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Michael Louis Hill (Film ‘09) PDF Print E-mail
Written by CUE Editor   
Tuesday, 04 December 2012 00:56

HaloSince graduating from Columbia, Michael Louis Hill has edited an indie feature, reality TV, commercials, and music videos, but he caught his big break this spring editing the webseries Halo 4: Forward unto Dawn, the largest budget webseries Microsoft has ever produced.  Below, Mike tells us about how he got the job, what his typical day was like, and how his Columbia education has helped him become the successful editor he is today.

"After Graduating from Columbia I moved back home to California but quickly joined up with a few classmates to make a feature film.  We traveled from Kansas City to Vegas shooting along the way.  I spent a few months on the east coast cutting the film with director Joe Saunders  (FILM ‘10) and then moved to Los Angeles.  After learning A TON working in the reality TV world for about 6 months I caught a huge break when a friend of mine put my name forward to be an editor on Bryan Singer's web series- H+: The Digital Series.  The director of that show, Stewart Hendler, then got hired to make the live action web series Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn and hired me as his editor.

Prior to production I cut storyboards and pre-visualization shots to help realize the bigger action sequences. We started shooting in May up in Vancouver. During production I tried to stay up to date with what the crew had shot the previous day. Since we had such a limited schedule and budget, we weren't afforded any time for reshoots or later pickups so it was important to get the scenes assembled as quickly as possible so they could grab anything we might need later. Stewart would come in on the weekends when he wasn't shooting to review cuts. After 5 weeks up in Vancouver, we then came back to LA and cut for an additional 13 weeks.

Typical day...I would arrive in the morning to see that the assistant editor already cut in all the VFX shots delivered the previous night and had updated all the reels accordingly (she rocked!). I would then start to tackle whatever notes I had received and screen a scene or reel for Stewart and the producers etc. repeat repeat repeat. It was very intense...long hours...but LOTS of fun.

I am currently cutting a short film and working on some commercials. I hope to cut another feature in the new year.

My education at Columbia has proven invaluable. Story influences every decision I make and without such a concentrated education on story, structure, characters, etc, I would be lost in all the footage.

You can watch the first two episodes of Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn here. and H+: The Digital Series here.

For more of Mike’s work visit: http://www.michaellouishill.com

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