Written by Michael Anthony Brown

When I started my career in editing 18 years ago, I had high hopes of immediately cutting for Spielberg or Martin Scorsese, naive enough to think that I could be picked up off the street like that guy who walked onto the Philadelphia Eagles without ever playing professional football.

Like so many before, I didn’t realize that my path to editing long-form stories would come in unconventional ways.

Mine was cutting television poker in the craze that started around 2005. I would cut the two to three-minute player intros, adding a personal touch in the middle of the episodes with no real sense of the kind of cinema I was dreaming of creating, that I now look back on fondly because I was practicing a craft that I loved—and getting paid for it.

I spent the next 15 years hopping from short-form sports project to short-form sports project, but always trying to imbue it with as much of that cinematic feel as I could: finding match cuts, playing with framing, and, especially, choosing music.

To this day, I begin searches through temp music libraries with the genre tag ‘weird’ + 'rock' or ‘strange’ + 'harmony'. It’s where the good stuff lives, and to be honest, it’s not that it’s displeasing or beyond appropriate for what was typically thought of for sports. But it’s where the artistry lives.

In the in-between.

I would use the in-between for boxing, cycling, and the NFL and NASCAR, making my own ear happy not to use generic rock or hip-hop soundtracks, and I think it made my pieces stand out. Producers felt that there was something fresh in these juxtapositions.

Cut to: my latest endeavor and successful use of a term like ‘weird’ during the editing of Welcome to Wrexham. I realized that the whole of my career, by always looking for interesting juxtapositions in sound and images came to a head with the contrast of two Hollywood actors and a 5th tier Welsh football club. A perfect metaphor for plugging ‘strange’ + 'sports' into my career search page and landing exactly where I needed to be for the next part of my journey.

Because everything can be a film.

And as long as I keep thinking and creating that way, I know I’ll eventually get to the place in my career where my skills will mean the most; it’s just the way it seems to work.