Q3 2022

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MGM lot, but I got in the union as an editor because I had edited these non-union films. Then I got an offer to edit a movie called "Disaster on the Coastliner," which was very well received back in 1979. CineMontage: Flash forward, how did you come to "NCIS Los Angeles?" Florio: I had produced a show in Austra- lia called "The New Adventures of Flipper" with Shane Brennan, who ultimately creat- ed "NCIS Los Angeles." We came back and I lost touch with Shane but I ran into him at the Emmys and he said, "Robert, I have a project I want to talk to you about." And it was "NCIS." CineMontage: You've seen the technology change on the show. Florio: I think we did two seasons on Fi- nal Cut Pro. Then when Apple changed Final Cut Pro, we switched to Avid and we've been on Avid ever since. I don't even remember the last time I cut anything on a Moviola. I was one of the early adapters to the elec- tronic transition. If you don't move forward with technology, you're going to get left behind. I loved editing film on the Moviola. You could feel the film and you could hit the brake on the Moviola and get the right frame you want. I loved that process, but nobody wants to spend post-production money for extra months because people have to tape film together. Now you have instantaneous cuts and you can add so many layers of sound whereas you had one soundtrack on a Moviola. CineMontage: The show started in 2009 and you've been there from day one, cutting 100 episodes. It's a rare view into how a show can change over time. Florio: At the beginning of any series, the producers and writers are really on top of everything. Shane was definitely there making sure everything was the way he wanted it. And that was great. And some- times you think, this is getting a little too picky, but it's the beginning of a show and everybody wants to make it work. I'd say the first three seasons, it was intense. But by Season Three, the show was running smoothly. The directors would come in, have their four days and do a cut and then the writers would come in and have four days. Things started relaxing and post was kind of running itself. I'd say the last 10 seasons have been such a pleasure to work on because everybody knows what they're doing and we know what is expected. CineMontage: Has the voice of the show changed? You've been there from the first episode—do you help maintain continui- ty over the years? Florio: I think the continuity really comes from the stories. There definitely has been a change in the voice. Shane stayed through Season Seven and handed off the show to Scott Gemmill, who is the showrun- ner now. But the show is basically still the same. We've had some reduction in the abil- ity to do action based on budget, so we've had to compromise with the shows in that way. We used to shoot eight-day episodes, now they're seven-day episodes. So the writers are just making sure that they can get these scripts as good as possible within the parameters given to them by network. I think Scott's doing an awesome job as a showrunner. The stories still are intriguing. The show has made changes because actors have dropped off the show and you have to bring new characters in and develop them alongside of the characters that are going to disappear so you can get your audience accepting them. The audience loved the show because of who the original charac- ters were. It's a challenge as a writer and a showrunner to keep this thing going that long, while coming up with great stories and scripts. When you have something like that to edit, it's much more appealing on a daily basis to be able to work on a unique story that isn't typical of what was originally go- ing on at the beginning of the series. CineMontage: Job security aside, you could leave at any time and do something else. Why stay? Florio: You're 100% right. Look, I've had an extensive career. Five Emmy nom- inations, four ACE nominations, and an ACE award for movies of the weeks. The last Emmy nomination was for "Lost" with a few other gentlemen. But at this point, "NCIS" has been so good to me and it's so comfortable working on this show that I don't feel I'm going to work. So, I love it. And especially the last two years with the pandemic, it's been so fantastic because I've got the editing setup at my home so I can walk down the hall from my bedroom and I'm in my editing room. We do Zoom meetings and I run the cuts over the Zoom with the directors and producers. It's been such a wonderful experience, better than any of my career, because it's just made it so pleasant. It's been absolutely seamless. CineMontage: Does 100 episodes have a meaning? Florio: I didn't get a gold watch, but the show has 300 episodes now and I've stayed with it. Other editors that were on early left to do other things. The interesting thing for me is that, at the beginning of my career, I kind of looked down on series. I thought I was doing something more special with movies of the week or features. In reality, I wish I had gotten into series many years earlier in my career. There's a lot of growth within a series that you can avail yourself of. For example, I did direct five of the episodes of NCIS." I think if I had done more series early on, I would've directed more. There are more opportunities like that on a series. But this show has been such a dream for me in terms of editing. I know the beats and it seems to come together really smoothly. I do love it. Rob Feld is a journalist, filmmaker and teacher based in New York. 'I don't feel like I'm going to work. I love editing.' 41 S U M M E R Q 3 I S S U E F E A T U R E

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