December 1, 2020

What makes movie magic? Is it the writer putting pen to paper, the director channeling a creative vision, the producer putting wheels in motion? One might argue that it is in the editor’s hands, as this is where substantial shape is given to a range of footage not yet fully defined. During pre-production and production, each contributing person has an idea of what the story will look like, sound like, and feel like. But it is in the editing room that specific choices are made, and as a result, it is the editing team who officially brings a project to life.

This past October / November, Stockade Works hosted our first fully online training, an innovative and successful AVID Assistant Editing Workshop, led by acclaimed editor Sabine Hoffman ( and assistant editor Justin Rosen. We have wanted to host an assistant editing training since Stockade Works’ inception, as our region is in need of more ready-to-work AEs. Assistant Editing is also a subject that can easily be taught and experienced online, which presented a useful opportunity, given the covid related pivot that we had to make.

And the pivot to online training was a success. As AE grad Midnight Pipe Forman put it, “I felt so supported!  It was such a warm and friendly environment for something that was exclusively online. Really remarkable!” Fellow AE grad Atma Cornelius was “blown away by the world-class education being offered, with all of the small town charm, care and individual attention that one would hope for in a Hudson Valley offering. The process of approaching a feature film project was laid out in all of it’s mind-boggling and practical detail, yet the format kept us tuned into, and hands on with, the goal of it all – the realization of creative vision”.

Film and tv production is a collaborative effort that can only happen when the pre-production, production, and post-production teams come together with a cohesive goal. For this reason, Stockade Works has found it essential to base programming off of what productions shooting in the region need, fulfilling any gaps in local crew, making the Hudson Valley an ideal hub for the film and tv industry.

Offering a technical and creative blend of curriculum, the six session course covered the fundamental skills needed to work as an AVID Assistant Editor, including a hands-on rough-cut experience working with footage shot during our 2019 Bootcamp. And as with all Stockade Works trainings, workshop graduates will now be given career building, ongoing mentorship. According to AE grad Michael Bleakly, “The back and forth of bouncing ideas and conversations between the instructors and fellow students helped greatly. We all supported each other.” 

Working in film and tv production is all about the ability to proactively problem solve, a necessary skill to working in the industry. When a trainee graduates from a Stockade Works program, it is our goal that they go out with confidence. As AE grad Matthew Hamilton states, “I was always able to get answers to my questions quickly and easily. Everybody clearly knows what they’re doing and this class has given me enough transferable skills to go out and try this on my own.”


With the many challenges that came with 2020, we have also been given a chance to gain a new perspective and many opportunities we may not have previously imagined. For example, as Stockade Works plans for upcoming programming, we are excited about the additional access and reach that online programming can provide to the community. We are dedicated to our core mission of access and inclusion, and for that reason, we plan to continue with online programming, even when in-person training does resume. 

Looking forward, we have a full slate of programming planned for 2021 and beyond. Next up is our online Hair & Makeup for Film & Television workshop, partnerships with incoming productions, training in post-production and VFX, and departmental specific workshops such as production office coordinator, 2nd AD, budgeting, scheduling, and more. 

When we adapt, work together, and channel an editor’s skills– giving physical shape to our ideas and grounding them in reality– we can continuously grow our skill set, our industry, and the world of creative opportunity here in the Hudson Valley.