Episode 037: Altered Carbon Q&A

This episode is sponsored by Jaxx a Creative House and Annex Pro/ Avid.

Geoff Ashenhurst, CCE, Erin Deck, CCE, Stephen Philipson CCE, and Jay Prychidny CCE discuss the creative and technical challenges of putting together the second season of one of the biggest VFX-based series Netflix has ever made.

This panel was moderated by Sarah Taylor.

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The Editor’s Cut – Episode 037 – Altered Carbon (2020 Master Series)

Sarah Taylor:

This episode was generously sponsored by Jackson creative house, Annex Pro, and Avid.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Hello and welcome to The Editor’s Cut. I’m your host, Sarah Taylor. We would like to point out that the lands on which we have created this podcast and that many of you may be listening to us from are part of ancestral territory. It is important for all of us to deeply acknowledge that we are on ancestral territory that as long served as a place where indigenous peoples have lived, met, and interacted. We honour respect and recognize these nations that have never relinquished their rights or sovereign authority over the lands and waters on which we stand today. We encourage you to reflect on the history of the land, the rich culture, the many contributions, and the concerns that impact indigenous individuals and communities. Land acknowledgements are the start to a deeper action.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Before we get to today’s episode, I have a message from the Whistler Film Festival from December 1st to 20th, WFF would deliver its 20th anniversary edition, virtually to a national audience with over 100 films, including 30 features and seven short programs, all taking place over 20 days with film viewing access available until December 31st. WFF’s content summit welcomes establish industry leaders and content creators to our virtual mountain home to discover network and explore the ideas and actions shaping our new reality. From the global pandemic to calls for social change, along with policy changes in the Canadian media landscape, 2020 is a transformative year for the screen-based industry. Here’s your chance to keep your finger on the pulse and get a look at what the future holds. This episode was our first online master series event that took place on April 21st, 2020. It’s a panel discussion and Q&A with the editors of the Netflix hit series Altered Carbon. Geoff Ashenhurst CCE, Erin Deck CCE, Stephen Philipson CCE, and Jay Prychidny, CCE discuss the creative and technical challenges of putting together the second season of one of the biggest visual effects based series Netflix has ever made. This panel was moderated by me.

[show open] Sarah Taylor:

Welcome everybody to the first master series, zoom Q&A, which is Ultra Carbon, which is very exciting.

 

Erin Deck:

Yay.

 

Sarah Taylor:

And thank you all the people joining from around Canada and maybe even around the world, which is very exciting. So my first thing is I want each of you to introduce yourself, let us know kind of a little bit about your career, how you got onto the show and then what episodes you worked on. Let’s start with Jay because he’s in my top corner, top left corner right now.

 

Jay Prychidny:

So, I mean, I just always started as an editor, just out of school. I just started the editing right away. I started in kind of independent, low budget stuff, and that went up to network television and that went up to like on staff at a network. And then that went up to like reality and then went up to scripted.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

What do you mean when you say on-staff at a network?

 

Jay Prychidny:

I was cutting SexTV at CityTV.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

At city, right? Yeah.

 

Jay Prychidny:

It was awesome. [crosstalk 00:03:12] I mean, I don’t think they do shows like that anymore. They don’t like produce things that’ll shows that are that great, like in house.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Yeah.

 

Jay Prychidny:

But back in the day they did and at CityTV they did so and yeah, for Altered Carbon, they kind of just talked to every editor who had a certain level of credit. Which means credits that are known to American … the Netflix of the American distributor. So they kind of talked to everyone who had credits like that and they hired me for whatever their reasons were. [crosstalk 00:03:50].

 

Sarah Taylor:

And which episodes did you cut for season two?

 

Jay Prychidny:

So I cut episode four and seven.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Erin….

 

Erin Deck:

Hi. I was aan assistant editor for 13 years in Toronto, which was amazing because I got to work with tons and tons of amazing editors. And basically I’m all just luck. I had a friend who got me a job on an awesome show called Ghostly Encounters and that just kind of snowballed and got an agent and went from like Killjoys to stuff like that into, Into The Badlands. And then again, like Jay, I don’t know why they decided to pick me, but I got, I got the interview and then the second interview, and I guess they liked my smile.

 

Sarah Taylor:

I’m sure there was more than that. And which episodes did you edit?

 

Erin Deck:

I cut two and five.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Hey, Steve.

 

Stephen Philipson:

I guess I started sort of from an indie film background, I did indie features and shorts for many years and then started to get excited about series television. And many years ago, I had the very good fortune of doing a show called Hannibal, which kind of got me into one hour series TV, which is where I’ve been for the past eight or nine years. After Hannibal, I, the filmmakers went to LA to do a show called American Gods, which I did a few years ago. And after that, I was sort of unsure whether to be in LA or Toronto.

My family’s here and we weren’t quite ready to make the full move, but I got on a show called 10 days in the Valley, which my agent, I think pitched me for actually, because I could work in LA and Toronto. So I started in LA and moved to Toronto.

 

Stephen Philipson:

And on that show, I was lucky enough to work with somebody called Dieter Ismagil, who I think we’ll probably end up talking about quite a bit. He’s our post producer on the show ..

 

Jay Prychidny:

At Skydance.

 

Stephen Philipson:

That’s right. From a practical standpoint, it was good that I could work in both markets, but we also got along and he’s, he’s very, he’s a good guy. He takes good care of the people who work for him. And so we stayed in touch over the years and, and I got a call from him for the show, well actually almost a year before it started, He asked me if I was available in like February 4th, 2019, and you know how these shows always get pushed or whatever. So I’m like, okay, whatever. But I mean, we actually started on February 4th.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Wow.

 

Jay Prychidny:

It’s smart because he’d be like, are you available? And I’d be like, well,

 

Sarah Taylor: Yeah.

Jay Prychidny:

 

like a year from now. Yeah.

 

Sarah Taylor:

And you did episode one and episode…

 

Stephen Philipson:

Six.

 

Sarah Taylor:

And then Geoff, last but not least.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

All right, so I started out doing commercials and I guess, I would sit on commercials for like a year, year and a half. And then I got lucky because two of the editors left on the same day. Hey, you get a room now you’re an editor now. So I mean, I’d already done it. I’d done a bunch of smaller stuff up to that point. So I had a reel and stuff. So I came out doing commercials and music videos, but it was great because we had a great facility and I was able to cut shorts on the side basically like for five years or something, the probably longer actually I was kind of always doing the short, like evenings, weekends, and then commercials are short turnarounds. So sometimes I’d have a week between commercials or two weeks or whatever. And I just make the most of that time during shorts and then eventually some of those shorts turned out okay. And that led to a bad first independent movie. And then that led to a good first independent movie or I guess second, I don’t, I almost forgot about the first one now, but yeah. So then I didn’t need film for several years and still kind of like dabbling in commercials, which I still do from time to time. And then I got this show season two and three of Penny Dreadful. It was the Showtime series that take five in Toronto. And that was an amazing experience. And I think that was probably the biggest thing that kind of got me on their radar for this. And then I had a couple of interviews and I did up episode three and eight.

 

Sarah Taylor:

And then you also stayed on and did some other stuff at the end, right?

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Yeah. They, they … just because there’s so much visual facts in the show. And I think so… Yeah, so they wanted an editor to stay on because as the shots would come in and they’d get further along in their development, it’d be, well, actually it doesn’t really work with this shot that comes after anymore. And so just doing kind of smaller adjustments for the most part. But then there was also a few things where Alison, the showrunner, having like sat with the episode, as creative people like her do, like every time they watch it, they have some new idea. So they had me around for that too.

 

Erin Deck:

So how long did you stay on afterwards?

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Till like November… Mid-November I guess. [crosstalk 00:08:54] Because actually it would have been longer. It would have been like a week or two longer, but I had a trip booked and I was like…

 

Jay Prychidny:

Geez, I did whole other series. [crosstalk 00:00:09:02]

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

That’s true.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Well, speaking of like schedule and stuff like that, kind of, what was your post like post team? There’s the four of you are the main editors. And did you each have assistants? Kind of let me know that stuff. And then the schedule of like, how long did you have for each episode? What were your, the length of time that you had with your directors, with the producers, the showrunners, that kind of thing?

 

Erin Deck:

Well, I think for the director’s cut normally it’s four days, but because it was all done remote, I think the directors got six days.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

I think I heard somewhere along the line, that’s like a DGA thing. If it’s remote,

 

Erin Deck:

Oh, okay.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

They get more time.

 

Sarah Taylor:

And maybe explain quickly, why were you all are cutting remote? And what was the setup there?

 

Jay Prychidny:

Well, the whole show was shot in Vancouver and season one was posted in a little bit in Vancouver and in LA. And for this season to save more money, I guess their main reason they did all of the post in Canada, and they decided that Toronto had a talent pool that they liked. So out of Canada, they chose to come to Toronto. So all the shooting was in Vancouver, all the executives were in LA and we were in Toronto. So, hardly anyone ever came to Toronto, it was really just the post team, which was 15 of us or have many there were. And yeah, so everything was done remote.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Who was the post team? What was it comprised of?

 

Stephen Philipson:

We each had our own assistant and I mean, our assistants were all busy, full time, cause there’s a lot going on. We had a VFX editor, the VFX editor had their own assistant. We had our post producer, Laurie, and then she had a team of two–

 

Erin Deck:

Katie and Mandy, yeah.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Supervisors.

 

Stephen Philipson:

Then we had our post PA. Yeah. In terms of picture post yes.

 

Sarah Taylor:

And you all work together out of Deluxe?

 

Erin Deck:

Yeah. We had all one little area all together.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Now do each of you work differently with your assistants? Like is there, if you want to walk through how they help you kind of, because I’m sure every editor is a different.

 

Erin Deck:

I to keep mine under the table.

 

Sarah Taylor:

They rub your feet.

 

Erin Deck:

Yeah, that doesn’t sound good. [crosstalk 00:11:17]

 

Stephen Philipson:

I tried to use my assistant for creative reasons anyways. No, for me, it was more, I think to take some of the sort of temp sound work off my plate and the person that I brought up, I’d like to bring on people who can make a creative contribution and I try to give them scenes to cut, but just the volume of, and the speed of turnover and everything. Even though we were on the show for a long time, I really didn’t get a chance to give a lot of creative work to my assistant, unfortunately, but the sound, I mean, the sound was really her realm.

 

Erin Deck:

And VFX. They handled a lot of the go-between. I tried to give, I had Shelly and she was phenomenal. And one time there was like in episode two there’s this gunfight and there’s like slow-mo and stuff. And the director wanted to see all these variations, of have it all 24, have it all 48, have it all like at all these different speeds. And so I basically was busy cutting other things. And I just gave that to Shelly and I said, use all these shots and this is like the ins and the outs that I want but if you need to adjust that, please do. But so yeah, she did a fantastic job.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

And the holo-ads, right?

