Feature Stories

VIDEO: Editing the Legacy

Anne V. Coates' hands-on approach to the history of Women in Film

Anne V. Coates' hands-on approach to the history of Women in Film

An Oscar-winner for her work on David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" in 1962, Anne V. Coates ACE is still working on major feature films, at the age of 85, as one of Hollywood's most respected film editors. When editing students at TFT were offered an opportunity to receive hands-on instruction from this meticulous craftsman, famed for her sensitivity to nuances of charater and drama, they jumped at the chance, making the Women if Film Legacy Series Film Editing Master Class an academic benchmark for the School.

Spearheaded by Barbara Boyle, chair, UCLA Department of Film, Television and Digital Media, in collaboration with Women in Film’s Legacy Series chair, Ilene Kahn Power, the master class with Coates was taught during the summer of 2010 by award-winning writer-director and TFT professor Felicia D. Henderson MFA '04 ("Soul Food: The Series").

The Women in Film Foundation's "Legacy Series" of filmed oral history interviews documents the personal and creative worlds of exceptional Hollywood women. Their pioneering accomplishments, both in front of and behind the camera, helped pave the way for the many women working in the film and television industries today. Along with Coates herself, giants interviewed today include Eva Marie Saint, Fay Wray, Kathryn Bigelow, Gloria Stuart and Debbie Allen. The interviews are being stored as a special Women in Film (WIF) collection at the UCLA Film & Television Archive Research and Study Center on the UCLA. Future plans include making the Women in Film Legacy segments available online.

Anne V. Coates ACE worked in the 1940s as an assistant for a British production company specializing in religious films, repairing film prints earmarked for tours of churches. This extensive experience splicing film eventually led to a job as an assistant film editor at Pinewood Studios, where her first experience was assisting film editor Reginald Mills ("The Red Shoes"). Coates later won an Academy Award for her work with director David Lean on “Lawrence of Arabia." She has continued to do cutting edge work editing films such as “Out of Sight” and “Erin Brockovich” for iconoclastic film director, Steven Soderbergh. Coates is a member of both the Guild of British Film and Television Editors (GBFTE) and American Cinema Editors (ACE).

Felicia D. Henderson is the award-winning creator of the landmark Showtime hit "Soul Food: The Series," the longest-running drama featuring African-Americans in the history of television. A successful writer/producer who works frequently on such high-profile shows as “Gossip Girl,” “Fringe” and “Everybody Hates Chris,” Henderson says she is most proud of the scholarships she has established at the School, the Felicia D. Henderson Screenwriting Scholarship and the Four Sisters Scholarship. “Giving back is really the best reward of success,” she says. "If people like us don't step up, the creative minds of the underrepresented might not get the opportunity to pursue their dreams.”

Videography: Juan Tallo
Video Editing and Page Design: Nolwen Cifuentes