Find out which effects she relies on most in her Avid-based workflow and why you shouldn't be afraid to experiment.
Ask the Artist with Tennille Uithof, Editor
4 minute read
The Emmy-nominated editor shares how she got her start, which Sapphire effects she uses to create looks, and why we should redefine success.
As a kid growing up in the middle of Montana's mountains, Tennille Uithof didn’t know a single person working in TV or the movies, but she did know it was her destiny. After graduating from film school at Montana State, she moved to NYC to follow her dreams. She’s now an Emmy-nominated editor with over twenty years of industry experience. Her recent credits include The Real Housewives of NYC, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Full Frontal With Samantha Bee.
How did you get your start in the industry?
My first internship was at Reading Rainbow! I did the classic intern to PA pipeline and eventually found myself drawn more and more to the editors I was working with. Then I moved over to MTV when it was a job-creating juggernaut. And from there, I found my way to editing.
What Boris FX tools do you use? Which effects/features do you rely on most?
I’ve used Sapphire mainly to stylize scenes or packages. On Full Frontal, all of our field pieces were their own little stories with no rules, so I’d often try to match the ‘look’ to whatever we were satirizing. I would use static TV shakes like you’re changing the channel or use a color adjustment to match Braveheart or Miami Vice. Those types of things. Day to day, the transitions are so standard that when I find myself on a project that doesn’t use them, I feel a bit lost.
What project are you most proud of — and why?
This is a cruel question. I don’t have children, but I’m assuming it's the same. I’m proud of all my projects, although I secretly love some of them more than others.
How do you prep before a big project?
It's so important to get yourself on the same page as the people you’ll be working with. I like to ask for other shows they’ve watched or worked on that will feel similar to what we’ll be doing together.
What's a keyboard shortcut you can't live without?
Remove effect. Editing is all about redoing things, and when you’ve tried something that doesn’t work, it's nice to just erase it immediately.
How do you keep yourself fueled/your favorite snack when you're in an epic session?
I can not live without black tea. I probably have too many opinions on what makes one tea better than others. And Swedish fish, which is the most perfect, little sweet snack.
Where do you turn for artistic inspiration?
I love watching old movies, and not just the classics. I love the forgotten movies of the 70s and 80s. Communication changes so quickly that watching a movie that has none of the tropes that are currently used is great to reset your brain out of all the ways you’re used to getting things done.
What do you do to unwind? Beat creative burnout?
I’m a big fan of walking in the woods with my dog.
What's your favorite film and/or TV series?
My classic smarty pants answer is On The Waterfront, but if you ask my sister, she’ll tell you it's Dirty Dancing.
If you could collaborate with any artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Errol Morris, hands down. He inspired me to be an editor. Watching his movies in college blew my mind with the ways you could tell a story through visuals.
What career and/or life advice would you give your younger self?
There is no one way to find your way toward success. You have to allow yourself to adjust what it means to be happy and successful in this industry because so much of what you can accomplish is not up to you.