Q4 2023

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26 C I N E M O N T A G E F E A T U R E by Danny was really well done. I got a good sense of each character, and the story was nicely laid out. These scripts, in general, are really tight. I came out a couple weeks early to help with the camera and makeup tests, and I was able to see the table-read. It was like magic. I could tell right away that all of the actors that he picked just gelled together. CineMontage: Is it tough to edit pilots? Bourret: They are a hard nut to crack because, even on some really good shows, the pilot may be good, but you don't really have a sense of what the show is going to be about until a couple of episodes in. The pilot for "The Righteous Gemstones" gave a great sense of character and story, as well as nailing the tone, which is this sort of tight- rope we have between comedy and drama. CineMontage: How would you character- ize the tone? Bourret: We are making a comedy, but it's a comedy where if you stripped away all the jokes, you would still have a very in- teresting drama or other type of film. Each season sort of takes on a different genre. Season 1 had this Coen Brothers-style, blackmail plot. It also had a little Western flair to it. Then, season 2 had the gangster thing going on, and then season 3 delves more into family dynamics and the militia. CineMontage: Joe, you came onto the show on season 3 after being a fan during the first two seasons. What did you respond to as a viewer? Joseph Ettinger: As a viewer and as an artist, I love dark comedies. I find a lot of joy in storytelling that has dramatic irony or dissonance. These characters are almost comedically monstrous, and yet you can't help but cheer for them in a weird way. That's such an interesting fine line to walk. It's such a challenge creatively to create that tone and atmosphere for the show. CineMontage: David, is it a challenge to get audiences to invest in characters who are so outrageous? David Canseco: A lot of it comes from Danny and the writing and the directing. But John Goodman is really our founda- tional rock. He really grounds the show. We need to make sure that we beat out these character moments so we understand what's going on. You need to believe that these characters are real in some sense, and then that lets us get away with the comedy. Bourret: You are doing a balancing act. You have a full scene that's very funny even if it's dark, but then on a dime, you have a scene that rips your heart out. What you al- ways have to keep in your mind as an editor is what you are trying to relay in a scene and how that is going to aect not only the scene that came before but scenes coming later. CineMontage: In general, what is the workflow like on the show? Bourret: Like many TV shows, we work in blocks. Most of the episodes were shot together throughout the whole shooting schedule, so we were a little all over the place. Some days one editor would get hit a little hard, and there would be a week where the other editors would get hit a little hard. As they're shooting, we're editing and im- mediately showing scenes to one another, A scene from "The Righteous Gemstones." P H OT O : H B O

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