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Legendary Anne V. Coates Coaches Student Editors at UCLA

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 11, 2010 at 11:22AM

Every once in a while smart people get together to do good.
Thompson on Hollywood

Every once in a while smart people get together to do good.

In this case, the Women In Film Foundation was sitting on countless hours of some 40 Legacy Series video interviews with industry achievers--including Debbie Allen, Martha Coolidge, Eva Marie Saint, Fay Kanin, Evelyn Keyes, Marcia Nasatir, Margaret O'Brien, Anna Hamilton Phelan, Meta Wilde, Joan Tewkesbury, Fay Wray, Jane Wyatt and Laura Ziskin-- that needed editing.

After talking to WIF's Ilene Kahn Power and Linda Feferman about the series, Barbara Boyle, UCLA's Chair of the UCLA Department of Film, Television and Digital Media, figured out a clever way to kill two birds with one stone. She allocated some funding for first-round Legacy Series interviewee, legendary film editor Anne V. Coates (Lawrence of Arabia), to guest lecture as editor-in-residence along with professor Felicia Henderson, over the summer at UCLA, providing guidance and feedback as film students edited the footage into something someone would want to see. (See clips of Coates teaching here.)

Thompson on Hollywood

The program was a success, as Coates took the students through the ropes of editing on several of her features, and then gave them tips as they edited interviews into documentary features.

I sat in on one class as she discussed her work on Adrian Lyne's 2002 adultery drama Unfaithful and realized how crucial she was in helping to shape Diane Lane's performance into one that would earn an Academy Award nomination. It was Coates who decided to intercut the famous sequence with Lane riding the train amid flashbacks to her recent adulterous sex with French heart throb Olivier Martinez. Lane was great. But Coates made her unforgettable.


This article is related to: Genres, Women in Film, Production , Documentaries

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.