Last year, Emily Dennis just about had enough of commercials when she had an "out of body experience." At least that's how she describes what it was like editing for Martin Scorsese, who had selected her to cut his spot for European telecommunications provider Orange. This wasn't just your everyday dream job. It's something Dennis had been fantasizing about for years. Eight years ago, just before she helped to launch the New York office of Mad River Post, she had written a letter to Thelma Schoonmaker, Scorsese's long-time editor, hoping to maybe segue out of spots and land a job working with the editor and perhaps the director himself. Unfortunately, it didn't pan out, but Scorsese's editor responded with a letter encouraging her to persevere. "It was literally a dream fulfilled," Dennis sighs about finally landing within the same creative cosmos as her long-time idol. When she finally met Schoonmaker during the Orange job, "She gave me advice and she hugged me," recalls a breathless Dennis. "It was just amazing."
Dennis had already spent the majority of her decade-plus career with Mad River, working on choice jobs for the likes of Tony Kaye and Jonathan Glazer (remember the Michael Jordan "Frozen Moment" spot?), but lacking inspiration, the former Bennington art student was contemplating quitting the editing game until last year proved to be the gold mine that restored her faith. First came the call from RSA that Scorsese wanted her on board, then a stunning music video job for Bjork, helmed by renowned costume designer Eiko Ishioka; followed by her first opportunity to work on a Joe Pytka campaign (the latest FedEx, with all that Mamet-esque dialogue); and then another petrifying call from RSA, this time to work with Tony Scott on some swift-moving spots for Island ECN. To top it off, Dennis just cut her second job for Scorsese on his DVD transfer of The Last Waltz. "This has just been a great year for me, an amazing year," she sighs with relief.