[Podcast] Ep105: Jeffrey Ford’s Secret Weapon To Editing (and Surviving) Marvel Films

Award-winning editor Jeffrey Ford has worked on some of the biggest films on the planet that have amassed multiple BILLIONS of dollars at the box office.

His short list of recent credits includes Captain America: Civil War, The Avengers, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Ironman 3, just to name a select few. And you would be right if you assumed that editing films like these is an all-consuming endeavor that takes every ounce of energy and focus to survive.

In this episode Jeff and I talk about how he started at the bottom and climbed the ladder to editing gigantic tentpole films. But more importantly we also talk about Jeff’s secret weapon for staying focused, energetic, and creatively sharp when working brutally long stretches on stressful and high-pressure project: Movement throughout the day.

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Topics of Conversation:

  • Jeff’s career trajectory and how he came to work on Marvel blockbusters
  • How going to film school helped Jeff break into the industry
  • Jeff’s experience living on five days of work a month
  • Using your free time to develop your skills and climb your career ladder
  • Learning what work will drive you to the next level
  • Jeff’s strategies for staying mentally refreshed while working long hours in front of a computer
  • The importance of comfortable communal work spaces
  • Viewing disciplined break time as strength rather than weakness
  • Keeping up with the intense demands of a content-ready culture
  • Controlling your work in order to remain healthy and connected with your love ones

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Guest Bio:

JEFFREY FORD, A.C.E. (Editor) was born in Novato, California. He attended high school in Troutdale, Oregon and graduated from the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television in Los Angeles with a degree in Cinema-Television Production.  He began his professional filmmaking career in 1994, working as an editorial assistant on James Gray’s debut feature film, “Little Odessa.” He went on to work as an assistant editor on several feature films, including the Academy Award®-nominated “As Good as It Gets” for editor Richard Marks and director James L. Brooks.  Ford co-edited “Captain America: The First Avenger” (with Robert Dalva) for director Joe Johnston, “Iron Man Three” (with Peter Elliot) for Shane Black and “Marvel’s The Avengers” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (both with Lisa Lassek) for director Joss Whedon. “Captain America: Civil War” is Ford’s second film for Joe and Anthony Russo. He also co-edited (with Matthew Schmidt) the Russo’s first Marvel Studios feature “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, the show notes were prepared by Jakin Rintelman, 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).”