Editor Eric Alexander-Hughes is one of shots 2018 Rising Stars, a showcase of young talent working in the creative industries and based on the west coast of America. Read Eric’s full feature from the shots site below.
Being born into a family of famous filmmakers can be a blessing or a curse. For this rising star editor of commercials, branded content, film, and music videos, it’s “definitely been the former,” he says. “I grew up in the outskirts of LA and my dad and uncle [directors/producers Allen and Albert Hughes, whose credits include Menace II Society, Dead Presidents and The Book of Eli] were huge influences. Both really encouraged me and inspired me, but my dad was more like, ‘Do whatever makes you happy. Don’t feel pressured to get into this industry,’ while Uncle Albert was probably more of a mentor in terms of filmmaking and editing.”
Alexander-Hughes ended up studying political science at college in San Francisco, scored an internship at Pereira O’Dell, and began doing “small editing jobs. It was my passion, and I also have a deep love of music. Prince was another big inspiration, and I did a lot of music videos, and I learned so much doing them.” His credits include music videos for J.Cole’s ATM and Adam Lambert’s Ghost Town, plus an intimate film for Spotify’s Black History Is Happening Now, featuring N.E.R.D’s Deep Down Body Thirst. “The truth is, I never actually went to a ‘real’ film school,” he admits. “I taught myself and learned on the job and from my dad and uncle. That was my film school.”
He cites his work with acclaimed director Hype Williams on such clips as Ghost Town as “one of my big breaks early on in my career,” along with his work as an additional editor on the 2017 documentary mini-series The Defiant Ones. Directed by his father, the award-winning HBO show about record producer Jimmy Iovine and rapper Dr. Dre “was a really cool project to work on, because of the music and culture it explored, and getting to work with my dad,” he adds. Ask him about his editing style and philosophy and he explains that: “I like to think of it as a marriage of two elements – classical music and jazz. The first is very exact and cerebral, while the second is more freestyle and about the gut, and I like to mix the two in my work.” The editor, who also cut IBM’s The Discovered for director Amir Bar-Lev, is just back from London where he reunited with Turkish director Can Evgin for an upcoming Yxng Bane clip featuring Fredo. “It’s a great absurdist take on traditional hip hop, and that really appeals to me.”