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WHAT IT TAKES To Edit Big TV Shows

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21:14   |   May 19, 2018

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  • This video is brought to you by Music Vine.
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  • "Hey, how's it going?"
  • "Good to see you!"
  • This is Josh.
  • He's an editor on Starz' stand-out show
  • "Counterpart", with Academy Award winner
  • J. K. Simmons.
  • "Hi, Howard."
  • Josh: "This is us. It's not glamorous!"
  • Sven: "Nice! I can feel the history!"
  • Josh: "We're the first ones here this morning."
  • Josh also cut on House of Cards
  • and Bloodline.
  • I wanted to shadow him to see
  • what it's like to edit
  • some of the biggest shows in television.
  • Sven: "Oh, wow."
  • I wanted to see how Josh works
  • with specific scenes,
  • but I also wanted to put my focus
  • around five questions.
  • Josh: "This is the office of my assistant,
  • Ambar, who's not in yet.
  • And this is where I am."
  • Josh: "There's a lot of stuff going on.
  • There are different locations
  • of action, you have up in the balcony, you
  • have down below the stairs,
  • you have the police coming in; there are
  • a lot of different, little
  • pieces to juggle
  • that are all happening at the same time.
  • It's an example of a
  • sequence that got worked on a lot.
  • You're like "Oh, that's the
  • scene that everyone's gonna be sick of,
  • hearing that coming out
  • of my room. Like... all season.
  • Very late in the process, I presented an
  • idea of playing the shot on Howard
  • and not showing her get shot."
  • "The emotional moment is her death, and
  • Howard's reaction, it isn't about
  • the action of her getting...
  • you know, this isn't an action movie in
  • that sense, right?"
  • This is part spy thriller, part
  • Science fiction drama
  • where Simmons plays a low-level
  • office worker at the
  • United Nations agency in Berlin,
  • only to discover that
  • it's really a gateway to a parallel world.
  • Josh: "So it's our world,
  • and then you go through a portal to come
  • out the other side, and there's
  • another version of the world that looks
  • very much like our own.
  • And at one point they were the same, and
  • over time they've been slowly
  • diverging.
  • And that goes for everybody, so Howard Silk
  • meets his counterpart, his other
  • on the other side, who is very different
  • than he is."
  • Howard Silk: "I wanna know
  • how you became so different."
  • "Shh."
  • Josh: "This is when Howard faces off
  • against himself, basically,
  • in this room. This is like where you might
  • visit a prisoner, and it's just
  • the two of them having it out.
  • It's a scene that I'm most... proud of.
  • And so the dailies for this
  • are these very long takes.
  • This is an almost 9-minute take,
  • just of, you know, J. K. Simmons.
  • The only other thing I've got is the
  • other J. K. Simmons on the
  • other side, and the only action that is
  • part of the scene is the
  • fireworks, the drama, the exchange of
  • dialogue between the two characters.
  • Howard: "They're all on that side,
  • now on false visas.
  • So, we thought you should know."
  • Prime: "We?"
  • "Yeah, maybe you thought it would
  • be someone else sitting here.
  • Maybe your ex-wife."
  • Josh: "It was helpful to really just
  • map that out and know
  • what each section was moving toward,
  • each turning point."
  • Sven: "Do you map that out on
  • the actual script?"
  • Josh: "First I'll map it out on
  • the script, I'll take
  • the script and I'll break it down
  • into beats.
  • I'll draw a red line in between each beat,
  • where I think each turning point is.
  • Just going into some of my
  • first cuts of this...
  • So I'd arrange it in these chunks.
  • So the first chunk is:
  • He comes in, he sits down, they
  • have their initial
  • exchange, and then things change,
  • because he says
  • Howard: "They're all on that side, on false visas.
  • So... we thought you should know."
  • Prime: "We?"
  • Josh: "Now, that we, within the context of the
  • scene, has significance.
  • That's a turning point. They were talking
  • about their spy business
  • or whatever, their intel that they got...
  • but now it's turned, and now
  • they're talking about their wife. Now the
  • conversation takes a new...
  • "You thought I would be someone else
  • sitting here."
  • Josh: ..."direction."
  • Howard: "Your ex-wife, maybe.
  • The one you told me died of cancer."
  • Josh: "And so I lay all the
  • stuff out about the wife, and then it's
  • gonna turn again."
  • Howard: "I'm looking."
  • Josh: "So now it's been a handoff,
  • like Howard sort of
  • drove that section, and now Prime,
  • he stood up to leave but
  • he's not gonna get out of the room
  • because he's gonna go
  • back at him."
  • Prime: "Not long ago I sent you
  • over there."
  • Josh: You know, and now he's got his...
