BRICK MANSIONS, DEADFALL, WHITEWASH and COMPULSIVE LIAR. His television work includes 19-2, BAD BLOOD, BEING HUMAN, MOHAWK GIRLS, THE MOODYS and VIRAGE. He has also created over 150 film trailers, including some of the biggest Box-office hits in his native Quebec.

Rich WilliamsonRich Williamson is an Oscar-shortlisted filmmaker based in Toronto. His work blends the best of fiction and documentary technique together with a focus on social-issue subjects. SCARBOROUGH is his first dramatic feature with partner and co-director Shasha Nakhai. It made its World Premiere at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the Shawn Mendes Foundation Changemaker Award, was 1st runner up for People’s Choice, and received an Honourable Mention for Best Canadian Feature.

"Let the characters feel what they're feeling and give them space to do that. We all fell in love with the characters and wanted to spend some time with them."
Melissa McCoy, ACE
Melissa McCoy, ACE

Flipping the Script

The age of streaming has fully arrived. We’ve experienced a boom of top-notch shows, but how do you set yourself apart in such a crowd? Whether it’s bucking the trend of antagonistic conflict to create the arc of TED LASSO; using comedy to punctuate the lives of non-binary characters in SORT OF or reinvigorating period drama with the diverse world of BRIDGERTON, these shows prove that discarding past norms leads to success. Sit with the editors behind these phenomenal series as they discuss the ins and outs of their groundbreaking approaches to storytelling.

D. Gillian Truster, CCEGillian is a Toronto-based editor with a diverse career editing drama series, feature films, and MOWs in a variety of genres. She has had the good fortune of working with many prominent and celebrated producers, directors, and screenwriters. Gillian is best known for her work on ORPHAN BLACK, ANNE WITH AN E, and THE EXPANSE. She has won two CSA awards, a DGC award, and has earned twelve award nominations.

Melissa McCoy, ACEMelissa first fell in love with editing while studying film at Western Michigan University. She then made her way to California and earned a Master’s in Editing from Chapman University Dodge College of Film & Media Arts. In 2007 she earned a coveted internship with ACE, which jump-started her career. Melissa credits include the CW’s LIFE SENTENCE and WHISKEY CAVALIER on ABC. Her work on TED LASSO earned her an Eddie Award and an Emmy nomination in 2021.

Nona Khodai, ACENona Khodai is an Iranian-American Picture Editor stemming from Southern California. Her most recent credits include Marvel’s WANDAVISION and the Amazon series THE BOYS. Her past editing credits include REVOLUTION, COLONY, THE STRAIN, and AMAZING STORIES. She is currently working on another Disney + series that will be released sometime late this year.

Omar MajeedOmar Majeed is a Pakistani-Canadian writer, editor, and filmmaker. His editing credits include THE FRUIT HUNTERS, OMEGA MAN: A WRESTLING LOVE STORY, WORLD IN A CITY, INSIDE LARA ROXX, THE ARTISTS: THE PIONEERS BEHIND THE PIXELS and SORT OF. In 2018 he received a CSA for his work on THE ARTISTS and in 2001 for QUEERTELEVISION. Although he’s called many cities home including Montréal, Baltimore, and Lahore, Omar currently resides in Toronto with his wife and young child.

Jim Flynn, ACEJim Flynn is an American born Editor. He studied film at Emerson college in Boston. He then moved to Los Angeles where he began working as an Assistant Editor. Teaming up with Alan Heim on Nick Cassavetes’ ALPHA DOG he began his transition to Editor. He edited several more films with Cassavetes including MY SISTERS KEEPER and THE OTHER WOMAN. Most recently, Jim has been editing Netflix series, including THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE and BRIDGERTON.

Sam ThomsonSam is a picture and animatic editor based in Toronto, with over a decade of experience in scripted storytelling. In addition to SORT OF, his credits include the award-winning series SAVE ME AND FOR THE RECORD, CORNER GAS ANIMATED, and animated specials for BLACK-ISH and ONE DAY AT A TIME. Sam is a proud member of the Director’s Guild of Canada, The Academy of Canadian Film and Television, and the Canadian Cinema Editors.

