Q3 2020

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37 F A L L Q 3 I S S U E F E A T U R E George when he ran across the street – he had to cross the frame in front of a car and there was a bus going by. So we had to cut around George as he's moving across the frame. Broadway: In "Lowkey Losin' It," Issa was frantically calling around to replace the headliner and was told the person she was looking for had been shot. Issa's response: "Oooh phone got shot too?" – that's the best line! So when I was choosing takes, I knew that had to get in! When she scrolled through her phone for contacts, I wanted it to feel frantic to maintain the pacing, but you also have to be able to read the screen. The cinematography of that sequence was terrific – the way she felt on the phone was isolating and frantic. Q How do you create the sounds of Issa & Molly's world? Erb: Once I'm done with a scene or episode, I'll give it to Lynarion so she can do sound design while I score. Hubbard: I'll add ambient sounds for each location – the streets, inside a restaurant or a room – to give it more energy. I also adjust some dialogue to make sure levels are evened out and add sound effects. Erb: This gives our sound effects edi- tor Michael an idea of what we're aiming for so his team can recreate it with a higher quality audio file. Sana: I build the ambiences to set the mood. Molly 's apartment is in a downtown luxury high-rise, so there's a lot of traffic, horn honks and sirens. Issa's apartment has a different sound to it, there are birds because she lives on the hill in a neighborhood. The traffic sounds here are more muted, I'll add crickets for nighttime, or birds, if it's daytime. The room tone helps smooth over the dialogue or fill in the gaps when there's a break in dialogue. Erb: Our music supervisor, Kier Leh- man, sources from music from mostly West Coast artists, ideally from South L.A. this is all newly released or previous- ly unreleased music that is scheduled to be released at the time the episode airs. It's a very complicated dance – it's gotta have the right vibe, tone and lyrics to match the scene! Q How do you find gems in a sea of masterful performances? E r b : I d e v e l o p e d t h i s h a b i t f ro m working on nonfiction – I watch every single frame of the dailies from before the slate is clapped and after they yell "cut!" I've often found great moments I can use in between the resets. Sometimes all it takes is half a second of a frame that's a gem. Broadway: In the "Lowkey Losin' It" episode, I maintained the tension with pacing and reactions to the dialogue. This episode was about what they're NOT say- ing to each other – Issa is talking to Kelli (Natasha Rothwell) while Molly talks to Tiffany (Amanda Seales), but they're not speaking to each other. Yvonne and Issa both say so much without uttering a word, that really helped when I was choosing cutaways and reactions. Lewis: Issa, Yvonne and the cast know the characters so well, they're nailing so many of these takes that you have an abundance of material to choose from. It comes down to finding what is truest in the moment, or what gives you a laugh. Sana: A lot of it is about capturing the intimacy between Issa and Molly's relationship to bring out what they're feeling in the moment. Sometimes before you get to the meat of a scene, you hear all the surrounding sounds wherever they are. But once the dialogue picks up, all those sounds start peeling back and now we're zeroing in on what's happening – that little silence can really draw you into their world. It doesn't always have to be loud and busy – sometimes subtle sounds can add texture to the tone or mood of that moment. Q What were some of the fun, memo- rable or challenging scenes to cut? Erb: For "Lowkey Done," we experi- mented with a new visual language. Molly and Issa are intertwined with each other, it's almost like Molly is her "other half." The morning after the block party, Issa wakes up with Molly's criticism echoing through her mind and she was anxious to see if Molly had called. Instead, all these other people called. When she half listens to each voicemail, we split the screen 50- 50 with the person leaving the voicemail. Issa's other half is not there, so the other half of the screen is always being filled by someone other than Molly. And yet, she still feels a void. Lewis: One of my favorite moments is in "Lowkey Happy" when after dinner at the Latin restaurant, Issa and Lawrence (Jay Ellis) run into her ex, Calvin (Reggie Conquest). It's hilarious to watch Issa squirm while Lawrence is just loving every minute of it. Reggie is amazing and really funny, even though I would love to give every character a moment, it's always about Issa or Molly. You have to remember how it all functions as a larger whole. B ro a d way: Th e p a r k i n g s ce n e i n "Lowkey Losin' It" cracked me up, when M o l l y a n d I s s a w e re b o t h t r y i n g to squeeze into the same parallel parking spot on the street. They weren't saying much; the tension unravels through their reactions. Both were clearly very annoyed with each other. Fighting over t h e p a r k i n g s p o t wa s t h e m o s t p a s - sive-aggressive conversation between two friends in conflict. It was challenging to cut but the director [Nijla Mumin] did an amazing job getting coverage on this. Sana: When Molly goes to Mexico w i t h b oy f r i e n d A n d rew, we m a d e i t sound alive with birds, and then we had the jungle, so there were many layers SEE PAGE 53 For a look at the music editing on "Insecure," see the story on page 46

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