We had the good fortune of connecting with Vivian Nguyen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vivian, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking definitely has its measurable outcomes. Trying to balance all areas of life and career takes practice and a lot of introspection on what my values are.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Editing is an invisible art. Sometimes, I prefer the lonely process, but the fun part is being in the room with the director or producer solving the puzzle together. Choosing the pacing comes innately and every editor comes with their own style. There’s also the technical side of how well you know how to use the program which dictates how quickly you do your job. This fusion of technology and art is just one aspect of how much I enjoy the editorial process of filmmaking.
Right now, my full-time job as an assistant editor is more technical than creative. So I try to pick up projects on the side to fulfill my creative needs. I am most proud about the short film I just finished cutting. I’ve cut a few shorts in the past 3 years, but Room 321 will be my first submission into film festivals that I actually feel showcases my skills as an editor. I’m hoping my work here invites more opportunity along the way.
The lessons I’ve learned have mostly been professional. I’m extremely lucky to assist with some of the most talented editors who have worked on shows I watched in my childhood. It’s been incredible being able to livestream producer notes and to see how the editors problem solve around story and technical issues. I’m constantly learning about workflow across multiple programs to add to my arsenal. I remember when I first started out, it would take me 6 hours to do a video conform on a 45 min episode. I’ve been able to carve that down to 3 hours but I think I can chop that down some more.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
A day with me mostly involves eating and looking at art. When my best friends visit, we usually hit up Chrome Yellow for coffee and get breakfast burritos at El Tesoro. Depending on the weather, rainy days at the museum and sunny days at Constitution Lake – maybe a day trip to Cloudland Canyon. End the night with some beers in EAV or Estoria. Golden Eagle if we’re feeling fancy. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to give a shoutout to Kevin Wilson who offered me my first big job as an Assistant Editor. He taught me everything I know.
Alisa Jarmon, Noah Orisich