Fortunately for those involved in the Film and TV production industry, there are only two traits that one needs to possess; unfortunately, these are greatness and versatility. Once again, fortunately for editor Ting Yu she possesses both attributes. Most recently you can see her contributions in the award-winning film Like Cotton Twines now airing on Netflix. This production as well as many others has received the benefit of Yu’s insight and talent in creating gripping stories. While many of the films and television productions she has edited are impressive, those which are yet to be released vet her as one of the most in demand editors on a global level. Ting’s strong presence in the independent film community is being offset by her increasing visibility working on multimillion dollar international productions. Spanning genres from action to fantasy/adventure and even sports/reality TV programs, Yu’s immense talent has led to a full schedule and very little free time…not that she’s complaining. For a girl from China who had aspirations for a medical career to becoming a film editor who is working on some of the biggest budget upcoming feature films, it continues to be an exciting life for Ting.
Having been the editor for a film about the plight of women in Ghana, the natural follow up for Yu was to accept an editing position on the upcoming Jean-Claude Van Damme film Kickboxer: Retaliation. The 20 million budget feature was the opposite in both theme and budget from Yu’s most recent work. Still, she was excited to work on this production and enjoy the experience. Kickboxer: Retaliation takes place one year after the events of Kickboxer: Vengeance. Kurt Sloan has vowed never to return to Thailand. However, while gearing up for a MMA title shot, he finds himself sedated and forced back to Thailand, this time in prison! He is there because those responsible want him to face a 6'8" 400 lbs. beast named Mongkut. In return for the fight, Kurt will get two million dollars and his freedom. Kurt at first refuses, resulting in a bounty being placed on his head to force him to face Mongkut. Kurt soon learns he will have no other choice and will undergo his most rigorous training while working with some unexpected mentors in order to face Mongkut and regain his freedom. In an ironic twist for Ting, one of the most challenging aspects of her editing role is to make the amazing action on screen appear more realistic, even though it is achieved without CGI. The editing for the film must actually humanize the almost unbelievable movements and feats on screen.
Christopher R Bell worked with Ting in her editing role on Kickboxer: Retaliation and states, “Ting joined us on Kickboxer Retaliation as an assistant editor. Her work had to be done extremely quickly and it had to be executed precisely. Ting handled the pressure of the tight deadline and with extraordinary detail and got our team back up and working again well within the schedule. When you are working on a film with a big budget, being the type of professional who handles things quickly and expertly allows this giant machine to keep moving…and that is exactly what Ting did for us. I hope to have the opportunity to work with her on my very next project.”
As often happens, excellence on one production leads to immediate work on another. As soon as her work on Kickboxer: Retaliation was done, Yu was recommended to work on Asura, China's $100M fantasy adventure (the biggest budget feature in Chinese history). Her skill with Avid Music Composer and her ability to speak Mandarin made her the ideal candidate in a number of ways. The story is set in Asura, the dimension of pure desire according to ancient Buddhist mythology. The mythical realm is threatened by a coup from a lower heavenly kingdom and the story follows from there. The production company is fairly tight lipped and protective of the specifics of the film but this major worldwide release and its price tag are fueling attention to this possible 2018 release.
Yu’s role in this film has her working alongside such notables as Tommy Aagaard, editor on Marvel films The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor, Logan, and many others. Concerning the film and working with Ting he communicates, “I am currently working on the film, Asura, with Ms. Yu. This film is the biggest budget Chinese film production in history and I am beyond thrilled to be working with Ms. Yu in the editorial department. I believe this movie is history in the making and the expectations put on all of the editors are quite high. Despite the pressure and her huge reputation as being a master at what she does, Ting works diligently and with grace every day. Her imagination and creativity is awe-inspiring to all of the crew at Asura. Unlike many other great editors, Yu understands the natural give and take between micro-editing (how does the individual shot relate to the ones around it) and macro-editing (“the big picture”). Not only does she comprehend it, but she executes it beautifully time after time. She is able to do this because of her experience and judgment, setting her apart from everyday editors.”
When she doesn’t find herself working on massive budget films, Ting keeps her hand in the editing game at every level. A prime example of this is her work on the first national basketball reality TV show in China “Hoopbattle.” The CBA (Chinese basketball association) gave a lot attention to this project. With team members from both China and the US, the team and the show have a multicultural appeal. This reality show is comprised of action and interviews, focusing on two or three individuals per episode. As is the case with most reality shows, no one knows what will happen from second to second, so the editor must do everything to create a story line for each episode. While this is quite different from the role of an editor on a narrative film, Yu confirms that she appreciates it it forcing her out of her normal approach. Her expertise in presenting the storyline of “Hoopbattle” has resulted in a renewal and upcoming second season (the first season was released in 2016).
No matter the complexity, budget, or vehicle for presentation of the creations in which she is involved, Ting Yu proves that when you master a skill and can apply it to a variety of productions…you will constantly be desired and work.