About Me

dscn3372cropped.jpgThis blog is the work of Steve Cohen. I’m a motion picture editor working in Los Angeles. You can check out my credits here.

Though I began my career using traditional film tools, in the early ’90s I worked closely with Montage, Ltd. and then with Avid, helping them build a user interface and feature set that would be effective for people like me. I’m very proud of the part I played in developing what was to become the gold standard for professional editing.

During that time, I edited the first studio feature to use Media Composer (“Lost in Yonkers“) and the first TV movie that used an Avid to conform a film negative (“Teamster Boss“). I subsequently demonstrated the Media Composer to the technical wing of the Motion Picture Academy, which led to Avid’s Academy Award. I also wrote a book about the Media Composer, called “Avid Media Composer Techniques and Tips,” which became something of an underground classic. In 2010, I wrote a new book covering the modern Media Composer, called “Avid Agility.” Now in its third edition, it’s available from at Amazon in print or Kindle form. For details, reviews and samples, see this page.

In the late ’90s I became the first chairman of the editing department at the American Film Institute Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies, one of the only schools in the world that offers a Master’s Degree in motion picture editing. More recently, I’ve  guest taught at USC and Art Center College of Design.

From 2000 to 2004 I helped create, and then became the publisher of, the Motion Picture Editors Guild Magazine. And in 2006, I co-founded the Avid Editors Advisory Committee, a group of prominent editors and post production professionals that has been meeting with Avid’s engineers and product marketing people, helping to improve and modernize the system.

I’ve won various awards over the years including an Emmy for “LBJ: The Early Years” and an A.C.E. Eddy for “Don King: Only in America.” In 2007, I received the American Cinema Editors’ Robert Wise Award for “journalistic illumination of the art of editing.”

I’m using this site to continue the dialog that I began with the Editors Guild Magazine, namely to talk about the current state of editing, motion media and its effects on work and life.

If you need to contact me directly, you can find me at steve@splicenow.com.


27 Comments on “About Me”

  1. Hello Mr. Cohen
    I`m a brazillian student (Cinema, radio and TV), and I would like to ask for the availability of you to make a email-interview. It would take 2 or 3 emails to be a very good interview.
    The subject about the work as a film/tv editor, the tecnology, how you work with the director… and some other topics…
    It don`t need to be a giant interview…

    As you have so many jobs on your career, it would be very interesting a point of view of a person with more know-how on the TV production (as the brazillian film industry isn`t so big) because it´s one of the most active work areas here in Brazil.

    Thanks for your time.
    Waiting your reply.

  2. Oded Farber Says:


    Finally. Finally a full website that can answer the real questions (in life…)

  3. Giovanna Says:

    Hi Mr, Cohen,

    Firstly, I’d like to thank you for your enlightening blog!
    I’ve so many questions and comments but will
    start by asking you if you think that it is still necessary
    (or more helpful) for an editor to work as an assistant
    if they want to penetrate the Hollywood feature film
    market. I myself am a 33 year old broadcast editor with
    over 9 years of tv series experience in Montreal. I work nationally
    (and have done some uk and american co-pros as well)
    and have many colleugues and friends who work for Hollywood feature film –
    but of coarse, films are always edited in L.A so we have very little
    knowledge of how things work out there. I would assume though that
    working as an assistant is not as helpful as it was before the age of digital editing…
    I actually believe that being an assistant now is more of a hinderance
    than anything else since your not actually developping your craft…

    Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts on that. Also, I’m so curious to know how many
    productions does your average A.C.E editor work on per year?

    Thanks again – I look forward to hearing from you!

    Best Regards,


  4. Hi Steve —

    I was a Directing Fellow at AFI but sat in on your classes. Just stumbled on your blog, so sayin’ hi. Hope allz zwell.


    Mitchell Rose

  5. Steve Says:

    Mitchell — welcome. Glad to see you here.

  6. alex4d Says:

    Your blog has inspired me to create my own.

    It was prompted by the fact that I’ve come over to the US from the UK to do a feature film editing course at the Manhattan Edit Workshop. I’m exploring editing and screenwriting in the blog.

    I’ve recently started a page for Final Cut Pro users that is an introduction to the Avid interface. I hope you and your readers might find it useful. As I’m just starting on Avid, I’d appreciate it if you would point out any errors.

    Check it out at http://alex4d.wordpress.com/avid-for-final-cut-pro-users/



  7. Steve Says:


    That’s a great start! It’s rare to see Avid techniques explained from an FCP perspective, and I’m sure it’ll be helpful to many people. We all need to be comfortable with both toolsets. Thanks.


  8. Erna Tarara Says:


    I have a son who is passionate about film editing. Could you recommend good colleges in California? I would really appreciate the advice! Thank you.

  9. aravind Says:

    hi am aravind a assitant film editor from we both worked on a film by top notch film maker from India Mr.Santosh Sivan’s ( Road To The Sky )… can u share ur editing experience with me..

  10. Mike S. Says:

    I am an editor, new to the business, working for a small productions company. We currently deal mostly with web content and short films, music videos etc.
    recently we are doing post on a pilot fro a television show, from which my question stems.
    We have never done a show for broadcast an I was curious about formatting ie. commercial breaks and such. Is there a standard? Does it vary per station? Is there any place that would have such information?
    Any help you can offer to me would be greatly appreciated.

  11. John B Says:

    Hi Steve,
    Can you contact me off list. I am writing an educational book that covers the history of
    digital nonlinear editing and you have many important contributions I wish to document.


