The Editors Cut - Episode 0066

Episode 066 - In Conversation with Jenypher Fisher, CCE, Kelly Morris, CCE and Tim Wanlin, CCE

Today's episode is the master series that took place virtually on March 16th 2021.

In Conversation with Jenypher Fisher, CCE, Kelly Morris, CCE and Tim Wanlin, CCE

 

Veteran unscripted Vancouver editors Jenypher Fisher, CCE, (RUST VALLEY RESTORERS) Kelly Morris, CCE (HIGHWAY THRU HELL) and Tim Wanlin, CCE (HEAVY RESCUE: 401) discuss their vast knowledge on crafting factual storytelling; the importance of finding the story?s truth, it?s language, and the importance of a strong, pivotal opening that will begin the audience?s emotional journey.

 

This panel was moderated by Showrunner, Producer, Director and Writer, Kelly McClughan.

Jenypher Fisher, CCE

Jenypher Fisher, CCE

Through hard work and determination, Editor Jenypher Fisher has developed a unique style, rivalled only by her keen sense of story and humour. Born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, for the past 20 years Jenypher has been responsible for crafting a wide and varied array of Canada?s unscripted series. Projects include RUST VALLEY RESTORERS, WILD BEAR RESCUE, ICE PILOTS, THE BACHELOR CANADA, JADE FEVER, YUKON GOLD, THIS IS HIGH SCHOOL, QUEEN OF THE OIL PATCH, THE NATURE OF THINGS, ER: LIFE & DEATH AT VGH, PARAMEDICS: LIFE ON THE LINE & EXPECTING!

Kelly Morris, CCE

Kelly Morris CCE

Kelly Morris CCE, is a Vancouver Based film and television editor and former president of the Canadian Cinema Editors, best known for his body of work in documentary and as senior editor for factual series. He has a passion for feature length film, investigative journalism and gritty reality. Series of note that he has worked on include Discovery Channel?s HIGHWAY THRU HELL, JADE FEVER and JETSTREAM, CBC?s HIGH ARCTIC HAULERS and investigative journalism series THE FIFTH ESTATE, natural history series BBC NATURAL WORLDLAND NAT GEO WILD, in addition to a wide breadth of documentary films, the most recent being Citizen Bio for Showtime. Shows he has worked on have received accolades including winner of the duPont-Columbia University Award for Broadcast Journalism (NUCLEAR JIHAD), a Sundance Grand Jury Prize Nomination (SEX: THE ANNABEL CHONG STORY), Gemini (THE FIFTH ESTATE) and CCE (A WOLD CALLED STORM) award nominations for Best Picture Editing.

Tim Wanlin, CCE

Tim Wanlin, CCE

Tim Wanlin is based in Vancouver where he has been editing for the last thirty years. During that time his focus has been to seek out projects that allow him to draw out the strongest story, both visually and narratively. He has amassed over seventy documentary credits. Highlights include CTV?s Gemini Award winning, PEACE WARRIOR, WHEN THE DEVIL KNOCKS, which premiered in the 2010 Vancouver Film Festival and CBC?s Canadian Screen Award winning, WILD CANADIAN YEAR. More recently, while continuing to follow his passion for documentaries, Tim is busy with unscripted series work including BORDER SECURITY, JADE FEVER and his current project, HEAVY RESCUE: 401.

Generously sponsored by IATSE Local 891, Integral Artists and  VPA

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The Editor?s Cut – Episode 066 – ?In Conversation with Jenypher Fisher, CCE, Kelly Morris, CCE & Tim Wanlin, CCE?

Sarah Taylor:
Today’s episode is generously sponsored by IATSE Local 891, Integral Artists and the Vancouver Post Alliance.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
The sandwich reality is a phrase made up by my friend, Ted Tozer, who’s an editor, and it’s basically, if you have something in the middle, that’s like, sort of staged and you want to make it seem more real and you want to make it seem a little less wooden. You put something at the front that’s reality and you put something at the back that’s reality and you put the problematic section in the middle and you cover it. And it’s actually more believable that way. You’ll get away with a lot. That’s the sandwich of reality. Book ending bad things with real things and marrying them.
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 honor, 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:
Today’s episode is the panel that took place virtually on March 16th, 2021. Veteran unscripted Vancouver editors, Jenypher Fisher, CCE of Rust Valley Restorers, Kelly Morris, CCE of Highway Thru Hell and Tim Wanlin, CCE of Heavy Rescue 401. They discuss their vast knowledge on crafting factual storytelling. The importance of finding the stories truth, its language and the importance of a strong pivotal opening that will begin the audience’s emotional journey. This event was moderated by showrunner producer, director and writer, Kelly McClughan.