 

Erin Deck:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. She was fantastic at those,

 

Jay Prychidny:

I started as an editor with me being my own assistant not having an assistant. So it really took me a long time. And also in Canadian television, a lot of the time you’ll have one assistant for like multiple editors or something. So I was just kind of used to the idea of doing everything myself. So it’s kind of been a process over the past few years discovering, Oh, there are things that I can like work with an assistant on. So for this series, my assistant was Graham Tucker and he, so he ended up doing probably all of the sound. Maybe there was like one scene or something that was like, Oh, take this one. But he did the sound for all the episodes, and usually I have a lot of notes on the sound too and like really specific stuff. So, but it worked out really well. And the, in my episode was the only one where we didn’t have a sound house working on my episode. But I thought it sounded just as good.

 

Jay Prychidny:

You know, you can hire a post sound house for tons of money or you can hire Graham Tucker.

 

Stephen Philipson:

I’ll do a shout out to my assistant, Mary Juric as well, too. One thing she was great for was she did a lot of the VFX work. I mean, there are just maybe even, I don’t know if there was more on episode one just cause it was sort of a, sort of a pilot in a way, but she really helped out Dale, our VFX editor quite a bit. Like she would do temp keys and stuff like that. So it was great to have that as well. Cause there was quite a huge volume of effects, especially on the first episode I did.

 

Stephen Philipson:

I heard that the Guillermo Del Toro calls Mary, Mrs. X after Mr. X. Cause she’s so good at doing temp VFX. [crosstalk 00:14:27].

 

Stephen Philipson:

Oh really? [crosstalk 00:14:29] Let’s say it’s true.

 

Sarah Taylor:

And how about you, Geoff?

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

I had Tom Lounsbury who was great. Sort of similar to all you guys like, cause I come from independent film, I’m used to doing a lot of stuff myself, but specifically the fight stuff. Cause Tom did I think one season of Into the Badlands.

 

Erin Deck:

Yeah. Tom did one. Shelly did two.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Yeah. And I remember like first fight sequence in two or three or I needed the first pass on it. I was like, all right I could not have done as good a job with this. Like he was doing stuff, I guess just from that experience, I was like, you just added a lot in my friend. Good job. And I did, I didn’t– like Steve too. Like I love trying to give scenes and stuff, but with the pace of it, it was tough. But there was a few little things that I remember a couple of times I was like, ah, I’m finding this part tricky. Like, can you see if I’m missing something? And then he kind of figured it out. And I was like, all right.

 

Erin Deck:

I did that once with Shelley. I couldn’t, I couldn’t crack a scene. I just had such a hard time with it. And I was spending too much time and I knew I was going down a rabbit hole. So I, I just gave it to Shelly because she’s, she’s an editor on the side or for real,

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

CCE-nominated editor…

 

Erin Deck:

Winner!

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Winner. Pardon me.

 

Erin Deck:

Winner. Yes. I just needed to see the scene from someone else’s perspective. Cause I just couldn’t make it happen. And it was amazing. Cause I, I saw her take an approach at the scene that I think I just wouldn’t have done and it was great. And it helped me kind of then build from that moment. So yeah, she’s, she’s fantastic.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Geoff touched on fights and fight scenes and clearly the show is very fight heavy. So I want to dive into your guys’ process on how you tackle fight scenes and what you ran into, what worked, what didn’t work, what your challenges were. Maybe we’ll go with Steve. Cause he did episode one and there was a big, it was a couple of big fights.

 

Stephen Philipson:

It’s one of the biggest scenes I’ve ever done. We had a fight scene that had, I think in the end it had 120 setups.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Wow.

 

Stephen Philipson:

The slate went through the alphabet twice and two cameras on every set up. And really, I don’t, I mean the challenge on that was really just the volume of material. I mean, I had a good sense of how the fight

 

was supposed to go together from the script. It was quite well planned and they did previous sequences with the stunt people that they sent to us to give us sort of sense of what they were thinking. Although the stunts did change a little bit on set. In that particular… I mean, for me at first, it’s always just a logistical challenge, figuring out how to process all that footage. I mean, some of it, they sort of would do like a 30-second chunk of the action and just shoot that from a bunch of angles.

 

Stephen Philipson:

And then other parts there do specific shots just for, for special things like something getting hit by a bullet on a table or something. So it was really just breaking it down into pieces and then just kind of building it piece by piece and figuring out which section went where. For me it’s, I think it’s sort of a, just a technical challenge laying it out at first, when you have that much footage, it’s just almost a logistical challenge. And then the creative fun for me comes after that first kind of pass where you get everything in place and then you sort of see what you got and then everything fits and then you can play with things a bit. I mean, it’s really quite a well covered fight considering how much Well, I guess, well

covered, obviously there’s a lot of footage, but I mean, all pieces were there, which is very exciting because it’s not always like that.

 

Stephen Philipson:

I think I was missing one reverse that I really needed that we had to cheat in the end. And it was a lot of fun to put together and I can’t remember how long it was probably one or two minutes, but when you got to fight that long it’s like a story. And so, I mean, you have to figure out what is the story of the fight and it’s got pacing and you sort of track the characters’ emotions through the feet. So it’s fun from that standpoint because there’s just so much going on narrative wise and the fight, and it was a good chance to be expressive and to use kind of pace and tone to kind of give a shape to the fight. Yeah. It was a lot of fun. And then the, the fight in the opening scene was quite extensive as well. And same thing. It’s just sort of figuring out the storytelling through the fight. Once you’ve gotten over the hump of just figuring out how to put everything together.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Yeah. And Erin you kind of already touched on there’s lots of different speed changes and the director wanting to see all the different options. So how did that in the end shape into the scene, the fight scenes that you cut?

 

Erin Deck:

I think for me, I liked fight scenes a lot, especially if the stunt team and the director work really well together, the stunt team we had was really great. And normally they’ll just do these tiny little chunks for like the fight and it’s a building block. And so it’s for me, I find fight scenes almost easy to put together. Cause they’ve, if they’ve done them right, they laid them out for you. They will shoot them all in slow motion so that you can adapt them. I usually, my first pass has way too much slow-mo in it. I make it way too. Like, bah bah bah The whole thing. And then I have to, I have to be like this isn’t artsy fighting. This is like for Altered Carbon. So you start to like pull back and you try and figure out what the, what the key elements are that need to be slow-mo because as soon as you put something in slow-mo everyone’s like laser focused into like, why is that in slow motion? So it either has to be like a good kick or a good fly in the air. Or like with that first scene, like the gun being thrown, it’s just playing, I think for me and just kind of feeling like when I, I try not to show my hand too much, I think, as an editor in a fight scene, because the more you try and slow things down, then you’re kind of showing yourself, you’re

 

starting to be like, look at what I’m doing. So I think it’s a balance of trying to make it fun and entertaining and creative, but also cool.

 

Jay Prychidny:

I think this is you, Erin, when you were doing your first fight scene a long time ago, whenever that was, did ask Michelle Conroy for advice?

 

Erin Deck:

When I was cutting Kill Joys. Yeah.

 

Jay Prychidny:

I remember she said, this stuck in my head for some reason. And I was doing a fight scene today and it was still in my head, but in my memory, which I may have made up, you asked her, how do you approach a fight scene? And she said “one punch at a time.”

 

Erin Deck:

That sounds like her.

 

Jay Prychidny:

I don’t know why that stuck in my head so much, but it’s like one punch at a time and you just take it punch by punch or whatever move or whatever, move and make that as cool as you can.

 

Erin Deck:

On punch at a time but it is kind of true, right. Because you’re just like, you just start from this pop and just work your way through it. Yeah. No, she’s great.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Geoff, you had the big execution.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Yeah, sequence. Yeah.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Was there anything in there that you ran into that was challenging or changed or I don’t know. Your process for that?

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Yeah. I’m trying to remember when I do have the schedule right here, actually, I’m trying to remember how long they shot it for. It was like, at least a week they shot at for, but it was probably longer because I remember that it was like, okay, so they’re going to be shooting it on this set for like multiple days. So I should send MJ the director, like a work in progress cause they’ll have a chance to pick up anything that she might think they’re missing or isn’t happy with.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

 

So I remember I worked pretty furiously to like bang it together and Tom did a great job cause I was like, I couldn’t send it to her without having a sound pass done because I find like the believability of a lot of these strikes in a fight, you don’t buy them. But it’s amazing how once you have the right sound effect in how suddenly your brain will believe it. So yeah, so we sent it to her and I remember she called me, I hadn’t spoken to her at this point. We’d just been emailing prior to that. And she was like, so we sort of like small talk for like a minute or two and she’s like, so let me ask you this, have you done much action before?

 

Sarah Taylor:

Oh no.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

All right, cool.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Oh no.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Then I was like, I just, then I just assured her. No, I was just throwing in this together so you can see like it live, I wouldn’t put this on TV [00:23:05]. She was like okay, okay, great, great, great. But then with the big change after that was that when you watch a sequence, there’s these sort of like kind of stylized, like hazy point of view shots. And I think she did a really like, literally were like Vaseline on the lens, like really old school. Then they also used lens baby a bit too, just because Kovacs is drugged. So they’re just trying to get in his, literally in his point of view, how he’s seeing these characters from his past and like the believability of it. And the more I kind of got into that footage, I was like, okay, this is cool. Like this, this could make, should make the fight kind of stand out from being just another fight sequence, which I think is partially what she was responding to the first time as well, that it was pretty kind of run of the mill fight stuff.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Cause she’d done, there’s a show called Strike Back. It was on Cinemax for, I don’t even know, like six or seven seasons, like quite a long time. They shoot the set in Africa and she directed like a hundred episodes or something. So she’s really good at doing action and like covering everything off quickly and very experienced in it too. But then once I showed her like the next pass with all that point of view stuff cut in, basically when she’d shot everything, then she was like, Oh my God, it’s so fantastic. And she was, I didn’t, I found out later she was showing it to people on the set because remember I was working with Alison she’s, like in the old cut, there was this one shot. I was like, old cut. [crosstalk 00:24:23]

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

I found out she was showing people on set. That was a, sort of a bit of a unique process on this one. But it was also the thing I was going to mention earlier was that I didn’t know about this kind of stuff till I’d done some action that the stunt teams usually shoot like a stunt viz or like a basically a previz where they’re in their gym. And they usually put on really bad music and cut it together and they try to act like the character that it makes you laugh. It makes you cry. But sometimes it can be a helpful guide for like how they thought it would fit together. And even too sometimes because they’re shooting it in pieces,

 

you’ll get the stuff and they’ll be like, okay, they’re on this side of the room. And now this shot there of like what happens in between or like they’re shooting that thing two days later on a cable.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

So you’re like, it’s I found it helpful a few times. Cause I was trying to figure out a way to connect A to B. But then I was looking at the stunt vids and be like, okay, they still have to do that shot. All right. Actually I remember in that first temp I sent the first work in progress. I would cut in the stunt viz for parts that we didn’t have yet to show–

 

Erin Deck:

So you were the one who started that. That’s why we all have to follow suit afterwards. No. That was actually really helpful. Cutting in like the previz of the section that either wasn’t shot or was shot poorly. If we had the previz, you could like slug that in to the middle of the fight and you could send that to the director and be like, this is what we need

 

Jay Prychidny:

Yeah it was helpful. Having that stunt vids.

