The leaders of international creative company Cutters Studios are proud to detail their contributions to several official selections of the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival, set to run Oct. 12-26. These films include director Scott Smith's feature comedy "Chasing the Blues," director Stephen Cone's dramatic feature "Princess Cyd," and director Sean Miller's futuristic short, "The Replacement."

"Cutters Studios has a long history of supporting innovative filmmaking in the commercial world and all forms of feature entertainment," said company CEO Tim McGuire. "Our editors Aaron Kiser and Christopher Gotschall stand behind two feature films that are going to get a lot of attention at CIFF and worldwide… and across all three of these films screening at CIFF this year, many of our great Flavor and Another Country talents also shine through."

"Chasing the Blues" will have its world premiere at CIFF. Director and co-writer Smith is a veteran advertising creative director who has come to trust Cutters immensely over the past 20 years. Early into this project, he enlisted Cutters partner Chris Claeys as post-production supervisor and Kiser as his editor, knowing that every aspect of post-production for his film would get stellar treatment.

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"Outside of the extreme talent and craftsmanship of our editor and captain, Aaron Kiser, colorist, Steve Wood and sound designer, Mike Regan, the dedication and enthusiasm of Cutters Studios - and the support that my team felt - was amazing," said Smith. "I'm grateful to Chris and Tim for taking in our little indie film and giving it the love of a big feature."

Among many specific Cutters Studios contributions that earned his esteem, Smith also expressed deep appreciation for the direct involvement with DP Nicole Whitaker to master key effects sequences, and Regan's audio design and mix, which he called "flawless and inventive." Additional studio credits include assistant editor Kalen Kirkpatrick and producer Katie Wickman at Cutters, sound effects editors Alex Paguirigan and Logan Vines and executive producer Tim Konn at Another Country, and executive producer Neal Cohen at Flavor.

Next, feature drama "Princess Cyd" is continuing a highly successful film festival run, having earned critical acclaim worldwide and brought home the Narrative Feature Audience Award at the 2017 Sidewalk Film Festival. Writer and director Cone chose Cutters' Gotschall to edit his film, which is set in present day Chicago. For Gotschall, who edited WTTW's 2016 Emmy Award-winning Albany Park Theater Project "Feast" special, this represents his first full-length feature. 

"Stephen is a writer/director/actor I've long admired, and someone I've wanted to collaborate with since seeing ‘Wise Kids' years ago. His work is always engaging, honest, brave, character-driven and spiritually relevant - my favorite things in a movie. He usually edits his own material, so I consider myself extremely fortunate to have had this opportunity to work with him. ‘Princess Cyd' pushed me out of my comfort zone as an editor, and I'm thrilled that it's resonating with audiences and critics."

Gotschall will proudly join Cone and the film's producers at the CIFF premiere screening for "Princess Cyd," set for Oct. 17 at 6 p.m. For Cutters Studios' Another Country, the film's credits also include re-recording mixer Drew Weir, sound effects editors Alex Paguirigan and Logan Vines, producer Louise Rider and executive producer Tim Konn.

Last but not least, director Miller's cautionary sci-fi short "The Replacements" will screen as part of CIFF's Shorts 1 - Chicago Style: City and State program. "'The Replacement' has received a tremendously positive response, and it's due in no small part to the work of Cutters Studios," Miller began. Pointing first to the work of Flavor, it's fair to say the director was astounded by the team effort led by executive producer Neal Cohen. 

"The team at Flavor took our cityscapes and filled them with holographic billboards to create an oppressive metropolis full of sensory overload," he explained. "They used Augmented Reality to design our next-generation smart phone. And for the cloning effects, their artistry seamlessly delivers the interaction between the main character and himself."

Full Flavor credits for "The Replacements" also include Digital Intermediate colorist Brian Higgins, VFX artists Chris Elliott and Tyler Engle, VFX assistant artist Patrick Wong, and motion graphics artists Brad Backofen, Adam Kohr and Jake Wilson. Of Higgins' work, Miller added, "Brian made our already gorgeous raw footage look like something from a Ridley Scott film. I was really impressed with the colors he was able to pull out from Chicago's famous orange sodium vapor lights at night. The city is full of layers now."

Here again, Another Country's Alex Paguirigan made his presence felt, serving as sound designer and re-recording mixer on this project. He also earned Miller's praise: "Alex made a downtown office lobby into a high-tech clone clinic, and State Street into a sprawling, overpopulated underworld," he continued. "The first time I heard the sound design was like watching the film with fresh eyes."

To learn more about the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival and purchase tickets, please visit

About Cutters and Cutters Studios
Established in Chicago in 1980, Cutters has cemented its reputation as a premier provider of extraordinary editing and post-production artistry, and today the company is among the world's largest independent editorial companies. Based on its solid reputation for world-class editorial talents, family values and truly great leadership, over time, Cutters has opened successful studios in Detroit, Los Angeles, Tokyo and New York City. With its partner companies Another Country, Dictionary Films, Flavor and Picnic Media, Cutters Studios represents unlimited full-service creative capabilities. For more information please visit