Norm Hollyn


Norman Hollyn has been described as a “media expert,” a reference to his experience in both the old and new media worlds.

He is a long-time film, television and music editor (HEATHERS, THE COTTON CLUB, and Oliver Stone’s WILD PALMS, are among his extensive credits) who is presently a Professor and the Head of the Editing Track in the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.  He has also worked extensively in Internet companies specializing in entertainment and media Internet development, with projects for large entertainment companies and municipal school districts.
He is a frequently published author.  He has published nearly 100 articles in many magazines and peer-reviewed journals, and has written the standard editing room textbook, THE FILM EDITING ROOM HANDBOOK (the fourth edition was recently published by Peachpit Press/Pearson). His previous book – THE LEAN FORWARD MOMENT, a book about shaping stories across all filmmaking crafts – came out from Peachpit Press/Pearson in 2009 and has received strong reviews and is continually being adopted in schools and corporations across the world.

He has delivered papers at the 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2011 NAB Conferences and the 2005 BEA Convention.  He has participated on panels at the 2003, 2004, 2005 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012 UFVA Conferences and at the 2004 international CILECT conference in Helsinki, Finland, where he delivered a paper titled “Direct Guidance, Indirect Guidance and Misguidance: Teaching Editing in a Portable Non-Linear World” and at the 2008 CILECT Conference in Beijing China, where he also screened a cut of an internationally documentary, GLOBAL RIVERS.  He has been a featured panelist at many conferences, including one sponsored by the Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard College, New York, and ran a panel for the Women In Cinematic Arts on “Trends in Alternative Media” in June 2008, and spoke at the 2009 WEVA (the largest association of event videographers in the world) Annual Conference on crafting story.

He has led panels for the American Cinema Editors’ annual two-day conference, EditFest, in both New York City and Los Angeles, in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

He is the co-writer, co-host and co-producer of 2 REEL GUYS, a series of video podcasts about telling stories, which produced 20 episodes in 2010-2011 and has just been funded for an additional season (

He has sat on the executive board of the University Film and Video Association, the premiere organization for North American film professors and schools, and was recently elected its President.

He was featured on the cover of the “Editors Guild Magazine”, where he was interviewed about teaching editing at the university level.  He participated in a series of interviews on the popular web series “MacBreak Studio” and is a regular on the “That Post Show” podcast.  He lectures widely on editing theory and collaborative techniques and has organized and led seminars at major companies such as Pixar Animation, Dreamworks Pictures, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

As a teacher, he has worked internationally. He has organized and participated in a series of workshops for the Royal Film Commission in Jordan.  He has also worked several times with Vietnamese filmmakers in a program sponsored by the Ford Foundation, and was keynote speaker at the 2011 Science And Art Conference at the Beijing University of Technology, in Beijing, China. He has also been invited to serve on the Advisory Board for an organization presently being formed to do the same for the African country of Rwanda . At the 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 Sundance Film Festivals he developed and ran a series of short editing workshops for filmmakers focusing on storytelling techniques.  He has also taught at the AFI and UCLA Extension.  He recently completed a one week workshop in storytelling at the Guadalajara school for Digital Arts.

He has spoken at several annual MacWorld conferences, as well as at the flagship Apple Store in San Francisco, and at METal (the Media, Entertainment and Technology Alliance) as well as at a number of companies, including Dreamworks, Pixar Animation, Forbes Magazine and the Philadelphia Inquirer, as well as running panels for the National Association of Television Program Executives and the Women in Cinematic Arts. He recently conducted an editing seminar for the Manhattan Editing Workshop.

In his position as Editing Track Head at USC, he is part of a variety of new technology initiatives and has relationships with companies as diverse as Adobe, Apple, Avid, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Sony, and Vuguru.
At USC he sat on the Executive Board of the university’s Academic Senate and is on many school and university committees, including the Trustees Committee on Student Life, the Provost’s Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies and the University Committee on Curriculum.  He has served on both the graduate and undergraduate admission committees, and has served on several curriculum committees for the School of Cinematic Arts.  He has served as outside referees for a number of panels at other schools, including the Tisch School at New York University and Boston University.
He also has worked as an expert witness in cases involving the aesthetics or history of editing.

He is a long-time member of the Association of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, (AMPAS, the organization that awards the industry Oscars), where he sits on the Student Academy Awards committee, the prestigious American Cinema Editors organization, and the Motion Picture Editors Guild. He is a member of the Editors Advisory Group, a select group of top editors who advise major non-linear editing companies on strategy and content.
As an entrepreneur, he has developed web sites and business practices for a number of small and large companies, including Universal Music Group, Fox Video, eveo, and Bluecow. With Hollyn Rinsler, he is presently developing an online music service for film and television.

He blogs at his own site, Hollyn-wood (

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