 

Jay Prychidny:

… it is, I did episode seven, which had a bunch of fights and there was one fight that was in the construct virtual world and it kept going from place to place and… Just the way it was shot, it was very complicated. So, having the stunt visit was actually great because oftentimes you can piece it together, how the fight’s supposed to go together. But I looked at that stunt there’s a lot cuz I was like I didn’t know how the footage was supposed to go together at all. I didn’t know what they had in mind for a bunch of those shots. So that was actually really helpful.

 

Stephen Philipson:

I found… In my case, I’m jealous of you guys now because my stunt visits, I mean, they are good reference, but they were changed quite a bit on set I found.

 

Jay Prychidny:

They were changed, but I still got a lot of good information. I don’t know.

 

Jay Prychidny:

Yeah, it was interesting in episode seven, also there was like a real push and pull with the director on another one of the fight scenes because the director really wanted to do the whole fight in one shot. That just always make me crazy because you can’t really edit anything. So I wonder what am I doing?

 

Jay Prychidny:

I don’t know. It’s such a funny thing with directors sometimes. They really just love the idea of doing something in a single take.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst: Yeah.

 

Jay Prychidny:

Which is great if it works, but I think usually it doesn’t work. I mean, I don’t fully understand… I understand if it’s Children Of Men and you have like, an entire war going on in one shot and then you are like, “Oh”, like that’s impressive but it’s not-

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Yeah.

 

Jay Prychidny:

I don’t really understand the idea of doing like a fight… I’m not sure if the audience enjoys it more or if the audience even notices, anyway, long story short, like the shot was great like really but It’s still like 80% there and it’s like there’s no reason why you have to put up with only 80%, right? So, the producers decided to shoot a lot of… And it was the last block. So the producers decided to shoot a bunch of extra footage for that fight, in the event that it didn’t work, which thank goodness, they did, because we ended up using all of it. Actually that was fun because then I was like, really involved in the discussions on what they would shoot to make this one-shot work.

 

Erin Deck:

Oh, that’s cool.

 

Jay Prychidny:

So, in the end, I mean, there are still long sections that all play out, but in certain parts you have to cut away because if it’s not all in the shot, if it’s not all understandable from the shot and you don’t really understand what’s going on, you can’t just leave it like that.

 

Sarah Taylor:

So, what were the things that you were… When you were in the process of cutting from the one scene, the one-shot that you’re compelled to say, “You need to get this.” What were you looking for? Or how did you decide that?

 

Jay Prychidny:

It’s like when you don’t, like I’m so particular about really fully understanding, all the time, what’s going on. I hate the feeling of just a blur of stuff and you don’t really… Like there’s stuff happening and you’re like, “Yeah, sure.” But I hate that feeling. I always want to know precisely what’s happening. It’s just whenever I got confused, I put on my, kind of, audience dumb hat. I’m like, “I don’t understand this, I don’t understand that, what’s happening there. What’s going on there.” And for those moments, then I feel like I want a shot so I can understand this.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

And I think in those one take things as much as they try, there’s often times where the camera and the actors aren’t quite lined up.

 

Jay Prychidny: Yeah.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

So there ends up being unnatural pauses sometimes because the actors are waiting for the camera to turn around on them or to deliver a line. It just gets weird sometimes because it’s just all serving this complex technical part and it forces the actors not perform how they would instinctually let’s say, because they’re just overly cognizant of the technical parts of it. I think too, it’s more effective and justified I guess, when there’s actually a dramatic motivation for the character to be with them, for like the whole shot, like in the Battle Of The Bastards in Game of Thrones, I’m sure a lot of people have seen that, if not all of you guys. It’s not a one shot scene, but there’s a long shot with John when the horses are going around him and he’s totally isolated and it was just… I remember being really impressed with it because you just really felt like you were there with him and the peril of it was just overwhelming, but just a normal fight, it just becomes a bit indulgent and awful.

 

Jay Prychidny:

Yeah, like single shots are impressive when there’s something like really impressive happening.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Yeah.

 

Jay Prychidny:

For me, it’s a lot of directors seem to think that the single shot in itself is impressive and it’s like no, no, no, no.

 

Stephen Philipson:

I just can’t help thinking of 1917, because I saw that recently and I mean, there’s so much work in that movie to think about how to use the camera movement for storytelling. Every beat is so well-planned. I think it’s probably really hard to have that level of attention to detail that you need to be able to rehearse and plan on a TV schedule.

 

Jay Prychidny:

Yeah.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Yeah

 

Stephen Philipson:

Because if you’re going to do it in one shot, you’re really at the mercy of just the vision of the director, in terms of knowing exactly how the story is going to come across to the audience.

 

Jay Prychidny:

And I think the scene still feels… Like the one in seven, I think it still feels cool and unique because even though it’s not all in one shot, there are long stretches that are still in one shot. So, I think that’s still in and of itself cool, to me anyway, it feels cool that way, because you do feel like you are with him more. Just getting in some additional shots in there, I don’t think it really takes away from that feeling for an audience, but people have different ideas about that.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Well, that’s the big… People have different ideas about everything.

 

Jay Prychidny:

Of course.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Especially, you know things that the directors have shot and then when you get to the showrunner producer scenario of what you have to adjust and change, and then what finally gets to the end, with the audience. Was there big differences between what you got from director’s cut, to what the final episode was?

 

Stephen Philipson:

I can take that one because we had the first, I think it’s six or seven minutes of episode 201 and this was a bit of an issue of… I think we’ll probably talk about this a little bit later, but just the fact that Alison wasn’t in Vancouver, this is the Showrunner Allison Schapker.

 

Stephen Philipson:

So we did the first cut of the very first fight scene in the bar in Episode 201. She just reacted very negatively to a couple of things. One, I think the art direction wasn’t really what she was thinking, like it sort of had the wrong feel and look, visually. And she was very concerned because it was the very first thing the audience was going to see and so basically she threw the entire thing 4out and we reshot the whole thing. I mean, I give her kudos for having… The wherewithal… Anyway to just go to Netflix and say, “Look, this is not the way I want it”. And it’s not just the editing or the performances or whatever. It’s really, it’s like the look and feel and what we can achieve with the footage. And also the way the fight was originally shot.

 

Stephen Philipson:

It was very much from the point of view of the different Kovacs fighting in the bar. Whereas in reality, it’s…. Really Trepp’s point of view… Like that’s important at that point because we’re with Trepp, as we’re wondering who is the real Kovacs and I mean, I just didn’t have that originally. So yeah, there was this one scene that I worked on for weeks and weeks, lots of back and forth to see if we could make it work and then after a couple of weeks they threw out the entire thing and I mean, because I ended up actually working on Episode 201 pretty much chipping away at it, the entire time I was on the show, it was very much like a pilot for Season Two, like it was really the first thing you would see of the season that would really establish the new season, how it’s going to look and feel.

 

Stephen Philipson:

And also there’s a lot of attention to Kovacs performance to make sure that that was right, like it followed properly from Joel Kinnaman’s performance. So I was working on that scene, I think the entire time I was on the show, I mean, it was great to have that much time to work on one scene, but of course then they reshot it and it was even bigger than it was originally and so I got a massive amount of footage to deal with and then we had to cut it in the end very quickly at the end of the show.

 

Sarah Taylor:

 

Right.

 

Stephen Philipson:

But I’m really glad that they pulled the trigger on re-shooting. There was a lot of back and forth over whether or not it was a good idea, but it really is dramatically better in the final show and just, the cinematography is great. It’s the original director who came back to shoot it, so it wasn’t anything against the director. I think it was just with the craziness of Alison needing to be in the writers room and on top of everything that… The art direction got through to the set without her really… Well, I don’t know, I mean, I wasn’t there, I’m not sure exactly what happened, but she… I don’t think she saw everything, until it was too late.

 

Jay Prychidny:

Yeah.

 

Jay Prychidny:

Someone screwed up.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

That was it.

 

Erin Deck:

I think probably what happens with a lot of those like first… And because it was like a pilot that you were cutting, in that first scene. But I find that what happens with a lot of those first scenes is that, they always get reshot.

 

Stephen Philipson:

Yeah.

 

Erin Deck:

Because, I think they’re scared to put as much money and as much effort and as much time as they need to, into that first scene. And so they just treat it like how they’re going to treat all the other scenes and then when they realize, and they watch it and they’re like, “Oh, well that’s not an amazing first scene for the beginning of a season. And then they’re like, “Oh, okay. So we do have to go back and spend the money”. I think that happens a lot.

 

Stephen Philipson:

Yeah. The original scene, like it was great. It was very well done. It was a very complicated fight, there was lots of cool stuntwork.

 

Erin Deck:

I thought you did a really good job on that first version. Stephen Philipson:

 

Oh, well, no one’s seen it, so, but no, that’s a very good point. I think it wasn’t unique and special in the way that it could be. I think they planned to reshoot the whole thing in two days, which was very quick, but they really planned it properly and it had a lot of time to plan it. And so even though it was quite rushed to put together, I mean, it was quite spectacular too because they… I think everyone was comfortable with the scene and it was comfortable working together as well too. I think originally the scene was one of the first things that was shot. So I mean, by the time they reshot it, everyone had had a chance to work together for a few months and it really does look a lot more polished and a lot more spectacular.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

I find like every movie I’ve done, the stuff shot on the first two days is problematic up until the end, like without fail. And the smart ones end up scheduling like the most banal stuff for the first day or two. But then even then that stuff is still… It still has to be good, right?

 

Stephen Philipson:

Yeah.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

So, there’s always challenges for sure.

