Joseph Krings was an undergraduate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln when he worked at The Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center, known locally as The Ross. Now, he is a big-time movie editor for many films — most recently a drama called “After the Wedding,” a remake of the 2006 film with the same name where a woman running an orphanage in India travels to New York seeking funds from a wealthy benefactor. “After the Wedding” is currently playing at the Ross until Sept. 12, but there was a special opportunity at the screening of the film on Sept. 6.
The UNL alum himself attended the 7:30 p.m. screening of the film, and hosted a Q&A after where those in attendance could ask him anything they wanted. It was an opportunity to hear from a Nebraska native on his growth from a movie theatre employee to a film editor. He was introduced by Danny Lee Ladely, who is the current director of The Ross and has been working for the theatre for the past 46 years. Ironically, he was the boss of Krings when he worked at The Ross during his college days.
The Q&A began with someone asking him how he was asked to edit “After The Wedding.” He replied by saying that he worked with the director, Bart Freundlich, on a 2016 film called “Wolves,” a sports movie where a student’s basketball dreams are jeopardized by his gambling father. He also said that after his work on the movie “Captain Fantastic,” it put him on the map in the movie editing world for directors, as the movie received rave reviews and was even nominated for an Oscar.
This was followed by a question that most movie-goers have — how does he edit? Krings explained the process by comparing it to sculpting: The artist is asked to shape something with finite materials, where they are constantly adding and removing material until they have a final piece of art.
The Q&A continued and Krings shared his insight about working in the movie editing industry. The viewers found out that the editor’s job in the movie isn’t to bring their personal style in their edits, but instead interpret the style and vision of the director and bring that to the screen. Krings also discussed that most of his job is done around six months after the film is done shooting, and is a constant back and forth discussion with the director throughout the process.
Questions eventually became more personal with people asking about his aesthetic influences in the film world, and how he went from selling movie tickets at The Ross to being named in the credits of a film playing there.
His first influence that got him interested in movies and film editing was John Cassavetes, an award-winning director in the 1960s and ‘70s. Krings didn’t have cable in his household growing up, but when he finally got satellite television, one of the first movies he saw was a movie called “Husbands,” which was directed by Cassavetes. The movie had a certain style of editing that has influenced him to this day.
He then explained his story and how life landed him editing movies like the ones he watched growing up. He started working for Lincoln’s 1011 News, specifically with commercials. He found an interest in editing through the commercials and liked that it allowed him to sequester himself from people and do his own thing. From there, he sent several application letters until someone gave him an editing job. He eventually landed a job in New York, working with commercials again. However, he eventually lost interest in commercials and decided to freelance. From there, he got a gig editing a small film directed by Matt Ross, who went on to direct “Captain Fantastic.” This process allowed Krings to pick up contacts inside the film industry for editing.
“If you want to do it, there’s a way to do it,” Krings said to conclude the Q&A discussion. “Working in the movie industry is as viable as ever with the amount of films and TV shows that exist these days, you may just have to move.”