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Meet the Finalist: Yujie Tang, "TJ"

Tell us about yourself, and about TJ.

I’m Yujie Tang, the editor of TJ. I’m one of the nominees of Best Editing.​

Share a memorable moment you experienced working on this project.

Here’s a fun fact about this film. Originally in the script, theillusion scene is supposed to happen after TJ, the new guy, got high.It makes sense because the illusion is caused by those drugs. However,when we were half way through the shooting, this brilliant idea cameto my mind that we could probably intercut the illusion scenes and theconversation scene. Because the illusion also reflects what they’vebeen talking about. In addition, by intercutting the illusion and theconversation, we could present what was in TJ’s mind to the audienceimmediately. In another aspect, those images were indeed conceived inTJ’s mind before he got high, right when they were talking about it.So I went to the director and producer with my “brilliant” ideas andreasons, although I myself was not even convinced that they would takemy idea in the first place. So after I told them everything, theywere, of course, a little worried that it might influence theproduction. Then they took a short while talking about it. The nextthing I know is that they were totally on board! I felt so thrilled atthat moment that the director and the producer both trusted me so muchthat they were willing to go along with my idea. Then they went aheadmaking some arrangements on the rest of the shooting schedulesaccording to my idea, and now here we are with this film.

Name 3 collaborators that you'd take with you to any other project.

Dale Fabrigar. Everette Wallin. Regina Lines.

It's always important to have a great team around you.

3 tips you’d like to share with aspiring artists in your field:

do have a couple tips that I think could really help editing.First of all, think outside of the box. It is a cliche, but it’s acliche for a reason. Whenever you think something in the scriptdoesn’t work as expected, you have to break free from the script andwork it out one way or another. If you as the editor couldn’t come upwith a good idea to resolve that, it’s unlikely that the directorcould break free from his own script and come up with many greatideas. Secondly, don’t always assume things might or might not work.Whenever there is a reasonable new idea, no matter if it’s fromyourself or the director, or even sometimes from someone whom the postprocess shouldn’t concern, don’t be afraid to go the extra mile tocarry it out and see. You may surprise yourself by the stuff you puttogether. Thirdly, establish healthy communication with the director.The director is probably the only person you need to talk to aboutyour creative work. It is so easy to mess if up when two of you havedifferent opinions. Compromise is going to be made, but your opinionis worth being heard. Strike the balance of communication.

What do you hope to achieve in your career in the next 5 years?

Here are a couple things that I would like to do in the next 5years. Firstly, I need to finish a couple feature films and hopefullythey will make their way through New York Film Awards and some otherfestivals. Secondly, I hope I could get a chance to assist some bigname editors on a couple union projects, and learn whatever there isfor me to learn.

TJ is nominated for Best Editing of the Year at the New York Film Awards.


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