John Smith ACE
Film Editor

1975 - Started working

Dodgems attendant.
Battersea funfair.


Saw "Taxi Driver" and wanted
to be Martin Scorsese.


I got a runners job for
15 quid a week.


I edited a baby wipes advert, had a lightbulb moment. I loved editing.



Started an editing company
called The Whitehouse.


Cut the film
"Leaving Las Vegas".


Took the Whitehouse
business to the USA.


Was inducted into ACE.
What an honour.


Time to focus on TV, Film and
other creative projects.


My First Job

I was actually working at a funfair in Battersea Park… I was a dodgems attendant!


My Career Started

1980, as a runner. Back then I didn’t know what part of the industry I wanted to work in. I just knew that I loved film. In the beginning, I worked a lot for the cutting rooms and saw this as a foot in the door and a way to bide my time before deciding which area of the film business I wanted to pursue.


The Lightbulb Moment

It came while I worked as an assistant editor in commercials and when I got a chance to edit my first commercial at 27 years old. I loved it and never looked back.


Three Years Later

I co-set up Whitehouse Post productions in London in 1990. Throughout the ’90s the Whitehouse was one of the top editing houses in the business cutting famous tv ad campaigns, music videos and Movies.


In 2001 The Whitehouse opened offices in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York and over the next 30 years added VFX, Motion graphic design and production to its portfolio and is now an industry leader in its field.


Commercials Editor

I worked on many high profile advertising campaigns with directors including Frank Budgen, Bryan Buckley, Michael Mann, Martin Campbell, Mike Figgis, Danny Kleinman and Taika Waititi.


I have been honoured with many awards, including 3 Silver D&AD pencils for Best Editing, 3 Editing Clios, and various AICP Awards, amongst others.


During that time I edited a bunch of feature films, including the Oscar-winning Leaving Las Vegas, Sliding Doors, Proof of Life, Race, and The Life and Death of Peter Sellars, for which I won an Emmy for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing, along with an Eddie Nomination for Best Edited Mini-Series or Movie. I was also nominated for an RTS award in 2012, for Best Editing of the 3-hour long drama Thorne: Sleepyhead.


I have also edited numerous TV pilots and TV series.


Induction into ACE

In 2006, I joined American Cinema Editors, an honorary society of film editors.