[Podcast] Ep61: Do You Really Need to Go to Film School?

Film school or no film school is a hotly debated topic in the world of filmmaking and a topic I discuss at length in this episode with Eddie Hamilton, editor of such Hollywood tentpole films as Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, X-Men First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kickass. After working his way up from a runner to editor in only 6 months at a post production facility specializing in sports journalism, he spent the next twenty years of his career working on independent films until his big break when he became an “overnight success.”

Eddie is incredibly passionate about the work that he does. In this episode we talk about how Eddie keeps his mind and body sharp. We cover a wide range of topics including his path to success, why film school may not be the best option, his habits and routines as well as how working in the US is different than working overseas. See below for more information.

Our show sponsors:

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  • The benefits of a background in film theory

  • Is grad school worth the time and money?

  • A day in the life of Eddie Hamilton

  • His focus on diet and exercise while working

  • The sacrifices necessary to succeed in this industry

  • His process for cutting scenes

  • The meals and snacks he chooses throughout the day…chocolate included

  • How easy it can be to get some exercise into your day — you don’t need to do it all!

  • Good eating habits at work

  • Standing vs. sitting

  • How what you eat can affect your work for the day

“To be the best you have to be in good physical shape and good mental shape”

  • The differences between working in the US versus other countries
  • If you want to succeed more than everyone else, you will succeed!

Useful Links:

Ep11: Making It In Hollywood as a “Creative” (What They Don’t Teach You In Film School) | with Norman Hollyn

How ‘Mission Impossible’ Editor Eddie Hamilton Skipped Film School & Worked His Way to Cutting Blockbusters

How To Get Ahead In Editing

Cutting Mission: Impossible

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).”