Breakout Rooms - Day 1

Breakout_Day1_Rose_HontiverosFast thinking, deep technical skill and knowing your shortcuts are just some of what is needed to be a great Assistant Editor. Join the Assistant Editors behind COMPANY TOWN, BIG BROTHER CANADA, SCARBOROUGH and THE PORTER to ask your questions, get some answers and have a great time.

Array Crew logoCreated by filmmaker Ava DuVernay and led by an all-women executive team, ARRAY Crew is a personnel database, to ensure that studio executives, department heads and producers are able to access a robust pipeline of qualified below-the-line women, people of color and those from underrepresented backgrounds to staff their television and film crews. ARRAY Crew is partnered with all of the major Hollywood studios and streamers and has recently expanded to Canada. Join ARRAY Crew’s Director of Industry Relations, Meredith Shea, for an exclusive conversation with Editing Crew Members and Studio Executives.

Breakout_Day1_SteeleAdobeTell richer stories and evoke a mood using some of the powerful color and effects tools in Adobe Premiere Pro. Join editor, director, and producer Christine Steele to explore filmmaking techniques that make your video look and feel more cinematic. Discover how to edit video to inspire emotion and hook the viewer.

In this session, you’ll learn how to:

  • Identify visual interest inherent in your footage so you can enhance it
  • Play with color, lighting, and motion techniques to create a mood or focus viewer attention
  • Add visual punctuation to lead or influence viewer perception

Breakout_Day1_TarnowskiJoin the veteran editor behind DRUNKEN BIRDS to discuss his latest film, answer your burning questions, and talk about all things editing. Arthur’s extensive experience spans almost 3 decades, and includes documentary & narrative film of all genres, television, shorts and trailer editing. Don’t miss this chance to pick the brain of a master of the craft. This panel will run in English but questions in French are welcome and encouraged.

Breakout_Day1_WeiszPull up a seat, bring your questions and settle in for a riveting conversation with the editorial maven of NIGHT RAIDERS. Jorge’s knowledge and passion for film is boundless; his storytelling expertise runs deep. His prolific work in feature films over the past eleven years has continuously brought one festival hit after another. This conversation is a must for those interested in narrative feature editing.

Breakout_Day1_Buium_SzembergSpend some quality time with the brilliant dynamic duo behind ALL MY PUNY SORROWS. Michelle and Orlee will answer all your questions about their processes co-editing this award winning film, which marks their second outing as co-editors. Between them these two share over thirty years of experience in post production, from assistant editing to editing, these two know it all. This is a conversation you won’t want to miss.

Breakout_Day1_Thomson_MajeedGet comfortable with two of the editors of SORT OF as Omar and Sam answer your questions, queries, and curiosities. These great minds have extensive experience editing television, documentary, animation, and much more. Dig deeper into their experiences working on this game changing series in this intimate setting.

Omar Majeed and Sam Thomson will only be available in Session 1. There will not be a 2nd session.

Breakout_Day1_WilliamsonEnjoy some time with the unique talent behind the breakout film, SCARBOROUGH, a film which Rich co-directed as well as edited. Rich has a deep understanding of documentary and short film. His latest film marks his first foray into editing fiction. Dive in, ask your questions, and get insights into the unique process behind this great film.


"I needed someone to help me push my own boundaries."
Brina Romanek (Mentee) Mentorship program 2020 CCE
Brina Romanek

Learning from the Best

Documentary editing is a craft of perpetual learning. Not only do our tools change constantly, but so do approaches to storytelling. Mentorship has long been at the heart of developing the next generation of talent in all mediums, and documentary is no exception. It can be difficult for new and aspiring editors to gain access to the suite to sit, watch, listen, and learn the intangible skill of editing. Pull up a seat as two apprentices interview their mentors on their approach to storytelling, and the importance of passing the torch to the next generation.

Chris Mutton, CCEChris is a Toronto-based film and television editor. His credits include four films which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) including EASY LAND, PORCUPINE LAKE, CLEO and SILAS. The film LUBA won the Audience Choice Award at the Canadian Film Fest and earned Chris a CCE award nomination. Chris’ television work includes four seasons of the Emmy nominated and CSA winning Hulu series HOLLY HOBBIE, CBC Gem comedy THE COMMUNIST’S DAUGHTER, and music documentary series ON THE RECORD.

