Award-winning editor Eric Zumbrunnen has lost his battle with cancer. Known for his intelligence, kindness and dry wit as much as his editorial talent, Zumbrunnen left a memorable imprint that spanned the worlds of feature films, commercials, music videos, short films and documentaries.
In 2014, Zumbrunnen co-founded Santa Monica and New York-based post company Exile with partners Kirk Baxter, Matt Murphy and Carol Lynn Weaver. Zumbrunnen valued the opportunity to learn from the gifted writers, directors and editors he worked with. While he held himself and his co-workers to a high standard, he was also committed to encouraging and mentoring other editors and would-be editors.
Known to many as “EZ,”Zumbrunnen graduated from USC with a degree in journalism, and began his professional life in video post. A proficient guitarist, he brought his affinity for music to his early work editing music videos, including classics such as Weezer’s Buddy Holly, Smashing Pumpkins’ Tonight, Tonight, Beck’s Where It’s At and Bjork’s It’s Oh So Quiet.
He developed close collaborative relationships with a few directors, and subsequently expanded into commercials for clients such as Nike, Xbox and Apple, and ultimately into feature films. He had worked many times with director Spike Jonze. The pair’s collaboration spanned two decades and resulted in the Oscar-nominated Her, Adaptation, Where the Wild Things Are and Being John Malkovich, which earned Zumbrunnen an ACE Award for Best Edited Feature Film. More recently he was awarded a Bronze Lion for Editing at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for his work on Jonze’s Kenzo World fragrance ad My Mutant Brain. He was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year.
Zumbrunnen is survived by his wife Suzanne and children Henry and Greta.