If there’s one thing black folks can do well, it’s make a way out of no way.
Every day we sink deeper into the stay-at-home-ordered abyss, it feels like we’re trapped. Thankfully, this bizarre era of self-isolation has produced some creative content. Whether it’s the comedians or the dancers, the growing crossover popularity of TikTok has unleashed a whole new generation of black creators.
Today, I want to specifically talk about black editors.
Unless you are scouring IMDb pages for fun like the dork that I am, are fully ensconced in #FilmTwitter, or have connected with people in your personal network, there may not even be any black film or TV editors on your radar. And when we get to the mainstream names, the list is scant, to say the least. There’s Joi McMillon, who made history as the first black woman to be nominated in the Best Film Editing category at the 2017 Academy Awards for her work on Moonlight. To put the erasure in further perspective, McMillon was only the second black editor to ever be nominated for an Academy Award, after Henry A. Robertson in 1969 for his work in Midnight Cowboy.
Needless to say, black editors exist—really talented black editors also exist. And I’m actually pretty excited that something as unexpected as a trendy social media platform is putting a spotlight on that.
It was actually the #DontRushChallenge that initially put this social media editing dynamic on my radar, appreciating the fact that people were essentially implementing post-production techniques in their very brief video.
Because you cannot outdo black people, soon I realized that the social media editing went beyond simple cuts and dissolves and I began seeing extra-creative videos on my timeline.
There’s this fun editing showcase by @micahcow:
Next, there’s this story, brilliantly told in an endless loop by @thejulianbass:
Then, there’s this guy who used the transition technique used in Get Out and fused it with the Us theme in a way that was so fire, he actually got the attention of the very filmmaker he paid homage to.
And OMG WTF IS THIS WOW, @princexagbaeze:
...and so many more.
Y’all did that shit. Cheers to black creators.
What are some of your favorite viral video edits you’ve seen on TikTok and beyond? Put me on in the comments!