UK ‘Priest’ Trailer Editor Headed to Hollywood, Courtesy of Sony Pictures

A few months ago, Sony followed three film students from the United Kingdom as they competed for the best edit of a trailer for the film, “Priest.” Of these, Mr. Joshua Sanger stands triumphant. You can see details and read my critique of each of their edits in the competition here. Just recently, I learned that Joshua is about set for his awaited venture to Sony Studios where he will be fortunate to meet top execs and to observe daily activities at the studio. For many young filmmakers, this is a dream come-true, or maybe better, a dream getting ready to begin. Even though I won’t be there, I took some time to think about items that I would do if I were Joshua. Here are my thoughts (in both serious and entertaining ventures)…

Questions to ask:

  • Economy has had an impact on filmmaking over the last few years. How has that affected your decision-making process? What criteria do you consider to determine if a film will be successful in theaters?
  • What are the top qualities you look for in up-and-coming producers and directors? Are there any personality traits you’ve seen that stand out?
  •  How were you (speaking to execs) able to find your way through the ranks to get to your position? Was it chance timing, planned effort, or others with vision that helped you through?
  •  To the budding filmmaker who thinks he/she has what it takes, what is one piece of advice you would give them to follow if they are going to be successful?
  • What is Sony’s vision/goal for creating entertainment? Is a sense of vision important? How does your vision impact day-to-day activities for both yourself and employees?
  • What do you do that separates you from other film studios, and how is that niche maintained?
  •  What is your favorite film to go out in the past 3 years?
  •  What future films are in the works that you are really looking forward to seeing in the theaters?

 Things to Do:

  • Walk of stars (of course!)
  •  In-depth tour of Sony Studios and production work (a free-be this time).
  •  Hollywood & Beverly Hills Tour
  • Try a couple west coast fast food locations: In and Out Burger and Jack-in-a-Box and review your experience.
  • I’d really entertain spending some time with some everyday employees, too, since they are the backbone of the company. Consider having a pizza party with a group of grips or spending some time with some editors to find out how they’ve gotten to where they are.
  • If you really get bored, then find some time to shoot and then edit yourself into a scene from the upcoming ‘Amazing Spiderman,’ climbing a wall or something.

 Challenges (on a not-so-serious note, but might still be worth trying):

  • Rent an exotic sports car and cruise down Mulholland Drive. Consider a call to Top Gear (USA or UK) or Jay Leno to see if they can match your time through the bends. Otherwise, maybe you can challenge Will Smith, but he has to wear a suite from a Men in Black film.
  •  Try to find and pull a yellow brick from stage 27.
  •  Measure Stage 15 with toothpicks. How many would be used around its perimeter? (Stage 15 happens to be the second largest sound stage in the world. It was used
  •  Climb to the top of the Sony Studios water tower and repel back to the ground.
  •  Attempt to find an open office and move your stuff into it. After you’ve done that, find me one and set it up for my arrival.
Hope your trip goes well, Joshua. Live it up!

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Video Producer, Director, Writer, Editor.