Susan Korda directed and produced, amongst other titles, the award-winning documentaries Vienna is Different (1988) and One of Us (2000). She edited the Sundance Grand Jury and Audience Award-winner and Academy Award nominated documentary For All Mankind (1989) and was editor and creative collaborator on Trembling Before G-d (2001). Korda taught at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts for 10 years and at Cologne’s Internationale Filmschule for 5 years, and currently teaches at Columbia University and at the International Film School in Cologne. Susan travels extensively with a master class lecture on editing called Kill Your Darlings.
On Binger Filmlab:
"I mentor editing in the directing programme at Binger. I encourage directors to play with their footage like a child and to avoid being in the stance of “showing” something to an audience. The art is in learning how to experience the footage as an audience member would.
Invariably when we “show” something to an audience, instead of creating an experience with them, we’re talking down to them. “Showing” effects the rhythm of our cuts and undermines the feelings we are trying to transmit.
Does a composer “show” his music?
There is magic in the editing room and I like teaching people how to discover it. Because the editing room is where all the elements of a film come together, it is also where all the “mistakes” (due to any number of factors but usually the lack of time) are seen. It is a place where the maker can become self conscious and discouraged. But if we believe there are no mistakes, only opportunities, and if we honor the elements in front of us without judgment, I swear, a kind of alchemy takes place.
I make the time to mentor at Binger because it’s a big experimental space for creative filmmakers. Something new happens each and every week. People are pushed out of their comfort zones, others develop more of their talents such as editing, camera, directing the actor or even people management. But the directors are free to make of these challenges what they will, when they will. Binger exudes a confidence of good faith which inspires the same.
My favorite Binger moments have been the quiet times I’ve had enjoying Joep’s yoghurt, honey and nut dessert while the directors edit. A moment of respite which allows me to drink in the charged and inspiring energy of smart, talented professionals taking chances and making discoveries.
Binger is a place where creativity, challenges and freedom mix together and bring out the best in all of us. These directors bring insights and determination and I learn from them.
I honestly feel invigorated after my time at Binger."
Since 2003: Directors Lab