|Beth Colt and Chris Weitz star in Chuck & Buck, one Jeff
Betancourt’s three features with director Miguel Arteta.
Cut anything and everything you can.
If someone wants to be an editor, I would tell
them to cut anything and everything that they can—whether it’s their parents’ wedding
videos or a music video for their friend’s garage band. Just get
in and cut as much as possible.
You never know.
You never know when that one thing—that one project or video or
anything—is going to be the thing that catapults you. Or the one
you find your voice with. Or the one where you make that connection
with that director.
Find those relationships.
Find those relationships where you have a kinship to someone else.
My becoming friends with Miguel Arteta, and coming to the point
where we work together a lot, has become invaluable. Just find
that relationship and look for those people that you have a connection
with in terms of the material you like.
Trust your instincts.
Really trust your instincts. Maybe it’s not the most high
prestige project or what you expect to be doing, or maybe you’ll
have to sacrifice some other part of your life to be a part of
it. But just trust that voice.
Don’t underestimate your comfort level.
The shorthand and trust [you have with a director]
be underestimated. One of the biggest jobs I feel like I have as
an editor is to sort of be the eyes and ears while the film is
being shot—to sit in the editing room and be able to give the director
When you’re working with someone new, they may not have the trust
level there; and you may not have the comfort level to call them
up and say ‘Hey, you know that last scene would have been really
great if we could have gotten this shot. Is there any way we can
try and get that?’ When you work with someone like Miguel, he’s
constantly asking “How’s it going? Am I getting everything?” So
I feel very comfortable and he trusts me and trusts what I see.
That comfort level is really a great thing to have.
Filmography for Jeff Betancourt
Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)
The United States of Leland (2003)
The Good Girl (2002)
Get Over It (2001)
The Girls’ Room (2000)
Chuck & Buck (2000)
Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss (1998)
Star Maps (1997)