[Show Open]
Kelly McClughan:
All right. Well, welcome to this CCE master series in conversation with three titans of editing who I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Jenyfer Fisher, Kelly Morris and Tim Wanlin. During the next hour or so, we’re going to talk about how to approach story, methods of organizing media, using footage in unexpected or creative ways to further story and character. What to do when the footage you hoped was there isn’t there, which happens.
Kelly McClughan:
And these three are all finishing editors, but they’ve also worked story from the ground up and continue to work with footage from the ground up to create stories. So both at the beginning, end of a process and the finishing. So there’ll be something for everybody during this conversation, and we’re going to save the Q&A for the end of this, and you’ll be able to put your questions in the Q&A at that time. And we’ll tackle as many as we can. And right now I’m going to throw it over to these three to introduce themselves and tell us a little bit about them. Jen, why don’t you kick it off?
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
My name’s Jen, I’m an editor, obviously I didn’t have a lot of money when I started. So my way into the industry was going to a technical Institute called BCIT, which technically taught me how to do news. I wasn’t particularly interested in news, but the second year I was there, it was a two year program, second year I was there, the Avid showed up and that changed everything. Because as far as I was concerned, that was the coolest thing I’d ever seen.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
And no one knew how to use it, including me, but I taught myself how to use it. So I’ve been in the industry for about 23 years. And when I started the type of TV that we three sort of do had just started up. And I remember very clearly people saying, it’s not going to last. It’s a flash in the pan, whatever. I’ve been editing this type of television for 20 years now. So I don’t think it’s going anywhere. And I’ve done a huge variety of shows from men’s TV, mining shows, car shows, logging shows, cooking shows, home renovation, long form doc, science doc, competition, to The Bachelor. And in my opinion, that’s great because it’s a wide variety. And you learn things on The Bachelor that you use on a science doc. It’s weird, but it happens.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
Hi, my name’s Tim Wanlin editor for 30 some years. Started off unorthodoxly, I think with cable access in my hometown in Kelowna BC, they had a cable access channel. I volunteered when I was 15 years old, I think, worked three years there, volunteering, learning all kinds of different aspects of television and right out of high school I got a job at the local CBC affiliate, where again, I did a wide range of jobs, including editing.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
Got my first real taste of editing in the news, taught me how to edit quick and make decisions, but like Jen, news wasn’t where I wanted to be. And I moved to Vancouver and started freelance work at Knowledge network where I met a whole wide range of people, did a wide range of shows. I spun that into doing CBC early life and times episodes, rough cuts, whole bunch of Nature of Things. Went on to do Ice Pilots, Highway Through Hell. I think I did season five of that. And then that got me into Heavy Rescue 401, and Border Security, which I’ve been doing all along at the same time. And that’s it in a nutshell.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
Hey everybody, my name’s Kelly Morris. So I’ve been editing for about 30 years now. I guess I first started when I was going to Simon Fraser university, I was approached by some people to go to El Salvador and shoot a documentary about the student movement there during the war, it was kind of my first film. And I came back, I edited it a one hour doc. And just kind of realized that editing was something that was just kind of a natural thing for me, sort of a transition from the written storytelling I was doing at school into film work. So most of the work I do is in documentary editing. And after that El Salvador trip, I did a few things around town here, and then I moved to Toronto. In Toronto, I cut a film that got into Sundance. It was nominated for the grand jury prize there.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
After that, I worked for the CBC, the Fifth Estate for about seven years doing broadcast journalism, which was a really great experience in terms of honing my documentary story skills. From there, I did work at discovery channel in Toronto. I did my first documentary series, a series about Doctors Without Borders with a New York company that had come up, sort of a co-production.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
I eventually moved back to Vancouver in 2007, worked on a series called Jet Stream with Kelly McClughan, which was a great series. And that was my first experience being a lead editor on a series. From there, I did some nature documentaries for CBC Nature of Things, BBC Natural World, did some true crime shows. I’ve done a little bit of drama in there.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
And over the past few years it’s been senior editor on docuseries has been kind of my main gig. I guess it’s my fourth season of senior editor on Highway Through Hell. done Jade Fever, a series recently called High Arctic Callers for the CBC, all in my senior editing capacity. I’ve always been quite involved in the world of editing. I was involved in the CCE on the board of directors first as secretary for two years. And then as president for four years, up until 2018. Most recently I’ve gotten into doing some field directing for Highway Through Hell. And that’s about 30 years in a nutshell.
Kelly McClughan:
Let’s shift into talking about how you approach because all of you have worked in different genres, but you have similar approaches, no matter what it is you’re attacking. Kelly, I mean, you’ve talked about sort of the variety of things. Once you’ve chatted with the show runner or a senior story person or the director, where do you begin and how do you begin to get your head around story, a bit briefly?
Kelly Morris, CCE:
I mean, the first, if I was to sit down and just do it from scratch, it’s almost like doing a little bit of investigation. I interview the director and ask them questions about their film. I want to know who the characters are, where it was filmed, when it was filmed, what the subjects are going to be covered in the film, the style, the pacing, but really trying to figure out an inventory of what’s there. Because often the actual story that we’re going to tell in the edit suite isn’t obvious. So I think the first order of business is to kind of understand the palette of what we’re going to be working with.
Kelly McClughan:
Sure. And when you’re actually looking for a way in, you’ve sort of described, you’re looking for something to find a way into this thing, describe that. Because we have a couple of examples that are quite different examples coming up. So what are you actually looking for? How do you characterize that?
Kelly Morris, CCE:
Yeah. It’s interesting, for me, I’m always thinking it’s either going to be, what’s the first thing I’m going to hear or what’s the first thing I’m going to see. And I’m I’ve never sat on either one of those approaches, but I know either one of those things is going to evoke something.
Kelly McClughan:
Okay, well, let’s actually go to your first clip because it’s kind of an unexpected start, I think, for some people. It’s called The search for Freedom, was the documentary. And it was really about what it’s like to be immersed in the moment. It involved a lot of high action sports, big waves surfing, mountain biking, extreme drop-ins, real fed by adrenaline moments, but let’s actually everyone take a look at how Kelly chose to start this. And then we can talk a little bit about why you chose to do what you do.
Speaker 7:
I watch my 16 month old son and he’s fearless and he wants to just walk out into the shore break. I mean, there’s something so interesting about that, to watch him just stare at the ocean, stare at waves coming in and watch them just crash on the shore. And that’s super entertaining. So much of it is just you put your feet in the water and you feel your toes sinking in the sand and to feel that just draw the pull of the tides and the surge of the shore break and you want to go out deeper.
Kelly McClughan:
All right. So Kelly, you could have started in so many ways that would’ve been predictable to start a show about adrenaline, high energy sports, and being in the moment. What made you decide to start that way?
Kelly Morris, CCE:
Yeah. Well, you see now for the participants, just to fill you in on what would come next. Coming after that montage, we sort of start to reveal elements of action sports, surfing, skiing, and it gets more and more adrenaline based. But we started off slow. Part of it’s kind of a polarity right? Something will seem more action based as opposed to something that’s feeling softer. So we started off soft. But also we wanted to create some intrigue for what the main theme of the film was, which was the search for freedom.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
So we wanted to start off with? what is this child seeing? What is the child being drawn to? The child’s being drawn to the surf, the child’s being drawn towards the ocean. And coming up with this as an intro there was a lot of discussion with the director about what are we going to see first? What are we going to hear first?
