Founded in 1950, American Cinema Editors (ACE) is an honorary society of film editors that are voted in based on the qualities of professional achievements, their education of others, and their dedication to editing. Members use the post-nominal letters "ACE". The organization's "Eddie Awards" are routinely covered in trade magazines such as The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. The society is not an industry union, such as the I.A.T.S.E. (specifically the Motion Picture Editors Guild or MPEG), to which an editor might also belong. The current President of ACE is Kevin Tent, who was elected in 2020.
Eligibility for active membership may be obtained by the following prerequisites:
Members use the postnominal "ACE" as part of their signatures, as well as on motion picture credits. Thus the president of the society in October 2012 was Randy Roberts, ACE. Until 2014, the Acronym was separated by dots "A.C.E.", but this was dropped in order to conform with the more modern format used by many other industry organizations, such as ASC. The society publishes its current membership on its website.
As of January 2021, the Board of Directors consists of:
Board of Directors
Beginning in 1950, the ACE held an annual dinner to honor the film editing Academy Award nominees. When the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) created a film editing category, the ACE invited them to the dinner as well.
The following awards are either currently given or have been given in the past. The American Cinema Editors does not publish an archive of these awards; it refers readers to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) for archival information.
As of 2021, the ACE presents 16 categories for film and television alongside special ones, these have gone through several name changes to make distinctions between genre, running time and commercial/non-commercial television productions depending on the category. The list below shows the categories under their current names respectively.
Since 1951, the ACE has published the quarterly magazine CinemaEditor. It began as an in-house publication, but grew to 5,000 subscribers in 1963. In the early 1990s the magazine collapsed into a four-page newsletter. In 1994, Jack Tucker was appointed as editor and transformed the publication into today's magazine. Walter Fernandez Jr. leads the magazine's team, with publications committee chair Edgar Burcksen.
The American Cinema Editors also holds an annual student competition, awarding one student editor for editing a set of video dailies for a dramatic scene. Three finalists are guests at the annual ACE Eddie Awards in February. Applications are accepted through October and cost US$125. The competition is limited to the first 100 students only.
The ACE Store is the source of the dailies used at most film schools today, primarily for editing exercises. One scene that many film students must edit is from "Buffalo Man," a 1958 episode of the TV series Gunsmoke. The educational film with this footage is called Film Editing: Interpretation and Value, and is available only to instructors of film editing classes. The film includes three different edits of the Gunsmoke scene, as well as the scene's original dailies.
The society was the original idea of two Paramount Studio film editors, Warren Low and Jack Ogilvie, who arranged for an historic meeting of representative editors to discuss starting the organization. It was held at the Masquers Club in Hollywood on October 26, 1950 and, besides Low and Ogilvie, was attended by George Amy, Folmar Blangsted, James Clark, Frank Gross, Richard Heermance, William Hornbeck, Fred Knudtson, William Lyon, Fredrick Smith, Richard Van Enger and Hugh Winn.