Lionsgate has released the feature film I edited about a couple that gets a robot and it changes their perception of humanity.
New show from EPIX starring Forest Whitaker as legendary Harlem gangster Bumpy Johnson.
I’m James LeSage. I’m an editor working and living in New York City.
Some of my work:
Life Like (Lionsgate)
Mr. Robot (USA)
Graceland (Drafthouse Films)
Godfather of Harlem (Epix)
_My hope is that I am more than a genre editor. I focus on story and character as well as action and guns and a sensory experience. I’m always considering the audience (the fans) and never lose sight of giving them a satisfying, exciting ride. I like visceral, intense, even claustrophobic films that get your heart racing and your mind bending. And I like slow burns that twist the screw incrementally making you wonder where this is going.
_I have delivered all of my projects on time and on budget to the total satisfaction of the directors and producers. I am a picture editor primarily but also a visual effects artist, sound designer, and music editor. I have honed my skills in all aspects of post production. I know the work flows of other professionals working in other departments like sound and VFX, and I can create clear road maps to facilitate their work. I’m easy to collaborate with, I do long hours, and people say I’m a fun guy to have around the cutting room. I think it’s important to like the people you work with and spend all of your time with.
_I’ve been called a chameleon editor. I can cut the same scene a variety of ways with different intent or pacing or performance. I used to be an actor which serves me when judging performance. I’m a critical mind with technical skills. There is an arsenal of tools in my toolbox.
_I’m a fanboy at heart. I got into working in film and tv as a fan, like most people. My tastes are all over the map from classics, to the the 70’s, to bad 80’s movies, to foreign film, to modern indies, kung-fu, to horror, I love sci-fi, and of course a good thriller. I studied at Emerson College and taught myself software like Cinema 4D and After Effects that they didn’t offer at the time.
_I VJ-ed in venues in Boston mixing live video for DJs editing live footage to the beat in some of the biggest clubs.
_When I moved to New York City I started working as a Set PA and found myself on some of the biggest film and tv sets like 30 Rock, Law & Order, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, Whatever Works, 27 Dresses, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, and tons more.
_Then I joined The Motion Picture Editor’s Guild Local 700 and worked as an apprentice and assistant editor on Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Super Troopers 2, Ricki and the Flash, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 2, Delivery Man… the list goes on. I have worked as a consultant for some the best editors working in film: Oscar winner Claire Simpson (Platoon), Wyatt Smith (Dr. Strange), Oscar winner Paul Hirsch (Star Wars), Jay Rabinowitz (Requiem for a Dream), Lee Percy (Boys Don’t Cry), Stuart Levy (Foxcatcher), Jeff Betancourt (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle), and Oscar nominee Susan E. Morse (Manhattan). I studied their techniques and absorbed their wealth of knowledge.
_For my own tastes as an editor I always come back to thrillers, dark comedy, twisted stories that usually tap into some dark side of humanity. I love cutting action, manipulating footage, and using creative sound design. I love robots, cars, blood, and guns. But most of all, I love a good story.
It’s all about serving the greater story. Every gun fight, car chase, bar brawl is there for a reason. There is no difference in how you put together a genre movie and a drama. It’s all storytelling.
_Feel free to contact me now about editing your next film, tv show, pilot, etc. I’m looking for exciting scripts and directors with clear visions. I’m looking for a challenge. Maybe your film is “done” but could be better. I’m happy to workshop new ideas.
_I’ll be at New York Comic Con this year in October as an industry insider. Reach out if you want to meet up and talk about your project. Don’t be shy, I’d love to geek out with you!