Kelly Morris, CCE:
So we had a little touch up here in the ocean. Because nature was going to play really big into this film, whether it be the snow on the mountains, a cliff that you’re climbing, you’re skydiving, flowing through the air. So the natural elements were really playing big into this film. So the first thing we were hearing was the sound of the ocean, the sound of feet, walking into the water. To evoke some emotions around that. And then I think the last line of that clip, I think it sort of inspires what is this kid walking towards? And then from there, we start to answer that question.
Kelly McClughan:
Right. And I’m going to shift now to the Highway franchises, Highway Through Hell and Heavy Rescue 401, have a more prescribed opening. And usually, for those of you who haven’t seen it there’s usually kind of a radio call about the weather and or about the wreck or the traffic. And you would think that it would be hard to find, I think, Kelly, what you call it the hook of intrigue. But you found a way in one of these episodes. So let’s actually take a look now at clip two, and it’s a very different genre. And yet you tried something different with it.
Speaker 8:
They just spotted a cougar there, so be careful.
Speaker 9:
400 kilometers north of Hope, in a remote region of British Columbia.
Speaker 8:
Sure, it’s pretty quiet up here.
Speaker 10:
Battles on, get ready for action.
Speaker 9:
Two requiring heavy records.
Speaker 39:
What the hell are those guys doing all the way out here?
Speaker 9:
Are a long way from home.
Speaker 10:
Stay away from the coal. I don’t think there’s too many tow trucks up there today.
Speaker 9:
Leading the expedition.
Speaker 10:
Apparently they’re heading to Gold Bridge.
Speaker 9:
Is Al Quiarrie.
Speaker 11:
Gold Bridge is in a location where time actually stands still. Some of the best hard rock gold mining in the world comes from Gold Bridge.
Speaker 39:
Apparently there was a crash.
Speaker 10:
One of our logging customers has had a little bit of a mishap on the narrow winter road.
Speaker 9:
Joining Al.
Speaker 12:
I live for jobs like this.
Speaker 9:
His operator, Gord Boyd.
Speaker 12:
Where we’re going. If you get hurt, help is a long ways away. To be able to get to go up to a place like this is an adventure.
Speaker 9:
But getting there.
Speaker 48:
We got a challenge ahead of ya.
Speaker 10:
We’ll take it how it comes.
Speaker 9:
Means navigating-
Speaker 48:
Be safe, that road’s real narrow.
Speaker 9:
… A narrow mountain pass
Speaker 12:
Calling that a road is being rather generous.
Kelly McClughan:
Okay. So there you started with a radio call, but instead of weather or truckers talking about the accident, you kind of had a humorous reference to a cougar sighting. And it’s actually a long time before we see the wreck, what was your thinking there?
Kelly Morris, CCE:
Now I’m going to have to give credit to the story team. You see, this is an episode that I was senior editor on. So my job in this one was more actually finessing the image sequence, finessing the sound. This actually came to me this way. I mean, I did do a little bit of juggling on it, but I want to give credit to the story team, as well as the rough cut editor, Javan Armuth who gave me the working bits of that.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
But I think that is something we do on this show. I mean, you can come in hard on a scene. In this case, we wanted to set up a little intrigue with where we were going, because it was the town of Gold Bridge, BC was really part of the hook for the story. They’re going there for a wreck. But a wreck is a wreck. What was interesting about this story was that it was in this really quite exotic, remote location that very few people get to see. We really wanted to feature this journey to where they were going deep into the mountains, in this high mountain, gold mining town.
Kelly McClughan:
So Jen, talk about your approach. What do you often see and what do you do when you get it?
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
No matter whether I’m assembling from the start or if I’m taking something over after rough cut, generally my plan is always the same. The first thing I do is always watch the string out. But not with a like super critical eye. I’m just looking to see what’s there and where the story goes. I’m not like trying to pick it apart or anything. I’m just kind trying to see what the writing team’s plan is.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
And in general, there is always a plan, but some plans are better than others. I generally like to think of the plan that they’ve presented me, no matter what it is, as an opening theory, because sometimes they know what the story is. And sometimes they’re still trying to figure out what the story is or they’re just working on it. And sometimes they know that and sometimes they don’t. And I’m the new voice in the room who gets to like look at it and go, “Oh, we need to like focus this a little bit more.” Or “Yeah, you got it. I just need to like make this better and flashier or whatever.”
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
Either the story team’s given me an assembly that’s like thought out for weeks and ahead of time. And I have a reason for wanting to tell this story or they present me with a timeline that’s a rough cut and same difference. The other thing I always do is organize the audio. Always. It doesn’t matter. Because I like a clean workspace. And I like to familiarize myself with the footage. Also with where the audio is, because it’s super important.
Kelly McClughan:
Yeah. We’re going to talk about the audio. We’ll talk about the audio a little in, I think, greater depth down the road a little bit, because you’ve got some really good examples of that. But the point that you made, which was interesting is that other set of eyes. That you get to sort of see this material, you know these people have been immersed in this stuff and they’re living it and breathing it and you kind of come at it with a new set of eyes. And Tim, you had an example where your set of eyes changed the course of the story to some extent.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
Yeah. Sorry. Now, which one are you referring to on that?
Kelly McClughan:
Embracing Bob’s Killer.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
Oh, embracing Bob’s Killer. Yes on that one we sat through and we watched the show, it’s an incredible show. It’s a story about a woman whose husband is house sitting for a neighbor. He?s watching his house while he’s gone away for new year’s. So New Year’s Eve, he wanders up to this, to his friend’s house and there’s a large party going on there. He goes in, it’s full of teenagers in Squamish trying to quell the party. He ends up getting punched. And when he is down on the ground, he gets kicked and he dies. And code of silence in Squamish. No one says who did it. Eventually it comes out. It’s a young man from town, Ryan, is the one who killed him and he gets caught. So Bob’s wife, Bob is the one who got killed, his wife instead of seeking vengeance. She immediately forgives him.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
And it was interesting right from the start, that dynamic between the two of them. And eventually they went on a talk circuit and would go to schools and everything. But what happened on the show was that Ryan wasn’t a really happy participant. He didn’t want to talk too much. He was very shy.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
So what we ended up doing with that was, we said, “Well, how can we get him in a relaxed place to talk? What can we do?” We had one scene where he had said the crew could go to his soccer game, be discreet, shoot it on a small camera. He didn’t want any hoopla. He was the goalie in the game. And part was through the game they took him out of goal and he got to play out on the field and he scored a goal. And he was just walking on air after that, because we had said, we need to get him relaxed. He was the most relaxed. They approached him. They went and had a little interview off to the side with him. And it was the only pure time where he spoke in the show. Rest of the time he was on several interviews, very guarded. It was just nice to see him talk. And we gave us not a lot but enough that we could now have him as a presence in the show.
Kelly McClughan:
And, I mean, you mentioned to me and we’ll take a look at this clip and we’ll be able to see this, I think, that you came in and looked at that footage and recognized there is something more going on here.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
Yes.
Kelly McClughan:
There was a relationship that you could see in the footage that you drew attention, that you sort of highlighted, I guess, for the producers.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
Yeah, very much so. I think we all saw it when we started looking at the footage, but it was a chemistry between the two of them, that it was awkward and yet intimate. And it was an incredible dynamic throughout the show that we were able to play on. And we kind of brought it to the forefront in the opening of the show.
Kelly McClughan:
Yeah. So let’s take a look at that opening. And I think people will be able to see what you’re talking about there. What twigged you guys to like, okay, this is a guy we really need to have on camera.
Speaker 14:
