Reality Television Editors Sound Off on the Craft

This article was originally published on PremiumBeat’s blog.

Some of the best reality television editors sat to chat on a panel at this year’s Sight, Sound and Story in NYC. Here are a few highlights of the talk.

Reality TV editors Alanna Yudin (Ink Master, Mob Wives), Joe Schuck (Alaskan Bush People, Best Funeral Ever), and Julie “Bob” Lombardi (Teen Mom, Town of the Living Dead) spoke with Gordon Burkell of as part of Sight, Sound and Story’s annual New York City event presented by Manhattan Edit Workshop on June 13th. Here’s some of what they talked about. Reality Television Editors: Ink Master
Image from Ink Master

Gordon: How do you handle the amount of footage that comes in?

Julie: I always watch the raw footage. I make the time. I like the producers kind of telling me what the scene is about, but then you just dive in and watch it all. If you’re on season three it’s a lot easier to know what you’re looking for.

Alanna: Yeah, I’m the same way. I’ll use the producer’s selects just as a guideline, but then go back and find what you need.

Julie: Editors are used to manipulating footage. Some producers don’t know how to watch footage and how you can manipulate it, so they cut something because they think it doesn’t work. Or they might not give you a great piece of audio because it’s off camera and they don’t know you can cheat it. But you have to look at all of the footage. That way you have all the pieces to the puzzle to make the best picture.

Alanna: Ultimately it does end up saving time. If three hours have been shot for a two-minute scene, well, I have three hours.

Julie: And when you have notes you already have the answers.

Alanna: I think the difference in the way producers or people who don’t edit look at the footage is as one ongoing scene with no cuts. But as an editor we watch every second and every frame, every piece of audio, as its own entity.

Julie: You’re looking for glances, looks, smirks, any piece to make the story more believable or more dramatic. So if the camera catches somebody giving the stink-eye to the producer or the audio guy or whatever, you can always use that to manipulate the edit, which is so important.

Read the full article on PremiumBeat’s blog.

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