New Talent: Sara Sachs
Sara Sachs recalls the mistakes that she made in her college editing bay with fondness. It was there that she transformed a project’s potential disaster into a success and where she first felt the triumph of delivering an editing job to deadline. Sara’s achievement, against the clock and despite the odds, resonated with her and motivated her to improve and devote herself even more intensely to editing.
Post-graduation, after a short stint in the business world, Sara found herself in New York. It was in the Big Apple that her life’s timeline aligned with her dream of being an editor when she bagged her first editing position with a commercial editorial house in the city and she’s never looked back.
Sara is now an assistant editor at PS260 New York and LBB’s Jason Caines sat down with her to discuss how she fell in love with editing, her winning remix of ‘The Life Aquatic’ trailer and the main challenges of her role at PS260.
LBB> What were you like growing up as a kid?
Sarah Sachs> As a kid, I was a contradiction. I was cheerful but serious. Shy but intense. A people-pleaser but headstrong. Even from a young age I was also acutely aware it doesn’t get better than being a kid and did my best to take full advantage. My schedule was wall-to-wall packed with extracurriculars, activities, friends. I try to hold onto the joys of childhood in adult life by continuing to spread myself incredibly thin.
LBB> How did you first get interested in editing video?
SS> My first exposure to editing was part of a college requirement. I remember the first assignment was to take dailies from the TV show ‘Gunsmoke’ and turn it into a short film. I spent two weeks of long days in the editing bay cutting and polishing my video until I had something I was really proud of and excited to share… And then three hours before the class my project crashed and was irretrievable, a disaster I’m sure is all too familiar to any editor. Pressure was mounting and time rapidly dwindling, I scrapped my first approach and went in an entirely different direction. It turned out better and far more interesting than my first cut and the feedback I got was overwhelmingly positive. That combination of intensity and creative abandon was a thrill and I was hooked.
LBB> How did you get your start in advertising?
SS> When I was done with college it seemed like my options were LA or New York. As a California native, New York seemed more exotic. I took a temp job at Euro for a minute, but my first real job in New York was working at a business consulting firm in Times Square. After six weeks I had a moment of clarity where I was like “I didn’t move here for this.” So I quit and took a job at a commercial editorial house.
LBB> What’s a typical day like for you as an assistant editor at PS260 and what are the main challenges of your role as an editor?
SS> My favourite thing about editorial is there that there is no typical day. You walk in thinking you know what’s coming and you are rarely right. Being an editor is similar in that you never quite know what's next, but it is also more satisfying because there’s more of an ability to shape the outcome. Nothing makes me happier than sitting down with a mountain of footage and creating.
LBB> Your remix of ‘The Life Aquatic’ trailer as a superhero is hilarious and you won 1st place in the Camp Kuleshov competition in 2015. How did you come up with the idea for this project and what was it like to work on that project?
SS> The Camp Kuleshov competition that year came on the heels of an exceptionally busy work period when I had been travelling for a job and came back with only a few days before the deadline. It reminded me a lot of my first project in college when time was a huge constraint. I think high pressure is where I thrive and find myself the most creative because there’s no second guessing and you act on instinct. My most acute moment was the concept 'not all heroes wear capes' but applied that to red beanies.
LBB> What's been your favourite project to work on so far into your career?
SS> We did a Vogue spot this past year with Elle Fanning that aesthetically has been one of the more fun spots I’ve had, mostly because of the freedom to explore style. But truth be told whatever I’m working on at the moment is my favourite thing. I get very caught up in every project while it’s going on.
LBB> What US-based advertising/brands or ad makers inspire you?
SS> There are so many brands and advertising campaigns that inspire me. Under Armour, Kenzo, GEICO, Adidas, Nike, Apple, the list definitely goes on. I think the ads that inspire me of late tend to be more cinematic, music driven, and creatively adventurous.
LBB> What are you into outside of advertising?
SS> I love that commercial editing is something I get to do every day for a living but it’s also a hobby I do on the side. Even when I’m not working I spend a lot of time editing other projects. Other than that I’m outdoors whenever possible! I love running in the park, exploring New York by foot, and doing just about anything active outside in the summer.
LBB> Do you have any advice for younger, budding video editors out there?
SS> Don’t wait for anyone to give you a project. Create, create, create.
LBB> Do you have any upcoming projects that you'd like the people out there to know about?
SS> Right now I’m infatuated with narratives that have a personal story or perspective. I’m about to jump into a documentary for Kevin Corrigan that’s about a band for which he is a bassist. I’m also cutting some experimental comedy for an up-and-coming comedian named Caroline Yost.