The NCE’s fifth annual international masterclass, held on Saturday, September 26th 2015, featured none other than William Goldenberg, ACE. Goldenberg is well known for his long collaboration with director Michael Mann, for his Oscar-nominated work on Seabiscuit,  Zero Dark Thirty and The Imitation Game and for his Oscar-winning contribution to Ben Affleck’s Argo.


A sold-out room of over 140 attendees – film editors, other film professionals and film students – heard Goldenberg discuss the diverse aspects of his work on a broad range of genres and film styles with moderator Job ter Burg, NCE.


As an apprentice editor for Dede Allen and as an assistant editor for Michael Kahn, Goldenberg learned valuable lessons that he still remembers when cutting current projects. Whenever he feels overwhelmed by a large amount of footage, he remembers Kahn teaching him “whenever you want to move fast, go slow”, don’t rush into the process, watch everything and make detailed notes, then wait until you come up with a way to approach the scene — otherwise chances are you will get lost.


Clips from films like Heat and The Insider showed a tremendous control over the tension in each scene. Not only building up to it, but then stretching the impact of the events for as long as that tension will hold, trying to get really close to the emotional reality for each of the carefully shaped characters. Keeping various storylines intertwined, building long story and character arcs that keep the audience engaged.

Goldenberg stressed the importance of being honest and open when working for different directors, from Michael Bay to Morten Tyldum, and in various genres and production environments, as well as working on films with multiple editors, and how those editing teams can form inspiring creative environments.


Many of the topics that came up during the masterclass resonated during the always successful closing mixer. The NCE feels honored to have had William Goldenberg as our guest this year, and is grateful to all those who attended the 2015 masterclass.


Photography: Ale Piet Terpstra — © NCE