They’re one of those couples you wonder about, what’s the relationship. She looks too young to be his mother. And he looks too adolescent to be her friend. Could they be lovers? There’s a chemistry of some kind going on, but no, not lovers. Their relationship may be more intimate. Katie was widowed eight years ago. Ryan’s the man who killed her husband. And this is the story of how they got from that moment to this one.
Kelly McClughan:
Okay. So yeah, I mean, what we see there is the kind of looks you’d give someone you know really well, there’s a real ease of familiarity between those two. And that’s what you guys were picking up on, I guess when you realize we’ve got to get this guy, we’ve got to talk to him.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
That’s exactly right. Because he had been there and the other interviews we had, he sat with Katie. It was the two of them and she was quite animated and talked and he was very, very shy. We knew from the get go, once we poured through that footage, that we had to cut him aside somehow. And he was very reluctant to do it, but it was just a little bit of luck, but also some planning and some drive to get it done. And we got it. And I think it was really the icing on the cake for the show.
Kelly McClughan:
Yeah. I’m going to shift us to the technical stuff because I think that… Well, I don’t think that, I know that some creatives and producers underestimate how important organizing your material is. And I think especially on a number of the shows that we work on, the Highway shows, Rust Valley, Jade, they heavily rely on actuality and that sound to further story and build anticipation and drama. Kelly Morris, talk to us a little bit about the way that Highway organizes things. Can you sort of, in a nutshell, tell us how that is and why that works.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
Yeah. I mean, the way it’s organized on Highway, it’s kind of becoming a bit of a standard way that it’s organized on a lot of TV series. You want to have access to your media by date, by tapes that are named by date, by shooter. I mean, I’ve been on some shows where I’ve received bins and bins and bins of individually logged clips. I was on one show where people had gone through and wrote detailed notes on 40,000 clips. I counted them. But there were really inaccessible because nothing was really prepared in any way that I could scrub through it. I guess for me, I need to know the date something was shot. I need to know the tapes that were shot on that date. And that’s kind of first element of where my organization would start. So, I mean, Highway’s pretty basic like that. It’s organized by date and by tape number, I throw that down onto a timeline and I scrub.
Kelly McClughan:
Right. And are there keywords?
Kelly Morris, CCE:
They do.
Kelly McClughan:
That’s a big assist on a series where things depend heavily on a specific character or weather or a particular truck that they’re using.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
Yeah. So that’s something really good that they do on Highway. Like you say, they have it… I’m just looking at a bin right now. They have a type of shot, the character location, weather, the truck, time of day, keywords. So yeah, if I need to dig in and look for like a character at a certain time of day, because a lot of the stuff I’m doing, especially at the senior editor level, is finding these little bits and pieces that will stitch scenes together or stitch moments together. Kind of fill these gaps. And they actually have people create here what’s called an evergreen project that has all the past seasons material loaded in of like general type shots that you could use as cheats, or scene setters or weather transitions or location transitions. So we’re able to use those keywords on this show to search for those elements.
Kelly McClughan:
Right. And I know Jen, I mean, you are… Well, you’re so anxious to talk about audio you tried to talk about it about five minutes ago. So audio organization.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
It’s an obsession.
Kelly McClughan:
It is an obsession. I know that. I know that about you. Talk about fixing the audio. That’s one of the very first things you do, which I think is why you mentioned it earlier. Tell us what is fixing the audio.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
Fixing the audio for me is going through the timeline and basically organizing things, making sure all the interviews are isolated from all the sound ups, which are isolated from all the background sound on various tracks. So that any time I want to look at my timeline, I know where the interviews are. I know where the sound ups are. I know where the background sound is.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
And I get rid of anything that isn’t important. You can see on the timeline that Kelly’s got in his background there it’s pretty sparse. That’s a well organized timeline I can tell from a distance. I like that timeline. That gives me hope. If I saw that I’d be like, cool, someone made choices and got rid of mics that didn’t have to be there. And I tend to be slower at the start of any edit because I put a lot of work into like, making a clean space and getting rid of all the extra stuff and making sure everything’s sorted. But it’s really, really, really important. And it pays dividends down the line. I’m way quicker.
Kelly McClughan:
It kind of states the case for doing the work up front.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
Yeah. The other thing I do is color everything. I want to be able to look at the timeline and always be able to tell. Writers sometimes think I’ve written too much voiceover, there isn’t enough interview or there’s not enough sound up. I can look at my timeline immediately and be like, no, there’s a good amount of VO, voiceover. I can see it and calm them down. So I don’t know, I like that.
Kelly McClughan:
Well, and you guys all talked in sort of our earlier discussions, you were talking about the importance of doing that. Because later on you might have to go back and use wave forms to build out scenes or to build out character or to build out drama. Any of you at this point, want to jump in and talk about how you use wave forms to sort of build story.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
I could talk about how I use audio to build story. And this is the section I was about to get to, it’s going to have way more audio. This is where I left off work.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
It’s still nice and clean.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
And that’s a good delivery from somebody. I’ll be definitely digging back into the stack to add more audio in. But that particular scene needs more audio. So this timeline that I’ve been working on here, it’s a rough cut. And what I was finding when I first got it, it was very narration driven and what it really needed was more sound up. Because I don’t want to be told the story. I need to hear the story. So what I do when I get a sequence like that, and I just finished the first part of this timeline today, most of my work was pulling the music off, hearing what was there, building out any sort of background ambience I needed to build out, but also digging back into the stack and seeing if there was any sound ups from the characters.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
In lieu of that, we actually have a bin, evergreen sound ups from our characters that we can cheat in of them saying things like, “Oh, wow, look at that wreck.” Or, “Let’s get this pole going.” Or just little sound ups like that you can kind of cheat in if there’s nothing else. Just to make it feel like you’re in the moment with the characters. So it’s not just narration, narration, narration, narration.
Kelly McClughan:
But I mean, I know I’ve used wave forms on occasion. Usually after- Well, sometimes in the beginning when it just feels like narration, narration, narration. And sometimes when broadcasters come back and say, “Gee, can we build a little more drama into this?” And you’re looking to build it with something that’s authentic, Jen or Tim, do you guys have any thoughts on the use of waveforms to help you find that stuff? In which case organizing the audio, the way you’ve done it, will be a massive help.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
I’m a big fan of going through and marking with locators. The story team does it a fair bit where there’ll be locators on the timeline and I’ll open up markers bin and pour through it. But for all those little sounds. Somebody just like, “Over here.” Those things that you need on Heavy Rescue 401. I’ll constantly be marking when I hear them, there’s one, there’s one, there’s one. And I’ll save them. And as we go, when I need to open things up, as I’m building it, I’m layering them in. And sometimes the guy’s not in the exact right location and you have to bury it under another shot. But every now and again, you get lucky and there’s the guy just at the spot and saying his word and you pepper him through there. And these shows need that. If it’s narratively driven, it starts to die. And it needs to have those people in the show and you need to hear their voice.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
