Interview with Ken Burns' Documentary Editor, Craig Mellish
Get a glimpse into the editing/creative process of Craig Mellish as he works on Ken Burns' documentaries. He is an Avid editor and in the full article you can get a look at his Avid setup. Check out our Top 10 guide for Avid Media Composer Editors for tips and recommendations on improving your workflow and setup!

Art of the Cut with Ken Burns' Doc Editor Craig Mellish, ACE

from ProvideoCoalition by Steve Hullfish Documentary editing is an art form that requires tremendous patience, skill and imagination. Eisenstein’s theories about the juxtaposition of images are constantly on display in documentary film. Director David Mamet said, “This is good filmmaking: to juxtapose images.” That is the essence of editing, of course, but in particular, documentary editing. This series has done interviews with documentary editors Andy Grieve and Steve Audette, ACE. To profile another documentary film editor I thought, “Well, everybody knows the work of Ken Burns, but who is HIS editor?” That led me to Craig Mellish, ACE. Craig – with almost 20 years at Ken Burns’ company, Florentine Films is actually one of the junior guys at the company. Craig was nominated for two Primetime Emmys for Best Sound Editing – Nonfiction Programming. He has worked on many of the seminal documentary films Ken Burns and his team have produced, including “The National Parks,” “Lewis & Clark,” “The Dust Bowl” (for which he was nominated for an EDDIE for Best Documentary Editing-TV), “The Tenth Inning” (two part update to the 1994 series “Baseball) and a film on the Gettysburg Address called, “The Address.” Mellish is also an accomplished photographer. All photos in this article are by him and used with his permission. HULLFISH: What are you working on, right now? MELLISH: At the moment I am doing the finishing work on a ten part series on the Vietnam War; I edited two and a half of the ten episodes. I’m just starting an eight part series on the history of Country Music; I will also edit two episodes of that series. HULLFISH: Country Music, that’s one that I wouldn’t have figured that Ken Burns would tackle. MELLISH: Our producer is Dayton Duncan who produced and wrote the National Parks, Mark Twain, and Lewis & Clark: Country music is one of his passions and he usually brings those kinds of films to Ken. But it ties in. We also did the history of Jazz. So, here’s a series on another American art form...[continue reading on ProvideoCoalition]
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