Q3 2022

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C O V E R S T O R Y making sure we felt for him, despite all of his wrongdoing." Close collaboration between the editors was essential because of the way the show was shot: Rather than shooting an episode at a time, creator Pickering and director Matt Ross completed all material featuring a given actor or using a given location. That meant that footage was fed into multiple episodes simultaneously. "We're shooting it like a feature," Pe- terson said. "In essence, you're basically shooting out actors, you're shooting out locations. The benefit is production gets to say: 'Everything that happens in the Oval Office we can shoot out in two, three days. Everything that we need with Julia Roberts, we can shoot out in her three weeks.'" While the editors each had their own individual episodes to focus on, the team adopted a collaborative approach. "At the end of each week, we would all send our scenes to the director," Connelly said. "But, before we did, we would screen them all to- gether in the screening room at the facility so we could all see where everyone was at and just get a feel for the show as a whole. Because things were coming in piecemeal, I think it was incredibly helpful." Among the earliest scenes to be shot we re d e c i d e d ly d ra m at i c o n e s fe at u r- i n g M a r t h a a n d J o h n M i tc h e l l . W h e n subsequent scenes called for a zanier or more comical tone, the editors had to assure that the show didn't lurch from one extreme to another. "You don't get a full episode until far later in the process," Peterson said. "While all of our dramatic scenes may be humming and singing, suddenly we interject some of our lighter scenes, some of our more comedic scenes, and that now needs to shift." One constant throughout the process was director Ross who, in an unusual turn for a limited series, directed all eight epi- sodes. "Matt really set the tone," Leonard said. "It did make it easy in terms of the process of us f inding the show during production." Connelly praised Ross and Pickering as the "two visionaries at the helm." "It's always a pleasure when you can have con- sistent vision throughout a project," she said. "This one is unique where we had a director and the showrunner both through- out the process." With its mixture of historical recreation and imaginative elaboration, "Gaslit" aims to enlighten viewers who know just a little about Watergate — and to freshen the mem- ories of viewers who lived through what Nixon's successor, President Gerald R. Ford, once called "our long national nightmare." "Our attention spans are so short now that we can barely remember what happened last week," Peterson said. "Then to be kind of reminded: 'Oh yeah — remember the giant scandal that actually took down a president?'" In the end, though, the editors helped put a human face on the scandal. "You are reminded that these are just people, that these same types of people work in government or corporations, and these scandals are not these big, glamorous heists that some films portray them to be," Connelly said. "These are just people mak- ing bad decisions." Peter Tonguette is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and National Review. 37 S U M M E R Q 3 I S S U E Franklin Peterson. Lauren Connelly. Joe Leonard.

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