Q3 2020

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38 C I N E M O N T A G E F E A T U R E By Su Fang Tham W atching HBO's "Succession" is akin to cerebral jiujitsu and kickboxing all rolled into one – you're mentally spent, in a good way, and all the Roy clan has done for an hour is talk. The acerbic bickering and vertiginous backstabbing among the family of narcis- sistic one-percenters is often delivered at breakneck speed by an outstanding cast, led by patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox). Prodigal son Kendall's (Jeremy Strong) Sisyphean struggle to seek his father's approval provides the emotional bedrock for most of the courtroom-coup, high- The 'Succession' Issue EDITOR KEN ELUTO TALKS ABOUT SUSTAINING THE TENSION ON HBO'S SAVAGE DRAMA ABOUT TV'S MOST MACHIAVELLIAN FAMILY stakes sibling rivalry and almost every other ill-fated plot twist. After working on a string of documen- taries including "Frontline" for PBS, New York-based editor Ken Eluto got his first taste of scripted fare when he worked on the '90s gritty police procedural "Homi- cide: Life on the Street." His recent works include Netflix's hit comedy "Unbreak- able Kimmy Schmidt," NatGeo's "Genius" anthology series, and Anna Kendrick's rom-com series "Love Life," which pre- miered last month on HBO Max. An Emmy winner for his work on NBC's hit comedy "30 Rock," Eluto re- cently talked with CineMontage about cutting one of TV's most luxurious and gratifying dramas, including what went on behind "DC" – the penultimate epi- sode of Season 2 where the Roy empire is engulfed by the fallout from a cruise scandal. In July, Eluto was nominated for an Emmy for his work on the series. Q I'm a big fan of the series! What is the secret to sustaining the tension and momentum of an intensely dialogue-heavy drama like "Succession"? Eluto: The main secrets are in the writing and the extremely talented cast. I start with the scripts and going through dailies, looking for moments of intensity in the performances that move me – or [offer] something humorous – depend- HBO's "Succession": Narcissistic one-percenters. P H O T O : H B O

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