Aaron Wickenden is a multiple Emmy and ACE Eddie nominated editor with extensive professional experience in many aspects of the independent filmmaking process. He is regarded for bringing a tireless work ethic and playful spirit to each of his creative collaborations... including the Oscar nominated film Finding Vivian Maier. Most recently he was recruited by Oscar winner Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom) and acclaimed author Robert Gordon (Respect Yourself) to edit their film Best of Enemies, which had its world premiere in competition at Sundance 2015 and was acquired by Magnolia Pictures/Participant for theatrical release world wide in 2015. In a recent interview for RogerEbert.com, Neville describes hiring Aaron: "Docs, in general, are made in the edit bay, archival docs even more so... We brought in Aaron Wickenden, who cut Finding Vivian Maier, and he’s amazing."
Wickenden started at Kartemquin as an intern in 2002 and has since become a sought after collaborator. In 2014 along with filmmaker Dan Rybicky, he Co-Directed and Produced his first feature documentary for Kartemquin titled Almost There, a longitudinal documentary which was eight years in the making. The project was awarded an Art in Technology Residency at the Wexner Center in Ohio, as well as sponsorship by AVID, and finishing funds from The Independent Television Service (ITVS). The film premiered at DOC NYC in 2014, was hailed by the Indiana Post Tribune as "Hilarious, heartbreaking, and haunting... a brilliant piece of work and a must-see.", and was named "One of the 16 documentaries to watch out for this year" by the Huffington Post. Almost there is currently in the midst of a busy festival run leading up to a national broadcast in 2016. Almost There recently won the coveted Audience Award at the prestigious EIDF film festival in Seoul, South Korea. The film is currently winding down a busy festival run and gearing up for a national broadcast and DVD release in 2016.
Wickenden was chosen as one of the top 10 filmmakers working in Chicago by New City who went on to call him "an unassuming but essential talent... [with] a knack for structure and for rhythms." He is committed to helping grow the documentary editing community and has spoken at numerous educational events including a 2014 masterclass for the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Foundation, a 2015 editing masterclass at BIG SKY, an editing masterclass in London for the Bertha Doc House, and a discussion at True/False called Try a Little Tenderness. In 2015 he was chosen to be a Firelight Media Producer's Lab Mentor which is "...for talented and independent filmmakers of color... as a way to provide infrastructure support for diverse producers to help overcome some of the barriers to completing their film." In April of 2015 he was invited to join ACE, an honorary society of motion picture editors who desire to advance the prestige and dignity of the editing profession.
2011's release of The Interrupters marked his fifth significant collaboration with Director Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Stevie). The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and garnered top festival awards at major festivals as well as the 2012 Independent Spirit Award. The Interrupters was also named The Best Documentary of 2011” by national critics's polls conducted by IndieWire, the Village Voice and in a numerical study by PBS. Prior to that Wickenden Co-Produced and Co-Edited James’ award-winning documentary At the Death House Door for Kartemquin and IFC, and was Associate Editor and Post Supervisor on SenArt Films’ The War Tapes which won Best Documentary at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival. Both projects were shortlisted for the Documentary Academy Award®. Wickenden’s editing credits also include Scrappers, a feature that won both Best Documentary and the Audience Award at The Chicago Underground Film Festival and later was named one of the top 15 docs of 2010 by Roger Ebert.
Wickenden's recent accomplishments include: Editor of and Additional Camera for the Academy Award® nominated Finding Vivian Maier, Editor of and Additional Camera for The Trials of Muhammad Ali (2013), Co-Editor and Post Supervisor for Kartemquin's The Interrupters, Documentary Cinematographer and Post Supervisor for the concert documentary Andrew Bird: Fever Year, and Producer and Cinematographer for multi-media content on The New Yorker website.
His professional career began via internships in 1999 with world-renowned photographers Richard Avedon and Annie Leibovitz and he still occasionally dabbles in photography. In the past year his images appeared on the covers of Realscreen and Videography magazines, and were also published in dozens of print outlets including Streetwise, Cineaste, Rolling Stone and The Chicagoan. Wickenden's commercial clients include Bank of America, Mom+Pop Records, and Epitaph Records.
Films by Aaron Wickenden
- Almost There 2014
- Producer/Directors, Editor and Cinematographer, Still Photography
- The Homestretch 2014
- thank you
- The Trials of Muhammad Ali 2013
- The Interrupters 2011
- Edited by, Post-Production Supervisor, Still Photographer
- At the Death House Door 2008
- Edited by, Co-Producers, Post Production Supervisor
- The New Americans 2004
- Post Production Coordinator
The People of Kartemquin
With a noted tradition of nurturing emerging talent and acting as a leading voice for independent media, Kartemquin is building on more than 45 years of history as Chicago’s documentary powerhouse.
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