October 16, 2018

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'Just an incredible stroke of luck'

Winnipeg-born film editor earns Academy Award nod for work on The Shape of Water

Michael Shannon (from left), Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer in The Shape of Water, which garnered 13 nominations for the 90th annual Academy Awards. (Fox Searchlight Pictures)</p>

Michael Shannon (from left), Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer in The Shape of Water, which garnered 13 nominations for the 90th annual Academy Awards. (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/1/2018 (263 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

It was a sweet moment for film editor Sidney Wolinsky when he learned he had been nominated for an Academy Award for editing director Guillermo del Toro’s romantic fantasy The Shape of Water.

The only thing that might have been sweeter is if his mother had lived to see it. But Wolinsky’s mother, celebrated Winnipeg sculptor Eva Stubbs, died last month at the age of 92.

“I regret that she didn’t get to see me get this nomination,” Wolinsky says on the phone from his home in Los Angeles.

“I think she would have enjoyed it.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/1/2018 (263 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

It was a sweet moment for film editor Sidney Wolinsky when he learned he had been nominated for an Academy Award for editing director Guillermo del Toro’s romantic fantasy The Shape of Water.

The only thing that might have been sweeter is if his mother had lived to see it. But Wolinsky’s mother, celebrated Winnipeg sculptor Eva Stubbs, died last month at the age of 92.

Editor Sidney Wolinksy</p>

Editor Sidney Wolinksy

"I regret that she didn’t get to see me get this nomination," Wolinsky says on the phone from his home in Los Angeles.

"I think she would have enjoyed it.

"But she was in her 90s and lived a long and good life and she couldn’t make it any longer."

Born at St. Boniface Hospital and raised "in River Heights, in Crescentwood and in the Gates," Wolinsky says he was 12 years old when he left Winnipeg in 1959, "when the Salisbury House was a drive-in."

He moved to Montreal and then Boston, where he got to indulge his growing mania for film in that city’s repertory cinemas. He eventually got a master’s degree in film, and ended up in Los Angeles, spending a large portion of his editing career in television, landing important jobs on landmark series such as HBO’s The Sopranos, which earned him three Emmy Award nominations; Boardwalk Empire, another HBO series for which he won an Emmy in 2011; and AMC’s The Walking Dead.

"I was lucky enough to be on The Sopranos, which changed the kind of show you could be doing, where the hero did not have to be squeaky clean," he says. "And then I was on the first season of House of Cards, which transformed watching TV on the internet."

Wolinsky’s work on The Shape of Water has also earned him a Hollywood Film Award and nominations for a BAFTA Award in the U.K., the American Cinema Editors Award (the Eddies) and the Critics Choice Award.

It was a TV gig that landed him the job of editing The Shape of Water. Wolinsky formed a good working relationship with del Toro while working on the director’s FX miniseries The Strain.

"He works very closely with his editor," Wolinsky says. "He works while he’s shooting and he comes in every day and works every day in the cutting room. "He’s very collaborative and very open to ideas and he also has great ideas of his own," he says. "I found we worked very well together. He showed a lot of respect for what I do and the ideas that I come up with. He was very open-minded and totally committed to the project."

He considers himself lucky that the TV job gave him a path to his first Oscar nomination.

"That was just an incredible stroke of luck, that’s all I can say. You can’t plan that stuff," he says.

"It’s the most prestigious award in the entertainment industry and it’s very meaningful that my work was acknowledged by my peers. It’s really exciting."

randall.king@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @FreepKing

Randall King

Randall King
Reporter

In a way, Randall King was born into the entertainment beat.

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