Alum of the Month

October 2020

October 2020
David Cea

(BA, Film Studies & Production, '04)

Q & A:

  • What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
    Advanced Film Production with Professor Katzman. The start-to-finish production of a film helped me really dial in where I wanted to be in the process. Professor Katzman has real-life experience and made me want to do the best job possible. I feel very honored to have had him as such a major part of my film education.
  • What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing learned in that position?
    I was a runner at Whitehouse Post Productions. The most valuable thing I learned was that there are no real lines to get to where you want to go. Effort, hard work, and taking initiative will open all the doors for your career. Waiting for a promotion is not going to cut it. As it turns out, my first executive producer at Whitehouse, Corina Dennison, is a Hofstra alum. She is the best in the business and would not settle for anything but the best out of me. I owe her a great deal for where I am today.
  • What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
    Film editing. After my film production class, I took a film editing class and knew that this is what I wanted to do. At Whitehouse, I was among giants in the industry and have been inspired ever since.
  • What advice would you give Hofstra students?
    Seek out those with life experience in your chosen field. If possible, get some one-on-one time to chat, grab a coffee. It is here that you will learn the true experience of what your career holds. There are some things textbooks can’t teach. 
  • In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
  • What is a typical day like for an editor at Optimus?
    I am in the unique position of maintaining a freelance position as well as being represented by the great talents at Optimus. I currently reside in Ohio, serving Grey Midwest and Curiosity ad agencies. Optimus is my team for all the rest. This is more of the traditional post house model that I am accustomed to. That being said, my remote work is king in today’s climate. So with that out of the way … here is my day:

    Wake up. Family stuff. After the kids are off to school, I go to my home office (getting dressed like you are going to an actual office is key). Check in with any leads that have come across my email. Then I make a small list of companies or clients to cold call or check in on.

    If there is a job going on, I am met with emails, possibly with some revisions. I tackle those, run it past my producer, and usually set up a virtual edit session for that day. Nothing can beat having a live session, and thankfully the tech is there to make this happen. After a few hours of molding and shaping a cut, we will post for the client. After we wrap, I clean up my project, debrief my assistant, and get ready to start the whole thing over again.
  • Having worked on various projects for high profile clients, including Bank of America, Chevrolet, Exxon, Jeep, Hallmark, McDonald’s, Microsoft, and Target, can you provide insight on how to handle balancing multiple tasks at once under pressure?
    Delegation. There are so many talented people that make each post house work. Don’t hesitate to lean on them and let them do what they do best. Clear communication and leadership will keep the gears going. If it gets overwhelming, leave the room and take 10 minutes to breathe and return to zero. It sounds counterintuitive, but 10 minutes to yourself will save you hours on the back end.
  • What unique experience or qualifications separate you from other candidates?
    I have been fortunate to meet some great filmmakers all over the world. These different perspectives have added a great deal of value to my own creative process.
  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Where do you see your career progressing in the future?
    The technology may be different, but I will still be telling stories one way or another.

    I would like to scale what I do. I would like to gather a team of post-production specialists to serve this less location-dependent industry.
David Cea

David Cea is a multiple award-winning film editor with 15 years’ experience in the industry. The bulk of his work comes from the advertising world, where he has had the pleasure of bringing to life the work of top ad agencies and directors. He has worked on multiple Super Bowl campaigns and broadcast work for Bank of America, Chevrolet, Exxon, Jeep, Hallmark, McDonald’s, Microsoft, and Target. 

David maintains a passion for his non-ad work as well. He recently finished a short film titled InFlux with director Daniel Uribe. It is a piece that uses a poetic form to shed light on alcoholism and domestic abuse – a timely piece with the lockdowns of this year. It is just now hitting the festival circuit and has already been nominated for multiple awards 

David has spent most of his years in the New York market, with a three-year stint in Chicago. He now resides in Ohio, where technology allows him to serve the entire U.S. market. He is currently working with Grey Advertising on its Olay and Febreze campaigns.