  • now he's driving him, and he's
  • moving it forward.
  • And Howard Silk is sitting there
  • taking it, so again that's
  • another chunk, that's another idea
  • within the scene.
  • And so I just broke it down just
  • going throughout
  • the whole thing, and then I began refining
  • and building each individual section.
  • So, I don't have to keep the
  • entire thing in my brain, and I don't have
  • to feel overwhelmed by
  • a 9-minute take. Then I can start
  • enjoying myself.
  • But until that happens...
  • it's the worst. (laughs)
  • Because again, each one of these is 9 minutes."
  • Sven: "How long did it take you
  • to cut that scene?
  • Like to do a first presentable cut?"
  • Josh: "Two days."
  • "Until it comes through this room, it is
  • not recognizable as a movie
  • or tv show.
  • It's just a jumble of footage
  • to anybody else.
  • This is where what my mom would
  • recognize as a tv show
  • materializes. And I get to be at the
  • very center of that.
  • And so that's very exciting."
  • Primer: "We really shouldn't be here."
  • "Thanks for the intel, I'll look into it."
  • Howard: "Is there just any truth
  • to you?"
  • Josh: "This scene was so great
  • because there was no problem to fix.
  • You're just watching 9 minutes of J. K. Simmons
  • do his thing really well."
  • Sven: "I find it interesting how his voice is
  • different between the two."
  • Josh: "Oh, I mean, he's...
  • like, everything about what J. K. Simmons
  • did... I remember when I
  • interviewed for the job, there was some
  • discussion about:
  • How do we differentiate between the two?
  • And editorially, what did I think of that?"
  • Prime: "You're enjoying yourself with my family?"
  • Howard: "They hate you."
  • Josh: "And I gotta say, I said at the time:
  • "I would guess you're not
  • gonna have to do that much. Because
  • J. K. Simmons is gonna
  • do it for you. It is gonna be clear by the
  • way he moves and walks and talks,
  • who we're looking at."
  • Prime: "How much denial do you have
  • to be in to continue to idealize
  • her the way you do?"
  • Howard: "I know my wife."
  • Prime: "What? I'm sorry, I don't think
  • I caught that."
  • Josh: "And the director gave me
  • everything that I needed,
  • and it was well-written, it was just like
  • "Okay, this is all good."
  • How do we just get the best out of this,
  • you know?"
  • Sven: "Yeah. How does he, by the way,
  • do the playing himself?
  • Do they read the lines... (...)?
  • Josh: "Yeah, so it's actually one of two
  • ways, it's kind of interesting.
  • This was shot just for the back of J. K. Simmons' head.
  • He's playing opposite his double."
  • Sven: "So that's his double..."
  • Josh: "Right? And so he's just giving him
  • timing, he's giving him an eyeline,
  • it's giving him something
  • to see."
  • Sven: "So is the double an actor
  • or just a dude?"
  • Josh: "You know, I've never met him,
  • he does well, I mean it's not
  • like he's just there; he's giving J.K. Simmons
  • something to react off of.
  • Yeah, and then they'll flip around
  • they'll shoot...
  • the front of J. K. Simmons, and then we
  • got in the back the double's head.
  • And of course they would
  • have shot the back of J. K. on this side
  • and we just marry him up."
  • Sven: "Can we listen to one of those
  • interchanges, how that plays?"
  • Josh: "Sure. In the raw dailies?"
  • Sven: "Yeah."
  • Josh: "Yeah."
  • Double: "Three names for you.
  • Oskar Wolfe, Helen Moller,"
  • Josh: "So that's just the double going, right?"
  • Double: ..."we've been helping you."
  • Prime: "We", again.
  • You have feeling for her, Howard?"
  • Josh: "So... There's another scene
  • I can show you."
  • Sven: "It's amazing how J. K. Simmons'
  • voice is already this powerful without anything in the sound mix."
  • Josh: "Yeah! It's true."
  • "I can show you how this gets built...
  • This was a cool shot."
  • Before we move on to the next scene,
  • I want to take a brief moment
  • to thank Music Vine for their support.
  • All music tracks used in the
  • video come from their awesome library,
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  • Now back to Josh.
  • Josh: "I can show you how this gets built.
  • This was a cool shot where you've got
  • the double and he crosses
  • himself, and the camera pulls back to
  • get a sense of this room,
  • and it's like, well, how do you marry
  • that up?
  • The way they do this, it's a motion-controlled
  • camera, so they program the move.
  • Once they decide on the hero, like
  • "okay, this gonna be our lynchpin",
  • then they'll repeat it with J. K. now
  • playing where the double was,
  • this will be the exact same camera move as
  • what I just played before.
  • And they'll leave the double there, because
  • they need him to cross, so they
  • need a clean piece of him.
  • And then, on our end, we did a very rough
  • comp that looked like this.
  • My assistant did this.