That’s okay. I do the same thing. I just don’t use locators. I know a lot of editors do. I like make a timeline with all the sound ups organized by audio track and like the characters. So it’s like, if I need a, I don’t know, one from character A, they’re all on track one. But I can just like easily sort through them and like throw them in. My example for waveforms would be, I just worked on a Rust Valley Restorers. There was a massive car crash. A guy on a track going around very fast, drove into the underside of a Winnebago by accident. So we went from like really fast, to not fast at all immediately. And it was horrifying. If you saw the crash, you just want to like, ouch. But he got out and he just kind of like slept it off and went, I’m fine. Everything’s fine.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
He did the broey thing. It’s not a bad deal. He went from like 80 kilometers an hour to zero in like, no time, he wasn’t fine. And the problem with the story is he ended up going to the hospital. So I had to get him there. Even though every time the camera was on him, he said, “I’m fine. Everything’s okay.” So I opened up the wave form and I started trolling his mic because his mic was live the entire time. It wasn’t a big deal. So anytime he spoke, I just looked at it for hours and I eventually found him moaning and saying, “Dad, it’s not good. Oh, my back hurts.” And then you go in and you find video of him like leaning over. So you can like fake that… Well, he did say it, but you can pretend he said it right there. So that’s a good use of-
Kelly McClughan:
Jen, can I just interrupt? You had something called the sandwich of reality. It seems like this is a good time to introduce that idea. The sandwich of reality.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
The sandwich of reality is a phrase made up by my friend, Ted Tozer who’s an editor. And it’s basically, if you have something in the middle, that’s like sort of staged and you want to make it seem more real and you want to make it seem a little less when you put something at the front that’s reality and you put something at the back that’s reality, and you put the problematic section in the middle and you cover it. And it’s actually more believable that way. You’ll get away with a lot. That’s the sandwich of reality. Book ending bad things with real things and marrying them.
Kelly McClughan:
And keeping people engaged, keeping the action, sort of riveting. I mean, Kelly, on the visual side, you have a strategy that I call… I mean, it seems to be, it essentially boils down to don’t be boring visually in terms of camera angles. Can you talk a little bit more about that?
Kelly Morris, CCE:
What I like to do, I mean, this is something that… I was actually sitting down with a drama editor and he mentioned this to me. He said never go from like A, to B to A, to B, to A, he’s like go to A, to B, to C, to D to E just keep moving it forward. And that kind of helped me hone in something that I had been doing a lot in my career, which is, I don’t like to come back to that same spot. So as I’m editing I’m always seeing, well, what’s the next camera I can go to? If I have to come back to my same camera again, I will, but I want it to be at a different angle or at a different place in time. So visually I’d like to keep things pushing forward.
Kelly McClughan:
Right. And Tim, you have a particular challenge on occasion with the Heavy Rescue series because of the nature of how the crews actually arrive at those scenes and because of what’s really happening. Can you describe a little bit about what you’re confronted with and how you have to satisfy audience expectations nonetheless?
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
Yeah. The one thing that we always want to do is when there’s a wreck is arrive at the wreck with the crew. The cameras want to be there. The crew arrives, they get to see it for the first time. The audience gets to see it for the first time. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. The 401 series of Highways are busy and the crew is somewhere else, and lots of times they’ll get the call and they have to get there. And this accident has caused a giant traffic jam. So what we often have to do is a creative way of arriving at that accident as if we really did arrive at the accident, even though we didn’t.
Kelly McClughan:
And we actually have a clip that illustrates how you finessed your way into that.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
It’s not the most exciting clip, but it’s a very, very practical problem that we face.
John Allen:
We have a little straight truck rolled over here.
Speaker 9:
John Allen from Abrams towing is heading for the source of the slow down
John Allen:
The spot where this rollover is, it’s right where the 403 joins into the QEW heading down Niagara bound. So it’s a main artery.
Speaker 9:
With two major Highways converging this stretch needs to be open by morning.
John Allen:
Terrible spot. There’s going to be a lot of people held up by this. Went for a little ride down here.
Speaker 9:
The truck was hauling a load of 20 liter jugs of water.
John Allen:
This thing is in there pretty good.
Speaker 9:
When it slipped off the road and took a hard tumble into the ditch.
Kelly McClughan:
So, Tim, yeah. You had to sort of sneak your way into that scene.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
Yeah. So essentially like I said, it’s not the most dynamic scene, but what they did is after the fact, they went back in the truck with the operator and did the interview with him as if he’s arriving. So that was faked in, and the rest of it was just creative editing, where we had a shot of him exiting the truck from one of the times when he moved the truck, the highway cameras that they, that we get from MTO and Ontario. Their traffic cameras cut in that was wide. You can’t really see. But their crew was there before our crew was quite a ways. And yet you’d have a simple way of just putting a few shots together. Boom, boom, boom. He’s arrived and you’re thinking he’s on the scene with us and smoke and mirrors.
Kelly McClughan:
Yeah. Well, and on that note, Jen Fisher, you had a particular challenge where you had the narrative payoff was taking place on one day, the visual payoff was taking place on another day without the central character. That was a Jade Fever situation. Tell, tell us what you were faced with. And then we can take a look at the clip and see how you resolved it.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
Okay. I’ve used this clip before, but it’s actually a great clip. And the wonderful thing about this clip is it’s 100 percent true and about 80% made up. The important thing to know when I got the sequence from the writer, the plan was for the jade buyer to buy the Jade as a boulder. It’s not cut yet. So you can’t actually see the jade. He was just going to buy a boulder and say, sure. This was the end of a six year journey to finally sell jade. And you weren’t going to get to see the jade. The jade was going to be shown in the next episode. I thought that was bonkers. So the problems that I faced were many, the buyer was actually leaving. He was out of there. He never got to see the jade. And the thing was shot over two days, one day was cloudy. One day was sunny. It’s just so many problems. And the entire time the buyer is there, trying to buy jade. The boulder he actually bought is being sawed directly beside him or directly behind him. And I have to cover that the entire time.
Kelly McClughan:
Right, so let’s take a look at the clip.
Speaker 16:
Super close.
Speaker 17:
Early evening at Two Mile.
Speaker 42:
It’s going to fall over.
Speaker 17:
The clock is ticking.
Speaker 16:
Can we start here and it cut hard like that. Getting close.
Speaker 17:
The crew have just one more hour to try and sell a jade slab to their buyer, Mr. Long.
Speaker 43:
I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.
Speaker 16:
Clear, now it’s done. It’s a big chunk of jade.
Speaker 42:
Beautiful break.
Speaker 16:
Now, before he flies out, he can see it. I hope it’s good.
Speaker 17:
If Mr. Long likes what he sees, this sale could go a long way towards paying for their mining season.
Claudia:
This is it. Our last visit.
Speaker 44:
Yes.
Claudia:
We worked so hard to get here. This could change everything. Okay. Is that good?
Speaker 17:
Mr. Long has to make sure he can work around any fractures to carve this piece of jade into a five foot tall Buddha statue.
Claudia:
So Long, are you still thinking about it?
Mr. Long:
I find this good.
Claudia:
Yeah. This one’s a deal, like a handshake deal. A yes. 100%? 100%? Are you sure? I think I just sold Jade.
Speaker 16:
That’s happy dance right there.
Claudia:
This is what we mine for. This is our dream.
Speaker 19:
We got a job next year, maybe. We got a job next year, maybe.
Kelly McClughan:
Right. So Claudia sold Jade and you sold viewers on the fact that the guy was there on the day and was actually looking at the jade?
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
And that anyone else was there looking at him, looking at the jade because they were just talking about lunch around a truck later on that day. There were so many problems. He wasn’t there, also when he agrees to buy the rock, it’s not actually the rock he bought. It’s a second rock because when he bought the actual boulder that we say he’s buying, he wasn’t super clear. And he wasn’t… He just kind of went… And everyone moved on. The second boulder, he’s a lot more animated. So I had to put them in front of the second boulder while hiding the fact that it’s a second boulder and make it the other boulder that I can’t show you anyway. Also I forgot. We never got the jade falling, which totally sucks. But c?est la vie, what are you going to do? It’s kind of like the truck not arriving. It’s all about the jade falling. And they never got it.
Kelly McClughan:
