Archive for September, 2011

Emmytime, 2011

September 19th, 2011

Didn’t come out the way I voted but I was happy with the winners (see below) in the editing category I voted in (Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or a Movie) – whom I scored #2 (out of five). Sherlock Holmes I thought the premiere Sherlock Holmes episode, “A Study in Pink” exemplified modern editing and updated the cerebral, acerbic, aspergian Holmes fittingly, as opposed the Downey film series which turns him into just another action detective (I love Robert Downey’s acting and have read all the Holmes’ stories multiple times but couldn’t get past the film trailers).

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes in

“A Study in Pink” ©2011 Hartswood Films, BBC

Productions, & Masterpiece Theatre. All Rights


Too bad the rest of the BBC series didn’t live it up to the premiere. I’ll be talking about its editing in the online course I’m presenting next month: “Inglourious Editors: The State of Editors and Editing” on October 13, 6-8:30 p.m. PST. (Click link for more info and to register. I’d love to have you there.) In the meantime, watch it – it’s worth your time for the editing alone.

Emmy 2011 LogoKudos to the all the Emmy winners and nominees as well as all the editors who toil in TV land – you cut more in less time and often do wondrous, ground breaking work – we “out of the closet TV viewers” appreciate your work.

Here’s the official list:
Academy of Television Arts & Sciences 63rd Annual Creative Emmy Awards

Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or a Movie
Sarah Flack, A.C.E., Editor HBO
Robert Pulcini, Editor
Cinema Verite

Outstanding Picture Editing for a Comedy Series (Single or Multi-Camera)
Sue Federman, Edited By CBS
How I Met Your Mother
Subway Wars

Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series
Sidney Wolinsky, A.C.E., Editor HBO
Boardwalk Empire
Boardwalk Empire (Pilot)

Outstanding Short-Form Picture Editing
Matt O’connor, Editor ESPN
Anthony Marchegiano, Editor
The 2010 Espy Awards
Images Piece

Outstanding Picture Editing for a Special (Single or Multi-Camera)
Michael Polito, Editor HBO
Bill Deronde, Editor
Kevin O’dea, Editor
Katie Hetland, Editor
Lady Gaga Presents The Monster Ball Tour:
At Madison Square Garden

Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming
Lewis Erskine, Edited By
Aljernon Tunsil, Edited By PBS
Freedom Riders

Outstanding Picture Editing for Reality Programming
Josh Earl, Supervising Editor, Discovery Channel
Kelly Coskran, Supervising Editor
Alex Durham, Editor
Deadliest Catch
Redemption Day

Awards, Editor’s role, Television

Ten years later

September 11th, 2011

Susan Perla, CBS news editor, reported on her 16-hour days following the obliteration of the World Trade Center:

“The images that I could not air were pretty awful. I do think about some of the footage and it disturbs me. I hope that as I work with people, I can bring humanness to any aspect of a news story. There are times when I feel we are vultures, looking for scraps. Then there are times when I finish up and look at the work and it makes me proud of a day’s work or a package cut well. It might make an impact or force someone to think about an issue.”

On the tenth anniversary of this world-changing event, I think we’re all re-viewing the burning images, commemorating the lost lives, and contemplating what they all mean.

At first we didn’t know what to call it. Nine-one-one?  Nine-eleven? The latter stuck, too close to the chain store in nomenclature for me. We learned many more words: Kabul, Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, Iraq, Afghanistan, IED, Freedom Fries, Abu Ghraib, Blackwater, rendition, waterboarding, insurgency, terrorism. And those were just a few of the words applied to horrors beyond our imagination aboard. At home, we learned the tragedy of words such as foreclosure, red, blue, PTSD, recession, unemployment, homelessness.

911 New Yorker CoverI’ve been reading articles, pondering the last ten years, and like most of us, trying to make sense of it. I am saddened and sickened by our nation’s inability to heal itself and its increasing the hatred of our country abroad with our aggressive, astronomically costly wars. An article in the September 12 issue of The New Yorker focuses on the fracturing of our country over the wars, the economy, the meaning of 9/11 itself, and who the enemy and what the real problems and issues are. The article contends that we now lack a common narrative of the last ten year’s worth of events, due to the divergence of our leaders and the callous blindness of the Bush administration.

I don’t usually write politically here but after ten years, with our country and countrymen and women, especially returning soldiers, in terrible, ever-worsening shape, I am sick and sad. Perhaps as editors – as writers with sound and image – we can, like Susan Perla remarked, bring humanness to our projects. God knows the world needs it.

To end on a contemplative, memorial note, here’s a video doc that consists of an interview with the architect of the water memorial in NYC to those who died in the towers which opens to the public 9/12/2011. I see the water as leading to the void. Please, let’s reach out across the divides and firmly put our nation on a path that is true to all those founding beliefs of liberty, happiness, equality, etc. that we so cherish.

Editor’s role, History/research, Television

Summertime and some more Riffs on Bad Editing from Mystery Science Theater 3000

September 7th, 2011

Mystery Science Theater 3000Here are a few more riffs on bad editing from an anonymous editor who watched the 197 episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000), a comedy series from Minnesota’s twin cities that ran from 1988-1999 mostly on Comedy Central and is now available on DVD.

The editor’s comments are on the first line in purple as he (I’m assuming) watches the episode. The second line references the character’s name and the episode title. See August 3rd post to hear from the editor and for his first set of riffs.

Stop cutting!!!
(to Sam, to Buffalo, to Sam to Buffalo, back forth back forth forth back faster faster…AHHHH!)

Servo, Riding With Death

Watch out for the editing!
(as our heroine gets “stabbed” and “falls”)

Mike, Deathstalker & the Warriors From Hell

He’s hitting him with jump cuts!
Mike, Terror From the Year 5000!

Home movies are more tightly edited than this.
Servo, Laserblast

I think she just got edited to the ground.
(as our other heroine “falls” from her horse)

Servo, Deathstalker & the Warriors from Hell

Why you clever bastard! So the editor’s working with you?!
(after Deathstalker miraculously appears in a doorway during a fight)

Mike, Deathstalker & the Warriors From Hell

I think the editing philosophy of this movie was ‘don’t stay on anything too long, it doesn’t look good enough’.
Mike, Gorgo

Passed from editor to editor in a desperate attempt to save it!
(during the many editor names in the opening credits

Mike, Space Mutiny

Well, grips the interest of one disturbed editor.
(during many newspaper images that claim some murders are “gripping the interest” of the public)

Servo, The She Creature

This movie must have had the hell edited out of it!
(during the many many editor names listed in the opening credits)

Servo, Horror of Party Beach

You see it doesn’t matter how slow I go, I’ll catch him — my son’s the editor.
Crow, Outlaw

C’mon! I just teleported here! It’s impressive!
Crow, Girl in Gold Boots

Editing practices, Editor’s role, Television