  • Howard: "I'll make up the couch for you."
  • Sven: "That's a keyframed animation?"
  • Josh: "Yeah, she just roto'd it out.
  • Do you wanna see the before?
  • Sven: "Yeah, yeah!"
  • Josh: "This offline media is all the
  • effect shots that
  • ultimately got done.
  • So you can see where it gets matted out.
  • And you can see, when they cross
  • it obviously gets fuzzy.
  • But for the purpose of evaluation and
  • to see how it all goes together,
  • you get the idea.
  • Sven: "Yeah. And then how did they
  • do the shot? They do it in
  • After Effects in-house or do you... (...)"
  • Josh: "No, it gets sent out.
  • So this became a shot for our visual
  • effects vendor, so I needed to
  • sort of build these, however rough,
  • as I went, to make sure;
  • and then I would hand out the sequence
  • off, much to my assistant's dismay,
  • I'll be like: "OK I have another version.
  • You can clean up the comps and
  • make it look nicer."
  • Sven: "So you are the assistant editor
  • for Josh?
  • (Ambar affirms).
  • Sven: "And how is it working with Josh?"
  • Ambar: "It's great. It's really great."
  • Sven: (laughs) Ah, okay. That's
  • the safe answer. Amber: "I really like him." Sven: "So, hat' your main job?"
  • Josh: "She's gonna check sync, she'll get
  • paperwork from the
  • script supervisor, camera reports,
  • sound reports,
  • everybody's listing what was shot
  • and she needs to make sure
  • that what she's giving me is everything
  • that was shot, because I don't
  • wanna end up in here with the director
  • saying "Hey, how come you
  • didn't use this?" And I'd be like:
  • "I don't know what you're talking about,
  • I didn't see that."
  • That's embarassing for me, it's bad,
  • I need to know.
  • So that's a really important job, it's that
  • reconciliation that happens
  • in the morning on ingest into the system."
  • Josh: "We work on shared storage.
  • My assistant sees the same project tree.
  • I have a folder called
  • "Scenes to cut" and I have a folder
  • called "Scenes".
  • One she has prepped a scene for me,
  • she puts that bin into
  • "Scenes to cut" and lets me know that
  • a given scene is ready.
  • "Sven: Feature? Okay, nice."
  • Josh: "Some editors might work like this,
  • in script mode or in list view
  • or... I don't know.
  • Every editor in Avid is gonna organize
  • their bins differently.
  • But everything gets group-clipped, so
  • here's an A and B camera
  • and then here's the group clip of those
  • two shots, and this is like
  • a Mickey Mouse ears. So I'll keep both up
  • and they're arranged in this sort of
  • upside-down triangle configuration.
  • Visually, I can look into this bin and I can
  • get sort of a top overview
  • of the setups.
  • This is a bigger one, maybe...
  • Again: Here's my master, here are these
  • medium shots, I have these reverse
  • angles on him...
  • Sven: "Do you ever use these to actually
  • cut or do you always cut from this one?"
  • Josh: "I'll almost always cut
  • from the group clip, there's no reason
  • not to in Avid.
  • Sven: "So it's just a visual reminder
  • to you that there are
  • two angles and what they look like?"
  • Josh: "Exactly. If all I had in
  • my bin, where all my group clips-
  • because some people just
  • put the group clips in, some people don't
  • want this much stuff in their bin.
  • But I like it, because I don't have to load
  • this clip and flip back and forth
  • between the angles to see...
  • Sven: "It's actually a great tip, I don't
  • use that. Now I will."
  • Josh: ..."I like that."
  • Sven: "And it feels very contained too,
  • which is nice. It feels like...
  • this scene, I can... like, easily grasp
  • what I have."
  • Josh: "Yeah. This is definitely one
  • nice thing about the Avid
  • in that the bins, unlike in Premiere
  • or whatever, they're really
  • free flowing, it's really like a pallet
  • and you can arrange it
  • however you want.
  • Most editors I know, some version of this
  • is their default (...)" Sven: Do you ever do select reels
  • or that's it?"
  • Josh: "It depends on the type of scene
  • that I'm cutting. If it's a dialogue scene
  • that's very performance-based,
  • I don't do select reels.
  • If you want, I can kinda take you through
  • how I do it.
  • This is what a scene might look like when I
  • first put it together; real simple.
  • Just pretty much, for the most part, we're
  • talking about straight cuts.
  • Woman: "Tell me I'm missing, Howard.
  • Would you fill me in, please?"
  • Josh: "This is sort of like a selects reel
  • in order of the scene."
  • Woman: "Midnight station called me
  • two hours ago."
  • Josh: "Takes that I liked, readings that
  • I liked."
  • Howard: "In your department?"
  • Woman: "I don't know..."
  • Howard: "Who, housekeeping?"
  • Woman: "Could be. Could be fourth floor."
  • Josh: "Some of it is gonna end up
  • working okay, some of it won't.
  • I'm not really worrying about matching
  • or audio glitches or whatever.
