Kirk Baxter is an award-winning and highly respected film editor. His work reflects his dedication to the craft. His experience includes editing and co-producing for television. In a short video he produced, “Editors on Editing: Kirk Baxter, Gone Girl,” Baxter explains editing revolves around performance. He adds, “On all occasions, you’re trying to present something that is complex as something simple.”
His filmography includes “Gone Girl” (2014), “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (2011), “The Social Network” (2010), and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008), and the 1999 short film “Killing Joe.” Baxter worked as an assistant editor on the film, “Zodiac,” released on March 2, 2007. He performed both duties of editing and co-producing for the Netflix original “Mindhunter.” Of the 10-episode series, Baxter worked as a co-producer on all. He edited four episodes; 1, 2, 9, and 10.
Awards and Nominations
- Baxter won 11 industry awards and nominated for 45 others. In 2010, the Hollywood Film Awards gave Baxter and Angus Wall their award for Editor of the Year.
- For their work on “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” the Baxter and Angus Wall took home and EDA from the Alliance of Women Film Journalists in 2008.
- In 2011, he and Wall shared an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Film Editing for their work on “The Social Network.” For this film, they also won a Best Editing BAFTA Film Award, Outstanding Editing, the U.S. from the Hollywood Post Alliance, a Best Achievement ACCA, and an Eddie from American Cinema Editors USA.
- Baxter and Angus Wall took home another Oscar for Best Achievement in Film Editing in 2011. This time for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Baxter and Wall also shared a Critic’s Choice Award for this film.
- Baxter was one of several behind-the-scenes film makers who shared their experiences in the 55 minute documentary, “Invisible Art/Visible Artists,” released in 2010.
Speaking on Being Behind the Scenes
Baxter, like many in the industry, was drawn to the adventure films offered. He began his career at age 17 working for an Australian production company. It became abundantly clear he had an affinity for editing. Nonetheless, he never dreamed that one day he would be editing the kinds of productions he works on regularly with filmmaker David Fincher. Fincher directed the three films for which Baxter won his awards.
During an interview about editing memorable scenes in “Mindhunter,” Baxter was asked about working with Fincher. He mentions the challenge presented by choosing how to edit doorway shots, but the skill of a great director makes it easier. Baxter points out that Fincher is thorough in his direction and doorway scenes are filmed from the beginning, middle and end of everybody’s coverage from both sides of the door. As an editor, he has to decide which side to open the door. Because of Fincher’s details, there are options as to who the viewers will see. Sometimes the shots offer viewers a bit both sides.
Editing is done while filming to determine how scenes flow and ebb. If Baxter sees a difficulty with continuity in a scene, he and Fincher look at edited clips to decide how to improve the scene. Once the changes are made, Baxter and his team edit away from the set.
Kirk Baxter is an award-winning and highly respected film editor. Baxter has proven himself to viewers even if they do not recognize all of the work that goes on behind the scenes.