Click to Download This Episode
Kelley Dixon is the Emmy-winning editor of such iconic shows as Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, and Shameless. She has been nominated for an editing Emmy every single year since 2012 (winning in 2013 for an episode of Breaking Bad), she has been nominated for an Eddie Award seven out of the last eight years, and she has received numerous nother nominations as well.
Needless to say, Kelley is a film editing badass.
In our conversation today we dive as deep as I’ve ever gone into all of the steps necessary to climb from the bottom of the ladder to the top in Hollywood. We go over all the details of Kelley’s “overnight success story” where it took her just short of 20 years of being an assistant editor before exploding onto the scene with Breaking Bad. We chat about the mindset necessary to persevere, how to build relationships with producers, directors, and your editors so you put yourself in a position to be promoted when the time is right, how to develop your skills as an editor even if you’re buried with assistant work, and most importantly we talk about the importance of playing chess with your career and making the right strategic moves rather than always chasing after the next shiny object and playing a game of checkers.
Want to Hear More Episodes Like This One?
Here’s What You’ll Learn:
- How to know when you’re ready to transition from being an assistant
- Kelley’s long and twisty path to becoming an emmy-winning editor
- Building good relationships in the industry
- The art of being a good conversationalist
- What to do when it’s “your time” after being an assistant for two years
- The importance of reminding yourself that there is no one way to make it
- Finding good editing mentorship to learn more as well as recognize your own style
- The danger of moving up the career ladder too quickly
- Honing your editing craft by discussing subtext
Useful Resources Mentioned:
Our Generous Sponsors:
This episode is made possible by Ergodriven, the makers of the Topo Mat, my #1 recommendation for anyone interested in moving more at their height-adjustable workstation. Listen, standing desks are only great if you’re standing well, otherwise you’re constantly fighting fatigue and chronic pain. Not like any other anti-fatigue mat, the Topo is scientifically proven to help you move more throughout the day which helps reduce discomfort and also increase your focus and productivity. And they’re really fun and a great conversation starter.
This episode is made possible by the HumanCharger, a revolutionary new light therapy device made specifically for people who spend long days in the dark and don’t get enough sunlight…i.e. You and me. Simply put in the earbuds for 12 minutes a day to receive your daily recommended dosage of UV-free white light. Doing so can drastically increase your energy, improve your mood, and increase mental alertness and focus.This device has literally changed my life and I use it every morning without fail. Use the code ‘OPTIMIZE’ to get 20% off your order.
This episode is made possible by StoryBlocks, my go-to resource for professional stock images for my sites. Use this link to download anything from their library of over 400,000 stunning photos, textures, images, and icons free for 7 days and get discounts on millions of more items.
Kelley Dixon grew up with a single mom who taught grade school on Chicago’s South Side.
After graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in Technical Journalism, Kelley’s sights were set on a writing career in advertising. So it was WEST! To Los Angeles! And no openings in any of the ad firms of her dreams.
So instead… Kelley landed a job in MGM’s mail room, and there started a career in the film biz without going to film school!
Kelley has spent the last 10 years editing Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, The Walking Dead, Preacher, HBO’s Luck, and Shameless, among others. And has worked with some of her admired Directors and Producers and Editors.
She has won 1 Emmy for Breaking Bad. And has received 9 Emmy Nominations and 6 ACE Nominations for her work.
She wishes she had a better written bio than this and thinks talking about herself in the 3rd person is the most obnoxious arrogant thing and hopes you’ll excuse it this time!
The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).
Note: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase products from some of the links on this page (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.