The Dark Crystal, Printmaking, and Film Editing: Spotlight on Local Film Editor Jayson Wynkoop
When enjoying a movie, most people aren’t focusing on scene transitions or how a particular sequence is presented to the viewer.
But they should.
How the film is edited is just as important as every other role in film; an art that sets the pace and tension and juxtapositions for the entire piece, as critical to assembling the puzzle pieces to make up a film as the director, but rarely (ever?) the first name to roll on credits.
Ashland film editor Jayson Wynkoop understands all of this. With a career as a film editor that is gathering stream, he recently explained to the Messenger how and why he enjoys the process of editing film and deciding how each scene is presented to the viewer.
“I have always loved movies,” he says. “I grew up on movies like Superman, ET, and Raiders of the Lost Arc, but also was introduced very early to films that were much less mainstream at the time, like Harold and Maude, Brazil, The Dark Crystal, Young Frankenstein, and Strange Brew. Over the years I have developed a healthy appreciation for avant-garde, odd ball movies and I am most interested in films that surprise me.”
In high school he worked up the ranks in a movie theatre until he was in the projectionist room. He says, “This was before the digital age when we had to thread film through a film projector. While at the theater I began to think that maybe I could make movies for living.” Wynkoop studied printmaking and graphic design at Pacific Northwest College of Art, where he also got his feet wet in creating short art films with a friend. “I worked for many years as a designer and printmaker while continuing to make videos on the side,” he says. “Then in 2007 I kind of flipped the switch and started doing more editing and less graphic design and printmaking. I love crafting the story and creating interesting and compelling scene transitions. I really love when I can take what is essentially a pile of unorganized footage and craft a moving story or at least something entertaining enough for people to pay attention to it.”
To Wynkoop, editing is less tedious and daunting and more piecing together the creativity of the story. He also has experience in directing and producing, but prefers editing over anything else. “Those things are outside of my comfort zone, so I really have to push myself to do that kind of work. And the project has to be the right one for me.”
Throughout editing and working in film, Wynkoop has a growing interest in animation. “I have always loved mixing older analogue ways of doing things with the latest digital technology,” he explains. “I would love to explore more of those ideas and create new and interesting ways to mix animation processes.”
Wynkoop has edited videos and films for the Bear Creek Wine Trail, the Nature Conservancy and Cal Trout, and the Ashland Chamber of Commerce. He’s worked with other local filmmakers such as Darren Campbell and Sean Nipper. He hopes those who see his work “are moved enough to take action. I love it when I see something that changes my mind, or makes me want to make a change in my life. If I can make something that influences the viewer to expand their thinking, join a cause, come to an event, or do anything that the video motivates them to do, then I feel very accomplished.”