Wednesday, February 9, 2011


When a script is not quite there, we say, "We'll fix it in production."  And when a production goes awry, we say, "We'll fix it in post."  I'll never forget the day that I heard a producer look at a terrible cut and say, "We'll fix it in marketing." 

One of my mentors, the late great Bruce Paltrow, once told me that control goes back and forth between the director and the network or studio on a show.  The Studio has control when you're working on the script, the director gets it back on set, and the studio gets it back in editorial... He actually told me that a smart director shoots a scene so that it can only be cut one way.  He was kind of awesome that way.

Luckily, I have never had to guard my footage or fight tooth and nail for an edit... I've always worked with collaborative producers who challenged decisions but never demanded final cut of a project.    

This weekend, I had the pleasure of helping out my good buddy Zack Mathers while he was editing the Pioneer/Pandora commercial that I assistant directed last week.  ADing and helping with editing don't usually go hand in hand but that's besides the point.  Working on this edit, I was reminded of how much I LOVE editorial.
This is actually Zack helping me out on TLE -
he would only do it if I brought Luna to visit.
Scroll down for video. 

Say cheese, Steve Edwards. 
I have fond memories of sitting with The Lake Effect's devoted editor Steve Edwards, working to juxtapose reactions and insert shots to create something evocative or funny or surprising that was nothing just a moment before.  The editing room, for me, is often where I feel the most magic.  It may be because  writing is theoretical and directing so damn tangible... Editorial is like being able to see the forest through the trees.    I often find myself in the editing room singing, "Making lo-o-ove out of nothing at all!"   Who sings that, by the way?  Is that Meatloaf?  My Dad loves that guy...

Anyway, editorial is a magical place for a director... or at least it is for me.  It's the final stage of writing, a place where you figure out what you've got and somehow manage to create what you need... because despite Bruce's old school wisdom, there is never just one way to cut something.

PS:  Here's spot 1 of 2.  
PIONEER PANDORA 2011 - 60-SEC Jogging Spot NAVI from Frequent Flyer Productions on Vimeo.

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