Meet Jason Daly — a recent graduate of The Art of Trailer Editing. Jason was one of our three finalists in our June 2017 Trailer Editing Contest. He created a powerful trailer cut that did a great job telling the film’s story in an interesting and compelling way.
Today he’s going to share a bit about himself his editing process.
If you haven’t had a chance to watch Jason’s trailer cut, you can check it out below:
FEP: Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from? What do you do for a living?
JD: I’m a television network manager born in New York, now living in Florida with a beautiful wife and two kids.
FEP: What got you into editing?
JD: My love for editing started when I was a kid. I loved movies and wanted to know everything about them, how they were made, what went into the illusion that I was seeing. I used to watch movies in slow motion frame by frame on my VCR. I started editing in camera as a kid then kept myself involved in the business one way or another till I was finally able to get a job doing what I love.
My love for editing started when I was a kid. I loved movies and wanted to know everything about them, how they were made, what went into the illusion that I was seeing. I used to watch movies in slow motion frame by frame on my VCR.
FEP: You did a great job editing your trailer for this contest. Let’s talk about your cut a bit. Your opening is cut very confidently using only images and sound design without relying on dialogue or narration to hold the viewer’s hand. How did you decide to begin the piece in that fashion and what other variations, if any, did you consider?
JD: After watching the movie a few times, I knew what shot I wanted to end the trailer with. Also that I wanted to open with that scene. I thought the silence itself in the first few seconds would draw in the viewer. I wanted to cut to the chase then play on the turmoil between the father and son.
FEP: Early in the piece you use a soft piano cue that plays for a bit, disappears in the middle and is brought back again towards the third act of the trailer. Tell us how you approached the music selection and editing process and why you designed the flow like you did?
JD: The piano cue stuck with me the first time I heard it. I felt it matched the psychological thriller feel I was going for. Early on in my cut I thought I wasn’t going to close with it but then felt going back to it brought back an unsettling feeling.
FEP: Starting around the :50 mark, when the piano cue stops, you employ some really interesting sound design. Talk a bit about how you built those audio accent moments and what type of sound layers you used to create them?
JD: I used multiple sounds that I thought worked great together. The tricky part was trying to find sounds that leaned a little toward sci-fi but not enough to where I felt I would be lying to the audience.
FEP: Which part of the editing process did you enjoy the enjoy the most? And the least?
JD: Sound design is extremely fun to me but in general the most enjoyable part is when you figure out a problem, filling in the pieces, that is so gratifying. My least favorite part was working from my 15 inch laptop and using the track pad. Well at least I’ve gotten better at using it now!
FEP: What inspired you to enroll in The Art of Trailer Editing in the first place? How did you like it?
JD: This is my second course and I’ve enjoyed them both. I wanted to venture outside of my bubble and see what tips, tricks and workflows other editors are using — especially Hollywood editors.
This is my second course and I’ve enjoyed them both. I wanted to venture outside of my bubble and see what tips, tricks and workflows other editors are using — especially Hollywood editors.
FEP: Had you ever edited a trailer before this? What are some of the new things you learned?
JD: Yes. I did a trailer for my own film “Beware”. I’ve also done numerous television spots which doesn’t allow for as much creativity, well it’s a different kind of creativity I enjoy as well. My takeaway from both of the courses is the focus on organization and the attention to detail that they stress. The sound design tips and tricks and also any kind of thoughts on theories and methods, and why they are used, I feel are invaluable.
FEP: Is there anything else you’d like to mention about your editing process?
JD: Although I tried to follow this course to the T, I’ve learned to use markers in a similar way that sub-clips are used in this course.
FEP: Any tips or suggestions for other editors?
JD: Take breaks! Step away from the computer! I’ve come up with some of my best solutions while sitting on the toilet.
FEP: Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with us, Jason! Do you have a website or contact method you’d like to leave for people who want to get in touch with you for work or otherwise?
JD: You can find me on Facebook or LinkedIn. I’m always willing to talk shop. Thank you guys! And congrats to the other finalists and anyone who is taking the course to better their skills.
If you’re interested in learning more about The Art of Trailer Editing and possibly even entering our next contest, you can sign up below. You’ll receive 3 sample videos from the course with details on how to join.