Mah Ferraz: Post-Production Perfection
By Alixandra Rutnik on Jul 15, 2020
YG17, One Screen and ADC winner discusses her success as a Film Editor
It's Young Guns season again, as hundreds of talented creative professionals 30 years of age and under vie for a spot in the class of Young Guns 18. Since 1996, this elite portfolio-based competition has been shaping the careers of so many designers, art directors, illustrators, animators, photographers, filmmakers, and others, turning "up-and-comers" into "here we ares."
Case in point: Brazilian born film editor Mah Ferraz. Mah was among the 28 winners of Young Guns 17 last November, and since then her successes keep piling up!
To help everyone who is planning on entering YG18 ahead of the July 24 final deadline, Mah will be joining five other past Young Guns winners on a free Zoom panel tomorrow at 12 PM EDT called "Young Guns 18: So You Think You Can Win?" We hope you'll register to join us, but before you do, get to know a little more about Mah!
A new class of Young Guns is soon to be on the horizon, but it was less than a year ago when you were that new class! What was it like when you found out that you won?
I can say that winning Young Guns changed my life in a lot of ways. It was my first time ever entering an award competition and when I found out I won and was the first film editor to ever become a YG, it definitely gave me the confidence to put my work out there more and that has been extremely rewarding. It also established my name in the industry and opened doors for new projects and connections. I keep in touch with a lot of Young Guns from my class including Leo Porto, Joyce Ho, Simon Sepulveda, and Amos Le Blanc.
Since winning YG17 back in November, you have won Best Editor for Koffee in The One Screen Film Festival 2020 and a Bronze Cube for Craft in Motion, Film, & Editing in the ADC 99th Annual Awards. First up: stop taking all of our awards! But seriously, congratulations! What else have you won since YG17?
Haha! I still need to get a Pencil at The One Show, but hopefully next year I'll have the full collection of the One Club awards! Winning YG is definitely what made me confident enough to enter The One Screen and ADC, and receiving those awards feels like a dream. I also got shortlisted at The One Show and at the Webby Awards this year. I breathe editing and my work is a huge part of who I am, so I'm super grateful to see it being recognized– it is definitely an affirmation for all my hard work.
Can you talk to us about the life of a film editor?
I can only speak to my personal relationship with editing, but editing is not my job, it is my art. It's the way I express my creativity. My relationship with it is very intense since it is more so like an expression of myself than a profession. I work every day (a lot of late nights and weekends) on multiple projects at a time. I have a mix of paying jobs and passion projects that have more flexible timelines. My schedule is pretty crazy and it stays crazy in quarantined times, which is a fortunate reality considering the industry took a big hit. I feel less FOMO when I am working now because I know there's not much to do out anyways. Jokes aside, work is a huge driving force in my life, so it helps keep me in good spirits during these tough times.
"Editing is not my job, it is my art."
What are you hoping for yourself and your career in the next five years?
I'm super excited for what is to come! I get excited by new projects and opportunities weekly, so I can't wait to see what the years will bring my way. I've been surrounded by a few feature film opportunities, so that's definitely on my horizon. I always look for projects that challenge me, so my goal is to keep pushing myself and my editing throughout the years to keep evolving as a person and an artist.
You'll be part of our "YG18: So You Think You Can Win?" panel tomorrow, which is an opportunity for past Young Guns winners to give any advice to those considering entering. As a sneak peek of sorts, what's the one thing you'd tell somebody thinking about entering?
My advice is to DEFINITELY TRY IT! I never thought of entering or dreamed of winning until I got nominated to enter (someone else thought I should try it and nominated me), and I won on my first try. You really never know what is going to happen and I believe you should always put yourself and your work out there! There's nothing to lose and a lot to gain personally and professionally.
Young Guns 18: So You Think You Can Win? takes place on July 16 at 12 PM EDT.
CONVERSE: Nastaha Cloud
HOLY DOG: Short Film
Escape Day: A Gentle Wrestle
2019 Young Guns: YG17
Editor: Mah Ferraz
2020 One Screen: Creative / Creative Award - Best Editor
La Rosalía: The Sound of Energy, Freedom and Love
Mah Ferraz / Brooklyn + Billboard / New York
2020 Motion / Film / Gaming Craft: Craft in Motion / Film / Editing