Alumni Profile Series: Nick Houy

Nick Houy, American film editor, and Boulder native earned his BFA in Film Production from the University of Colorado in 2004 and has since established himself in the Film industry by being a credited editor on 11 films as well as serving as producer for 2. Houy speaks highly of his time at CU and prides the school in having not only a strong Film department but also one that allows students to veer on the more experimental side of Film and really express themselves through their art by way of DIY filmmaking. One of Houy’s more recent works includes the hit indie movie, Lady Bird (2017), which received two awards at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards and was nominated for many more, including Best Edited Feature Film – Comedy for the American Cinema Editors. Currently, Houy is working, once more, alongside Lady Bird director, Greta Gerwig, for a new adaptation of Little Women. I had the honor of conducting a virtual interview with Houy and learn more about Houy himself as well as his time at the University of Colorado, the transcript is provided below.

Can you tell me a little bit about your educational background?

I'm one of the rare folks who went to elementary school through college in Boulder. Mapleton, Casey, New Vista, then CU Boulder. While in High School I took continuing education classes at night at CU which I'd highly recommend because it was fun, and I got a jump-start on college credits.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you always know you wanted to be a film editor?

Source//Getty Images

I was always interested in movies, photography, and music as a kid, and I loved writing stories, so when I eventually took a videography class in high school, it all just came together. Editing was my favorite part of videography because it melded together all of those interests.

Would you say that completing your undergraduate career at CU opened any doors for you or helped you establish yourself in the industry in any way?

Everything I learned at CU Boulder I still use every day. But a degree itself, in the film industry, is not really worth anything at all. It's more about what you learn while earning your degree, and how you learn to work with other people that really helps you thrive in feature films (and episodic, especially because you're working with so many people).

Source//Emmys

Can you speak a little about your experience as a student at the University of Colorado pursuing a BFA in Film Production?

Well I had amazing professors and talented classmates, plus I knew Boulder so well, I just felt like I had a lot of great support from everyone at CU, and great resources, which makes a big difference. Also, Roger Ebert spoke there every year, Spike Lee came once, Godfrey Reggio, it was wonderful.

Source//Vulture

Your more recent success includes your work on the indie film ‘Lady Bird’, but which project in your career would you say you are most proud of?

I'm very proud of everything I've worked on, Lady Bird was a special opportunity. But I feel lucky to have worked on The Night Of, Mid90s, and so many others.

Source//National Catholic Reporter

What advice, if any, would you have for individuals aspiring film editors or producers?

Well I'd say that editing and producing are very different jobs in a lot of ways, but they also have some similarities! But I'd say that no matter what, you should really find what you love and pursue it. It can take a long time, I spent years working at video stores and interning at post-production facilities in New York before even getting my foot in the door. So be patient, be positive, be creative, be yourself, and you have to work hard.  Eventually, you'll get a great job (or make your own) if you do those things and are a nice person.

Special thanks to Nick Houy, none of this would've been possible without his help and I am so honored to have been able to share his story!