Jason Rosenfield

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Jason Rosenfield
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Born (1945-05-25) May 25, 1945 (age 76)
New York City, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
CitizenshipUnited States of America
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania
Occupation
  • Film editor
  • writer
  • director
  • producer
  • educator
Years active1979–present
Awards
  • Emmy Award Memphis PD: War on the Streets
  • 1997 Teen Killers: A Second Chance 1999
Websitewww.jasonrosenfield.com

Jason Rosenfield (born 1945, New York City) is an American film editor, writer, director, producer and educator known mostly for his work in story-driven feature-length documentaries. Elected to membership in American Cinema Editors.[1], an honorary society of distinguished editors, he has earned multiple Emmy Awards for his work and contributed to numerous additional awards, including an Emmy Award and three nominations, an Academy Award nomination, a Peabody Award and Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

Early Life

Raised in New Rochelle, N.Y. and introduced to painting, jazz and musical theater as a child, Rosenfield was inspired to pursue a career in the arts. He attended the University of Pennsylvania until his father’s death forced him to leave to help support his family[2]. Eventually moving into New York’s Greenwich Village and its dynamic mix of dancers, performance artists and filmmakers, he focused on dance before injuries and a fortuitous part-time job introduced him to film editing, which he saw as a natural extension of dance and choreography. While experimenting with cinematic form on his own, Rosenfield took freelance jobs assisting senior editors in television commercials and nonfiction programming, finally joining the Motion Picture Editors Guild in 1979 and pursuing a full-time career.

Career

Rosenfield earned his first major feature credit with Robert Altman’s Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (film) and first documentary credit with Perry Miller Adato’s Directors Guild of America Award Eugene O’Neill: A Glory of Ghosts before moving to Los Angeles in 1989[3]. Arnold Shapiro’s The American Dream Contest and Arthur Barron’s Rita Hayworth: Dancing Into the Dream was followed in 1992 by his debut as a director, writer, and producer of a theatrical short for the World Wildlife Fund, The Kingdom[4], which earned him a CINE and Cindy Writing Award [5]. He followed this as editor, writer and co-producer of Discovery Channel’s To Be With Sharks, then wrote, directed and produced On Nature’s Trail, an award-winning series of three short fictional children’s films for National Geographic.

Between 1994 and 1997, Rosenfield edited a number of films for Half-Court Pictures’ Bill Guttentag and Vince DiPersio, including the Oscar-nominated Blues Highway (film) and Emmy Award-winning HBO films Memphis PD and Teen Killers [6], before joining R. J. Cutler’s Emmy Award-winning series American High (TV series) for Fox and PBS[7]. Rosenfield continued his work in television series with Bunim/Murray Productions 10th season of The Real World (TV series), followed by Bill Guttentag and Dick Wolf’s Crime & Punishment, which ran for two seasons on NBC[7]. Two years later he served as lead editor for Rob Roy Thomas’ improvisational TV comedy Free Ride (TV series) [7].

In 2001, Rosenfield was elected to membership in American Cinema Editors (ACE), an honorary society of distinguished editors, one of a handful of documentary editors to be so honored. He has since held an active role in ACE, serving as Associate Director of the ACE Board from 2012-2015 and on the Membership and Eddy Awards Blue Ribbon Committees [8].

As Rosenfield’s acclamation in the industry rose, his influence expanded beyond the editing room. Beginning in 2006, Rosenfield served three terms on the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Board of Governors[2], helping spearhead the annual Prime Cuts Emmy-adjacent symposiums and developing numerous special events, including "Transparent: Anatomy of an Episode," with Joey Soloway and hosted by J. J. Abrams[9]. He spent almost two decades on the Academy’s Picture Editors and Documentary Peer Groups Executive Committees.

Rosenfield’s credits expanded further over the next decade with many award-winning documentaries. In 2004, he co-edited Black Sky: The Race for Space which won a Peabody Award. In 2007 and 2010, respectively, he edited Vince DiPersio’s Semper Fi and the Emmy-nominated The Kennedy Detail. Between 2012 and 2014 Rosenfield collaborated with Joshua Rofé and three-time Oscar winner Mark Jonathan Harris on Rofe’s feature-length documentaries Lost for Life [10] and Swift Current [11], followed in 2016 by Harris’ Breaking Point: The War for Democracy in Ukraine [12]. In 2018 he joined Rofe and Oscar winner Jordan Peele’s four-part Amazon series Lorena (TV series) . Lorena received an International Documentary Association nomination and premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival[13]. Other honored documentaries credits include Living Undocumented and The Seventies (miniseries).

Rosenfield’s experience in the editing room proved to be a catalyst for the mentorship and influence he’d provide as a story and editorial consultant. Brett Fallentine’s award-winning story of Compton’s African-American cowboys, Fire on the Hill [14], initiated Rosenfield’s consulting career in 2017 (he eventually received a full editing credit). That same year, Rosenfield consulted and served as supervising editor on Apo Bazidi’s award-winning Resistance is Life, the story of an eight-year old Kurdish refugee fleeing ISIS[15]. In 2018, his consulting credits included Do No Harm, Emmy winner Robyn Symon’s investigative look into physician burnout, and Amelia Rose Blaire’s award-winning narrative short Desert Prayer (for which he also received an editing credit)[16]. In 2019 he consulted on Ian Cheney’s Picture a Scientist, which was selected for the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival[17], Apo Bazidi’s How Far is Home, a story of Syrian refugees in America’s heartland that premiered at the 2020 Cleveland International Film Festival[18], and Academy Award winner Mitchell Block’s Sara, still in post-production.