 

Stephen Philipson:

Well, there is always… There’s that period, I mean, the actors don’t quite know their characters yet. They may not be used to working with… They haven’t sort of developed the chemistry maybe with the other actors as well, too. So that always takes a little bit of time. I know Anthony Mackie, the first little while that he was shooting and we were really trying to figure out, should he just sort of ape Joel Kinnaman, or it should be more this way or that way. So there was a lot of working on the tone of his performance.

 

Erin Deck:

Oh, yeah, he also had to like… I think, figure out exactly how much to give of him because he’s such… Everyone loves him and he gave us tons of stuff to work with, but too much, then you start not liking the character.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

That was the biggest challenge in my episode, it was scaling back Poe, cuz I think he knows that he was one of the favorite characters from the first Season too, and really embraced like the comic relief aspects of the character and I was really surprised when she saw the directors cut… Like how put off she was and all these moments, she’s like, “There’s no tension in his storyline”. I’m like, “It’s a good point”, right?

 

Sarah Taylor:

Yeah.

 

Jay Prychidny:

He treated a lot of things very cavalierly.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Yes.

 

Jay Prychidny:

So those are generally the notes were trying to make it seem like, he’s having a conflict.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Yeah.

 

Jay Prychidny:

Or he’s emotionally invested and it’s like, you look at the footage and it’s like, uuh.

 

Jay Prychidny:

There was a lot of trickery from my part, for sure, in that way.

 

Stephen Philipson:

Well just to go back to what I can’t remember who said it earlier, just the fact that… Oh, I think it was you Geoff, you said that he sort of saw himself as comic relief and there… I mean, I found there was times where he maybe had a bit of a caricatured element to it or a cartoony element, but in the end, he ended up being a character with quite a lot of depth.

 

Erin Deck:

Yeah.

 

Jay Prychidny:

Oh, yeah.

 

Stephen Philipson:

So it wasn’t always appropriate for him to be sort of cartoony and he might’ve not have seen himself that way at the beginning, but that’s something that we did have to kind of bring out over the course of the edit. I think he’s one of the characters that people really attach to and like, and…

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Any press I ever read on the show that he was always a standout for the writer.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Yeah.

 

Jay Prychidny:

I mean, Alison the showrunner was very specific, like, very specific about what she wanted out of performances and directing and all those kinds of things. So, I think a lot of our challenges on the show were around that, where Alison’s expectations of things didn’t match up to the reality of what was on the screen, performance, point of view, like we’re talking about now and with some of the directing as

 

well, which was the original question back 20 minutes ago, was about the director, but there was– A lot of sequences changed dramatically in my episode. Like you wouldn’t even know if it was the same footage necessarily because the sequence has just changed so much to try to get closer back to what Alison was expecting to see or try something entirely different.

 

Jay Prychidny:

In episode four, there’s that whole sequence of them going into the decaying stack and the director shot that all as one-takes and it was kind of like a theatrical performance with single takes and then in the final cut, it’s all just a whole barrage of editing different shots, different all kinds of footage and stuff. So there was one example where the director’s vision is just completely gone. Even in my first cut in my editors cut of that episode, I put one edit in that scene, one edit and the director was like appalled-

 

Sarah Taylor:

Oh no.

 

Jay Prychidny:

… that I put any edit at all. You look at the final episode, it’s probably 300 edits. I don’t know.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

I remember because Jay, had an overlap. So he started our show a bit late and they asked me to just sort of throw his scenes together in case the producers ever needed to see something in a pinch to be like, “Do we have the scene?” Like that kind of thing. So, I guess Graham helped out as well actually with that. But I remember when I came to that stuff, I actually called her. I’m like, “So what did you have in mind for this scene?” Like, “How is this going to work?”, because there’s like a green screen and weird places and-

 

Stephen Philipson:

I think that I find,… I don’t know if you guys find this in series television because the editors are often a part of the tone meeting and I like to be just to get a sense of what’s in the showrunners head, but I mean, you go to the tone meeting and it’s like the showrunner and the director and all the department heads and the showrunners like, “This is how I see it. I want to see this, this, this, this, this, and this”.

 

Stephen Philipson:

And then I guess the show runner goes off to the writer’s room and starts worrying about storytelling and getting scripts out in time and then everyone else goes to the set and things evolve and change and some showrunners… I’ve worked with a lot who sort of liked the writing process and are more sort of in that zone and so when they see the scene again, I mean, I’m the first person who sees it. I’m like looking at my notes from the tone meeting and looking at the footage and going, “Yeah, that’s not matching up or whatever”, but you put it together as best you can and then you show it to the show runner and they’re like, “Well, that’s not matching up with what I’ve put out in the tone meeting”. So I find that happen sometimes.

 

Erin Deck: Yeah

 

Stephen Philipson:

And I’m sure it’s probably just… Especially in a shooting, like there’s just so much going on. It must be really, really hard for showrunners to really be able to manage every single element through the whole process.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

I’ve embraced Erin’s… I don’t know. It’s not really a trick, but when we listen in on the tone meetings, Erin would start recording them on her phone …

 

Stephen Philipson:

To have as evidence later, to be able to…

 

Erin Deck:

I can’t actually take full credit for that-

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Just take it.

 

Erin Deck:

… because I learned that from… Yeah, from Paul Day, because when we were on Badlands and we were working remote with the directors, he would just like hit record on his phone when the director was like giving notes over the phone and I was like, “Oh, that’s handy”. So I started doing it at the tone meetings, but it was helpful with Alison because she was very, very specific in how she wanted the tone and everything to be. So, yeah, because there was a lot of times I would get scenes that did not match what she wanted.

 

Stephen Philipson:

Yeah.

 

Jay Prychidny:

I mean, it is always super helpful to be in… To know the tone meeting but It was stressful after listening to the tone meeting, yeah, yeah. And then the footage comes in and you… No, no, no, and you’re just like putting things together and you know, it’s wrong.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Oh, no.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

It’s true. It does induce some anxiety, but it also, at least gives you a chance. Like, so when you… I found on 208, when I got to the producers cut, it was like, “I know what you’re going to say and yeah, its all we have. We don’t have the shot you are looking for”, and I’d already been able to start thinking about trying to… How to solve some of these issues and like the director was happy with it, but I knew that she wouldn’t be so I’d start getting ahead of it a bit. I found that to be, sort of, helpful and even putting the

 

scene together for myself when the director did get stuff right. I would assemble the scene and then I would go back and listen to it after I’d put it together.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

So for myself then I’d be like, “Okay, you missed this” beat like, “What happened?” And then I’d go back and dig things out that way. So I found it constructive that way. Because, I guess to be fair, like more often than not the scenes were in pretty good shape, but they certainly there were challenges we encountered, I think we can all attest to that.

 

Jay Prychidny:

Yes.

 

Stephen Philipson:

So, variation on the theme. So I think both the directors I worked with, I really enjoyed working with and I thought they did, like, they did a really good job just gathering the material that we needed on set. But one of the, one of them, like I put together, my editor’s cut and I really enjoyed it. And I thought there was some cool stuff and he really liked it and we worked on it.

 

Stephen Philipson:

But then over the course of the six days, we sort of worked on it and worked on it and worked on it. And it kind of started to get over baked, if that makes any sense. It’s like we worked on it too much to the point where people had a negative reaction to it at the producers cut stage. I kept saying, “No like this”, I think we’ve got some really good material here. I think the director did a really, really great job and I had to just help people realize that it was going to be very good show that maybe we just tightened up, like over-tightened things a little bit and then I had Alison say, close to the end of the project. She said, “You know, we were all really worried about the directing, but I think the director actually did a really great job”. And I just said, “Yeah, I mean, it was hard because I felt like we had the moments, but we just sort of… I think, I don’t know, we lost sight of them or something.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Well, I’m sure as you said, there’s the challenges and hard scenes. What were your favorite scenes to edit? And maybe they were your hard scenes, but ended up being your favorite scenes.

 

Stephen Philipson:

I think from myself, my favorite was just… And this is… Maybe I’m not quite answering the question, but for me from the beginning right up to the re-sleeving sequence was just for me a lot of fun because that’s the first thing of season two that the audience sees. And we were able to just do a lot of fun stuff. It’s just a lot of very expressive sort of dreamlike stuff when Anthony Mackie’s in the tank, but then sort of, the way that shifts very quickly to a very frenetic thing as he sort of wakes up and realizes that he’s underwater and doesn’t know where he is. So we got to sort of shift from a dream-like feel to a more frenetic action feel and we’re sort of bringing in flashbacks and images from everywhere. So we were able to be very expressive with the cutting and I enjoyed that because I think that was where we were sort of finding how season two was going to be.

 

Stephen Philipson:

 

And I really enjoy that sort of process of trying to figure out what the show is going to feel like and I mean, that’s kind of the biggest challenge as well, too, in the sense that we reshot six minutes of it. So having to process all that footage twice, but I’m just really proud of the way it sort of flows from the very first time the spotlight comes on to when you, sort of, meet Anthony Mackie in the re-sleeving tank and comes out and he’s, we sort of get into the story. So that’s a very long sequence, but it’s really where… For myself, where I really feel like I had a lot of input into the storytelling of it and how it would sort of lead the audience through all that and we’re just able to do some really fun cinematic stuff with it.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Yeah, it was really, it was good.

 

Stephen Philipson:

Thanks.

 

Sarah Taylor:

It got me to watch the series. So that was nice.

 

Stephen Philipson:

Thank you, mission accomplished. I suppose.

 

Jay Prychidny:

You know, really the scenes that come to mind are like the really simple scenes, as an editor, I approach everything from a standpoint of emotion and it’s like everything… It’s always about… For me, what is the emotion that I’m trying to convey and how do I generate that feeling in the viewer as well? So really the scenes that I like the most are where I feel like there’s a really clear emotion I want to convey and I feel like I’ve done it successfully.

 

Jay Prychidny:

So when they first pitched this season to me, when they told me what it was about… Was about this kind of love story and I really liked that idea of the love story of this woman who looks like the woman you loved, but she’s not the same woman. And what does that mean? And I think, I mean, in scifi I like scifi the best when it’s telling something emotional that we understand in an offbeat way, in like a context that we don’t understand, but that we connect to it based on the same emotion, whatever it is, and so this idea of seeing someone, Quell and her not being Quell, I think that’s like a real life thing can happen in crazy other ways, right?

 

Jay Prychidny:

So, people changing, people not seeming the same, relationships changing, this ephemeral thing in human relationships that we don’t really understand fully, intellectually. So I was really excited that episode four, my first episode was the one where Quell and Kovacs were coming back together in a real strong way with real [midi 00:50:16] scenes between them and I thought they both did a good job and performance, and I just really love the vibe of those scenes and Quell’s kind of loss and confusion and all of the emotions going on there. So those really, I enjoyed the moment and they’re really so simple, really like a lot of them, a lot of them are just two actors across from each other, but I think I did add something to it as well. That wasn’t necessarily, just wasn’t right there.