Michèle Hozer, CCEWith two films on the Oscar shortlist, multiple award winning Michèle Hozer has been working as a filmmaker and editor since 1987. PROMISE TO THE DEAD picked up her first Emmy nomination and her co-directorial debut of GENIUS WITHIN: THE INNER LIFE OF GLENN GOULD was on the Oscar shortlist. In 2015 Michèle completed SUGAR COATED which won The Donald Brittain Award at the CSAs. Today Michèle is exploring new adventures in Prince Edward County as story editor on multiple projects including Buffy Sainte Marie’s feature length doc.

Michèle Hozer, CCE Ricardo has been working in the film industry for over 25 years. He has been awarded with an Emmy, and has been nominated several times to Genie, Gemini, CCE and CS Awards Ricardo came to Canada from his native Cuba in 1993, where he studied and worked at the world-renowned Cuban Film Institute in Havana. His outstanding work and keen sense of the human condition has contributed to the making of several award-winning and award-nominated films. Some credits include: 15 TO LIFE, MARMATO, THE SILENCE OF OTHERS and HERMAN’S HOUSE.

Brina RomanekBrina Romanek is a documentary filmmaker and editor. She has directed work for True Calling Media, RogersTV and CBC Short Docs. As an editor Brina has worked on films that have aired on Zoomer Media, Crave TV, The Travel Channel, TVO and CBC. Most recently, Brina had the honour of working with the team at Cream Productions to create the two part horror doc series BATHSHEBA. Brina is also the resident audio editor for the Indigenous Climate Action Podcast.

Jordan KawaiJordan Kawai is a documentary film editor based in Toronto. He has edited for both short form (BOAT PEOPLE) and feature documentary film (CHANNEL’S STAGE: THE CULINARY INTERNSHIP and BANGLA SURF GIRLS), as well as video installation (NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND). Jordan holds an MFA in Documentary Media Studies from Ryerson University and was a participant in the Mentorship program at the Montreal International Documentary Festival. His personal film work explores family lore and narratives of Japanese Canadian Internment.

"There are cultural biases that I need to be aware of, so I make sure I am not bulldozing a beat. Making sure every character has what they care about - their stakes - are clear, to make these people pop off the screen as real people so we can identify with them."
Nathan Orloff
Nathan Orloff

Cutting for the Big Screen

Like it or not, the landscape of cinema is changing quickly. With more films at our fingertips than ever before, it’s becoming harder and harder to draw audiences to the theatres. But people still flock to the tentpole films that we all know and love. Join us behind the scenes as we chat with the editors of: SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS, ETERNALS and GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE as they take a deep dive into their workflows, share their tips on managing large teams and visual effects, and get into the nitty gritty of cutting for the big screen.

Sarah TaylorSarah Taylor is a multi-award winning editor with over nineteen years of experience. She has cut a wide range of documentaries, television programs, short and feature films. Sarah strives to help shape unique stories from unheard voices. Her work has been seen in festivals around the world including Sundance. She is a member of the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC), on the board of The Canadian Cinema Editors (CCE) and is the host of the CCE podcast The Editor’s Cut.

Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir, ACEElísabet Ronaldsdóttir was born and raised in Reykjavik, Iceland. She has edited over 40 feature films, television programs, and documentaries, as well as an animated feature film. Her editing work also includes active industry participation. She is best known for her collaborations with film directors David Leitch for JOHN WICK, ATOMIC BLONDE, DEADPOOL 2 and the upcoming film BULLET TRAIN. She recently partnered with director Destin Daniel Cretton on the Marvel film SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS.

Nathan OrloffNathan Orloff is an American film editor and Chapman University graduate. Raised in Seattle, Orloff began his career at JJ Abrams’ BAD ROBOT Productions. His time there includes work as Associate Editor on 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE and Digital Intermediate Supervisor on STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS. Since his breakout, Orloff became a frequent collaborator with director Jason Reitman, notably cemented through TULLY and THE FRONT RUNNER. Orloff’s most recent work includes editing credits on PLAN B and GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE.


