"An editor puts all the pieces together in a nice fashion. The first cut is technically his. You used to be able to hold off directors at the door saying 'back off.' But now the directors can't wait until they get into the cutting room. But I still want my two weeks."
About This Interview
In his nearly three-hour Archive interview, editor Paul LaMastra describes his early life and education and his stint living in Japan. He recalls working in the sound effects department at Paramount, which led to an apprenticeship on the comedy series Hogan's Heroes. He speaks of a very short stint editing the series Eight is Enough, and talks of editing many classic made-for-television movies, including Wallenberg: A Hero's Stor y, Eleanor and Franklin, Attica and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. LaMastra recalls editing the made-for-television movie Foxfire at the same time he found out he was HIV-positive, and shares how that diagnosis impacted his life and career. He details some of the technical aspects of editing, outlines how the profession has changed since he started, and talks about his involvement in A.C.E. He concludes by talking about his wish to be a director and offers advice to aspiring television editors. Karen Herman conducted the interview on February 26, 2010 at Universal Studios in Universal City, California.