In 2016, Rosenfield joined the faculty at USC’s prestigious USC School of Cinematic Arts, mentoring graduate and undergraduate students through both fiction and documentary productions[8]. He is a recurrent guest lecturer at various film schools, including ShanghaiTech University and Chapman University. In 2015, the Stowe (Vt.) Story Labs Screenwriting Workshop recruited Rosenfield as the first picture editor to serve as mentor to burgeoning screenwriters [2]. In 2017, Rosenfield was selected by the U.S. State Department’s American FIlm Showcase to lead international workshops on editing and storytelling[19].

In 2018, Rosenfield received his MFA in Film from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, delivering as his thesis project a manuscript for his memoir "Chasing the Monster: Confessions of a Film Editor," chronicling his career and life at the crossroads between art and artist[2]. Rosenfield continues his career as an educator, film editor, consultant and writer. He is developing a documentary film based on his memoir with movie director Robert Townsend (actor) , and an online college curriculum for film students in collaboration with Peter Hawley, former Dean of Columbia College Hollywood and current Director of the Illinois Film Office[20]

Filmography

Editor: Feature Documentaries

Year Title Director Notes
2019 Sara Mitchell Block Consulting Editor; In Post-Production
2019 Picture a Scientist Ian Cheney Consulting Editor; In Post-Production
2018 Kupenda Philip Knowlton
2018 Do No Harm Robyn Symon Consulting Editor
2017-2018 Fire on The Hill Brett Fallentine
2017 Resistance is Life Apo Bazidi Supervising Editor
2016 Breaking Point: The War for Democracy in Ukraine Mark Jonathan Harris Theatrical release 2018
2014 Swift Current Joshua Rofé
2013 Spirit of the Marathon 2 Jon Dunham
2012 Lost for Life Joshua Rofé
2010 The Kennedy Detail Vince DiPersio Nominated for an Emmy Award
2009 Worse Than War Michael DeWitt
2009 HouseQuake Karen Elizabeth Price
2007 Semper Fi Vince DiPersio
2006 Secrets of the Code Jonathan Stack
2004 Black Sky: The Race for Space Sandy Guthrie, Scott B Received a Peabody Award[21]
2003 Top Speed Greg MacGillivray Imax Feature
1998 Teen Killers: A Second Chance Bill Guttentag & Vince DiPersio
1998 Kids Who Kill Jason Rosenfield Director/Editor
1996 Memphis PD: War on the Streets Bill Guttentag & Vince DiPersio Received a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award Nominated for a CableACE Award
1994 Blues Highway Bill Guttentag & Vince DiPersio Nominated for an Academy Awards Received a Blues Music Award Nominated for the Chicago International Film Festival
1989 A White Garment of Churches Perry Miller Adato
1986 Eugene O'Neill: A Glory of Ghosts Perry Miller Adato DGA Award[22]

Editor: Television Series

Documentary

Year Title Producer Notes
2019 Living Undocumented Aaron Saidman
2018 Lorena Amazon Supervising Editor; Director: Joshua Rofé; 4-part limited series
2015 The Seventies: War of the Sexes Mark Herzog, CNN IDA Award
2001-2004 Law & Order: Crime & Punishment Bill Guttentag, Dick Wolf, NBC
1999-2000 American High RJ Cutler, Fox/PBS Received an Emmy Award[23]
2001 The Real World Jonathan Murray & Mary-Ellis Bunim, MTV
2001 Making the Band Jonathan Murray & Mary-Ellis Bunim, MTV
2001 Road Rules Jonathan Murray & Mary-Ellis Bunim, MTV
2001 The Challenge (TV series) Jonathan Murray & Mary-Ellis Bunim, MTV

Reality

Year Title Producer
2012 Face Off (TV series) Dwight Smith et al, Syfy
2012 Million Dollar Closets Rich Bye, HGTV
2010 Drama! Pilot Vince DiPersio, BET

Comedy

Year Title Director/Producer Notes
2009 The Breakup Guy Aaron Hilliard/CBS Pilot
2008 Trendsetters Aaron Hilliard/ABC Pilot
2006 Free Ride (TV series) Rob Roy Thomas, Fox TV Lead Editor

Editor: Narrative Films

Year Title Director
2018 Desert Prayer Courtney Thérond
2016 Echo Park Blues (Consulting Editor) Michael Bofshever
2008 Learning to Fly Gay Thomas
1982 Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (film) Robert Altman

Director

Year Title Producer Notes
2000-2001 American High (TV series) (Shared Credit) RJ Cutler, Fox/PBS TV Documentary Series
1998 Kids Who Kill John Lindsay, Oregon Public Broadcasting TV Documentary
1995 On Nature's Trail (Producer/Writer/Director) Jason, Rosenfield, National Geographic Society Three-part fictional children’s series
1992 The Kingdom (Co-Producer) World Wildlife Fund

