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Rising Stars: Meet Andy Young

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andy Young.

Andy, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I’ve always had a big appetite for making things. For the first 16 years of my life, I was constantly drawing comics, or writing stories, or learning instruments, or taking pictures, even editing goofy videos for the internet. Once I took a broadcasting class in high school and started making sketch videos with my friends, I realized filmmaking was an amalgam of all the other art forms I loved practicing, and I never looked back.

With a drive like mine, I’ve never been somebody that waited for an opportunity to happen. Throughout film school, I was constantly making shorts & working on projects outside of class, so by the time I graduated, I had compiled a big enough body of work that I overall skipped the traditional route of working my way up from PA to assistant editor, and just started editing. Throughout my career, I’ve gotten to work on projects with incredibly talented people like David Zucker, Carly Rae Jepsen, Tan France, Jonah Ray and so many more, none of which would have happened if I just sat around waiting for the phone to ring.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Fellow editors always ask me, “how did you start booking narrative jobs?”, because those are some of the most coveted jobs to get in our industry. And the hard answer is, it was thanks to spending YEARS and YEARS doing any editing jobs I could find to pay my bills, but in whatever downtime I had I was always editing low-to-no-budget shorts, music videos, sketches, features & web series that resonated with me and matched my voice. Enough of them took off at festivals or found a wide audience online that I started getting offered similar projects with an ‘actual’ budget. I tend to gravitate towards working with filmmakers that are self-starters and constantly making things, and as their stars started to rise, I got to level up onto bigger & better projects with them. It’s all about fostering relationships with artists making things you love and balancing your time on the money jobs and the fun jobs until they eventually become one and the same.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I’m a film & television editor that specializes in comedy. Most recently, I was an editor on the 3rd season of the Harley Quinn Animated Series, which is currently airing Thursdays on HBO Max. It was my first big studio job, and some of my friends warned me, “There’s no room for creativity in those jobs, you just become a button pusher”. Couldn’t be further from the truth! I ended up having some of the most creative freedom of my career working on this show thanks to a fruitful collaboration with this season’s EPs Chrissy Pietrosh & Jessica Goldstein, two immensely funny writers that I always looked forward to jumping into the edit with. I’m currently editing an animated Batman feature film for director Mike Roth, and it’s been just as exciting & enriching of an experience. I can’t wait for people to see the rest of this Harley season and eventually this special movie.

But working for a big studio hasn’t slowed down my hunger for making things; I always have some other things in the works whether it’s shorts for new filmmakers I’m excited about or my own passion projects. I’ve been fortunate enough to make four music videos now for my all-time favorite singer/songwriter Justin Courtney Pierre and even a few videos for his band Motion City Soundtrack. If you went back in time and told me, “you’re going to get a Batman movie and work with MCS in the same year”, all my follow-up questions would have been about the latter!

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
Those first few months were tough; I’m an extremely anxious person, and because of how the uncertainty of the crisis was negatively impacting my mental health it was difficult to find the motivation or energy to do much of anything other than watch the news and panic.

The big positive those first months was getting to spend so much more time with my then-fiancé now-wife. For the first time in years, both of our schedules were indefinitely cleared, so we’d just spend weeks at a time together reading at parks, or taking long walks around our neighborhood, or learning to cook, or having movie nights, and just enjoying each other’s company.

We’ve been together for over a decade and her love language has always been quality time, which hasn’t always been easy for me with my zeal for making movies. But over the years, actively carving out that time has become not just a priority for our relationship but for my own well-being. LA is such an incredible city to explore and eat amazing food and watch old movies and see great music, and life is too short to spend it all at your desk. I recently put up a sticky note in my office that reads: “This is just a job. It’s a job you love, and it’s a job you’re grateful to have, but it’s just a job. What really matters is having friends & family to experience your life with – so don’t forget to go do that”.

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Image Credits
All three by Laura Stephens

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