We had the good fortune of connecting with Melanie Annan and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Melanie, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
I’ve been working in the film industry as an editor for nearly twenty years and there’s one quote that keeps me going:

it’s not about the film, it’s about the car ride home”

This was a quote from actor Jason Schwartzman when he was interviewed in my local paper in Perth/Boorloo, Australia.

He was talking about seeing Steve Martin films with his family when he was little and the fun they had on the car ride home – quoting the films and messing around. The films meant a lot more than just what was on screen – it was about connection.

It’s not just comedies that make me appreciate this quote – the same can be said about films that make you talk about issues together.

To me this is what film making is all about – connecting to the audience and providing a shared experience. It’s more about the conversations in the car on the way home from the movie theatre – the emotions that people are left with.

Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?                               I moved to LA only knowing one person in the film industry. I think it has helped to always be open to working with new people on different projects. I enjoyed starting again in a way – and going back to short films. On every project I learn something different – so why not! I go between documentary and scripted and I love the challenges of both.

The main lesson I learned along the way is “trust the process” – just keep going and trust your gut instinct. This was editing advice – but I think it applies to real life as well.
My career highlight so far was attending the Academy Awards this year with the short documentary Three Songs for Benazir. I’m proud of my work editing that film (along with fellow editor Christoph Wermke). It was a really surreal night at the Oscars and one I hope to repeat!
I’m the proudest when a film really connects with an audience. For example it was heart warming to hear from people living with schizophrenia and how they connected to the feature I Met A Girl. That kind of feedback makes it all worthwhile.
The thing I keep an eye out for in the edit suite is the little moments – subtle looks or happenings that catch your heart. Then I know that will go in the film. I feel the same in life – always keep an open mind and an eye out for the little surprising moments.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ah my favorite question as Los Angeles is just so magical. You could spend many lifetimes here and never get bored.

There really is something for everyone – so where I take people is always based on their tastes.

When my Aunty (who’s a landscape architect and hortoculturalist) comes to town we go to the Huntington Gardens and also explore the LA River and see how a lot of it is being returned to it’s natural state.

When my brother comes to town we hit up dive bars – especially any with a literary history like the King Eddy Saloon in Downtown (Charles Bukowski was a regular). My other favorite haunt is the Kibitz Room which I live dangerously close to.

I love taking people on a walk around Lake Hollywood – to me it is the best view of the Hollywood sign. A lovely place to see wildflowers in the Spring and spot a deer if you’re lucky. A walk around the Venice Canals is also fun and I like to dream about living there one day. Along the coast I also love to check out Redondo Pier and of course a drive up the PCH – all the way up to Mugu Rock if you can as it’s a lovely vista.

But no matter who visits – there is always one stop on the agenda every time – and that’s Canter’s Deli – luckily it’s down the road from me!

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 dedicate this shoutout to everyone living and working in L.A. – you are making it just by surviving here. Give yourself a pat on the back for that – no matter what stage of the career journey you are on.

I moved across the world to chase my dreams in Los Angeles. So a special shout out to anyone who did the same. Fortune favors the brave as they say. Keep going.

As far as organizations go I’d like to shoutout my film school – the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. The connections I made there were priceless and it really is top class in terms of the teachers and whole experience.

Also a shoutout to Project Involve at Film Independent – what they are doing for the next generation of diverse filmmakers here is incredible. I loved being a fellow there in 2017. Nothing excites me more than seeing the films that come out of Project Involve each year.

Website: www.melanieannan.com

Instagram: mel.annan

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