Dylan Tichenor, ACEDylan Tichenor, ACE got his start in editing as an assistant on Robert Altman films including: THE PLAYER, SHORT CUTS, PRÊT-À-PORTER, KANSAS CITY, and as co-editor on the documentary JAZZ ’34. His credits as editor include: BOOGIE NIGHTS, MAGNOLIA, THERE WILL BE BLOOD, UNBREAKABLE, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD, DOUBT, WHIP IT, THE TOWN, LAWLESS and ZERO DARK THIRTY. Recent projects include: PHANTOM THREAD, ANTLERS and ETERNALS.

Nat Sanders, ACENat Sanders, ACE has edited a range of acclaimed films such as MOONLIGHT, SHORT TERM 12 and IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK. He is a two-time winner of the Independent Spirit Award and was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on MOONLIGHT. SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS marks his fourth collaboration with writer/director Destin Daniel Cretton, following his work on JUST MERCY, THE GLASS CASTLE and SHORT TERM 12. Other credits include: MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY, YOUR SISTER’S SISTER, HUMPDAY, GIRLS and TOGETHERNESS.

Breakout Rooms - Day 2

Breakout_Day2_WapikoniStories are powerful; they teach; they hold language, community and culture. They also tie the past to the present and the present to the future. Join Tania Choueiri and Elie-John Joseph from Wapikoni as they discuss narrative sovereignty and the importance of it within indigenous storytelling.

Please note that Session 1 with Wapikoni will be presented in FRENCH only. Camera to Cloud (C2C) enables footage to be delivered instantly from set to editorial. It’s a whole new way of working that lets everyone from editors to producers and other key stakeholders provide real-time collaborative feedback during production. In this interactive demo, you’ll learn how easily C2C enables production to automatically transmit proxies, audio, camera reports, and more — as soon as the Director calls “cut.” Once you use C2C, you’ll wonder how you worked any other way.

Breakout_Day2_TichenorJoin the two time Oscar nominated editor behind Marvel’s recent blockbuster, ETERNALS. With a career spanning 25 years there’s nothing Dylan hasn’t tackled. From BOOGIE NIGHTS; THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS; BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN and ZERO DARK THIRTY are just a few of the brilliant films from his back catalog. Bring your questions and grab your notebook, you’re going to want to take notes.

Breakout_Day2_RonaldsdottirBrace yourself for a thrilling question period with one of Hollywood’s go to action editors. Her work co-editing SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS is her latest outing in her long run of action packed features including JOHN WICK; ATOMIC BLONDE and DEADPOOL 2 to name a few! If action is your thing this is a room you won’t want to miss.

Breakout_Day2_YoonGather your best questions and get ready for an amazing session with one of the co-editor’s of SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Harry’s rock solid knowledge of editing such dramas as DETROIT, EUPHORIA and the Oscar nominated MINARI was instrumental in creating this film’s smashing success. Make sure you’re prepared to take in all you can from this rare talent.

Harry Yoon will only be available in Session 1. There will not be a 2nd session.

Breakout_Day2_Hozer_RomanekSit down with this mentor/mentee pair to answer your questions regarding all things mentorship. Learn more about their process and collaboration on A CURE FOR THE COMMON CLASSROOM, the importance of mentorship and much more.

Breakout_Day2_Acosta_KawaiPut on your thinking cap and bring your queries for this mentor/mentee pair. They’ll dig into your questions about how their mentorship relationship has evolved, how BETRAYAL came to be and all things mentorship.

EditCon 2022 Community Partners

CCE EditCon Raffle

Congratulations to our raffle winners!

