Behind the Work is a series by Filmsupply that brings you lessons from leading creatives where they share essential techniques they bring to their craft. All shot from their own home or studio, Behind the Work brings you an entirely new set of skill sets that you can put into practice to grow in your craft.
John Ruskin famously said, “Quality is never an accident.” That may be true, but how do you know quality when you see it? It seems to be a moving target. For example, John Krasinski’s YouTube sensation Some Good News may not fit into some filmmakers’ definitions of quality.
An editor’s perspective is key to the success of a film. Their mindset affects every aspect of the cut, the way the story takes shape, and even how the audience will perceive a character’s journey.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re one of the millions of people around the world who’s spending more time than usual inside. Luckily for editors, our work is generally not dependent on a specific location. If we have a computer and our brain, then we can work. But, that isn’t to say remote work is easy.
As an editor, Michael helped bring television into the major leagues in the early 2000s, editing throughout the entirety of Six Feet Under and working on major projects like True Blood, Dexter, Homeland, The Leftovers, and much more. Most recently, he took on Amazon’s sweeping fantasy series Carnival Row.
Editing, in many ways, works like a magic trick. You’re using spectacle and distraction to achieve your true goal—to make the audience feel something. Or, as Oscar-winning Editor Michael McCusker puts it, you’re making your audience “emotionally smart.”
When the biggest moment of the biggest movie of 2019 wasn’t working, Editor Jeffrey Ford and his team needed a creative solution.
Warner Bros. latest Joker, takes a conscious step away from the stylized trappings of past Gothams, delivering a raw vision of an urban squalor recalling New York from decades past. The protagonist, played by Joaquin Phoenix is a product of these surroundings. The odyssey that transforms him from Arthur Fleck to a clown-faced menace points to how this film is more of a character study than the traditional comic book blockbuster.
On this project, Director Todd Phillips employed many of his past collaborators, including film editor Jeff Groth, who worked on series such as Community and Entourage and later joined Phillips as the editor for The Hangover Part III and War Dogs. The workflow Groth established on these earlier projects required modification to develop the backstory for the DC villain.