  12. Babbs Says:

    Hello Steve
    I saw in “about me” that you were the chairman of the editing department at the American Film Institute Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies,
    I am very interested in studying for a master degree in Editing so I went to the AFI but couldn’t find anything about editing and I was wondering if you could help me, find a school that I can study Editing, I know about Video symphony and I know about “the edit center” but each of them is specific to software and I am interested more in techniques

    many thanks

  13. Loren Says:

    Steve –

    I didn’t know you were here or I would have logged in much earlier. Found out through LAFCUG that Larry Jordan started a new site and you’re linked. Congratulations, especially on the Wise award. I met Robert years ago and he was everything I still want to be.

    Keep up the illumination. I’ll contribute when I can.

    Best, as always,
    Loren S. Miller
    Home of KeyGuide Central

  14. Frank Sims Says:


    The Editors Guild Magazine has made an amazing change over the last 3 years, bravo! Your articles have gone from puff pieces by pandering editors talking about what they ate on location to pieces that are written by serious motion picture professionals. I now find it a serious addition to our trade.

    Thank you and keep up the good work


  15. Andrew Says:

    Hi Steve,

    I can’t seem to find your contact email – maybe this was deliberate, I wouldn’t blame you! If you could drop me an email, I’m hoping to chat with you briefly.

  16. John Flowers Says:

    You should join us on That Post Show sometime, we’d love to have your opinion on the show.

  17. Steve Says:

    I’ll check it out. Thanks.

  18. Fergus Says:

    Please forgive this out of the blue message. Icouldn’t find a contact email on your blog. I have been viewing your site and wondered whether you might be able to help us. We are a new site that is due to go live Summer 2009. It essentially matches creators of viral adverts with brands and buyers.

    We are linked with a number of large agencies and will have some great early clients. We have managed to build up a good user base of beta testers mainly in the form of graphic, 3D and flash designers. We are now looking for video, film makers to help us get the system going.

    We feel the site is a great opportunity for filmmakers, (be they new professionals, students or skilled amateurs) to win both paid commissions as well as gain exposure to their work.

    So why the message? It is evident from your site some of your audience may fall into the above category. In short we are hoping you might pass the message on to your readers.

    Your help would be greatly appreciated.

    If you have any questions or clarification then please feel free to contact me directly on the email given

  19. Brad Says:

    Hey Steve, sorry to use this method to contact you, but I think you’ve kept your e-mail address off the site for obvious reasons.

    You’re linking to my old site “Back to Raw”, which I closed months ago. I’ve moved to http://bradcordeiro.squarespace.com/. I’d love it if you could link to the new site, but at the very least you might want to just remove the link to my old site.

    Thanks Steve, I read and love every post you write!

  20. Paul Abelkis Says:

    Hi Steve–

    Love your site and very much appreciate the tips and advice. In fact, I’ve added your blog/site to my Blogroll.

    Please check my site out and if you think it’s worthy, please add it to your Blogroll. Thank you.



  21. steve bishop Says:

    Hey Steve!

    I was hoping you could post the following information on your site. Thanks!

    Make a Fashion Film to be featured in “A Shaded View on Fashion Film”

    * Have your film screened as part of the ASVOFF opening in Paris
    * Host: Diane Pernet & Tavi Gevinson
    International fashion icon Diane Pernet presents A Shaded View on Fashion Film 2010, the third edition of Paris’s annual film festival dedicated to Fashion, Style and Beauty with special guest judge superstar fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson.

    They have created a once in a life time opportunity for all die hard fashionistas and emerging fashion filmmakers to submit their best fashion film feature or short around the theme of Fashion, Style or Beauty and be featured in this prestigious fashion film festival. The selected filmmaker will have his/her film screened as part of the next edition of ASVOFF opening in Paris.

    * SUBMIT YOUR VIDEO HERE: http://bit.ly/asvoff_blg
    * Deadline is July 12, 2010

  22. […] Pro User Group in the world. To help celebrate the 10th birthday lafcpug will welcome film editor Steve Cohen who will show off the just released Avid Media Composer 5. “Ironic isn’t it?” says Michael […]

  23. Marco Würz Says:

    Very nice blog i am following it very often. I have one question: Witch of your projects you ever did cut on “Final Cut Pro”?

    Greetings Marco

  24. Sam Billinge Says:

    Thanks for this great blog Steve. Since falling upon your site about a year or so ago I’ve found myself regularly checking in and picking up your posts. This is a great (and one of the few) film editing websites.

    Best Wishes,
    Sam Billinge

  25. dave Says:

    “I also wrote a book about the Media Composer, called “Avid Media Composer Techniques and Tips,” which became something of an underground classic. ”

    I remember that helpful manual sharing a writing credit with another editor, Basil Pappas. Why did he get edited out
    of classic history?

  26. Loren Says:

    I’m coming late to this last one but wanted to comment.

    I remember that underground classic too. But I’ve read Agility ( after I helped instigate it ) and it’s a brand new work and should be treated as one. Nobody was “edited out.” Basil’s a great TV documentary editor. Steve simply tackled it on his own because he’s an accomplished teacher as well as a great editor, and certain people were pestering him to do a book on modern Media Composer.

  27. Paul McAleavey Says:

    Apologies for the cold calling but I am a British Avid/FCP Editor looking to move out to California next September
    I wanted to see if you could give me any advice for freelance editing agencies I can contact for potential sponsorship
    Any help you would give me, would be much appreciated
    Many thanks for your help
    Kind regards
    Paul McAleavey

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