 

Sarah Taylor:

You mentioned that you… We paste things a bit slower than what they were shot as, and stuff like that, like you added extra emotion.

 

Jay Prychidny:

Yeah. I mean, because generally in these types of shows, like you have to just keep the pace going, going, going, and producers really start to get anxious, if things slow down too much. I always feel like I’m trying to get away with something by like playing something slowly. But when there’s moments like this, like I’m talking about with Quell, it’s like you have to play those slowly, I think for them to work and be effective. So for me, it’s often about like picking your moments and like trying to sneak them in whether people don’t know, like you are not only fast, fast, fast, slooooow, and then fast, fast, again. So they  hopefully  don’t  notice  things  are  slowing  down,  but  yeah,  with  some  of  those  Quell   scenes. because normally everything’s faster than they shot it with a bunch of those scenes, it was

slower than they shot it, that dangerous stare.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Yeah.

 

Stephen Philipson:

You liked it. I know.

 

Stephen Philipson:

I always find producers are really worried, especially in the streaming age that people feel like it’s moving too slowly. They’re going to click and change to another show…

 

Jay Prychidny:

Yeah, you find when it’s compelling. If you-

 

Stephen Philipson:

Well, exactly. If it’s emotional If the viewer is engaged with these emotions, and you’ve successfully

drawn them into that emotion, if somebody is responding emotionally to something, they’re not going to want to change. So I just find it’s less the speed of what things are moving at, but more just-

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Yeah, exactly.

 

Jay Prychidny:

It’s engagement. It’s not about speed. It’s about engagement, and you always want engagement to be super high. As we know, sometimes things can be cut really fast, and your engagement is at an all time low, because it’s just boring.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

I find that on films a lot too. There’s often notes to tighten up at the beginning. The beginning is gotta to be faster, and you’re like, “No.” It’s like, “It can’t be too fast.” I gave a friend note recently and I was like,

 

“You guys have overcut the beginning. It’s just… It moves too fast to get absorbed by the characters. If you can’t… You can’t get absorbed by the story. It’s just… You got to slow down, give people a chance to connect with it.”

 

Stephen Philipson:

It is tricky though, because when you’re working on an indie feature, which I’ve been doing less and less of now, you got to believe on some level, that the people are going to… They’re trapped in a theater, so they’re not… It’ll not a lot to get them to actually get up and walk out of the theater. But I guess now the problem we face is that anyone can just leave the narrative space that you’re creating quickly and easily at any time, which is a little too bad. I think it does change the way we tell stories a little bit, that we do have to be engaging in a different way at the beginning, but I agree with you Geoff. If you go too far in that direction of just being… You have to trick people to stay engaged by, I don’t know, just throwing more stuff at them. It might be masking a deeper problem.

 

Sarah Taylor:

I’m assuming that they’re… Well, maybe not problems, but lots of visual effects, and a lot of amazing visual effects in the series. What did you receive in the edit suite? Did you get pre-viz…

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

No,

 

Erin Deck:

No.

 

Sarah Taylor:

It didn’t work for you, and also I know that you mentioned scenes that were left, maybe 10 seconds ended up being much longer, when the visual effects came back. So, what happened with the workflow of the visual effects?

 

Erin Deck:

For me, the way that I started it, Shelly and I, I really considered her a complete equal partner when it came to the visual effects. And she knew the script, and she knew the visual effects inside and out, and we would get a scene that there were supposed to be VFX and things were just not adding up, and I had no idea. And her and I would talk it through and she would give ideas and I would give ideas, and we would start to kind of build it that way, obviously with, including the director, and that in the conversation. But I found at least to start, I really relied on Shelly’s input, and her just true knowledge of VFX. And we would just start building it together to see how it would work, and then I would take it from there and get the director involved. If I was running into any complications-

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

But you should have pre-viz. At a show like this, at the end, because when we circled… because I was around to the end, of her saying, Alison. If we are lucky enough to do this again, we should really try to do more previews. She’s like, “Oh, don’t get me started. Everything’s going to be previews next time.”

 

Sarah Taylor:

 

So what would you do then if you didn’t have anything? You and your assistants would create-

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

You have to guess sometimes. You’re like, “Remember that thing in 2008, there was… It was a full CG,” and I’m like, “I don’t know, five seconds, I could see that working.” And then sometimes the VFX… because we ended up switching VFX supervisors part way through, which ended up being a really good thing in the end, I think, because everyone was really comfortable and he was based in LA, and all these kinds of things that made it work. But remember sometimes he’d be like, “Yeah, you’ve ball-parked it pretty… It feels pretty good.” But then there was a couple of times when it was the opposite. It needed to be longer or shorter.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

I remember one time Dale’s like, “So they made this shot, the exact same length as the slug you put in.” And I was like, “Oh, that slug I just timed out, how long it would take someone to read everything on screen.” Like I never thought… So we adjusted that to make… I was like, “Make the shot as long as you need to you for it to be cool.”

 

Erin Deck:

Yeah. I forgot to mention though, Dale, was a huge part in helping figure out-

 

Jay Prychidny:

He was the VFX editor.

 

Erin Deck:

What we had the ability to do… because I think a lot of times… because we didn’t know what exactly… how far we could take it. Us as editors we’re like, “We want to take it as far as we could.” And Dale would help us figure out what actually can happen and what we can do, and he was a huge part of the process of figuring out the VFX and keeping it organized, and also… Because we would want to add more VFX in. I always… I like VFX, and so I would… And you can only get-

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

You don’t have to pay for them though.

 

Erin Deck:

Four for this scene or two for this scene, and I had cut in like seven. So Dale would be like, “Okay. Well, let’s figure this out. How we can work it together.” So, yeah.

 

Stephen Philipson:

For me he ended up being really sort of a go between our post and the VFX producers who are in Vancouver, I think. Figure things out with Dale and then he would talk to them, and then they would talk to him, and [it sort of became a collaboration that way.

 

Jay Prychidny:

Yeah. He was really… He had a lot of skills in a lot of areas. It’s, I think, gave–

 

Stephen Philipson:

Diplomacy.

 

Jay Prychidny:

–him way more work, because people kept giving him work. He had so much to do, and… I remember he’d be on the phone with the producers, actually designing shots, for… Not for temp, but for the design that will be going forward. And I was like, “Dale, that’s not your job. The vendor is supposed to be designing these shots, not you.” And he’s like, “Oh, well no. I’ll do it.” But, he was way overworked, but that’s because people… And, like I asked, why are they having you design these shots as opposed to the vendor? And they were like, “Well, it’s just easier for them to communicate with me, than the vendor of your visual effects.” So I was like, “That’s a huge vote of confidence,” and they’re not even in the room with them, but they felt… The producers are is so confident working with him that they were like, “Just have Dale design the shots, and then give them to the vendor, just say this is what we want.”

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

But another thing with him, because he was, he has a background, he was a visual effects producer at a company called Core in Toronto, for quite a while. He worked on Splice, I think. And I remember there’d be things where I’d asked Dale. I’d be like, “So if we were to do this, then… It’s not fully 3D. Could we cheat it in 2D?” And, he would always know like, “Well, you could do it up till here, but after that, then they’d have to do 3D, or this background element, they’d have to render…” I’m like, “Okay,” Just the feasibility of things, just so you’re not pitching shots that will make the producers hang up on you, kind of thing. It was awesome for that too. And all the work flow. Once they laid out the workflow, it was like, “Thank God we have this guy.”

 

Erin Deck:

Oh, I know.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

The tracking everything, I was like, “Yeah, I wouldn’t have known where to start with that stuff.”

 

Sarah Taylor:

Were there any scenes that you were blown away by when you watch them, when everything was finished?

 

Jay Prychidny:

Oh yeah. I thought the visual effects in this were fantastic.

 

Erin Deck:

All the visual effects?

 

Stephen Philipson: Yeah, they were great.

 

Jay Prychidny:

 

And, it’s often so much better than I imagine, which usually it’s the opposite. Usually you’re disappointed and I was never disappointed with anything.

 

Erin Deck:

Big Danica, in episode one-

 

Stephen Philipson:

Oh yeah.

 

Erin Deck:

In a square?

 

Sarah Taylor:

That one was great.

 

Erin Deck:

She looked awesome.

 

Stephen Philipson:

I was going to talk about that actually, because it’s a very… This is a point where Dale’s expertise, and him as a go between, between set and myself was very useful, because that scene… Again, we were chipping away at it for a long time, because they shot Danica a lot later. And so we had to prepare the scene as if she was there, pick all our angles, and just try to cheat them with… We cut her out of some of the concept art and just pasted in floating Danica wherever she needed to be. We figured out when to be on her close and went wide. We had to imagine it in our minds, but I was, I don’t know, I was excited about… It’s like animation.

 

Stephen Philipson:

You plan out everything before the animation is done. And then they’ve had to shoot the elements of Danica, but that became a bit of a problem, because they hired somebody with an array of 64 cameras. So what they were to do is they were going to shoot Danica with 64 cameras all around her, and they were just going to shoot her whole performance, and then just basically convert her into a 3D version of her doing the speech, and then put the 3D Danica wherever, and then fill in all the details, but there was a lot of anxiety. I was very anxious, because I was trying to figure out how we could get some temporary version of Danica, so that I could cut her performance and they were just like, “Oh, you can’t.” I’m like, “I feel like we’re going to need to choose takes and decide, which is better and if the performances…”

 

Stephen Philipson:

And they’re like, “Well, no, because all you’re going to get is you’re going to get 64 wide angle shots of Danica that are going to be totally useless. They’re just going to be a bulging cheek or a pan.” I really felt very anxious about that process, and tried to explain that to everyone, and they tried to ease our worries. And we were promised that we could have one shot that would be wider, that I could at least choose takes, so they did that, and so I chose all the takes. But then what they ended up doing, because there was a lot of anxiety over whether or not this huge array of cameras would actually work, they also just shot the actor against green screen, but putting her in exactly the right angle, with exactly the right

 

lens perspective and lens dynamics as the shots that I had picked originally, as they shot all those conventionally.

 

Stephen Philipson:

And then I put together two versions. I put together a version where we just did a temporary key of her and slapped her into the scene. And again, working with Dale, to figure out how that would look in 3D. If it was going to be passable or if they were going to have to cheat it too much, or if they could take these cut out Danica’s and give them volume. And then I did a version where it was one shot from the 3D camera array that I just put in a little box, so that we could see her performance.

