[Podcast] Ep59: Making the Jump From Assistant Editor to Editor

Making the transition from assistant to editor is never an easy one. There isn’t a roadmap that everyone can follow, everyone’s path is different. In today’s episode I chat with Minority Report editor Tyler Cook about the steps we believe are important for assistants to follow if they want to sit in the editor’s chair someday. This conversation applies to scripted, documentary, reality, marketing, you name it. This is not about technology, it’s about what it takes to get noticed.

Although he’s relatively young, Tyler’s success did not happen overnight. Tyler worked hard as a college student at the North Carolina School of the Arts, a small conservatory for the arts at the University of North Carolina, then transitioned to assisting on indie features and  eventually made his way to scripted television.

I spoke with Tyler about his career path and how he was able to move through the ranks of intern, assistant editor and editor so quickly. Not only does he talk about essential skills an assistant editor needs to make it as an editor, but also how important it is to have a positive work ethic.

Our show sponsor:

  • Tyler’s background and starting as an assistant editor on indie features
  • Essentials skills and ways to demonstrate your passion and dedication
  • Tyler’s career trajectory and how he was bumped up on Vampire Diaries
  • No excuses! Work hard and do your job well
  • How you can demonstrate your passion for the work in your own way
  • Take care of the small stuff
  • Ask lots of questions and get clarification when you don’t understand something
  • You need to pay attention when doing dailies…and everything else! Pay attention to details!
  • Storytelling through your sound work
  • How vital sound work can be for those watching your cut
  • Let your intentions be known, but make sure you do the job you are hired to do
  • Do the extra work and go the extra mile to demonstrate your skills and dedication
  • Take initiative — ask your editor if you can shadow him/her (once you’re done with your work)
  • How to conduct yourself in the room with directors and producers
  • How editors can help train their assistants in a productive and safe way
  •  Taking care of yourself can make all the difference when you’re trying to make it to the next level

Useful Links:


Ep 48: Transitioning From Reality to Scripted

Making It In Hollywood as a “Creative” (What They Don’t Teach You In Film School) | with Norman Hollyn

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, the show notes were prepared by Natalie Boschan, and this show is executive produced by Kanen Flowers. We are a member of the THAT STUDIO podcast network.

The music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Dorian Cheah from his brilliant album ARA.


Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, and the creator of the Optimize Yourself program. He helps ambitious creative professionals and entrepreneurs DO better and BE better. “Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time, your energy, and your creativity so you can produce higher quality work in less time (and ultimately become a productivity ninja). “Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people, things, and passions in your life…all without sacrificing your health (or sanity) in the process. Click to download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”