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5 Tips for Editing Your Sample Reel

I see the sample as a short film with one very specific goal: to leave the potential funder wanting to see more so badly that they will write the filmmaker a check. In the last blog, I wrote about how to get started editing a sample reel. Once you’ve defined the best of the best of your footage, it’s time to come up with a plan or a script for editing your sample. Here are five tips for making the strongest sample reel possible.Read More


A-Chance-to-Dress-SQSo fun to do short trailers for films in the midst of editing these multi-year epic documentary projects! Last spring I had the pleasure of editing a couple of trailers for a couple of great docs. I love getting the chance to collaborate with filmmakers and helping to spread the word about a film I really believe in.Read More

States of Grace Trailer

I couldn’t be more pleased to be associated with a project than Helen Cohen and Mark Lipman’s States of Grace, a beautiful documentary about Dr. Grace Dammann, and her arduous and inspiring journey of healing her shattered body after surviving a head-on automobile accident. This is one of those films everybody should see…Read More

VIDEO – New Day Films Rocks!


New Day Films Annual Meeting 2013

Just back from an intense and inspiring four days in Northern California with my professional tribe: the 80+ social issue documentary filmmakers of the New Day Films collective. This is my twentieth year in the co-op (20!), and I have seen it grow from under thirty members doing DIY distribution to a sophisticated, cutting edge and profitable company, run by activist filmmakers with a passion for changing the world through documentary film.Read More

New Trailer for BE HOME SOON

Trailer for Be Home Soon The latest from Shirley Thompson Editorial… a new trailer for a gorgeous film by Bay Area Filmmaker Melissa Howden, called BE HOME SOON. A man who would become a saint: Rev. Frederick B. “Ted” Howden, Jr., a small town minister from New Mexico, leaves his wife and three small children to volunteer as an Army Chaplain in 1941. He’s halfway around the world in the Philippines when World War Two erupts…only his letters home survive.Read More

New Video of Peace Pilot Installation for PeaceDay

I love it when an irresistible project comes along. A project so compelling that I know in my gut and my heart that no matter what, I have to jump in and help make it happen. That’s how I felt about Trayc Claybrook’s PEACE PILOT, a monumental video installation of four films she made about peace, with which we enveloped an entire building. It was luscious. Read More

5 Tips For Cutting a Winning Fundraising Clip

Every film project needs a fundraising clip, no matter what stage of production or post. As a documentary editor, I feel like I spend as much time editing fundraising clips for filmmakers as actual films. And now with the growing popularity of crowdfunding sites like and, and individual film websites, a good short video that gives a potential funder a solid idea of what your film is about is essential.

So the question is, what to show?

Here are five tips to consider when crafting your film’s fundraising clip.Read More

ONE VOICE Trailer Sneaky Preview

Aloha friends!  Excited to share the ONE VOICE TRAILER which I edited for the good people at Pacific Islanders in Communication, a fantastic organization that channels Corporation for Public Broadcasting money to Pacific Islander films and filmmakers (they also do great education and outreach, in addition to funding).  Anyways, there is nothing more fun than editing something and immediately getting to see it with an audience. Read More