At about 10:30 p.m. on Sunday evening, Sandra Bullock opened the envelope.
“And the Oscar goes to,” she said as she tore, “William Goldenberg, ‘Argo.’”
With those eight words, veteran film editor and Temple alumnus William Goldenberg, BA FMA ’82, won an Academy Award for “Best Film Editing” from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the 85th annual Academy Awards ceremony Feb. 24 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.
Goldenberg is one of the few nominees in the history of the Academy Awards who can say he lost to himself. He also nominated for a 2013 “Best Film Editing” Oscar for “Zero Dark Thirty.” They were his third and fourth Academy Award nominations; Goldenberg was nominated for “Seabiscuit” in 2003 and “The Insider” in 1999. Last night’s Oscar for “Argo”— which had already earned him editing awards from the American Cinema Editors, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association — was Goldenberg’s first.
Associate Professor Leann Erickson, who teaches film and video editing in Temple’s Department of Film and Media Arts (FMA), acknowledged the remarkable breadth of Goldenberg’s two-decade career as a film editor, noting the wide range of genres among his many film and television credits, including “Pleasantville” (1998), “Ali” (2001), “National Treasure” (2004), the TV show “Over There” (2005), “Gone Baby Gone” (2007) and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” (2011).
“The breadth of what he has done is amazing,” Erickson said. “What’s impressive about ‘Argo’ is that the editor was able to combine very different tones and styles into a seamless whole. That is a real challenge — you can see how his experience in a range of genres was essential.”
Seconds after the envelope was unsealed and Goldenberg walked up the stairs to receive the award, the Temple community exploded in pride via social media, email and texts. A tweet announcing the Oscar from @TempleUniv, the university’s official twitter feed, was retweeted and favorite more than 300 times, breaking Temple’s record for a tweet that wasn’t about sports or weather.
“We are thrilled and impressed that William Goldenberg was nominated for two Oscars and won one,” said FMA Professor and Chair Nora M. Alter, who noted that Goldenberg regularly joins Temple students enrolled in the Los Angeles-based “Entertainment Industry Perspectives” course, a requirement for participants in Temple’s Los Angeles Study Away program.
“Over the years, Goldenberg has shared his successes and experiences with our students,” Alter said. “He stands as a role model of a successful and talented individual who is generous with his time and engaged with the education and mentoring of young people.”
A Philadelphia native, Goldenberg told the Los Angeles Times that he studied film at Temple despite his father’s wishes that he pursue a career as a doctor. He began to focus on editing at the encouragement of a radio, television and film instructor at Temple, and continued his professional apprenticeship in Los Angeles after earning a bachelor’s degree in 1982.
Although Goldenberg ignored his father’s career advice, he acknowledged in a backstage interview how working in his father’s deli in Northeast Philadelphia helped get him ready for the rigors of film editing.
“My father’s deli, you had to do a million things at one time, you had to be making breakfast for 75 people,” Goldenberg said. “It really does prepare you for the multitasking you need to do.”