Eric Nagy is an editor and sound designer, often at the same time. With projects spanning feature films — recently at a pace of one per year — as well as commercials, music videos, and art installations, he works invisibly and flexibly across genres and forms, with a level of composition and sensibility that is far more satisfying than mere efficiency.
Born in New Jersey, Nagy studied painting and sculpture at the tradition-minded Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He transitioned seamlessly, if surprisingly, to film as a direct extension of his fine art practice. Classes at PAFA didn't teach film editing, so Nagy taught himself after-hours at his father's work at a NJ State Police Academy, of all places. "For me, it was sculpture,” he says of his first exposure to their Grass Valley linear editing system, where officers produced training videos. "It was a very physical thing. Editing was building with blocks of image and sound.”
He worked several years at the NYC-based film editing company Consulate, but his first editing job was at a TV station in the World Trade Center, making to-the-frame analog cuts for commercial breaks for it’s TV programming. He later spent four years in Tokyo as an editor and sound designer (and even voiceover) in a language he didn't speak fluently, with high-profile assignments such as the opening show of the Issey Miyake Design Museum 21_21. Projects like that — or the Atlantis installation with artist Marco Brambilla, for which Nagy composed an atmospheric, vintage-synth soundtrack to NASA’s last manned space shuttle — bring Nagy's work into a classic gallery space, but that's hardly the extent of his range.
As an editor on the film Weightless, he made the uniquely hands-on decision for a scene at a dump to go on set and strap himself to a compactor to record while workers ran over giant piles of trash. This sort of thing is actually quite common for Nagy: he's not someone who simply opens a library of sound effects and slaps them on. On a project for Armani, for example, the legendary director Bruce Weber wanted to have a certain moody salsa music playing, so Nagy hired a conga player, recorded him in the studio, and collaged a new musical piece.
Nagy has worked for many well-known companies including Absolut, Armani, Artsy, Bacardi, Bank of America, Barneys, Chase, Kenneth Cole, GAP, GNC, H&M, HStern, Calvin Klein, Steve Madden, Mistubishi, Issey Miyake, Pioneer, Pringle Of Scotland, and Sony.
Eric Nagy lives and works in NYC.