With Thanks to Our Sponsors

Adobe EditCon 2021 Sponsor
Black Magic Design Logo Sponsor
Boris FX Logo Sponsor
IATSE 2018 Sponsor Event logo
JAM Post Logo Sponsor

Visit our Sponsor Showcase Page

Thank you to our board & volunteers:

CCE EditCon Committee:

Rick Bartram

Xi Feng

Stephen Philipson, CCE

CCE Communications Committee:

Pauline Decroix

Jennifer Kidson

Jane MacRae

Stephen Philipson, CCE

Sarah Taylor


Kathryn Dickson

Jonathan Dowler

Jason Konoza

Isabelle Malenfant, CCE

Greg Ng

Janet Savill

Adam van Boxmeer

Thank you to our CCE Staff:

CCE Operations Manager:

Alison Dowler

CCE Communications Specialist:

Andreia Furtado

About EditCon

March 5-6, 2022


The Editors Cut

Episode 004: Crossing the 49th

Episode 004: Crossing the 49th

Episode 004: Crossing the 49th

This is the final episode of the EditCon series, and it covers the ups and downs of working in LA.

att Hannam, CCE, Stephen Philipson, CCE and Andrew Coutts, CCE share their experiences with Chris Mutton

Matt Hannam, CCE, Stephen Philipson, CCE and Andrew Coutts, CCE share their experiences with Chris Mutton about cutting shows like Star Trek: Discovery, American Gods and The OA as well as indie feature films in the United States.

Editor Andrew Coutts, CCE

Andrew Coutts, CCE

Andrew Coutts tells us about some of the differences he found working on the LA based series Star Trek: Discovery.

Editor Matt Hannam, CCE

Matt Hannam, CCE

Matt Hannam talks about the difficulties of getting into the American unions and his work on Swiss Army Man.

Editor Stephen Philipson, CCE

Stephen Philipson, CCE

Stephen Philipson explains why he chose to make the big move to a highly competitive environment.

Listen Here

DGC logo sponsor event

Subscribe Wherever You Get Your Podcasts

What do you want to hear on The Editors Cut?

Please send along any topics you would like us to cover or editors you would love to hear from:


A special thanks goes to

Bryan Atkinson

the EditCon panelists

EditCon Series Produced by

Roslyn Kalloo

Hosted by

Sarah Taylor

Main Title Sound Design by

Jane Tattersall

Sound Recording by

Craig Scorgie

ADR Recording by

Andrea Rusch

Mixed by

James Bastable

Featuring Music by

Yung Koolade, Album House and Madrid

Original Music by

Chad Blain

Sponsor Narration by

Paul Winestock

Photos by

Dino Harambasic and Victoria McGlynn

Sponsored by

the DGC

The Editors Cut

Episode 015: Frame by Frame A Primer on Animation Editing

Episode 015: Frame by Frame A Primer on Animation Editingson

Episode 015: Frame by Frame A Primer on Animation Editing

This is part two of our four-part series covering EditCon 2019.

The EditCon 2019 series was generously sponsored by Deluxe.

Learn from Canada’s leading animation editors about the critical role they play in crafting animated films.

How does the process differ from editing live action?

At what point does the editor’s work start?

What does the collaboration look like with team members and the director?

These questions and more will be answered in this lively group discussion with Paul Hunter and Lesley Mackay Hunter.

This panel was moderated by Chris Mutton.

Listen Here

Subscribe Wherever You Get Your Podcasts

What do you want to hear on The Editors Cut?

Please send along any topics you would like us to cover or editors you would love to hear from:


A special thanks goes to

Maureen Grant

the EditCon Committee

Alison Dowler

Jane MacRae

Annex Pro & Avid

Hosted, Produced and Edited by

Sarah Taylor

EditCon 2019 Panels Recorded by

Jason Kanoza

Main Title Sound Design by

Jane Tattersall

ADR Recording by

Andrea Rusch

Mixed and Mastered by

Tony Bao

Original Music by

Chad Blain

Sponsor Narration by

Paul Winestock

Sponsored by


Video Content

Coffee With an Editor – Chris Mutton

Episode 006 - Chris Mutton

Coffee with an Editor is a series of friendly one-on-one interviews with editors from Canada and around the world.

Chris is a Toronto based editor with four recent world premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and television series work for Hulu, History (US), Bravo, CBC, CTV, Slice and Ovation.

On the commercial side, Chris has edited flagship campaigns for Scotiabank, RBC and HSBC.

