Spring 2015

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35 SPRING 2015 / CINEMONTAGE by Michael Goldman portraits by Martin Cohen A s Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. races to its second season finale May 12, the ambition of the series' approach to the current generation of ensemble, superhero-based, action dramas was becoming increasingly clear. The ABC show's layers include an ever-growing cast of characters who periodically change allegiance, winding plotlines that are often linked directly or indirectly to the rest of the Marvel media universe, curveballs that often hit the show straight out of the Marvel movies, a need to show respect to a sometimes fanatical fan base of comic book aficionados, some particularly sophisticated visual effects elements by network television standards, deep writing that includes elements from multiple genres, and a whole lot more. Consequently, making Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. work just right is no easy feat. At the center of making this gargantuan effort succeed each week is the program's picture editorial department and editing methodology. "I do think this is one of the more challenging shows to edit on television, but that's what makes it rewarding," says Joshua Charson, one of three current editors on the show, and the one who has been with the program the longest, having co-edited the pilot with Paul Trejo, ACE (no longer on the show), back in 2013. "We are part of the greater Marvel universe, so those tie-ins are happening. That means we get a lot of storylines happening beyond our show, and we don't always know the details until fairly late in the process. But to me, the big challenge is all the different genres existing in one show. In the tradition of executive producer Joss Whedon, we have elements of action, suspense, drama and comedy in almost every episode." Opposite: The editorial team for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., clockwise from bottom left, Jennifer MacFarlane, Ryan R. Moos, David Crabtree, Benni Pierce, Eric Litman, Kelly Stuyvesant and Joshua Charson. The main cast in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Photo by Florian Schneider/ABC

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