 

Stephen Philipson:

And I think I… I don’t think they had made the decision before I ended the show. Geoff, you might know a little bit more about that. I think I just left those two versions and then moved on. But in the end the 64 camera array just failed. It didn’t work. They couldn’t do it for whatever reason, that’s… We ended up just using the 2D greenscreen versions of her, but I thought it worked out quite well. I think working with Dale and working with the VFX artist, the… We could cheat enough volumetric, and shifting perspective from the 2D green screenshots that it looked like a 3D Danica in square in the end. And I was very pleased with it. I think… I thought it had come together well. And it was as gratifying in the sense that it was the vision that I had, or how I imagined it, is how it wound up, after all that back and forth with the whole thing, which was cool.

 

Sarah Taylor:

I want to touch on the sound design thing for this… For the first three episodes you mentioned, the director’s cuts got extra sound work on them. So maybe just talk about why that happened and what was going on there.

 

Stephen Philipson:

Again, I think with 201 being the pilot, they really… This had its ups and downs, but they really wanted the director’s cut to… Or the first cut that they give to Skydance and all the execs, to really feel polished and have the signature sounds so that everyone would be comfortable with how it looked. So what we did is, we did the director’s cut. We gave it to the sound people.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

It was this company called OCD. That’s an LA based company. They did season one. I think they won some stuff for it, and they really wanted them… I think what you’re saying, Steve is part of it, but also I think for a bit of the passing the button to Sounddogs in Toronto. They wanted to see the security, for lack of a better term of knowing that the groundwork would be laid by these guys, so that the Sounddogs would have the elements and get a sense of how… There’d be some continuity with season one.

 

Stephen Philipson:

What was exciting about it for me was the chance to collaborate with sound people before locking, because, we can get into the technical challenges of it in a minute, but creatively, it was great.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

 

Yeah. They were good. They did a lot of cool stuff.

 

Stephen Philipson:

Yeah, and it really helped me-

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

The stuff that we would not have done totally.

 

Stephen Philipson:

Totally. Oh, for sure.

 

Erin Deck:

See, and I-

 

Erin Deck:

For me, I don’t… I just wasn’t that blown away by it. They are amazing and they did some really great stuff, but I don’t know. I was actually… I didn’t have any creative input with them, because we gave them one cut, while we were still cutting, and they did all the sound to that one cut. And then we got it back like a week after. We had still been cutting, so we… I say we, but Shelly had to fit it all into what we were working with. And, there was a lot of stuff that we took forward and we really liked, but they just gave a blanket sound design, and not for even the whole show, just for specific parts, because I think they were really focused on one. And so two didn’t get us much, but they still gave great stuff back.

 

Stephen Philipson:

Yeah. It’s… Well, what I will say… I know I would… I think we did get a bit of back and forth, which I really enjoyed, but it… I think for me the most, where it really helped, was in the first six minutes that I was talking about earlier, because I think some of the… It’s funny, I watched the show a few days ago, and it really sounds exactly the same. I remember remarking. I’m like, “Wow, this sounds exactly like the temp score.” But, I think they must have just used the same elements in the mix. But I think that was very helpful for me, because we were trying to sell a very dreamlike tone off the top. And, if the sound had been wrong and they’d watched it, it might’ve felt too slow or too ethereal or too weird or whatever, but the sound became very much a part of that particular sequence.

 

Stephen Philipson:

And I think that helps sell it a lot, more so than what I’m used to, which is… It’s more of a passing the baton scenario, where you do your temp sound and then they redo everything. But that was one area where I thought it actually, did help us creatively to have that ahead of time. But then for the rest of the show, it was more of just a technical pain in the butt, of having to carry all these sound elements and edit with all these tracks of audio.

 

Jay Prychidny:

Yeah. It’s definitely… They do that on movies, larger movies and whatnot, where they do the sound mix early, and then editors are carrying those elements for a long time, which is just interesting. I’ve never done it. I was the only editor who didn’t do it on this show, which I was kind of grateful for really, because it’s always… I’ve encountered this on another show as well, where producers just kind of say,

 

“Oh, we’ll give it to the sound team and they’ll do it, and then they’ll send it back and then it’ll sound great.”

 

Jay Prychidny:

It’s like, “Well, but that’s actually not.” It’s usually more complicated than that. You’re not just giving everything to sound house, to do their thing, and then they send it back. There’s a lot more back and forth. There’s a lot of creative decisions that have to get made. Someone has to take a lead on the creative of a show, whoever that person is going to be, someone who’s going to take responsibility and carry all these things through.

 

Jay Prychidny:

So I would have found it really frustrating in this scenario because I would have been like, “Okay, I have a lot of ideas here, and I don’t want to just take what they’re giving me, and I don’t know why I should have to do that, but anyway.”

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

But in this case, we had, at least for my episode, we had already temped it all. And I remember actually when we showed them the… When we were spotting it, I don’t think Alison was on. I think it was just James, but when we got to the big circle fight, and we watched a bunch of it, then we paused it, and it got… The sound I got from OCD was like, “All right. So we can just move on from this section, what’s next?”

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Tom had did such a great job temping it already. But there was other parts where… We have libraries of sound effects, but there’s oftentimes where it’s like, “Well, I don’t have that futuristic car sound or whatever, that gun sound.” I don’t know. So I did find it to be pretty useful and cool. I enjoyed it, the process that way.

 

Jay Prychidny:

Yeah. For sure, if it… If the process works, it’s great. But yeah, there’s just so many ways for it to go wrong.

 

Sarah Taylor:

My last question, before we open it up. There was a big shift from season one to season two, with the amount of nudity and sex. And I know that Jay had some specific notes about sex scenes and stuff. So I don’t know if you wanted to talk a little bit about why that happened, or what was the trouble there?

 

Jay Prychidny:

Yeah, totally the two seasons are quite different, and that was one of the things that I was really excited about. The new thing that I was excited about was to work on an extreme television show, because television shows often feel very watered down, because they’re for television, but like Altered Carbon season one was for Netflix, and it was like intense. A lot of nudity, a lot of risque stuff. And-

 

Sarah Taylor:

A lot of swearing and drugs.

 

Jay Prychidny:

Violence, and that nude fight with Raylene in season one. That was… I was stunned by that scene, as a scene, not just for a TV show, for anything. I thought it was incredible. So… But I do know that I had one of the only sex scenes in the series, in episode four, in season two. And interestingly, it wasn’t even really written in the script as a sex scene, it was… In the script, it’s basically they fall out of frame.

 

Jay Prychidny:

And then it was in a tone meeting where the director was like, “Okay, well it says, they fall out frame or whatever, but there’s not a lot of sex in the show, and this could be a big sex scene.” And in the tone meeting they were like, “Oh yeah. I guess that’s true. Yeah.” So they shot tons of footage on it. The scene is quite long, even as it is in the final cut. It’s quite a long scene, but it got a lot of notes in terms of removing frames, of nudity. And there was… I found that really strange, because I thought this was what we wanted. We wanted the big sex scene, but apparently, and Alison explained to me on that front that, Netflix said the nudity was a barrier for audience members in season one. So whatever their metrics are that determine these things, they found that, I don’t know, people were shutting off, or I don’t know, when people were nude.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

And the violence too. The violence was also flagged as a barrier as well.

 

Jay Prychidny:

Yeah, exactly. So it was an effort on season two to tone that stuff down, which I don’t know-

 

Erin Deck:

A little disappointing, because we toned it down, I think by 98%. I was quite surprised, because… I agree with you Jay, it would have been fun to work on an extreme show, but yeah, it was the PG version.

 

Jay Prychidny:

But didn’t someone say season two was really successful?

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

My understanding is that it’s been more successful than season one.

 

Jay Prychidny:

So maybe they know what we’re talking about.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Let’s try opening it up to the audience.

 

Audience Question:

I actually have a question, so not necessarily about the show itself, but the process. I know you guys all briefly explained how you got onto the show, but I’m really curious about the interview process. How you prepare yourself for one of these kinds of higher profile shows, and what do you think you do well in the interview? I know you all said again that you’re not sure what essentially got you the job from the

 

interviews, but still, there must be something that perhaps you’re confident about going in . And sorry, and a second question on top of that is, how did the second interview differ from the first?

 

Jay Prychidny:

I want to tell my story around this. It’s quite funny and maybe it’s useful too, I don’t know. But it was funny, because I really didn’t think I was going to do this show, because I had another show that I was going to do instead, which was a really big show. Usually when I get offered interviews, I take them, whether I can do this show or not, just because I like meeting with people and whatever. Anyway, so I went into the interview, just hardly even prepared at all. I didn’t know that I wanted to do this show, even if I was available, I was like, “I don’t even know if I want to do this show.” So I went into it just very casual in that way. And I think maybe that had something to do with it, I don’t know.

 

Stephen Philipson:

Didn’t you play hard to get as well, Jay, didn’t you-

 

Jay Prychidny:

Oh, I did, because [crosstalk 01:13:59] “Oh, I can’t do it. No, it’s not going to work out.” I don’t know, that seemed to make them want me more. I don’t know, because I kept saying like, “Oh no, I can’t. My current show,” I was on Snowpiercer season one at the time, so I was like, “Oh, that’s going long. That’s going like a month long, and so I can’t do this show.” And they’re like, “No, we’ll get someone else to cut your dailies for you.” And I’m like, “No, that’s stupid. No, I can’t do the show. I’m busy.” But they just… I don’t know, they kept wanting me to do this show. But anyway, the point is, I think in the interview… So it was just very casual, and I connected with the… So we did two interviews.

 

Jay Prychidny:

We did one with the producer, James Middleton, and then we did another one with Middleton and the show runner, and it was just very cool just, because I wanted to meet him. I wanted to talk to him. That’s all I really wanted out of the interview, was just meet him, and talk to him about his experience and the kind of shows he does, and that’s… So he asked questions about my shows, and it was just a really interesting conversation, just about the business and different… “What’s your experience with this, and what’s your experience with this, and how do you deal with this, and how do you deal with that?” And, “Oh, interesting.” For me, it wasn’t even really about Altered Carbon, because I didn’t even really think I liked the show that much, but when they did just tell me what season two was about, I was like, “Oh, that’s actually kind of interesting.” So they did hook me a little bit in the interview.”

 

Erin Deck:

That’s so funny Jay, because I was such a massive fan of the first season. I watched it as soon as it came out, and I loved it. And so when I got the interview with James, I was so excited. I Googled James, I Googled Alison. Adam and I started rewatching Altered Carbon season one again, just because we could, because we both loved it. And I also found out that James was the producer on the remake of Terminators, Genisys in Terminator is my favorite franchise. So I buttered him up in the first interview being like, “I loved… I love your Terminator movies.” And he was like, “Even Genisys?” And I was like, “Yes.”