Right. And Kelly you’ve observed, you often have the opposite problem where all the stuff is there, but by the time you get it or when you get it’s been so Frankenclipped or so condensed that actually you end up reverse engineering.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
Yeah. I do that quite often in terms of the workflow on these series. Sometimes I will get a scene in. I remember getting this comment years back, I was working on this scene and this journalist, I was working with, the writer. He kept saying, make it faster, make the scene faster, this scene. And I was like, no, you want it to be faster because it’s going too fast already. If I slow it down and I play it out and you can get into the moment with it, you’re going to like the scene. We need to invest in it. So a lot of the times I’ll get a scene in here where yeah things are Frankenclipped, or it’s just feeling rushed. So what I’ll do is I will pull out the moment. I’ll let somebody speak longer, let more of their interview clip, play out. So they have more of an on camera moment.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
See if I can let the actuality dialogue play out more, make it feel more natural. One thing that happens, I think people are editing on a script. They’re editing on paper and they’ll do a lot of splices in there. And then somebody will kind of cut all that together. But then when you’re playing it live like you just hit match frame and you’re like, well, this is a good moment. Why are we editing it so much?
Kelly McClughan:
Sure.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
Let it play out.
Kelly McClughan:
Yeah. And Tim, you’ve kind of observed on one of the docs you worked on, you actually kind of got the opposite. You got all the footage and the story about what the story was. And then it was up to you to create the scene. And then the narration was written to that.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
Yeah. So lots of the nature docs worked this way. And when I worked on Wild Canadian Year, the researchers had worked out, what they want to happen. They go out and they shoot in nature and set up a few things. But what happens really happens. And so we have to take this and they give you tons of footage. I mean, they shot for several days of chipmunks. They steal each other’s nuts when they’re hiding them away in the fall. And I had just hours of it.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
So I took that edited probably into a 20 minute piece of these chipmunks chasing each other. We watched it, me and the director, cut it down some more, put some music to it. And very late in the game, they add some narration. This is two days before the rough cut’s going out. They’ll write some narration to it. So what always happens is that narration just doesn’t quite fit in. And then I need to edit my music and edit the shots again and do a quick thing the night before. And then we get it out. But this is a really good example of editing picture and then writing to that picture.
Kelly McClughan:
Sure. And let’s take a look at it.
Speaker 20:
Chipmunks live alone and each build their own cache of nuts. Keeping well back the nosy neighbor tracks the hardworking chipmunk to his borough. Now he knows where his neighbor’s larder is. Inside his private borough his cache may contain 5,000 to 6,000 nuts. If he isn’t burgled. When the industrious chipmunk gets back to work, his sneaky neighbor decides it’s time for a home invasion. He must be quick and silent to avoid an altercation. A red oak acorn is tasty plunder, high in fat, and it remains dormant longer. The best kind to steal.
Kelly McClughan:
Right. A little chipmunk B&E right there. So, yeah. So I’m just looking at the time that you selected that clip was like 1:45. So you got 20 minutes down to 1:45 and then the narration.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
Yeah and the whole story was probably three and a half, four minutes long. But yeah, we went from 20 minutes down to maybe six minutes and then finally distill it down to that.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
How long does that take?
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
How long does that take? It seems to take a long time at the beginning, watching the footage, going through. I like this shot. I like this shot. Piling things up. It seems like it takes a long time to build the beginning and then it goes real fast once you’re coming down and putting those words in, it seems to be accelerated as you go. That music was written for it. But we wanted to have our own guide track music in as well when we send it to the network. So music placement was really crucial. And so we did a whole hour of all animal stories and the researchers are fantastic. They all know their stuff. So they go out with an idea of what they’re going to shoot. But then again, nature does take over sometimes. And that story is very much how we had planned it, but other ones it’s you’re dictated by what really happens when they go out and shoot the footage.
Kelly McClughan:
Wow. And actually that leads us kind of nicely into the next segment, which was where our directors went out. I think Kelly Morris, and they had probably something in mind for footage. And here, we’re talking about sort of a rolling along kind of travel, probably a transition use of footage. And you used it in an unexpected way, I suspect. Tell us a little bit about… Maybe set up that clip a little bit for us.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
Oh, this is the Citizen Bio clip.
Kelly McClughan:
Yeah. Because that seemed to be an example where the directors probably had something else in mind when they shot the footage. And then you used it in an unexpected way.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
Yeah. This was kind of interesting. So this clip we’re going to look at, it was for this film called Citizen Bio, which was about biohacking and there’s two kinds of biohackers. There’s the kind that want to edit their genes. And then there’s the ones who do what’s called wetware, where they’re implanting technology into their body. Now we really needed to create a scene about these grinders, the ones who were into wetware as a sort of aside for this film. There was an event that they were holding in the Mojave desert. And on the way to that event, there was some windmills.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
And the crew, I guess they just thought the windmills looked cool. They stopped to film one and they recorded some really great audio from this windmill. And when I saw that windmill and I heard the sound, I thought, well, this would be a really great way to foreshadow what these people are going to do with their bodies by giving a hint of the sound of technology, the sound of a machine before getting to them. And I also thought that this kind of inhuman sound that the machine was making would enhance the gravity of implanting technology into your body.
Speaker 21:
When I think of biohacking, I think of people who work with the living organism as a medium, that’s the bio part. And the hacking part is utilizing the hacker ethic of saying, we can make a better world with technology. We can utilize things in ways for which they were not designed. And we don’t wait for permission to do so.
Speaker 22:
If you put a magnet under your finger, you could sense these electromagnetic fields. And it was like, somebody hit me in the side of the head. It was like, the revolution started without me. Oh shit, I got to catch up. And so I heard about that in April and by May, there was a magnet in my finger. I just was not waiting anymore. There is no fucking way that I would ever pass up an opportunity to prove the efficacy of this movement.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
Now what comes after that scene is we see that the guys implanted this, I guess it was an RFID, some sort of RFID reader under his skin.
Kelly McClughan:
Yeah. It was a neat use of the footage. I can just imagine how that was originally intended to just be rolling along to the event footage and you did something really neat.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
Yeah. There was a beauty to that sound, but kind of a violence to it too.
Kelly McClughan:
That’s cool.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
And that was the actual sound from the windmill.
Kelly McClughan:
I’m aware of the time here. And I just want to sort of open it up to any questions if anybody has any questions at this point, because I’m aware that some people back east time might be of the essence for them. So if you have any questions, you can put those in the Q&A and we can get to those. And in the meantime, I will ask you guys, the panelists here. We’ve talked about cheating things a little bit, moving things around a little bit. Is there any line you won’t cross? Is there anything you must not mess with, the three of you?
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
I don’t like lying honestly. I generally don’t lie with the exception of The Bachelor, which that is the job and that’s fine. It’s a bit more of a farce than whatever. Generally I don’t lie. And my general rule is if you could show a scene to the people who are actually there and they’re fine with it, then it’s a win. I never put words in anyone’s mouth that they wouldn’t have said, even if they didn’t say it and we need them to say it with the exception of The Bachelor.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
