Nathalie Massaroni – “Introduce yourself to everyone & make it known that you’re ready to work; you never know what may come from an introduction”

Nathalie Massaroni is a Manitoba-based editor and filmmaker. After graduating from the University of Winnipeg’s film program, she gained experience in various roles on projects including Night Hunter, How It Ends, GONE: My Daughter, and Siberia.

Massaroni got the opportunity to pursue her dream career — a professional film editor — when she joined Farpoint Films, an award-winning Winnipeg production company. Since then she has worked on features and series including Since then she has worked on features and series including Ice Vikings, Cruise Ship Killers, My Misdiagnosis, and From The Vine while becoming an in-demand editor and post-production supervisor.

When and how did you start in the media production industry? 

I’ve had an interest in film ever since I taught myself how to use a green screen at the age of six. I used Windows Movie Maker, a sketchy plugin I found online, and — of course — a green blanket.

I also have a distinct memory of watching the Oscars when I was in grade 5 when Thelma Schoonmaker won best editing for The Aviator and I said to my parents “that’s going to be me one day.” 

So even as a child, I was constantly filming and editing anything and everything. I was really fortunate to get to nurture that passion by attending a high school that offered an amazing media production program.

I continued studying film in university where I met some amazing mentors who would eventually help me get started in the film industry — and even become close friends.

My first official gig was as a production assistant on Night Hunter. I built connections while working on that set that helped me land my first gig as a camera trainee on Siberia and a job as a dailies operator on How It Ends.

What area of the film industry do you work in now and why? 

I struggled for a while on deciding what path I wanted to take with my film career. I had dreams of working in the camera department or becoming an editor but I didn’t know where to start. I eventually found the information for the camera trainee program and things took off from there. 

I loved my time on set but unfortunately, due to a shoulder injury, I had to put a pause on the camera department. At the time, I was able to take advantage of opportunities that were starting to arise in post production. I worked as a dailies operator on a few shows before being introduced to Farpoint Films. Now I’m proud to say I’ve been a member of this amazing team for the last three years as an editor and post production supervisor.

What’s been a substantial change in the industry since you started?

I consider myself lucky to have started at a time when the industry was booming in Manitoba and, in the last five years, I’ve only seen it get better. It makes me very excited about how things will look in another five years for both union and non-union projects.

If you could give your past self advice, what would it be?

Honestly, I wouldn’t change anything about the choices I’ve made and the work I did to get where I am today.

I’ve made mistakes along the way and there have been plenty of ups and downs but those moments are what pushed me to keep going and keep learning. I think it’s important not to put too much pressure on yourself to be somewhere or something by a specific time because there’s no rushing the process. 

Maybe that’s what I would tell myself: enjoy each moment because all of it, the good and the bad, will shape you and push you to raise the bar as you grow in this industry.

What advice would you give to someone starting off in the media production industry?

Introduce yourself to everyone and make it known that you’re ready and eager to work — you never know what may come from an introduction. Any opportunity you get to make new connections is valuable in developing your career.

Also… always get to set early enough to grab a breakfast burrito from catering before your call time!

Why is learning and training important?

A big part of what makes this industry exciting is that it’s constantly evolving so there’s always something new to learn. It’s important to make time to invest in yourself and, luckily, there are many resources in Manitoba to do so.

In addition to my time as a camera trainee, which gave me some great on set experience, I was able to participate in the FTM training program. They helped with funding so that I could further my skills as an assistant editor under the guidance of Markus Henkel before I made the move to editor and post production supervisor.

What are some of the films, TV series or even books that have inspired you? How about anything new you’ve been into?

Most recently, Parasite reignited a fire inside of me. A goal of mine is to start working towards editing more narrative pieces and that film was a good reminder to push myself more to make that happen.

Also, a movie that’s been a constant inspiration for me and that I’ve seen a few too many times (if that’s possible) is The Grand Budapest Hotel. I fell in love with Wes Anderson’s style very quickly and I can never get enough of it.

But, to be very real for a second, I could watch Spaceballs, Dirty Dancing and The Princess Bride on repeat if there ever was a need for that… 

Is there something about you or an interesting past experience that you’d like to share?

I’ve been a dancer since I was four years old and I think that’s been a major influence on my editing style.

I love playing with the pacing of cuts and movement on screen until I find that perfect moment where it all falls into place; kind of like when you’re choreographing a routine and you need to find the perfect connection from one step to the next. 

Who is someone within the film industry you would like to work with and why?

If there was ever an opportunity to work with Wes Anderson or Taika Waititi that would be amazing, but I’m already surrounded by so many talented friends and colleagues who inspire me with the work they do every day. They make me want to work harder and be the best that I can be. 

Where do you see yourself ten years from now? 

I’ve never been one to think that far ahead, but perhaps it will look something like this: Editing a narrative film or TV series with a cat on my lap, good food on my desk, and friends by my side.

FTM is a member of the Province of Manitoba’s sector council program through the Department of Economic Development and Training. FTM builds a highly skilled and adaptable film industry workforce to support the activities of Manitoba production companies. FTM collaborates with members of the film and television industry to identify the training needs within the community.