Cutting "Teeth": Influence and Agency in Documentary Film Editing


Holly Hey, MFA & Michael Goodier, MFA | September 21 | 2:45-3:45 PM

Topic: Film | Knowledge Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Documentary films have ushered awareness about their subjects to their audiences in a variety of styles and approaches from the omniscient narrator to the director/participant. The methods used by the film’s editor, when to cut away, when not to cut, what to cut to, will directly influence the way(s) in which the documentary’s meaning is understood by its audience. This presentation examines how internal and external influences on a film editor lead to the choices made in shaping a film’s content into meaning. The presenters will also discuss the ethical decisions an editor and filmmaker need to consider when making a film about someone who has been trafficked. “Teeth”, edited by Michael Goodier, follows Angelica, a mother of 5 in her late 40’s currently living in Hawaii, as she moves through the processes of healing the emotional and physical damage from having been sex trafficked at a young age. Goodier has constructed a space in “Teeth” where Angelica’s story is told, making visible her real-life experiences in ways that are often oppressed or misrepresented by mainstream media; she is survivor thriver, fighting every day to make her life better for herself and her family.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Illustrate documentary film as an agent of change.

·  Explore the influences of a film editor.

·  Contemplate the ethics of representation from the film editor’s point of view.

About the Presenters