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Passion for storytelling propels successful career in TV and film

‘At Concordia, I was given the freedom to dabble,’ says editor Jeremy Presner
June 22, 2023
By Delanie Khan-Dobson, MA 21

Portrait of a smiling man, wearing a white T-shirt, navy handkerchief around his neck and a baseball cap Jeremy Presner, BA 95

Jeremy Presner, BA 95, felt drawn to the world of television and film production at an early age.

The Montreal native was especially fascinated by how a series of moving parts could come together to captivate an audience.

Presner is now an established editor with more than 25 years of industry experience under his belt. The Concordia graduate has cut feature films, series, reality television and more.

When he decided to pursue a degree that would give him the technical skills needed to succeed in film and television, he says he was thrilled to land at the Department of Communication Studies.

“At Concordia, I was given the freedom to dabble in making films, experimenting with TV production and working on various projects in a sound studio,” Presner recalls.

After completing his degree in 1995, he found work as an assistant to a sound recordist on a film set. The days were long, and Presner quickly realized that his future was in post-production.

Later, as an intern on a few features, he spent time in the cutting room learning new software and technology to properly sharpen his editing skills.

“Once I felt like I knew what I was doing, I became an assistant editor on my first film, The Call of the Wild, starring Rutger Hauer,” says Presner. “I assisted Dennis Papillon and Barbara Tulliver, who was David Mamet and Paul Thomas Anderson’s editor at the time.”

This experience led Presner to Vancouver, by then dubbed “Hollywood North.” Opportunities soon began to pour in and his career took off.

After a pivot to New York City, Presner earned a solid reputation in the world of reality television, most notably on programs that have aired on NBC, HBO, Bravo, E!, Netflix and Hulu.

Recently, the alumnus has delved into documentary work. A recent example is a project for National Geographic called Trafficked With Mariana Van Zeller (Hulu), about the illegal and often dangerous underworld of black market pipelines.

Collage of images: closeups of masked men holding guns Film editor Jeremy Presner recently worked on National Geographic documentary project Trafficked with Mariana Van Zeller.

“The ability to tell different kinds of stories appeals to me and I hope to work on similar, high-quality projects in the future,” says Presner. “Reality TV is fun, but I think documentaries have a longer-lasting impact.”

He also says that given the right project, he wouldn’t hesitate to return to scripted television or film.

“Focus on projects that fuel your passion and keep trying to hone your craft,” Presner advises students and younger professionals. “With time, you will get more confident, and when you do, try to get your work into the hands of people you admire or want to work with.

“Once you show your enthusiasm and skill in any field you want to pursue, others will start to notice and see the superstar that you are.”

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