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Tom Cross ’93

Graduating from Purchase with a degree in visual arts, Tom Cross ’93 went on to pursue a successful career as a filmmaker.

Cross received a BAFTA award in 2022 for co-editing No Time to Die, the James Bond film starring Daniel Craig.

In 2017, Cross received his second Oscar nomination for editing the critically acclaimed La La Land. He won the Oscar for Best Achievement in Film Editing for Whiplash in 2015. Both films are directed by Damien Chazelle.

In 2018, he edited First Man, (featuring actor Shea Wigham ’93). Hear him discuss his process below.

While Whiplash also featured a story about musicians, Cross found working on a movie musical more challenging because, in addition to considering factors such as emotions and story, he had to consider how the music lined up with the cuts.

“You have things to consider like lip-sync,” said Cross in a recent interview for Below the Line. “Damien was very adamant that everything should feel organic. The emotion should feel authentic. Most audiences really scrutinize lip-sync in musicals more than they scrutinize the spoken dialog in non-musicals. We really had to work hard on that. When characters broke into song, we had to make sure that felt correct.”

Tom Cross began his career editing commercials and was assistant editor on Ang Lee’s Ride with the Devil, Wrong Turn by Rob Schmidt ’90 (film), and the HBO series Deadwood. His other feature films include Joy, Time Lapse, and two Travis Fine films, Any Day Now and The Space Between. His upcoming film is Scott Cooper’s western, Hostiles.