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  • Writer's pictureNielsen Studios Inc

American Faces #61 - Master of the edit

Independent filmmaker and editor, Trent Hilborn, knows what it takes to tell a good story.

“Every story, no matter the topic, is about someone pursuing something, about something they need to conquer” says Trent, “That doesn’t mean it involves a sword and shield – it can be about anything, but at the end of the day, every story is about a challenge someone is trying to overcome.”

Trent’s no stranger to challenge. After studying filmmaking in New York and Wisconsin, he launched a video production company with two buddies from college.

“I didn’t want to go to LA and serve coffee for 10 years. I wanted to start making films right away, so we formed a company and found some clients who wanted to make stuff.”

In 2018, after a fun but exhausting run, they decided to break up the band.

Now working independently under his own banner, Trent does it all – writing, directing and editing.

We first connected through our mutual friend and creative collaborator, Scott Regan, pulling Trent in to edit videos for both AgriLife Studios and Nielsen Studios productions. Early on, we discovered he has a near-magical ability to absorb video content, see the threads of a story – the setup, the hook, the payoff – and weave them together into a compelling narrative.

Trent says whether it’s about a revolutionary new corn hybrid, a precision manufacturing company creating great local jobs or a Skywalker fighting the evil Empire, every good story must somehow help the audience connect with our common humanity.

“Someone tells a story and it shows us something about life, about ourselves,” says Trent. “It gives us renewed purpose. You think, I may not want to climb the same mountain, but I’m inspired to take on a bigger challenge, to push myself.”

Trent shares a cool little house in Minneapolis with his wife, Mandy, and his cats, Summit and Biff. When he’s not putting together his latest project, Trent travels the world hiking, climbing, diving, paddling and biking to wherever the adventure – and the epic human story – takes him.

Story by: Scott Whitman

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