 

Jay Prychidny:

 

Here’s two extremely different approaches.

 

Erin Deck:

Yeah. It’s funny. I knew with James that I had to sell myself. I knew that I had to really show that he wanted me, but then when I got the second interview with Alison almost instantly, I realized I just needed to show that they would want to… Like to work with me. I’d gotten the second interview, so it wasn’t about my talent. It wasn’t about how well I knew the show. I understood that it was making Alison like me. And it was easy because she’s very easy to get along with and interview with, so that was my approach or what happened with me.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Mine was similar, I guess. I did… I find it useful sometimes to do a bit of research on the genre, so you can sort of speak intelligently, and have some… Potentially some insights and references, and if you get into that conversation, at least you’re prepared for that.

 

Jay Prychidny:

That’s true. I made some SciFi references, and they were very impressed. I talked about Solaris, when they talked about the plot of season two and they were like, “Oh yes, Solaris.” I find that often helps in interviews, being able to pull out the right reference movie at the right time, and for everyone to go, “Oh.” Then, I don’t know. That’s worked for me in a bunch of interviews.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Yeah. But they for sure can backfire if it’s wrong. Well, there’s that, or if you’re just trying to make it seem like you’re smart, and you’re just pulling out a reference that’s not… Not really naturally related to what you were just talking about.

 

Jay Prychidny:

Yes, don’t do that.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Although, I will say Erin too what… It didn’t happen to me on this, but I’m pretty sure I lost a job one time because I had watched some stuff that the showrunner had done before and I remember him being like, “Yeah, you know it was pretty good. I only watched the first couple episodes. I’ve haven’t had time to watch,” and he’s like, “It’s terrible. I hate that show.” I’m like, “All right.” I’m like, “No, this character.” He’s, “Yeah. That show is the worst.” I’m like, “All right, nice to meet you. Take care. Good luck with the show.”

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

But the other thing that I did find that is helpful in this one, and I’ve sort of adapted, moving forward to is, listening to … If you can find any interviews that those people have done. I remember I found a podcast that Alison was on. It was a writer’s podcast. It was her and four other writers. It was kind of like this, a round table discussion. But I found it was just sort of helpful just to make me feel more comfortable. I kind of knew her more just by having listened to her talking to people. So for me at least I find that helps in interviews. Just be a bit more comfortable because you’re walking in cold. It just helps me be… I feel like I know the person a little bit.

 

Stephen Philipson:

I only had one interview. I’m not sure why I think because I had a bit of an in with Dieter originally.

 

Stephen Philipson:

I only ended up having one, but I guess in terms of my preparation, I didn’t know the show very well, but I did watch the show and really tried to feel … tried to figure out how, well, I figured out what they were looking for and then sort of figure out how my approach and my background could help them. I always try to fit attention onto what they want in an interview for better or worse, rather than just try to sell myself. But I think they appreciated that. If you sort of try approach it as you’re trying to figure out what they want, and then once you do sort of say, well, here’s what I can offer. Here’s how I can help you achieve that or whatever. That’s sort of my general approach. But I think, and this is really … I really enjoyed working, well working with both James and Alison, but James, he was the type of person that you could just sort of chat with. Alison as well.

 

Stephen Philipson:

And yeah, so my memory of the interview is really kind of figuring out is this sort of someone I can work with and thankfully I guess they thought I was someone they could work with. We worked out really well.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Yeah. I think you’re right, Erin. Once you get to that point, like the second interview, it’s like, is this a human that I want to hang out and make something with? Yeah?

 

Stephen Philipson:

Yeah.

 

Erin Deck:

Yeah.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

[inaudible 01:20:31] that kind of vibe with. It’s really that … Your work has been judged already then it’s just about your personality.

 

Jay Prychidny:

I think it’s so much about credits, kind of to an insane degree. A lot of the time, I think.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Anonymous asked, did Anthony Mackie

 

Sarah Taylor:

[crosstalk 01:20:50] his catchy phrase “Cut the check in the dailies”

 

Jay Prychidny:

Yeah. Whenever Anthony Mackie would do a performance, he thought was-

 

Erin Deck:

Was done.

 

Jay Prychidny:

-was satisfactory. Go, “Cut the check.”

 

Erin Deck:

Yeah. And sometimes he would do it after the first take.

 

Stephen Philipson:

I don’t remember ever getting “Cut the check.”

 

Erin Deck:

You never got “Cut the check”?

 

Stephen Philipson:

No. Maybe he just hated his performance in my episodes. [laughter] I hope he still got paid.

 

Jay Prychidny:

They only pay him when he says “Cut the check.”

 

Audience Question:

My question is … Well, I’m assuming the show was edited on Avid. And I’m curious to know from everybody, what do you think is the current status of the enemy world in the film industry. Do you think Adobe will be doing a big push for Premier Pro and Resolve becoming free software and being so powerful, do you think it’s changing? Or do you think the other entities are getting … More shows have been cut on something like the Premiere Pro or Resolve? What do you see happening in that regard and how does that affect the work of an assistant editor?

 

Erin Deck:

I’ve done a feature on Premiere and I’ve done a TV series on Premiere and I didn’t like it.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

What series is it?

 

Erin Deck:

It was for Apple TV. One of their new shows it’s called Ghostly Writers, no Ghost Writer. I think it was a remake of an older kid show called Ghost Writer. And we cut it on Premiere. So I’m not … I didn’t mind because I map my keyboard so I can easily jump between Avid and Final Cut and Premiere. But I’m not a fan of Premiere Pro, I like Avid. At least I like the smoothness. I know it. I know how to use it. The problem with Premiere Pro that we had on the feature was it’s a much harder workflow for the assistant editors, especially when it comes to locking. It’s not as seamless as it is with Avid. There’s a lot more challenges that kind of come up. I don’t know about Final Cut Pro. I haven’t worked on that since 7 died.

 

Stephen Philipson:

I mean, I’ve gotten very used to Avid and I’ve loved using it. I mean, at the end of the day, they’re just tools. So I mean, I tried to adapt to whatever I’m working with, but I think, just to go back to our conversation earlier about sound, I wonder if something that I would find very useful that I keep thinking is going to happen is that some of the tools allow for more collaboration. Like if there’s a way that OCD could have worked in our timelines and if the sound could have gone more seamlessly back and forth between the two timelines, maybe that would have really helped our process there. I believe DaVinci Resolve, which I’ve never used, but I think it has more collaboration sort of tools that can allow VFX people and sound people to work in your timeline, which kind of freaks me out a little bit because I don’t want someone else working in my world.

 

Stephen Philipson:

But at the same time, I think that would have helped us like better integration between sound and picture. Because talking to the OCD people, they were building all these soundscapes of hundreds of tracks and they just have to sort of bounce them down to one track that we would just have to kind of try to wedge in where we needed and if there were any sync elements that got really complicated. So I would think, hopefully I know DaVinci Resolve from what I understand, they are moving more towards this, but more kind of tools to allow easier transfer of material between timelines. I don’t know if that’s anything that anyone in the industry is thinking about, but I feel like it would be very useful.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

I can’t see it moving away from Avid anytime soon though. I don’t know. I think part of it’s the producers and the vendors are just more comfortable with it. Because there’s a longer track record using them of reliability. And also the editors that are working on it are more familiar with it, which doesn’t say Premiere won’t potentially in five years or whatever, take a market share. But I think it’ll take a little while.

 

Jay Prychidny:

Yeah. And at the moment, I’m not aware of really anything that doesn’t cut on Avid really. Like everything is on Avid-

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Pretty much yeah.

 

Jay Prychidny:

-in terms of the present moment. That’s why I was surprised. Erin said she did a show on Premiere. Like I’ve never heard of a show editing on anything other than Avid.

 

Erin Deck:

So it was with Sinking Ship. And so they do live action kind of, but also animated. And I think in reality, so I think that that’s where Premiere was a bit more feasible for them. And that’s what they stuck with in this. The show was their first DGC big show. So they stuck with Premiere Pro because I think they used mostly in-house editors. And I was the only one who came from the DGC.

 

Sarah Taylor:

 

Okay. We have a question from Scott and he said, what are the differences between cutting Canadian TV and the bigger American shows?

 

Jay Prychidny:

My experience with American shows is the cut is often kind of viewed much more like a next draft kind of thing. The director’s cut. The experiences on American shows is there’s a lot more money to reshoot like Steve was talking about. That would never happen on a Canadian show. It’s not like, “Oh, we don’t like the set. Let’s reshoot it.” Like …

 

Stephen Philipson:

It’s like no second part to that sentence. “Oh well.”

 

Jay Prychidny:

I mean, Erin and I worked on Into the Badlands, which is still my just mind-boggling experience of the amount that things would be reshot. The thing that just personally appalled is they opened season three with like a … They wanted to do like a Game of Thrones style opening battle to open season three. And so they shot it for a week or whatever it was. And then the showrunner saw it and he was like, “Oh, this isn’t really from my perspective of any of our characters. Let’s just cut it.” And we did end up repurposing parts of it in later parts of the season at a later date. But for a while they had shot this huge battle scene with a hundreds of extras or whatever it was for a week. And then it’s like … let’s get rid of it. And like why are … What are you talking about. You’re not even going to like explore… like using it a different way or trying to get one of our characters into the scene or something to save this battle.

They’re just like “ahh cut it.” That would never happen in a Canadian show in a million years.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

And there wasn’t a season four either though. Was there?

 

Erin Deck:

No.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

No.

 

Jay Prychidny:

And all the American shows that I’ve worked on, there’s something like that. Where just money is being burned at an alarming rate, to me. And it’s not even my money. I’m still upset by that.

 

Sarah Taylor:

It’s the Canadian in you.

 

Jay Prychidny:

Exactly. I’m used to like, “No. Let’s just take a piece of this and sell them this. [crosstalk 01:28:12] We can text you guys everything and then you’ll love it. And they’re like “Throw it out.”

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

I think the schedules are definitely longer too in American TV.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Yeah.

 

Jay Prychidny:

Yeah. Like-

 

Stephen Philipson:

Working on a slightly lower budget American show or I just finished … I mean, I love the show. It’s a great show. It’s called the Bold Type on Freeform. But I’m finding it more like we’re not throwing stuff out. But it’s sticking to a very tight schedule, but … Maybe because it’s a Network show, I don’t know. I mean the nice-

 

Jay Prychidny:

It’s an American-Canadian show?