Chris’ television series work includes the Emmy nominated Hulu series HOLLY HOBBIE, the CTV comedy Stock and Awe, music documentary series ON THE RECORD and the CBC history series CANADA: THE STORY OF US. He edited digital series for CBC’s dramas X COMPANY, THE NEXT STEP and LOST AND FOUND STUDIOS. Recent feature film work includes HYSTERIA, EASY LAND, and LUBA. Chris is a full member of the DGC, an alumnus of the Canadian Film Centre editors’ lab and has served as vice president of the Canadian Cinema Editors.

Where to watch Chris’ recent work (US & Canada):

Holly Hobbie” – Family Channel (Canada), Hulu (US)

Easy Land” – Crave


Edited By

Chrissy Papaioannou


Easy Land Q&A with Chris Mutton, Devin Rintoul and Sanja Zivkovic

Easy Land Q&A with Chris Mutton, Devin Rintoul and Sanja Zivkovic

Easy Land is a raw, engaging, and heartfelt story about a mother and daughter as they struggle to navigate the many obstacles facing newcomers to Canada.

Devin Assistant Editor

assistant editor

The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019. The CCE heard from Editor Chris Mutton, Assistant Editor Devin Rintoul, and Director Sanja Zivkovic about their creative and technical process during post-production.

Q&A with editor Chris Mutton Easy Land
Chris, Devin and Sanja

Q: How did you first become involved in the film? What drew you to the project?


My involvement began as far back as the early writing process. Sanja sent me a short outline of the film. I stayed involved through the writing process, giving her feedback over multiple drafts of the script. By the time Easy Land went to camera, I already had a great handle on the material. Sanja and I met at the Canadian Film Centre and found we pohad similar taste in films. We worked together on her short Cleo which also premiered at TIFF. It only made sense to continue the collaboration on her first feature.


Having worked on a feature with Chris before I was lucky enough to be invited to join Easy Land for our second round as a dangerous duo. I was definitely drawn to the film by how relevant its theme of immigration and related struggles are to many Canadians and for people across the world. It’s a blessing to have worked on a film with such an important message.

Q: Did you hire Devin or was he already on board the project when you started? What qualities/experience do you look for in an assistant editor?


Devin was on board months before editing began. When I needed an assistant for a previous feature, Luba, I asked my Sheridan film professor for recommendations. He gave me one name – Devin. It is important to build a trustworthy team. If you know you can depend on someone it reduces part of the natural pressures around editing a film. Devin and I have developed a solid workflow as a product of cutting Luba. For Easy Land, we knew that all we had to do was repeat what worked and half the battle was won. For me, it freed up more time in each day to focus on the creative work of editing. A good assistant should have top-notch communication skills. On a small film like Easy Land, keeping all relevant parties up to date is an enormous task and often gets downloaded to the edit suite. You have to make up for the fact that there isn’t a post supervisor helping you out.

Q: It seems like this story was a very personal one for writer/director Sanja Zivkovic. How did you navigate the director/editor relationship knowing that it was such a personal story?


I was also involved in editing the Easy Land pitch video that was submitted to Telefilm and that helped immensely. In order to create a clear understanding of why the story was important for Sanja to tell cinematically, we had to discuss her personal connection to the material. It also helped that we’d become friends while editing her short Cleo. I didn’t feel like I had to worry too much about crossing boundaries and I was comfortable having those conversations. Plus, it’s just part of Sanja’s personality that she’s not shy about the more autobiographical story aspects, which I appreciate.

Q&A with editor Chris Mutton Easy Land
Sanja and Chris

Q: What is an example of a key change made during the edit process that had a significant impact on the final cut?


The therapist scene is a gem; you are drawn right in by Mirjana’s amazing performance. Her dialogue clearly lays out a cavalier attitude to her character’s mental health issues and reveals her precarious reliance on Easy Land as a source of salvation. But… it was running long. They say it’s hard to kill your darlings and this was the full realization of that notion. We tried many trims, lifting out various sections of dialogue, but each time the edit would force us to lose a crucial moment. Finally, we found an interesting solution. As Jasna is wrapping up her therapist session she thanks her doctor. I tried starting her “thank you” in the middle of the doctor’s dialogue as he’s laying out his concerns. Next, I hunted for a small sigh from the doctor and placed it with this edit. Now, Jasna effectively ‘interrupts’ the doctor, shutting him down and we have a slight reaction in the form of the off-screen sigh that sells the interaction. In fact, this cut really reinforced the purpose of the scene, which is to demonstrate Jasna asserting herself over the institutional care she’s receiving. It’s one of my favorite edits I’ve ever made.


