How Three Weeks of Editing Changed Everything

Meme_S2E1_3I’ll never forget when Mhairi uttered the 5 words that would inevitably change my life “Will you be my editor?”

Up until then we had just been dear friends helping each other out. I had loved her idea for Tallulah and wanted to see her succeed so I shared a few resources (my notes, my kitchen, my husband) and the result was a Hard Drive full of precious footage just waiting to be edited by someone, but I never imagined that that someone was going to be me.

“Will you be my editor?” That question brought up all kinds of issues for me. Editing is a commitment, its time intensive, its mind consuming (particularly when your dealing with unscripted footage) and its personal (as you can get very attached to what you create) and I knew I needed to think long and hard before I made that kind of commitment to a project that I knew was so personal for her, essentially her creative baby.

To be honest, I was still reeling from a creative collaboration that had gone way south, with people who didn’t seem to value me or my ideas at all, and so the idea of working with her in this capacity scared the bejeesus out of me. Friendship has always been more important to me than business and the older and wiser me was very worried about letting the two mix. Plus there was this extra little fear lurking inside me, “what if I’m not a good enough editor?” Gasp. 🙂

It turns out that all my fears were unfounded. From the moment I said yes, Mhairi couldn’t have been more grateful, wonderful and collaborative. She sat right next to me every step of the way, making sure I had an endless supply of healthy snacks, water and laughter. She had insights, I had insights and all were applauded. Inside of this nurturing environment I discovered yet again (as I had with my writing partner John Connon) the joy of true creative collaboration and I also discovered that I did indeed have a gift for editing. (A fact that Mhairi generously and repeatedly pointed out)

Over the course of those several weeks, not only did we mold that footage into 6 episodes and 2 teasers, we created what would become the signature Feathers and Toast style with the old timey music, the title cards and the structure of an opening, a recipe and a glimpse into Behind the Scenes (something we had no idea we were going to do before we started editing). In fact, over the next couple weeks I will be sharing each of those early episodes with you again and show you how our now structured show was formed after the fact from the clay of Mhairi’s brilliant unscripted Improv. We still find it quite amazing.

All was not easy cheesy peesy however, which leads me to my second industry insider tip…

Industry Tip # 2
Don’t try to edit the trailer/teaser for your show before you have edited the show itself. Trailers/Teasers are hard, there is just no way around this. When making a trailer you are tasked with not only telling your story in the most concise way as possible, but you also have to reach into the minds of your potential fans and guess which few quick seconds of your show will catch their eye and make them curious and/or excited enough to want to take the time to watch it. Essentially you need to be a mind reader on mass scale.

So with all that said, it is hard enough to create a trailer in the best of circumstances, when you know your footage and your story well, but to try to create it while you are still getting to know your footage and still forming your style is darn near impossible. We know because that is precisely what we did the first time around, but never again.

Based on this, maybe you can help us answer a question we have always wanted to know. We ended up creating 2 teasers for Season One, the first one we did on our own based on our guess of what people needed to know, and the second one was based on notes (from mostly the men in our life) who suggested that the teaser needed be less wordy and more visual. I will put them both below and am curious, which one would be most likely to peak your interest and why? Do we need both? Are women more drawn to the verbal and men to the visual? These are things we would love to find out. (There is no wrong answer as we love them both)

Teaser #1

Teaser # 2