 

Stephen Philipson:

It is shot in Canada. But, no, I think because it’s for … It’s like a network show and I think maybe just the funding is different. I mean, I don’t think it gets the big audience that a show like Altered Carbon would. And so it has more of that Canadian sort of mentality of like, okay, we just have only these pieces, how are we going to put them together? Which I kind of enjoy in a sense. It’s like trying to make … Whenever you have something where you don’t have the pieces, inevitably you come up with some great solution because you’re really trying to make these pieces work. And so you sort of come up with stuff you might not have otherwise, which I enjoy.

 

Stephen Philipson:

I really, from starting out in indie features in Canada, that was really … I mean, that’s what you do. Trying to make something out of nothing, which I think serves, you well. Or it’s served me well in my editing career. Because you’re always kind of trying to see how you can make things better than what they are. But yeah, it was nice on Altered Carbon. And where you got all the bells and whistles and we had time to work through everything. And so when we finally locked picture, I sort of felt like we really had the time to really try every different possibility and make sure we had the best possible product that we had, which is great. I mean, that’s a real luxury for sure.

 

Jay Prychidny:

You know, from the beginning of shooting to a director’s cut on like Orphan Black would be

two-and-a-half weeks to have your director’s cut. And on this showed to a director’s cut would have been what? Six weeks? Seven weeks?

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

It was like 20 days of shooting.

 

Jay Prychidny:

And then … Yeah. If you were the second and the block, you had even more time. So that’s four weeks for a shooting-

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Sorry [crosstalk 00:01:30:17].

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

– and the five weeks to your editors cut. Maybe you’re sitting around for a week. So it could be seven weeks or more to get to a director’s cut on this show. As opposed to two-and-a-half, I know from black.

 

Stephen Philipson:

I mean there’s times obviously where we were very rushed, if there was sort of a timely factor, visual effects factor or whatever, something we had to deal with. But at the end of the day, I think we really had the time to really work through everything properly, which was great.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

An even just keeping me on until the end. I know there’s things. I’m so glad we kind of figured this out. Because the dust settled and she had time to kind of marinate on it and come up with a new idea.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Is that a normal thing that happens where there’s one person that’s left?

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

I think apparently on like bigger sort of Cable shows like this [inaudible 01:31:04] affects every shows. I’ve been told at least it’s more common. And then definitely on studio features, the editor stays on. Remember when I found that out, when I met Julian Clark after District 9 and we were at a party and I was like, “Whoa. Whoa. You, they paid you to go to the mix? You stayed on to the mix?” He was like, “Yeah.” Like “What/” Yeah. So-

 

Stephen Philipson:

Oh my God. And American Gods, season one was cut in the US. And so with American editors. So I talked to Dieter, I’m like, he’s like, “When are you available for 10 Days in the Valley?” I’m like, “Well the picture locks on March 21” or whatever it was. “So I could start March 22nd.” And then when March 22nd came around, all the other editors on the show, they were like done. But they’re like, “Okay, we’re on the show for another month.” So they’d come in every day for a couple hours and just drink wine because they kept them on. They got an effects shot or whatever. They could cut it in, but really they were just doing nothing for like months. I was like, okay. I wasn’t expecting that. And people… the producer said to me…Yeah, exactly. She’s like, “Oh, you want to leave early?” I’m like, “No.”

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

[Laughing] You want to leave early! Stephen Philipson:

 

Anyways. I think they see it as in Canada, you got a bit of a bump from an equipment rental, which they don’t get in the US. From what I understand, they see a couple of extra weeks at the end of the show as like a little sort of pay bump. Because oftentimes the rates don’t … In TV the rate is what it is, but they’ll give you a few extra weeks at the end.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Oh, I see.

 

Stephen Philipson:

As a way of, just bumping up your pay a little bit.

 

Audience Question:

Thanks for doing this guys. It’s really good. I was just wondering if you could expand a bit more on what the notes were like coming from Netflix. And if they sort of evolved over time. Like if they were fewer or greater.

 

Jay Prychidny:

Netflix loved this show. They were so happy all the time, pretty much. For me, I don’t know. That was my experience.

 

Erin Deck:

I think for me, if I can remember, right, Netflix actually was very reasonable. I mean, they had some things that they would stick to, but I think they really let Alison guide the ship and really took kind of note from her. And I don’t know what happened between them and calls, but they would send, I think … What did they get? Three kicks at the can? Netflix. They got three rounds. Is that right?

 

Jay Prychidny:

I don’t know [crosstalk 01:33:30]

 

Stephen Philipson:

Thanks. So I have to believe it or not. I actually have a folder here on my computer for the show. And I have two text documents with notes or week apart.

 

Erin Deck:

Oh, nice. That’s amazing.

 

Sarah Taylor:

And what were the notes?

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

And there’s not a lot of notes actually. Some are the typical like, “Can we have the sound effect be a bit sharper?” Like, “Yes.”

 

Jay Prychidny:

 

The more challenging part on the show is definitely pleasing the show producers. Definitely.

 

Stephen Philipson:

I got to meet a lot of the people from Netflix. Because I went to the mix in Los Angeles because I happened to be in LA at the time. And they were very excited about the show. And it was … I mean, at the mix, they didn’t have a lot to say, but I really felt like they were backing Alison and her vision. They were excited about it. And they’re very encouraging, which was cool. I know I’m on episode one, the “pilot,” I dealt a lot with Skydance. I had a lot of back and forth with them. They had a lot of notes before it went to Netflix. And so there was quite a bit of back and forth with Skydance. Because I think they wanted, I don’t … I mean, I don’t know if they were trying to sell Netflix on it. Probably not, but I mean, they really wanted it to sort of have their stamp, which was cool. I thought we ended up in a good place, but yeah, for me it was Skydance. They were the people who were more note heavy.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

I’m just looking at that, my last episode, the finale. And yeah, there’s not a lot of notes either to answer your question. I would say it’s probably about the same as two or three of the … Between my two episodes, at least the notes … There wasn’t a lot, but the volume didn’t really change much.

 

Sarah Taylor:

One more question from me. What are you working on now or what’s coming out soon for, for you?

 

Erin Deck:

I’m doing actually from about two weeks after finishing Altered Carbon, I started on another Netflix show. A drama. Well, a mother-daughter comedy drama. And I’m still on it. Yeah. And I think they’re hoping –called “Ginny and Georgia.” And I think they’re hoping for it to come out September, October. But yeah, no, I’ve been on that for almost nine months now.

 

Stephen Philipson:

I went back to a show that I did right before Altered Carbon called the Bold Type, which is on Freeform, which is very sadly, it’s not easily accessible in Canada. I think it’s on ABC Spark, but it’s a very, very different show than an Altered Carbon. It’s-

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

Way more sex. Way more violent. [laughter]

 

Stephen Philipson:

But. Yeah, no, it’s a dialogue driven character based show about three young women. And it’s … I mean, there’s no effects, no fight scenes, which I kind of miss. But what I love about the show is it really is all about just the relationship between these characters and their friendship and their foibles and their ups and downs. And you just really get to love the characters, which is what I love about working on the show. It’s funny. Basically there’s no sort of all the things we usually like to do as editors like figure out pace or use a wide shot and then use a close-up to suggest this feeling or whatever. Like that’s all out the window. They just care about the dialogue. I mean, I could be on a shot of nothing as long as the dialogue was right. So it’s a very different show from that standpoint, but it’s exciting to sort of use a different muscle. And again, I really love the characters. So, yeah. Look out for it.

 

Jay Prychidny:

Most of my life is consumed by the show Snowpiercer. Doing season one and now I’m doing season two and it’s been such a difficult show and so long. I did Snowpiercer forever and then I did Altered Carbon for two months. Just two episodes, two months. Then I did another show even faster after Altered carbon, The Alien sequel, which is like, less than two months, I did two episodes in and out. And then back on Snowpiercer right. And it takes forever …I’m going crazy. But-

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

You’re stuck on that train, Jay.

 

Erin Deck:

He just keeps going around and around.

 

Jay Prychidny:

[crosstalk 01:37:43] The Apocalyptic Wasteland. It’s all too close to life. But season one is coming out on Netflix next month. So please check it out. Because I have put so much of my life into this. And I wanted it to be worth something.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Everybody watch it.

 

Geoff Ashenhurst:

I managed to squeak in, with some difficulty and some long hours of low budget. Drama, a feature called Jasmine Road that was shot in Alberta. It’s about a Syrian refugee family that kind of ends up in cowboy country in Southern Alberta. So that was really fun. It’s just like a change of pace. It’s like a realist social drama and yeah. That was a really fun experience. But now I’m on a Sci-Fi show season one called Silver. That’s the working title I’m working on the producers cut for episode three of eight, no nine, I think.

Nine episodes. It films in Budapest and yeah. Who knows when we’ll get back to that, but I’ll probably be working for another three weeks or something.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Well, thank you, Jay and Erin and Steve and Geoff for joining us tonight. It was really fun to learn about all of the workings of Altered Carbon and your careers and your processes. I enjoyed it. It looks like the audience enjoyed it. Everybody is saying thank you. Thank you. Great Q&A. Yes. Thank you. And thank you everybody for joining us. Thank you so much.

 

Erin Deck: Thanks, Guys.

Jay Prychidny: Thank you.

Stephen Philipson: Take care, everyone.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Bye.

 

Stephen Philipson:

Bye.

 

Erin Deck:

Bye.

 

Sarah Taylor:

Thank you so much for joining us today. And a big thanks goes to our panelists and all the people that joined us live online. A special thanks goes to Jane MacRae. The main title sound design was created by Jane Tattersall. Additional ADR recording by Andrea Rusch. Original music provided by Chad Blain. This episode was mixed and mastered by Tony Bao. The CCE has been supporting Indspire – an organization that provides funding and scholarships to Indigenous post secondary students. We have a permanent portal on our website at cceditors.ca or you can donate directly at indspire.ca. The CCE is taking steps to build a more equitable ecosystem within our industry and we encourage our members to participate in any way they can.

 

If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts and tell your friends to tune in. ‘Til next time I’m your host Sarah Taylor.

 

[Outtro]

The CCE is a non-profit organization with the goal of bettering the art and science of picture editing. If you wish to become a CCE member please visit our website www.cceditors.ca. Join our great community of Canadian editors for more related info.

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Credits

A special thanks goes to the following people for helping to create EditCon 2020

Jane MacRae

Maureen Grant

Blackmagic Design

the CCE board

Hosted, Produced and Edited by

Sarah Taylor

Mixed and Mastered by

Tony Bao

Original Music by

Chad Blain

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