Bonch Post’s Jeff Selis won the 2016 AICE Award in the Music Video category for his work on Beyoncé's "Formation”, marking the third consecutive year that Bonch Post has been recognized by the organization. The video was directed by Melina Matsoukas, produced by Prettybird, and premiered on February 6, via Beyoncé's official YouTube account. The singer performed “Formation” on the Super Bowl halftime show; it is the lead single from her latest studio album, Lemonade, and the video has garnered nearly 40 million views since its debut. 

“Jeff’s work on ‘Formation’ is exceptional even given the standard set by his previous projects,” said Bonch founder/editor Jarrett Fijal. “We’re so happy to receive recognition from the AICE for the third consecutive year, and for Jeff to have won this award.” In 2015, Fijal was a Finalist as editor of the client-direct Diesel “A-Z of Dance” (Laura Homes Productions; Jacob Sutton, director). The year before, he was a Finalist for cutting Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors”, directed by frequent Bonch collaborator Floria Sigismondi.

The “Formation” video combines original and documentary footage, touching on Hurricane Katrina, antebellum and Louisiana Creole culture, racism and police brutality. It is rich with powerful imagery, from Beyoncé lying on top of a Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor in a flooded street and a young hooded boy dancing in front of a line of police officers, to dance routines, and appearances by New Orleans bounce artist Big Freedia and the late YouTube personality Messy Mya, who was murdered in New Orleans in 2010.

“Melina’s vision always involved a synthesis of song and story intercut with existing footage,” said Selis, who was on set for day one of the three-day shoot. “At the same time, the shoot was fluid. For example, an impromptu dance with Bey in a hallway evolved into a very powerful highlight.” Selis began cutting as the shoot progressed, working at a frenetic pace in advance of the Super Bowl. Matsoukas sent an early cut to Beyoncé, who loved it and came in to spend a day with Selis at Bonch. “She had the idea to restart the song from the beginning after the opening montage, in order to showcase more of the choreography. It worked really well.” Beyond the melding of looks, locations, choreography and documentary footage, Selis said the team was very conscious of the powerful messaging inherent in the song and video. “We knew there was a tipping point out there with the subject matter, but you never know what the reaction will be,” he said. “This was also really interesting to work on in terms of the huge movement in New Orleans for gay hip-hop, which is somehow taboo in many places, and the inclusion of figures like Big Freedia and Messy Mya.”

Selis has spent two decades in the field he describes as a “beautiful accident. I started in photography and discovered the Avid as a means of creating visual poems and playing with images. Someone asked me to cut a music video, then a commercial, and years later, they keep asking.” Previously at Room in Venice, Selis joined Bonch Post in 2008. “I love being part of Bonch,” he concluded. “It’s relaxed, artistic and communal, with a very cool vibe. It’s home.” 

In addition to “Formation”, Selis edited the singer’s video for 2014’s “Pretty Hurts”. That video was also directed by Matsoukas, for whom Selis is currently cutting Stella McCartney’s new Pop perfume campaign starring Grimes, Kenya Kinski-Jones, Amandla Stenberg and Lourdes “Lola” Leon, the eldest daughter of Madonna. Other recent work edited by Selis includes an Anthony Mandler-directed spot for Joe’s Jeans, starring model Bella Hadid. 

The 2016 AICE Awards were held on Thursday, May 12, at Navy Pier in Chicago. 

About Bonch Post
Founded by editor Jarrett Fijal in 2007, Bonch Post is a full-service boutique providing offline editorial, color correction and finishing. A roster of distinctive talent combined with a warm, collaborative environment have made Bonch the go-to post house for Beyoncé, Lady GaGa, Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, Lana Del Rey, Rihanna, and others. Over the past few years, Bonch’s repertoire extended to high-profile commercial projects, including the Sans campaign with David Beckham via AR New York (directed by Anthony Mandler), the latest spot campaign for Stella McCartney’s Pop perfume (directed by Melina Matsoukas), and the acclaimed short film,“Time” (directed by Floria Sigismondi) for Saatchi Saatchi. Multiple winners of the MTV VMA for Video of the Year have been cut at Bonch Post, which is also a three-time winner of the Moonman for Best Editor.

In addition to Fijal, the Bonch roster is comprised of editors Marissa Charlwood, Chris Davis, Chip Eddy, Steve Forner, Jeff Selis, Adam “Zuk” Zuckerman, and colorists/finishers Kevin Kim and Bill Pollock. Jeff Weidemann is Executive Producer at Bonch Post.