When we started editing the film it was true to what was in the script. After a few months of working with the footage as I had imagined it originally, and after a test screening with an audience who was completely new to the idea of our film, it became clear that we needed to mix things up a little more. I think one of the big turning points for me was when Chris and I tried to cut out a dream sequence (I really loved for the visual aspect of it) to see what it did to the rest of the film. It was just one scene but it completely changed the style and tone. After we said goodbye to that scene, we were able to restructure the rest of the material, and reshoot a few more realistic shots to take the place of the dreamlike segment. I feel that decision made the story a lot rawer, which felt like the right thing to do.

Q: There are many scenes in the film that are in Serbian. Do either of you speak the language, and if not, what were some of the challenges of working in another language? What workflow elements did you put into place to help the editorial process for these scenes?


Sanja is fluent in Serbian but neither Devin nor I are! Serbian is a digraphic language and can use Cyrillic or the Latin alphabet. So to help with Serbian dialogue scenes there was a dual language script in English with matching Serbian in the Latin alphabet. For the most part, it sounds the way it’s spelled. It didn’t take long to get used to editing in Serbian. Because Nina and Mirjana gave such expressive performance, I was often able to follow along without the script by interpreting body language and facial expressions. So much of editing performance is paying attention to these factors so it was almost a purer form of editing in a way.


I have no knowledge of the Serbian language unfortunately so we would attempt to follow the script and Chris would ask Sanja to let us know what the actors spoke on set in case there was any confusion. I would try my best translate that into the temporary subtitles.

Q&A with editor Chris Mutton Easy Land
Chris's Edit Suite

Q: Describe your technical setup and your workflow for editorial both during the shoot and then in the later stages of post. What tools and software did you use? Do you have any tips or tricks you want to share?


The film was cut on Avid, which is my preference for features. Collaboration between assistant and editor is so simple – save the bin and email it. Also, the delivery to audio departments after locking the film has always been seamless. I think it helps that ProTools is owned by Avid. I cut on my aging iMac. That’s another thing I like about Avid. Once you render out the dailies to DNxHD (Avid’s proprietary codec) everything runs solidly and fast. I can scrub from one end of the timeline to the other with almost no lag – even on an old machine. 

My tip would be to take the time to create scene cards (see example) and stick them up on a cork board as you finish each scene. It’s a quick visual reference and it will start ideas flowing for restructuring opportunities.


Chris thankfully has a very organized workflow that allowed us to move smoothly throughout production. I had the task as the assistant to organize, sync, and log the footage using Avid Media Composer. My main tip to any new assistant is to back up everything on multiple drives as soon as possible, you may think you’re safe but you never know. Also bring candy and snacks to share with the editor, it goes a long way.

Q: What was your experience prior to working on this film? Was there anything new that you learned while working on this project, either from Chris or generally from the project workflow or content?


I worked on a feature with Chris before but not the same environment, for example this was my first feature working next to Chris in a studio throughout the entire production. It was exciting to see the rest of the team coming in and out and meeting new faces from the industry every day. Sanja would visit frequently allowing me to study the director/editor relationship and the progress they would make by coming up with game plans and bouncing idea’s off each other.

Q&A with editor Chris Mutton Easy Land
Devin & Chris

Q: Did the team do test screenings of the film? As an editor, how do you prepare for and navigate test screenings, and how do you handle the notes that come out of them?


We did one proper test screening in a mix theatre at Urban Audio. Preparation consists mostly of sound work. Larger viewing spaces amplify all the imperfections of a temp mix, so you really have to clean up dialogue and find the right levels of ambiance. An audience, even industry vets, will not look past (or hear past) bad audio. And if they can’t understand the dialogue it’ll create waves of confusion for the test audience. In terms of digesting the notes that came out of the test screening, that was a large discussion between Sanja, Julie, the producer and Matt and Kristy, our EPs. The key is to look for the common notes and prioritize those. Just because a note is given doesn’t mean you have to take it. If it’s easy to try, we tried it. Sanja is a confident filmmaker. She likes to hear lots of opinions, but at the end of the day she knows the film she wants to make and her vision will be preserved.


