Did you go catch Kirby Dick and The Invisible War at UC Irvine yesterday?
Yeah, I'm kicking myself for having missed it, too.
And now I've been told someone who worked on the documentary about the sexual assaults of women in the military arrived on campus before Dick--years before.
Edward Patrick Alva, who earned a bachelor's degree in studio art, with a minor in digital arts, from UCI's Claire Trevor School of the Arts in 2010, accepted a summer internship at Chain Camera Pictures two years ago. His hard work and technical skills are said to have caught the eye of company co-founder and twice-Oscar-nominated Dick, who recruited Alva for an assistant editing position on his project--you guessed it--The Invisible War.
The university's Women's Law Society presented a free screening of The Invisible War Tuesday evening with a panel afterward that included Dick and Susan Burke, who currently has five lawsuits in federal court regarding sexual assaults in the military, including one case featured in the documentary that she is scheduled to argue before the Fourth Circuit in March.
Before the event, UC Irvine News tracked Alva down to his North Hollywood apartment. In a phone chat, he revealed a recommendation from UCI studio art lecturer Bryan Jackson helped get him the Chain Camera Pictures internship. But besides fetching coffee and doing other menial tasks, he let it be known he's adept at Final Cut Pro editing, shot logging and transcribing interviews. He wound up not only assisting with editing but doing some graphic design work and managing social media for The Invisible War.
The Bay Area native and son of immigrants from the Philippines says he learned a lesson that should serve him well as a film editor: "Never be afraid to cut, even if you love a scene. If it doesn't fit with the film, cut it and solve the single problem rather than try to squeeze it in and create five."
Actually, that's not bad advice for writers, too.
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He says he's "ecstatic" over the Academy Award nomination for The Invisible War, for the validation of the hard work he and others put into the provocative documentary, for the exposure it has shone on sexual assaults in the military. The film has already been responsible for changes in military policy (see my earlier post) and Alva hopes it produces even more.
Not that Alva has time to think too much about that. He's already jumped into a Chain Camera Pictures project for HBO and is starting a new film production company called Classy Deer with friends and former UCI classmates.