  • I'm just trying things out.
  • So here's a scene that has a lot of coverage, right?
  • I don't like first cuts.
  • So I usually watch all the dailies,
  • and then I'll just say
  • "screw it", I'm just gonna grab the last take.
  • And it sort of depends on the director
  • because some directors,
  • it becomes very clear that they're very
  • specifically going for something,
  • like after you watch the dailies, you see
  • that they're driving
  • to something specific.
  • And then they'll usually get that by the
  • second-last take, maybe second to last take
  • is maybe the one because maybe
  • the last take was just sort of like
  • "Okay, let the actors try something
  • or whatever, for safety."
  • It doesn't really matter yet.
  • I know the coverage, and I'll come up
  • in my head with sort of a design
  • for the scene.
  • What's the most important thing,
  • and I'll just load the last
  • take of each setup, and I'll just sort of
  • drive through each one,
  • and I'll cut in like "Oh, I like that
  • reading there, and I'll drop it in" and then
  • I'll load the next last take,
  • and I'll go "Okay, I'm probably gonna go
  • to the close here."
  • You know, for this moment, I'll build that in.
  • I end up with just a rough
  • approximation of the shape of the scene.
  • That's where it gets me over
  • the hump, and then I go back, I'll start
  • finessing it, and that's
  • when I go into the other takes to find
  • better versions of what I'm doing.
  • The most important thing
  • is just to... move."
  • I asked Josh how to become a TV editor
  • and I'm gonna get to that
  • in just a second. But there were many more
  • topics that we talked about.
  • If you click over on Patreon, I'll have two
  • additional videos.
  • One is gonna be for free, you don't
  • have to sign up, and it's
  • gonna be specifically how I worked with
  • music in this episode
  • in conjunction with Music Vine.
  • "I'm gonna just turn off what he says, and
  • then I'm gonna have to fill
  • this sound hole here eventually."
  • The other video is questions that the Patreon
  • members had directly for Josh.
  • Sven: "Chris wants to know:
  • What's the software you use?"
  • Josh: "Avid."
  • Sven: "How do you see the future?"
  • Josh: "I see the future,
  • within my corner,..."
  • Sven: "How do you deal with
  • the crazy short turnovers?"
  • (Josh laughs)
  • Sven: "Are you involved at all
  • in pre-production?
  • Do you have any interaction
  • with the director?"
  • Josh: "So, in TV it's a little
  • different than in features..."
  • Sven: "How do you deal
  • with notes that you disagree with?"
  • Josh: "That's a good question."
  • Do check out the Patreon community.
  • And with that, let's find out
  • what's the best to break into TV editing.
  • Josh: "If you wanna work in television
  • specifically, you need to become
  • an assistant first.
  • It can happen without doing that,
  • but I think that is the exception
  • that by no means proves the rule.
  • But if you want to work on TV shows,
  • on HBO, or Netflix, or Starz or whatever,
  • there's still gatekeepers and
  • the way you get in is by being an assistant.
  • Now how do you become an assistant?
  • Well, first you have to know the tools,
  • that part, you know,
  • is relatively easy. And then you just have
  • to get in the mix.
  • I didn't start doing this, I started
  • cutting weddings.
  • And I actually learned a lot.
  • If you want someone difficult to
  • please, it's like...
  • and unhappy bride and her mother.
  • That led into corporate
  • work, then that led to a guy that
  • had an old, good friend
  • who just so happened to be a
  • television editor.
  • And he said "I can put you in touch."
  • And I worked with him for
  • a number of years, he mentored me basically.
  • A really talented editor, Scott Vickery.
  • And then I ended up working with a lot of
  • his editor friends and assisting
  • for them, I did that for about five years.
  • In the meantime, I was
  • trying to cut whatever I could.
  • My first real break,
  • like my first real credit,
  • came about because of a PA that
  • I had worked with as an assistant.
  • "You got a, you know...
  • you got a... "Yeah..."
  • Josh: "And so you just never know
  • where that door is gonna
  • crack open. So be nice to the PA
  • that you work with."
  • Sven: "Very nice, thank you."
  • Josh: "Thanks Sven, I hope it's good."
  • It's a real treat to be able
  • to see work in progress.
  • A big, big thank you to Tammy Ann Casper
  • from MRC,
  • Justin Marks,
  • Todd Brown
  • and the people at Starz
  • for letting me hang out with Josh
  • and allowing us
  • to take a closer look at some scenes.
  • Do let me know
  • in the comment section if you like
  • this type of content,
  • watching editors or any other
  • type of filmmakers
  • at work.
  • Don't forget to check out the link
  • to Music Vine
  • to get your five free music tracks
  • and I thank you for watching.

