Fresh Cut: Molly Preston

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Introducing Assistant Editor Molly Preston. What do Groundhog Day, Pearl Jam, and Zach Braff have in common? Read Molly’s interview to find out.


Molly Preston


When I was a barista, my nickname was Tuna Melt. When I was a production assistant, it was Wiggles. Looks like I need an assistant editor nickname!

Astrological Sign?


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Favorite Color?

If we're talking Premiere label colors, I'm going to go with Cerulean and Caribbean. Magenta if I'm feeling wild. Real-world translation - shades of blue-ish green with occasional pops of deep pink. Also, I bleed green and gold. Go Pack, go!

Favorite Movies? Or what movies inspire you?

It's hard to choose just one! One of my favorites is the 1999 film Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? The film takes place in England in the 1970s, and is about a disco-loving young man, Vince Smith, who falls in love with a punk girl who happens to be the daughter of the scientist who is studying Vince's father, Harold Smith, who may or may not have telekinetic powers. It's GREAT.

Favorite Bands?

The Frames, Pearl Jam, and Phantom Planet. But... the most played Spotify playlist in our house right now is a "calming puppy playlist." If we're ever on a call and you hear whale sounds in the background... that's why!

Favorite Song? What's your history with it?

It's tough to pick just one! So I'll pick four... Procol Harum "Whiter Shade of Pale" - This is on the Big Chill soundtrack, which is probably my favorite soundtrack of all time and is great to listen to when cleaning. Bruce Springsteen "Thunder Road" - I'm originally from New Jersey and I think it's against the law to not love the Boss. Neil Young "Rockin' in the Free World" - My first concert ever was seeing Neil Young in 1991 soon after the album this song is on came out. Alanis Morissette "All I Really Want" - Back in 2011-ish I was in an Alanis Morissette cover band (we were called AMP). It was the peak of my musical career. This is the first song on the album Jagged Little Pill and the first song we played at our shows.

Favorite Foods? Why?

Cheese. Because I am a cheesehead. And also it's delicious!

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Who would like to meet? Why?

Zach Braff. Garden State was one of the films that made me want to make movies. It would be great to sit down and chat with a fellow New Jerseyan about filmmaking.

Favorite Places On Earth? Why?

London and Isla Mujeres! I studied abroad in London and absolutely fell in love with the city. I would walk around for hours and discover something new every day. The museums are great (and free!), the food is great, the pubs are great, the public transportation is great, the parks are great... it's all great!

My husband and I got married on Isla Mujeres (a small island off the coast of Mexico, kind of near Cancun) and our plan is to one day win the lottery and buy a house there. It's a beautiful place with delicious food, clear blue water, really cool fish, and golf carts to get around the island!

Favorite Places To Eat? Why?

The Wooden Nickel in Appleton, Wisconsin. The touchdown burger on a gluten free bun with circular bacon alongside a brandy old fashioned sour with olives always tastes like home to me. In Portland, I really like Cubo on Hawthorne. Their empanadas are sooooo good, especially the guava and cream cheese one.

3 people to have dinner with? They can be dead or alive? Why?

Chuck Klosterman - He's one of my favorite authors and I absolutely love all of his collections of essays. I always feel very cool and smart when I understand his pop culture references. I would love to pick his brain and nerd out about the Midwest and music with him. Michelle Obama - Talk about an amazing woman and role model! She's smart, she's funny, she's cool. She can do anything. Ali Wong - I just finished watching the first season of Beef and then immediately started watching her standup. I think she's brilliant. (Eddie Veddar, George Harrison, and Jon Stewart are also invited)


What are you most proud of?

Writing, directing, and editing my first feature film! In 2021, we shot Freedom, Wisconsin on location in Wisconsin. We finished post-production in early 2023 and are in the film festival submission, figuring out what to do next stage.

Why do you edit?

A film (whether it's narrative, documentary, commercial, etc.) is a story that is created three times - during the conceptualizing/writing phase, during shooting/sourcing of footage, and during the edit. I love being a part of the final stage of storytelling - taking what creative people before me have come up with, and helping to shape what was captured into a final product. I do enjoy all 3 stages of filmmaking, pre-production (I love love love spreadsheets), production (there's nothing quite like being on set), and post-production, but I have to say, that it's when we hit post-production that I feel like everything really comes alive!

What is something you dream of doing? Work? Personal? Both?

I would love to write and direct more feature films! I have a few scripts in the works, so keep your eyes peeled folks! My less attainable dream is to one day host SNL. I don't think they usually choose editors/assistant editors/independent film directors to host but... maybe they'll get really desperate one day.

What is something you want to work on?

Something that I've never worked on is a competition reality show, like Survivor. I think it could be a really interesting experience to find those compelling story threads and build the drama.
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Anything you want to share? Promote? Highlight? What are we missing... what should we (the world) know?

You can check out for more info about my feature film!

I also stand firm in my belief in the use of the oxford comma, I think that Groundhog Day is the best holiday, and if an alien came down to earth and offered me all the knowledge in the universe and a ride in their spaceship, I would politely decline.