Yeah, I can remember back when I worked in the cable access days, very simple editing. The guy who ran the place showed me. So you do an interview, you record the person talking. Then when they’re done, you turn that camera around point at you and do a few head nods and then you can use those head nods to edit them.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
And I remember that moment distinctly, just going, wow, I can make this person say whatever I want them to say by doing a simple cutaway of something. And so it’s great power that we have. And I’m like you, Jen, I would never lie. I would never have the person say anything that they wouldn’t have said. There’s all kinds of times where we cheat and we edit sentences together, but it’s to move the story forward the way it really happened. As opposed to taking somebody out of context, because I would- wouldn’t feel comfortable with that. And the people who we work with, see the shows and you need people to have trust in you. So that’s a line I wouldn’t cross is lying.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
They’re not going to show up for season two if you spend the entire first season lying about everything that they said.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
That’s exactly right.
Kelly McClughan:
Yep. Kelly, what’s your view on the line? You won’t cross
Kelly Morris, CCE:
Same. I mean, it’s the same thing here. I’m always making people say things, but I just won’t make somebody say something they didn’t mean to say. I mean, sometimes I’ll have to clean up their sentence or help them out a little bit. I’ll cut away and I’ll reconstruct their sentence to make them say what they were trying to say. I will do that, but definitely keeping the integrity. I don’t want to mischaracterize somebody or character assassinate them by putting horror music underneath a slow motion show while somebody’s walking.
Kelly McClughan:
Well, a good point. Because the music can convey so much. We have a question here that I’m going to put to you guys. Has documentary editing changed over the years?
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
I will say yes. I think there’s much more point of view documentaries now. We can get away with simple things, handheld cameras, somebody telling a story very simply as opposed to a big production. In the 30 years I’ve been doing it’s much less planned, much less of a production, I think. People have an idea and you go out and do it as opposed to a bigger production in that way. It’s changed and there’s less dissolves.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
Definitely less dissolves. I mean, personally, I feel like the techniques we use for editing a documentary for me are the same. I still use the same techniques that I learned at the start of my career in terms of a story structure, getting out the post-it notes, looking at maybe a three act structure. Or organizing the material, going through the transcripts, marking them up. So that’s the sort of foundations of how to tell a story. It’s still the same foundations, even though we can dress them up better or use fancier techniques like what Tim was just talking about.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
When I started the role was see it, say it, key it. If you’re going to show something, if the VO says something, you want to show it, and make it really evident what they’re talking about. Whereas it’s getting a little more ethereal, a little more like show the water.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
And I think that the viewer’s more sophisticated now perhaps. I think the people take in much more media and quick things. And I think they’re sophisticated in that way. You don’t need to see it, say it, text it, to get a point across.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
Which is nice.
Kelly McClughan:
Are they more forgiving? Continuity issues for example or are they prepared to forgive that kind of stuff? In the old days we used to like, ring our hands over continuity.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
Character is king. If the characters are good, the audience will forgive an awful lot. And certainly YouTube I think is actually changing the way we edit. Sometimes not the really high end docs, the really pretty docs, but like, people will take cut, cut, cut, cut, cut. Like a YouTube video a lot more. Not that I want to do that, but that’s the thing I can see coming because so many people watch YouTube stuff. Just me. Actually I’ve cut one show like that. But I was told that I made look too good and they said, cut it dirtiest like YouTube. And I said, okay. And so I made it worse, which felt bad, but I did it anyway.
Kelly McClughan:
What is a senior editor? Is it similar to a post supervisor? Boy, the naming of things really can trip people up. Because different things are different things in different production companies too sometimes. Or different parts of the country.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
Maybe I can jump in. We had to change our name to senior editor here at Great Pacific, because we found out that lead editor, and finishing editor, none of these qualified for the Canadian Screen Awards. So we had to usename senior editor. Seriously. Those other ones disqualify you.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
So senior editor’s not a post supervisor. A senior editor works with the editing team sort of at the top level. So like here at Highway Through Hell, they’ll be the, what they call the episodic editors. There’s junior editors, assistant editors. So as a senior editor, I work with those people and mentor the junior editor and work with the show runner to do the network rough cut, fine cut, picture lock. And then work with the color correctionist and the composer and get the sound ready to be sent off to the mix.
Kelly McClughan:
Well, and here’s a great question on that very topic to start working as an assistant editor, what’s the kind of knowledge of Avid you need to have.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
I find my assistant editors know a lot about Avid. Sometimes I’m intimidated by how much, how they can dig in and do things. So I would say the more about Avid, the better chance you’ll have of getting work.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
If you know more about Avid than I do, that’s a great thing.
Kelly McClughan:
Yeah. And I mean, Avid is the predominant system in the west, correct? Is that what you guys find they’re using across the country? I was just asked to use Premier recently, which I had zero knowledge of. So is there any other system that you guys have been asked to deal with or is it pretty much all Avid all the time these days?
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
For me, it’s Avid all the time.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
I did Citizen Bio on Premier. The drawback with premier is working in a network setting. We used to be able to do that with final cut pro. And Avid’s good for working in a network setting where you have multiple people accessing the project. You can do that with Premier, but it’s got some qualities to it that make that difficult. And the project really gets bogged down, the more times you pass the project back and forth. So yeah, Avid is the way to go.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
For these episodic shows. Same as me. I know a few people that work on Premier, but for any of the big series shows we’re using only Avid in BC, anyways.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
It used to go back and forth between Final Cut and Avid. But since final cut went to whatever Final Cut is now, it’s all Avid all the time.
Kelly McClughan:
I’m going to move along to what we had considered to be one of our final topics and that’s breaking format. Plus it involves an explosion and who doesn’t want to at least get one explosion in one of these things here. Jen set, set this up. This was a situation, as I understand it, with Rust Valley Restorers and you had some great footage and you sent it and the broadcaster said, give us more. And then you had an additional idea.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
This was a episode of Rust Valley from this season where the lead character Mike has made a deal with the other characters that he won’t buy anymore cars. And of course he buys many, many, many cars. So as a punishment, they say if you buy cars, we’re going to blow up one of your cars. So they blow up the car. And the explosion is epic. They use so much explosive, it was the legal limit of what they could do. They covered it from like 80 billion angles. They had three drones in the air. There were GoPros everywhere. It was fantastic.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
So the note came back from the broadcaster. “It’s amazing. Can we do it more?” And the only… The first time I watched it, I wasn’t actually the assembly editor, the rough cut editor. I picked it up at fine cut. And the first time I watched it, it was the last act of the show where the explosion happened.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
The only thing I wanted to do when the credits finished rolling was see the explosion again. So I sold everyone on the idea that we should just do that. We should just blow the thing up again, which is not something this show does. They don’t step out of time at all, ever, but it was the right thing to do. Because who isn’t going to scroll back and watch the giant massive explosion. So let’s just do it again. So I dug into the footage, found a plausible, semi-plausible reason to do it and then did it.
Kelly McClughan:
All right. Well, let’s look at what you did.
Speaker 24:
