Filmmakers Who Edit: MEYER to OSTROVSKY

Filmmakers Who (always or sometimes) Edit:
Meyer to Ostrovsky

Muffie Meyer

Gunvor Nelson

Sherry Millner

Yoko Ono

Trin T. Minh-ha

Vivian Ostrovsky


Dody Dorn, ACE

Born 1955

Dody Dorn, ACE is best known for working with Ridley Scott on three films including Matchstick Men and Kingdom of Heaven, with James Cameron on Terminator 2: Judgment Day, with Christopher Nolan on Memento and Insomnia and with David Ayer on Sabotage and Fury. Dorn’s work on Memento received an Oscar nomination among several others nominations, and she won the Sierra Award from the Las Vegas Film Critics Society. In addition to her credited editing on Scott’s films, Dorn worked on the 2003 DVD release of Alien (the “Director’s Cut”). Dorn is also well-known as a sound editor.

“With any of these directors, it starts with a large dose of respect and human connection. Depending upon where you meet somebody in their career, if they already have a god-like reputationwhich both Jim [James Cameron] and Ridley had when I was working with them it’s really essential that I can meet them on a level playing field as a collaborator and not be afraid to openly give my thoughts and opinions. We have to have an honest, open dialogue. Whatever comes out of that dialogue, being their ideas or my ideas, there’s a discussion that comes from the communication. Sometimes that can be hard when somebody that has the stature of those two guys, to get someone to really dig in and just get to work and collaborate.”
—“The Art of Being Industrious: Dody Dorn ACE on Cutting ‘Fury’” by Kylee Peña. The full interview can be found in the Appendix.


Blanche Sewell

1898 – 1949

Blanche Sewell had hoped to work as an actress in Hollywood, but became a negative cutter and then an editor under the mentorship of Viola Lawrence. She started working at MGM in the early 1920s and remained there until her death in 1949. She has sixty-three credits. Sewell edited numerous notable films for MGM including Goulding’s Grand Hotel, Mamoulian’s Queen Christina, and The Wizard of Oz.

“[Producer] Mervyn LeRoy’s choice of Blanche Sewell to edit The Wizard of Oz was not by random selection. Skilled as she was, Sewell was also Walt Disney’s sister-in-law by marriage. (Blanche’s brother, Glenn Sewell, was married to Hazel Bounds, and Hazel’s sister was Disney’s wife, Lillian.) According to John Stanley Donaldson,* Disney surreptitiously consulted Sewell after hours from MGM while Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was edited. Sewell possessed, in Donaldson’s language, an infallible grasp of the emotion picture—an intuitive ability for cinematic pacing to strike the proper tempo and temperament. It was her insightful whittling that coalesced the best of Snow White’s artistic triumphs and shaped them into an instantly acclaimed motion picture masterpiece. LeRoy was hopeful Sewell would work such wizardry a second time.”
—“The Road to Oz: The Evolution, Creation and Legacy of a Motion Picture Masterpiece” by Jay Scarfone and William Stillman

* Donaldson was a protégé of Herb Ryman, one of Disney’s lead artists.