Writer

Year Title Producer Notes
1995 On Nature's Trail (Producer/Writer/Director) Jason Rosenfield, National Geographic Society Three-part fictional children’s series
1994 To Be With Sharks: View From the Cage Marty Snyderman, Discovery Channel
1992 The Kingdom (Co-Producer) Michael Rosenberg, Brion Black, World Wide Fund for Nature

Producer

Year Title Notes
2012 Million Dollar Closets Reality TV Series, HGTV
2011 Project Accessory Reality Competition TV Series, Lifetime (TV network)
2011 Ned Bruha: Skunk Whisperer Reality TV Series, Animal Planet
2009 Elk Avenue TV Pilot Presentation
1998 Teen Killers: A Second Chance? TV Documentary, HBO
1995 On Nature's Trail (Producer/Writer/Director) Three-part fictional children’s series, National Geographic Society
1994 To Be with Sharks: View From the Cage (Co-Producer) Producer: Marty Snyderman, Discovery Channel
1992 The Kingdom (Co-Producer) Theatrical short, Producer: Michael Rosenberg, Brion Black, World Wide Fund for Nature

Awards

Individual

Year Award Title Result
2019 Southampton Film Festival: Best Film Editing Desert Prayer Nominated
1999 Emmy Award Teen Killers: A Second Chance? Won
1999 Emmy Award Kids Who Kill Won
1997 Emmy Award Memphis PD: War in the Streets Won
1995 World Medal New York Festivals On Nature's Trail Won
1995 Columbus International Film & Animation Festival On Nature's Trail Won
1992 CINE Golden Eagle The Kingdom Won
1991 Cindy Writing Award The Kingdom Won
1984 CINE Golden Eagle The Cafeteria Won

Production

Year Award Title Result
2016 Emmy Award The Seventies Nominated
2015 IDA Award The Seventies Nominated
2011 Emmy Award The Kennedy Detail Nominated
2004 Peabody Award Black Sky: Burt Rutan's Race for Space Won
2000 Emmy Award American High Nominated
2000 Emmy Award American High Won
1997 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award Memphis PD: War in the Streets Won
1997 CableACE Award Memphis PD: War in the Streets Nominated
1995 Academy Awards Blues Highway Nominated
1995 W.C. Handy Award Blues Highway (film) Won
1994 Chicago International Film Festival Grand Prize: Gold Hugo Blues Highway (film) Nominated
1986 Directors Guild of America Award Eugene O’Neill: A Glory of Ghosts Won
1982 Chicago International Film Festival Grand Prize: Gold Hugo Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (film) Won

References

  1. "ACE Active Member Directory". American Cinema Editors.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Zoecklein, Aja. "Student Spotlight: Jason Rosenfield on His Election to the TV Academy Board of Governors". Vermont College of Fine Arts. VCFA.
  3. Myers, Stephen. "Jason Rosenfield ACE Talks About His Big Break Editing". MovieMaximus - Rare Movies Reviewed.
  4. "The Kingdom: A Short Environmental Parable". YouTube. World Wildlife Fund.
  5. "CINE GOLDEN EAGLE FILM & VIDEO COMPETITION 1992 WINNER DIRECTORY" (PDF). CINE.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-16.
  6. "Teen Killers: A Second Chance? Looks at a Controversial Rehabilitation Program For Juvenile Offenders (October 16, 1998)". Warner Media. Warner Media, LLC.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Jason Rosenfield, ACE". Television Academy. ATAS.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "USC Directory of SCA Faculty : Jason Rosenfield". USC Cinematic Arts. University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.
  9. "Transparent: Anatomy of an Episode". Television Academy. ATAS.
  10. Bernstein, Paula (July 18, 2014). "Here's How 'Lost for Life,' A Powerful New Documentary About Juvenile Murder, Came Together". IndieWire. Penske Business Media, LLC.
  11. "Swift Current".
  12. Gleiberman, Owen (March 3, 2018). "Film Review: 'Breaking Point: The War for Democracy in Ukraine'". Variety. Variety Media.
  13. "Lorena (2019)". Sundance Institute. Sundance Institute.
  14. "Credits". Fire on the Hill. Fire on the Hill.
  15. "Team". Resistance is Life. Resistance is Life.
  16. Blaire, Amelia Rose. "Desert Prayer - A Short Film". Indiegogo. Indiegogo, Inc.
  17. "PICTURE A SCIENTIST". Tribeca. Tribeca Enterprises LLC.
  18. "How Far is Home". CLEVELAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL. CIFF.
  19. "Film Editing Workshop with Professor Jason Rosenfield". U.S. Embassy in Georgia.
  20. "Peter Hawley". Illinois Department of Commerce. Government of Illinois.
  21. "Black Sky: Race for Space". Peabody - Stories that Matter. Peabody Awards.
  22. "39th Annual DGA Award Winners". Directors Guild of America. DGA.
  23. "American High". Television Academy. ATAS.

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