This car is fairly rare, but it is so far gone and so rotten, there’s nothing left worth saving. It’s destined for flight.
Speaker 25:
You got your pea shooter.
Speaker 24:
I got it.
Speaker 25:
It’sa going to go boom.
Speaker 26:
Do you guys think this is funny, don’t you.
Speaker 46:
This is the price you have to pay for not keeping your word. What do you think, Avery, should I pick off a headlight first? There goes a headlight.
Speaker 26:
Just torturing it for something to do.
Speaker 47:
Torturing you for something to do. You guys ready?
Speaker 27:
It’s gone.
Speaker 24:
We may have underestimated the effect the tannerite would have on this car.
Speaker 27:
Look at after, there’s shit all the way up there. And there’s shit over there.
Speaker 26:
66 years old, and for shits and giggles, they destroyed it.
Speaker 27:
Tell you what, one of the funnest things I think I’ve ever done.
Speaker 26:
Glad you had fun. Small things amuse small minds. That’s all I got to say.
Speaker 27:
I find it highly unlikely that it’ll change anything that he does, but you know what? It was one hell of an outing.
Speaker 47:
That was fun.
Speaker 28:
We need to make more bets with him like this.
Speaker 47:
Right. I could do this every day.
Kelly McClughan:
Yeah. So that was incendiary. For sure.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
The other thing I did was actually extend the explosion. Rule of thirds, you?ll notice it goes boom-boom-boom]… Really close together without seeming like I did it three times. Rule of thirds wins the day.
Kelly McClughan:
Yeah. And the format break just to clarify was, was replaying it in the credits.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
Yeah. The show would never, ever have done that. They just would never have done that. And I was like, it’s the only thing we should do. Please let me do this. Please let me do this.
Kelly McClughan:
As a final point. When can you break format? When can you break the rules?
Kelly Morris, CCE:
I’m always breaking rules and trying to get away with things. I mean, this is a creative process. And I think if I can come up with something new in here I’m feeling pretty good about it. But I mean, it’s something that’s got to work. I mean, there are certain rules around like rhythm and pacing and there’s certain things that kind of work. But within those frameworks, I think you can really get creative.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
I think you can break format, for me whenever you have a good idea, try it. 25% of the time You’ll get away with it. 75% they’ll send you back and say no. But if you think it’s a great idea and you were hired for your skill and your whatever, go for it, maybe you’ll get to create something new and maybe you’ll just amuse yourself. That’s fun too. Someone will be amused by that.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
Same as how I feel. So that’s why I’m always uncomfortable working with someone watching me edit, because I’m aware that I’m being watched and I won’t try something crazy. If I’m by myself, I’ll try something crazy. But the last thing I want to hear is, “That’s not what you want to do.” It’s like, we might not want to do it, but we also might want to do it if it works. So I’ll try it. And depending on the show, depending on the series, depending on who gets to say you can do it or not, it’s fun to break the rules.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
Just go for it. I worked on another show called Expecting a long time ago, and I was obsessed with doing this opening… It was a pregnancy show based on YouTube videos. The one I had to cut worse. And I was obsessed with trying to do a Brady Bunch style opening with the nine boxes. And every time I told people, everyone thought… I just got this look like, “No, terrible idea.” And I was like, I’m going to do it. I’m going to find time and I’m going to do it. And I’m not going to tell anyone I’m doing it. I’m just going to do it. And yeah, that became the opening titles. Everyone loved it. It was a ton of work, but it was like, totally worth it. And it was fun.
Kelly McClughan:
And one thing that I kind of wanted to touch on because I think it’s important, especially for people starting out to recognize. I mean, you guys have been doing this a while now and all of you talked early on about sort of the hurdles and the early insecurity sometimes when you… And by early, I mean now, still, but when you get a story or you get a doc in front of you and you’re like, “Oh man, how am I going to handle this?” Or you get up against a scene that seems impossible. You’ve all talked about sometimes the solution doesn’t come in the edit suite. Talk a little bit about that that never really goes away. That feeling like am I going to be able to overcome this? And then how you do overcome it.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
Yeah. That’s pretty much every single show I work on. When I’m starting, it’s like, this is not going to work. This is never going to work. I’m never going to get this done on time and it slowly gets rolling. But on specific things, if I’m locked on a scene or something, I’m trying to figure out what will happen to me again and again and again in my career is- I walk away from it. I’ll leave it. And so often I’ll be lying in bed 4:00 in the morning, bing, I know what I have to do. I wake up and I have an answer and I’m itching to get to work. And to go in and make it work. And so it’s, for me, it’s stepping away as opposed to keep beating it and beating it and beating it. I can’t tell you how many times that’s happened for me over the years.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
I do the same thing. Well, one, I do both the same things. I force myself to leave at the end of day one. Because at the end of day one, I’m usually like, it’s never going to work. There’s not enough time. In fact, I usually go home slightly early and I force myself to do it because I used to not do it. And a friend of mine looked at me one day and texted me from another building and went, go home now because they knew I was going to be there late stressing on it. So I make an effort to do that. And the other thing… Oh, I forgot the… I lost the thread. I leave it too. But I don’t actually… Usually I’m pretty good about leaving work at work. Sometimes I get ideas sitting on the sofa or in the bathroom or whatever, taking a shower is a great place to have ideas, but usually I’ll just leave it.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
If I’m having a problem with something on the timeline, I’ll just leave it and then revisit it the next morning, because it’s amazing how many problems you can solve if you revisit something the next morning. And go, oh, the answer was right there. And if it doesn’t work on day two, it’ll probably work on day three. So it’s just another version of leave it, walk away, go look at it, consider it. But don’t spend like… I know editors who spend tons of time, days trying to solve problems. And you got to keep moving forward because there’s deadlines to meet.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
Yeah. I mean, I usually have a couple days when I’m starting off a project where I go through a whole bunch of existential angst and doubt my creative talents and think this is it, I’ve lost it now. All my years of experience, don’t matter. My career’s over. It’s going to happen. It’s always a bit of a bit of a mind squeeze when you get overwhelmed with all this new footage. And it just feels like a lot of problems. But yeah, actually a couple things Jen mentioned, it’s sort of the same for me. After day one, I’m like, I’m not going to do anything today. I’m just going to go home. And I too get inspiration in the shower in the morning. That’s where my ideas come to me. I really don’t think any more, it’s just when I’m taking a shower. It’s like, oh yeah, that’s it. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
It’s a weird spot.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
Something about the soothing hot water, I don’t know it’s pretty creative. Gets things flowing.
Kelly McClughan:
Well, look, excellent tips and tricks. I think really helpful to people who are just starting out and also people sort of further along in their career to be reminded that there’s always things you can learn and there’s always ways through these problems. I want to thank you guys so much for putting so much thought into this process today. It was a lot of fun for me. And thanks also to Trevor, Mirosh and Allison for all the assistance they gave us in pulling this together. It’s been a lot of fun. So thank you. Thanks, very, very much.
Kelly Morris, CCE:
Thanks everybody for coming.
Tim Wanlin, CCE:
Thanks everybody.
Jenypher Fisher, CCE:
Thanks.
Kelly McClughan:
Take care, everybody.
Sarah Taylor:
Thank you so much for joining us today and a big thank you goes to Jane MacRae and Alison Dowler. This episode was edited by Andrea Reagan. The main title sound design was created by Jane Tattersall. Additional ADR recording by Andrea Rusch. Original music created by Chad Blain and Sound Street. This episode was mixed and mastered by Tony Bao..
The CCE has been supporting Indspire, an organization that provides funding and scholarships for indigenous, postsecondary students. We have a permanent portal on our website at cceditors.ca, or you can donate directly to Indspire.ca, I-N-D-S-P-I-R-E.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 till next time. I’m your host, Sarah Taylor.
Speaker 29:
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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