All of us at the Video Studio would like to take a moment and congratulate Alum, Edward Patrick Alva (UCI ’10) on his accomplishments as Assistant Editor for The Invisible War. Directed by Kirby Dick, The Invisible War has been nominated for best feature documentary for the 2013 Academy Awards. Recently, we asked Ed a few questions about his experience with the film.
What have you learned from working on this Documentary?
From an assistant editor standpoint: I’ve learned the importance of file organization and making redundant back ups. One too many failed drives. I also learned the myriad of codecs and how to deal with each of them in order for them to play nice in Final Cut. Also, how to export from Final Cut in a way that makes movies compatible for streaming, DVD, etc. Never be afraid to cut; even though you love a scene, if it doesn’t fit with the film, cut it and solve the single problem rather than try to squeeze it in and create 5.
From a filmmaking standpoint: Being able to interview in a way that makes the subjects comfortable. Allow them to talk and finish their thoughts and try not to interrupt them; you get the best answers that way. Don’t worry about them running long, you can cut it down in the editing room.
What was your reaction when you heard the film was nominated for an Academy Award?
I was ecstatic and in a state of disbelief for awhile. It is extremely gratifying knowing that the countless hours of work and dedication that was put into the project paid off. What I think is most important is that the nomination will allow for even more public exposure to this issue of sexual assault in the military and will hopefully be a catalyst for change to occur.
What about your experience at UC Irvine’s Studio Art and Video program do you think prepared you for working on this film?
Well, the multi-disciplinary nature of UCI’s studio art program was definitely a plus. I’ve done graphic design, social media, and tech support in addition to my duties as an assistant editor and on-set crew. Many of the skills I have learned by exploring the other mediums of art that the major encompasses. Another helpful aspect was the training that I had in the video program itself and it’s emphasis on being hands-on and actually learning how to properly handle video equipment, teaching us the basics of Final Cut Studio, etc.
What’s some advice you could provide for a current undergrad in our program?
- Talk to your professors! I wouldn’t have been able to get this far if it wasn’t for the guidance of the teachers at UCI.
- Pursue internships; there is really only so much you have time to learn at school. Working in “the real world” is a whole other challenge. Internships help prepare you for life after college.
- Network! Who you know may at times be more beneficial than what you know… That said, in order to make a lasting impression, you need to show that you aren’t just all talk. Work hard, and you’ll be rewarded.
What projects are you working on now?
At work, we’re starting several new projects, including a documentary to premiere on HBO in 2014. I’ve also been working closely with friends and former classmates from UCI on founding a new film production company, Classy Deer. We realized early on that we are all extremely capable and talented artists; the natural course of action would be to formally come together and create art under a singular identity.