In the early summer of 2015, nearly a decade after meeting in a master’s program at The New School and immersing ourselves in documentary, we were again side by side, this time at an animation studio. Despite working as Assistant Editors on glamorous, big budget features with celebrity casts, we always talked about the films we had made as students and freelancers; films that were entirely ours. In these conversations, there was an unspoken inevitability: we would one day try it again. Not in the role of students, as Assistants, or as Editors, but now as 30-something year old directors with careers and families.
Then Bill saw an article in the New York Times about Calvin Seibert. We were moved and intrigued by him; not just because of the art he created, but the determination he had to create that art. After tracking him down online, we realized he was who we hoped: a singular personality with unshakable dedication. In a word: inspiring. So, taking a cue from Calvin, we decided to do this film ourselves. Let’s use our own money to do something we love and, in the process, pick this guy’s brain to learn his secret. We emailed him with the expectation that he’d be uninterested. Much to our surprise, Calvin was into the idea, and with the help of many wonderful people working for less than they deserved to be paid, we began our first short film.
William Starling is a documentary filmmaker with a love of unique characters. His recent credits as Assistant Editor include the animated feature films Peanuts, Ice Age: Collision Course, Ferdinand, and the upcoming Spies in Disguise in 2019. Born and raised in Michigan, he now lives in Southbury, CT with his wife Stephania and children, Lucia and August.
Carlos Rojas Felice is a documentary editor based in New York City. He has edited They Took Them Alive (Full Frame 2017), Tre, Maison, Dasan (San Francisco Intl FF 2018), and has most recently worked on Netizens (Tribeca Film Festival 2018) as finishing editor. Carlos began his career as assistant editor on The Reckoning, Reportero, Kingdom of Shadows, Miss Sha-ron Jones! and Sembene! in addition to several animated feature films at Blue Sky Studios. Carlos was also a contributing editor at the Sundance Documentary Edit and Story Lab in 2013 and 2016.