Jessica Hernández is an Emmy and Peabody award winning editor whose work ranges from scripted television to documentaries and narrative features. Work includes Winning Time: The Rise of the Laker’s Dynasty, Colin in Black & White, A Black Lady Sketch Show, Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker and Shining Girls.
We took a moment to sit down with the award winning editor whose work ranges from scripted television to documentaries and narrative features. With little understanding of filmmaking as an art form in her early days, she quickly realized that editing was in her blood.
Q: Tell us a bit about your back story. Where are you from? What led you to editing?
A: I’m a southern California native, born and raised by Cuban immigrants in the heart of Orange County. When I began in the business, I knew I loved filmmaking but had little understanding of the art form. I was working at a company that needed a trailer and my bosses were unhappy with what had been presented. As the assistant, I went over the dailies when they came in and for some reason I thought I had an idea of how to make a trailer from them. My boss let me use the final cut system upstairs, and an editor was born! They ended up airing mine and the rest is history.
Q: What are some of your favorite projects you have worked on and why?
A: Some of my proudest works are my documentary features. They require so much from an editor, a little bit of my soul is left in each one. My favorites are “The Punk Singer,” “Bhutto,” and “Bomb It.” The first two lean heavily on archival footage and interviews while “Bomb It,” which featured hundreds of graffiti artists, has a more verite style.
Q: Tell us about your time working with Hank on “Winning Time: The Rise of The Laker
A: “Winning Time” was my first experience with Hank and it was mind bending! His suggestions would send my cuts in the wildest directions. Lakers editorial was given a great deal of creative latitude and were encouraged by Hank and the entire team to push the limits. Working on this content with him was a dream.
Q: What snacks/drinks can typically be found on your desk?
A: Lots of half drunk Topo Chicos and string cheese.
Q: Whose career do you admire and why?
A: I mean, quite honestly, Hank’s! He has made some of my favorite films and works with some of my favorite people.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
A: Say yes, and figure it out later.
Q: What do you like to do when you aren’t editing?
A: I’m a pretty active person. I like sports, watch a lot of films, and travel.