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Catching Up with SOC's VFX Expert Anedra Edwards

The SOC alumna recounts her time at AU and dives into the VFX editing world for Media in the Mix.

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VFX Editor and Alumna Anedra Edwards on Media in the Mix

American University School of Communication (AU SOC) alumna Anedra Edwards (SOC/MFA ‘15) joins host Grace Ibrahim to talk about the behind-the-scenes of editing visual effects (VFX) in filmmaking. Edwards graduated from SOC’s Film and Electronic Media MFA (now MFA in Film and Media Arts) program. Throughout her time at AU, Edwards gained valuable hands-on learning experience that propelled her into the film industry well-equipped.

SOC has numerous experiential learning programs that allow students to gain exposure and knowledge in their preferred field. Edwards recounts that she did several programs that sharpened her skills, including a study abroad program in Prague, where she studied at the Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts. In this immersive program, Edwards learned to “eat, breath and live film,” adding that this experience abroad allowed her to “try different styles” of filmmaking.

“I also did the experimental learning program that took us to Alaska through the Center for Environmental Filmmaking,” says Edwards, describing this experiential learning program as more of an observatory school style.

When Edwards was asked how the world of VFX editing operates, she explained that it is a layered process. There are numerous positions and types of work for each film, which “gives a testament to a lot of the scrolling credits that people will see where there are hundreds of names in these bigger films,” she said.

Edwards describes her position as a “VFX editor on the production side,” meaning that she is directly associated with a film or TV show. She ensures that the artists from the VFX company have the correct scenes and provides a level of continuity to preserve the overall message and theme of each individual shot in relation to the overall film.

As a VFX editor, Edwards and her team were nominated for an Academy Award for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. It was the first production Edwards had been on that received multiple Oscar nominations. Her most recent project, Transformers Rise of the Beast was released on June 9.

Edwards’ greatest advice to AU students is to start applying the skills they’ve learned to the work they are doing now. She also believes in the power of networking and how it can be incredibly beneficial in the future. Edwards recommends getting involved with local organizations, like the Television Academy Chesapeake Bay Chapter here in the DC area.

“AU has a lot of partnerships where students have submitted their short films for Academy recognition. You don’t have to wait until you get to Los Angeles or Atlanta. Start learning how to pitch yourself now,” Edwards says.