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Description

Josh cut on House of Cards, Bloodline and currently edits COUNTERPART (w/ Oscar Winner J.K. Simmons). Here's his take on cutting it in Television.

Get 5 FREE high-end music tracks from Music Vine (offer expires Dec. 31, 2018): http://thisguyedits.com/musicvine-track-giveaway

In addition they are offering a 50% discount on your first license purchase from a special playlist I created for you: http://thisguyedits.com/musicvine-50OFF-playlist

Counterpart is a sci-fi thriller on STARZ. Editor Josh Beal is currently editing Season 2 and allows us an inside view of his timeline as he demonstrates scene work and speaks to:

- The editor's role
- Storytelling techniques
- The workflow on a TV show
- The responsibility of the Assistant Editor
- How to become a TV Editor

Check out also the BONUS VIDEO about Josh on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/posts/bts-counterpart-18890788
- no sign up required -

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THIS GUY EDITS (TGE) is a youtube channel by film editor Sven Pape, an A.C.E. award nominee, whose credits include work for directors James Cameron, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and James Franco.

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My absolute favorite Film Editing Book is...
"In the Blink of an Eye" by Walter Murch: http://amzn.to/20ujg6B

Find out about Walter Murch's theory on the relationship of eye blinking and editing: /watch?v=0_rHsWleVmw&list=PLN...

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