Thelma Schoonmaker Biography
Thelma Schoonmaker is an Algerian-born American known for working with famous director Martin Scorsese over five decades, she has edited all of his films Who’s That Knocking at My Door in 1967. Since the Oscar-winning Raging Bull in 1980, she started editing all of Scorsese’s films. Schoonmaker has received eight Academy Award nominations for Best Film Editing and has won three times for Raging Bull, The Departed in 2006, and The Aviator in 2004.
Thelma Schoonmaker Age
Schoonmaker is 83 years as of 2023. She was born on 3rd January 1940 in Algiers.
Thelma Schoonmaker Height
Schoonmaker stands at a fair height and fair body weight.
Thelma Schoonmaker Family
Schoonmaker was lucky to have her both parents, her father was Dutch and her mother was an American origin. Thanks to her mother, who occasionally took her to New York City to see films. Her first viewing was John Ford’s The Grapes of Wrath in 1940.
Thelma Schoonmaker Husband
Schoonmaker was married to British film director Michael Powell from 19 May 1984 until his death in 1990. She was introduced to her husband Michael by Scorsese and London-based film producer Frixos Constantine. They were in union for six years until his death. Unfortunately, the couple had no children. Since Powell’s death, Schoonmaker devoted herself to preserving the films and honoring the legacy of her husband, who featured many classic films, including The Red Shoes.
Thelma Schoonmaker Career
Schoonmaker was focused on a career of becoming international diplomacy she joined Cornell University in 1957, where she studied the Russian language and political science. Later on, she graduated from Cornell in 1961 and began taking State Department tests in order to apply for positions in the government of the United States. Soon after, Schoonmaker got enrolled in Columbia University and graduated with primitive art. While studying there, she applied for a job as an assistant film editor she helps in editing classic European films, such as those by Jean-Luc Godard, Federico Fellini, and François Truffaut so that they could comply with the running times of the United States, Televisions Broadcasts standards.
Schoonmaker became more interested in films, which led her to join New York University, Tisch School of Arts, and got a degree in Film Studies. After that, she worked as an intern at Cinecitta Studios in Rome, Italy, where she learned more about filmmaking. Upon returning home to New York, Thelma joined United Nations as a film editor under David Loxton. Thereafter, she worked for the National Film Board of Canada as a freelancer editor. While she was editing there, her work caught the eye of Martin Scorsese, who hired her to edit the movie that he was struggling to complete ‘What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? The negative cutter had butchered his film, not leaving enough negative frames to allow for hot splicing, so a film professor asked her to help Scorsese.
Schoonmaker edited Scorsese’s first feature film, Who’s That Knocking at My Door in 1967, while she was editing there, her work caught the eye of Martin Scorsese, who hired her to edit his movie that he was struggling to complete ‘What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? The negative cutter had butchered his film, not leaving enough negative frames to allow for hot splicing, so a film professor asked her to help Scorsese. She edited Scorsese’s first feature film, Who’s That Knocking at My Door in 1967, also met film-maker Michael Wadleigh at New York University, and later edited his influential music festival documentary, Woodstock on which Scorsese also worked. She has also worked with other famous film directors such as Woody Allen and Mike Nichols. Her first major film editing job on Woodstock gained Schoonmaker an Academy Award nomination for Best Editing.
By using freeze frames and superimpositions, it brought the performances in the film to life and added the movie’s wide appeal, and visibility of documentary filmmaking to a new level and helping to raise the artistry. Being a full editor and having been nominated for an Academy Award, she couldn’t see why she have to become an apprentice. Schoonmaker’s career was difficult in joining the Motion Picture Editors Guild. It has always been challenging, with entry requirements including spending five years as an apprentice and three as an assistant. It was just insane to her who had never been in the union all those years, never paid dues all those years, and had never served my time in their sense, should be allowed as a full editor, it was quite understandable on both sides.
Schoonmaker didn’t officially work with Scorsese until Raging Bull, she did make an uncredited contribution to Taxi Driver. Scorsese had decided not to edit the picture Taxi Driver during principal photography, but to save all the editing until shooting had wrapped. Unfortunately, this left him a very short time to cut the picture, as Columbia’s contract stipulated that a finished cut had to be supplied by the middle of February, and with many others, Scorsese brought in Schoonmaker to help in editing. At one point, Steven Spielberg visited Scorsese and chipped in with some contributions towards the final edit, with Scorsese’s help, Schoonmaker was finally admitted to the union. The two collaborated on Raging Bull, which garnered Schoonmaker an Academy Award for Best Film Editing and the most nominated editor in Academy history.
Thelma Schoonmaker Salary
Thelma’s salary is about $105,000 per year.
Thelma Schoonmaker Net Worth
Schoonmaker’s net worth is estimated to be around $5.1 million as of 2023.
- 1974 – Italian American
- 2010 – Letters from Baghdad
- 2016 – Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff
- 1971 – Woodstock
- 1981 – Raging Bull
- 1991 – Goodfellas
- 2003 – Gangs of New York
- 2005 – The Aviator
- 2007 – The Departed
- 2012 – Hugo
Thelma Schoonmaker Social Media Accounts
Schoonmaker is active on social media and she posts personal and work-related stuff from time to time. She has over 2000 followers on Instagram, 1500 on Facebook, and 2300 on Twitter.