Our test screening was very beneficial for the film. It came at a good time when we felt like we needed the feedback, after two months of editing, and before our reshoot day. I also sent the film to a few trusted friends and colleagues in Serbia who were onboard since the writing process. It was good to get opinions from people of different backgrounds, especially people that understood where Jasna and Nina had come from, and to see if what I had intended was showing in the film.

Q&A with editor Chris Mutton Easy Land
Chris Recording Ambient Sounds

Q: Easy Land is a very quiet film. What kind of sound work did you do during the offline edit (if any)? Did you use temp music? What was your relationship with the composer and sound team?


It is a quiet film! So much of the aural aspect of the film relies on ambient sound. The Victoria Park neighbourhood where the film is set has a very unique sound. The wind passes through those buildings and courtyards in a specific way. Also, the subway travels outside and is always present in the background. I wanted to make sure we had lots of that ambience collected, so Sanja and I went out with a pair of rented Sennheiser 416 shotgun mics and spent the afternoon recording sounds at the various shooting locations – all before the shoot started. We could have asked the sound recordist to do this, but I know from experience that once production starts the long days and tight scheduling usually mean there’s no time. Doing it separately from the shoot schedule meant we could focus only on capturing the sounds of the neighbourhood.


The composer Casey MQ and I had worked together on my previous film Cleo, which Chris edited, so the three of us already had a solid working relationship. It was important for me that the score be in line with the atmosphere, but not to impose on the preformances, which I felt were strong enough on their own and didn’t need to be hightened by music. Casey really got this, and Chris also understood what I wanted so the three of us played a lot with the arrangement, the in and out points , while in the edit. Casey would give us options, we would get back to him and so on. It was a really nice and fluid proccess! As for the Serbian rock music, I imagined it to be a juxtaposition to the score in a way, an escape from the character’s every day reality. While we were shooting, Chris was assembling the film and needed to use some Serbian music in order to make it work so he went online and researched Serbian rock bands from the 80’s. In the end, we actually ended up using one of the songs that Chris hand chosen as a temp – in fact, we loved it so much we fought pretty hard to get copyright on it.

Q: The film premiered at TIFF in 2019. What was your experience of the festival?


I love TIFF and it was an honour to have our film premiere there. The highlight was the after-party which was hosted by our distributor at Mongrel House. I brought my parents and my partner and they had an amazing time watching live karaoke, hanging out in the whiskey room and chatting with the cast and crew.


I couldn’t make it to the screening at TIFF unfortunately but was able to make another screening later on, which I was fortunate to see with Chris and my family.

TIFF Bell Lightbox Sign Toronto


It was a really great experience to have the film World Premiere at TIFF. It felt like the perfect scenario – not only to premiere at one of the world’s biggest film festivals, but also in the city where the film was shot, so that all of the cast and crew could attend. I’m so glad that we all got to be there to watch it together for the first time on the big screen (and celebrate at Mongrel House after of course!)

Q: What did you enjoy most about working on this film? What did you find most challenging?


Working on films has always been a dream and I do really owe a ton to Chris for trusting and allowing me the time and space to learn the ropes as an assistant. Even if I were to begin editing my own films, I’ll probably be calling him often for tips and tricks for a long time to come. I also had a blast assembling some of the scenes, including the fight scene.


One of the best aspects of cutting Easy Land was working with Maja Bankovic’s footage. Her camerawork is so fluid but still maintains such purpose. Every move feels like it enhances the story. In fact, we could be spare with edits in many scenes because the camera was articulating so much. In terms of challenges, the lead up to the film’s climax took us a while to get right. There was a dream sequence that we recut and recut. In the end, it came out. Sometimes simplicity is best. We had the benefit of one day of reshoots. Sanja shot one reaction with Nina, cheating the apartment location with a crewmember’s house, and that was all we needed to properly set up the climax.

Easy Land is now available to stream on Apple TV

stay connected

Subscribe to our mailing list to
receive updates, news and offers

Skip to content