REEL WOMEN: Cut+Run editor, Mah Ferraz

(Reel Woman: Mah Ferraz)

“Editing is my art; it’s the way I express my creativity. I’m very passionate about it and try to add my fingerprint and vision into anything I touch,” says acclaimed editor, Mah Ferraz.

Mah joined the Cut+Run editorial roster in February 2021. Her past work includes collaboration with Nike, adidas, Apple Music, Spotify, Instagram, ESPN, Vogue, Marc Jacobs, Volvo, Grey Goose, Marriott and the NFL.

Select music-related editorial features artists like Rosalía, A$AP Rocky, Megan Thee Stallion, Burna Boy and Mariah Carey have also been edited by Mah.

Being a Latina and part of the LGBTQA+ community, the New York City-based editor, Mah often uses her voice to collaborate on work with a powerful social message, such as Oreo’s Proud Parent and Megan Thee Stallion’s New York Times Op-Ed piece, Why I Speak up for Black Women.

In 2019, Mah became the first editor to become a Young Gun. Other Awards and nominations include Webbys, The One Show, ADC, The MVPA, One Screen and Berlin Commercial. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Nowness, Paper Magazine, Vogue, Elle Magazine, The Atlantic, It’s Nice That and has also been a Vimeo Staff Pick five times.

What’s your origin story?

I’m originally from Brazil –born in Sao Paulo, raised in Rio de Janeiro– and I went to college at The New School in NY and never left!

How did you get into editing?

I’ve liked editing since I was a kid; I used to download TV shows and movies and re-edit them for fun. But my career started after college when I became Assistant Editor at Uppercut NY. I grew into a Junior Editor there, went into Freelancing and recently joined Cut+Run.

Give a shout out to your mentors.

At Uppercut, I was mentored by Alvaro Del Val (now at Wax) and owner/editor Micah Scarpelli. They taught me a lot and gave me a lot of opportunities to develop my craft and understand the industry.

While there will be others, what do you consider your biggest achievement to date?

I’m not sure if it’s my biggest achievement, but a pivotal moment in my career was when I became the first Film Editor to win the Young Guns Award — portfolio award for talent under 30, given by The One Club for Creatives.

It’s such a renowned award and when I entered I was a Freelancer and had few expectations considering normally the award goes to directors, so it was incredible to see my craft being recognized– especially because I built my winning reel on my own as a Freelancer without representation. I was super proud of this achievement and it endorsed my confidence and hunger for my craft.

How about your biggest disappointment?

I’m a “no regrets” type of person, so I believe that any disappointment may be a door that closes and I’ll just find a window lol.

I think great things come with change, so if something doesn’t go my way, I just look ahead and explore my new path. Challenges make me better everyday so I try to take any disappointment or obstacle as a learning experience.

If being a woman is your superpower, how has it helped you?

I love being a woman –and also love women 😉

I find that women have a sensibility and complexity that always fascinates me. And I believe that as an artist, we use who we are in our work all the time, because who we are is what makes us see the world the way we do and that is translated into our creative vision.

So being a woman, loving women, understanding and admiring the power of women, makes me a better artist.

What’s your Kryptonite?

Cool projects haha, I’m too excited about too many projects and I can definitely take too many and neglect my personal life. I can’t resist it, I’m too hungry.

How did a combination of pandemic, Black Lives Matter and QAnon affect you?

Oof, the question should be how DIDN’T it affect me and the world. Personally, it affects me in too many ways to relay here, so I’ll answer it professionally.

I definitely use work as an escape to keep busy and excited, at the same time using my craft to work on projects with important messages behind it like the Megan Thee Stallion piece for The New York Times that got the attention of VP Kamala Harris and a letter from Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

What can the industry do better to promote true inclusion?

I believe the world and the industry is in the right direction, but one thing I hope to see and consider true equality/inclusion is when it’s not even a subject needed to be discussed. I have mixed feelings when jobs come in wanting me because I’m a woman, Latinx, and/or LGBTQIA+.

I truly believe that’s great that people care for the authenticity and sensibility of the voices in the project –it’s a start, but I believe every project/room should care for it, not just when the subject is related to the cause. I know the industry needs this “inclusion push” because it’s so behind, but I hope one day it will just naturally be as diverse as we are.

If you’re Batwoman, who’s Robin?

Internally, it’s my hunger. It’s that drive to move forward and grow at all times. In the sense that that’s my “best friend” in my career, that is by my side helping me overcome obstacles and survive.

Externally, Cut + Run is now my Robin. I joined because I trust that the people I met will support me in my journey and truly care for my craft and career, with the same excitement and hunger that I do.

What’s the engine that pulls you?

I think I answered that in the previous question, when I talk about my hunger. It keeps me going forward, evolving and not letting my comfort zone get the best of me.

If I’m too comfortable, I look for a challenge/change to keep me fresh. I like to constantly set new goals and see results. I’m like that in life and that translates into my career.

Climb in a time machine and tell 15-year-old you something

Career-wise, I would tell her that even though your English is not the best, it won’t keep you from living your dream of studying and having a career in NY. Being bilingual will actually open up your market reach allowing you to work not only in the US but in Brazil and all Spanish speaking countries.

Personally, I would say that even though you now feel like hiding your relationship with a girl, one day it will make you very proud and you will make a difference in people’s lives for that same reason. Ultimately, I’d tell her that everything that you are will take you exactly where you want to be. Embrace it.

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