Winter 2015

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42 CINEMONTAGE / WINTER 2015 I might be lacking in coverage and let Karyn know. Some days, she would give me a heads-up to pay particular attention to a scene she had just shot, if she was concerned they hadn't had time to get all the shots she wanted, so that I could let her know if I could cut it with what she had gotten. The Slap was much more complicated, with more footage and often a third camera. There were a lot of good performances, but it was nearly impossible to tell if I had what I needed without watching every single frame, as the cameras often covered different things in different takes. I had to take copious notes during dailies and make string-outs of what exactly I had on particular beats. It was a little hair-raising getting to my editor's cut — very rewarding ultimately, but I had to clock a lot of hours to get there! CM: Generally, how does editing for TV differ from editing for features? PT: It's just huge. They frequently don't hire feature editors for TV because they think the schedules are so fast that if you're used to a long schedule, you won't be able to do it. There's a whole part of the process that happens in features that doesn't happen in TV because of the schedule. It's not that you have to put it together faster than a feature; editors always have to put their cuts together quickly. It's that you don't have the same time to finesse. For an hour of TV, you get a day for your editor's cut, whereas for a movie — generally twice as long — you typically get a week. The main thing that I value from having done TV now is that you just can't be precious; you have to whack it together, and that can be kind of great. Unfortunately, you don't have a lot of time for one of the parts of the process I most love in editing: the honing. In TV, you don't get that chance unless the executive producers and network want to try different things. With a feature, there is usually time — or somebody wants to investigate another avenue. With television, you have to pick a way and do it. That's why oftentimes TV episodes are shot the way they are; really efficient TV directors will shoot it to be cut a certain way because they know the time for re-cutting is limited. If they want to have an impact, they want their vision to be clear in the shots they're giving you. CM: How does that relate to your experience on The Slap? PT: The Slap is a miniseries and we had a lot more time for the first episode than you would normally, so we were able to investigate some things. We also had a lot more footage than we would have had on a regular episode. I think what we did there is something in between a TV show and a feature. It was the first episode; they were still writing, running and gunning on set, and shooting with multiple cameras at all times. In television, in my limited experience thus far, they tend to shoot with two cameras, but on this show it was often three. It was a bit of a mind-bender for me because of the sheer volume of material and the time I had to put it together. But I'm really happy with how the episode turned out. CM: Do you think about the difference between big and small screen when you're editing, or has that just become irrelevant these days? PT: I do, but it's weird because there is a lot of stuff you would think wouldn't fly, but it will because it's not going to be on a 40-foot screen. Things also tend to play in a different speed on the big screen, which is always something I think about on features. When I'm cutting TV, I tend to make it play for what I'm watching it on. I'll sit back and watch it on the 42-inch screen because that's what a lot of people have now. People are going to watch The Hobbit on their phones, so I don't know what to do anymore, even for features. Yes, you can make it for the big screen, but then certain things will just be lost if you're going to watch it on a phone…which is an understatement. f The Slap, NBC.

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