Focus On – Dany Cooper ASE on “Redfern Now – Season 2”
You’ve worked with Wayne Blair (director) before. How does this help the edit process?
Wayne and I have developed a shorthand over the past couple of years and when faced with a short schedule this meant that choices of performance and style of cutting didn’t need a lot of discussion. Mutual trust helps, and we talk every day during the shoot towards the end of his day. On Dogs we assembled as the shoot progressed and then I had one day to put the cut together in as tight a form as I could. We then worked together for two more days before showing it to Miranda Dear and Darren Dale. Redfern Now is an incredibly collaborative show. Performance and story are paramount. Wayne had written this episode so he knew exactly what he wanted.
What's the most challenging scene to cut? Why?
The most challenging aspect of the show was the barking dog. I had to cut out the dog trainer and recreate the dog barks for screenings and that took a lot of work. My previous episode Babe in Arms had a constant crying baby through out so I graduated from screaming babies to barking dogs!
Audio is an intrinsic part of this project how involved were you with the design?
On TV drama I temp track with the sound FX needed to tell the story and temp music that enhances emotion and pace thus creating a blue-print for the sound editors and composers. I know that both areas will improve vastly by the final mix and on Dogs, the flash back sequences were developed by a new expanded sound design that we couldn’t create in the short period of time we had in the picture edit. The ins and outs of music, the fades, segues and flavour of the sound FX and the dog barking originated during the picture edit which is of course followed by a rigorous spotting session. I always try and attend the music run through and the mixes.
What are some tricks you have developed to work through the footage in today’s tight TV schedules?
I cut fast and I never allow myself to get too far behind. I try and watch all the footage but if there is too much then I pick the performances that immediately jump out and hit the “sweet spot”. It’s about trusting your instincts. I then go back through the footage later and see if there is anything stronger than the takes chosen when I assemble. I roughly cut the scene’s shot daily in the morning and then revise older cuts so that by the time I get to the end of the shoot I have compiled a strong screenable version. We were very lucky on Redfern Now to have a days editors assembly after the last days’ dailies were delivered. I found this incredibly helpful in keeping myself objective and as a result, the sprint to the end wasn’t as frenetic and I knew that the footage had been explored.
What is your favourite experience?
Working with the Redfern Now team. Fabulous producers - Darren Dale and Miranda Dear, our director Wayne Blair, my fellow editor Nick Holmes, our assistant Karen Fleming, post supervisor Deb Alleck sound design by Sonar with Wes Chew and composition by Anthony Partos and Andrew Lancaster. It was fantastic to come to work every day and work on great material with incredibly talented people.