Editors are smart. Entertainment Weekly says so.

The newest issue of Entertainment Weekly has a countdown of the 50 Smartest People in Hollywood. It’s quite a refreshing change from the usual entertainment lists of who’s the most powerful, sexiest or coolest in the entertainment world. I was quite happy and surprised to see some editors make the list! From the EW website:

At number 44 we have Roderick Jaynes:



SMART BECAUSE No film editor is more completely in sync with his director’s vision. That’s because he is the director: Brothers Joel and Ethan Coen edit most of their own movies but use Jaynes as their alias. The Coens do the impossible. They make films with big stars and high production values — and with zero studio interference. Over 23 years,they have created a body of work so distinctive, they could be their own genre. The results can be bizarre (The Ladykillers) or brilliant (Fargo, No Country for Old Men), but their vision is never compromised.
THE BRO KNOWS For most of their career, Joel has gotten directing credit while Ethan’s worn the producer’s hat, yet their nickname is ”The Two-Headed Director” because they’re so creatively and professionally connected.

And then at 32 it’s Thelma Schoonmaker:



AGE 67
SMART BECAUSE She constructs beautiful violence. Schoonmaker has edited some of Martin Scorsese’s most iconic films, from Raging Bull to The Departed, shaping complex footage into elegant narratives. She makes the thrills scarier, the dialogue sharper, the pacing snappier. In fact, she’s almost as responsible for Scorsese’s movies as he is.

OUT OF AFRICA Once wanted a job in the State Department, but blew her chances by voicing anti apartheid views.

What a treat to see even a mention of editing in something as mainstream as Entertainment Weekly. Those of us who do the job know how important the cut is even though the process as well as the person gets very little recognition. It’d be nice to see Sally Menke, Michael Kahn and Walter Murch on the list too. Check out the whole list by starting with number 50.