Editor Stacy Peterson and her gift for authenticity

(Stacy Peterson)

We have run many stories about post house Cut+Run. One editor, on their talented roster, who always stands out to us is Stacy Peterson. Stacy has demonstrated time and time again a unique gift for finding authenticity and the emotional core of every spot she edits and Reel 360 has been excited to cover.

It can be seen over and over again in her award-winning work for Gillette Your Best Never Comes Easy, short films for the Nike Dream Crazier series, as well as Equinox’s empowering short for Pride Month LBGTQAlphabet.

Stacy moved to New York to start her editing career shortly after graduating with a film degree from Northwestern University. Over the years Stacy has collaborated with directors Floyd Russ of Tool, Elle Ginter of Sanctuary, and Angie Bird of Chelsea Pictures, as well as agencies Wieden&Kennedy, Townhouse, Anomaly, and Droga5.

We had a chance to finally sit down and talk to Stacy.

What did you originally want to be when you grow up? From a young age, I knew I wanted to do something in the film industry. As I grew up, I focused in on video editing. But as a kid, the thought of being a music video director seemed like the coolest thing in the world.

How did you get into film? My start in the editing industry is very New York. I moved to the city with no job, nowhere to live, and a tiny resume. I ended up needing some dental work done, and the dentist happened to have a lot of editor clients. He faxed out my resume and a couple of months later, I had my first job as a runner.

Who were your mentors? I have been so fortunate throughout my career to have great support every step along the way. From Ashley Kreamer, the very first editor I assisted, to Akiko Iwakawa-Grieve, the editor who pushed me to be my very best as I was coming up as a cutting assistant.

Even now, I receive so much support and advice from my fellow editors and the producers at Cut+Run. It’s extremely difficult to make it in this industry without a strong group of people behind you, believing in you, and I’ve been extraordinarily lucky on that front.

Biggest Achievement Honestly, having a career as an editor at all feels like a great achievement. So few people get the opportunity to do something they really love.

Biggest Disappointment Not seeing the Miami Dolphins win a Super Bowl in my lifetime (yet).

Name Your Biggest Pet Peeve People who clip their nails in public spaces. Loud upstairs neighbors. Picture frames on the wall being *juuuust* slightly off-center.

Predictions for the industry over the next decade Film editors will have to continually adapt to new mediums and deliverables. Six second videos for social media. New streaming services. New forms of advertising. Whatever the heck happens to cinema. Adaptability will be essential.

Name a Job You Had That Would Surprise People I worked on an assembly line in a factory. I had to sit in a tiny room and test-ring doorbells.

Who Plays You in Your Life Story? I’m trying to think of someone way cooler than I actually am. Ellen Page?

What do you wish you had more time to do? Sleep.

Do you talk to yourself? That’s between me and myself.

What inspires you to be creative? My partner is the most creative and inspiring person I’ve ever met. So definitely her. And then other people’s work. There are so many fascinating, wonderful projects being made nearly every day. For all the faults of the Internet, the access to art is game changing.

ALSO READ: Cut+Run’s Peterson edits short on Warriors’ Thompson

Her Favorite Things

As an added bonus, Stacy took us through some of her favorite spots and what they meant to her.

Gillette “Your Best Never Comes Easy

This was one of those magical spots where I knew right away it was going to be special. For one thing, Shaquem Griffin is such an inspiration. And the unique thing about director Floyd Russ is his determination to show the ups and the downs, the hard work, the reality of someone’s story. In doing so he is able to really hone in on authentic emotions.

The mix of docu footage, interviews, and stylistic recreations gave me freedom to experiment in the edit. All of us, myself and Floyd and the creatives from Townhouse, fought so hard to stay true to Shaquem and his family.”

Equinox “The LGBTQAlphabet”

“This was the first Pride film I ever edited. As a queer female editor in a promediomently straight/white/male dominated industry, it was really moving to be able to tell a story from the perspective of my own community.

The director, Jordan Bahat, and the team from Wieden+Kennedy had so much heart and care for the project. The LGBTQ+ community is ever evolving and there are elements of the film that can be considered controversial, but overall I find it to be one of the most progressive and inclusive branded Pride films to date.”

Nike “Chantel Navarro”

I love editing anything to do with sports, especially women in sports. Chantel is such a badass and comes from a family of badasses. Director Savanah Leaf set me up with great footage of home life, training, boxing matches, and intimate interviews, and the agency The New Company had such extreme dedication to the project.

Docu-style editing is always hard work and long hours, but honestly this project was just fun.

Pantene “Home for the Holidays”

So often we see branded content about the trans community that only deals with hardship or heartbreak. But real representation should cover the whole scope of the human experience, not only the struggle but also joy and love. This spot deals with a difficult subject (going home for the holidays to families who may not understand or accept you), but we strived to present it with sincere heart.

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The trend with all of my favorite work is that the whole team – in this case, director Madeline Kelly and agency Townhouse – clicked on the same wavelength and had the same level of passion for the project.

Colin Costello is the West Coast Editor of Reel 360. Contact him at colin@reel360.com or follow him on Twitter at @colinthewriter1