Imagine your favorite movie or television show without the benefit of editing. Seriously, consider watching an episode of ‘lost’. Not only would you have to sit through all of the actor flubs and foibles, but each episode would likely be three hours long! Editors play an important role in the entertainment business, and in the world of podcasting it is no different.
Of all the steps that go into putting together a podcast series, I knew the least about editing. Well, if I’m completely honest, I don’t know much about any of it. Here I am, however, ready to learn! My take on editing is that it is tedious, challenging, often thankless work. Nevertheless, all editors interviewed for this article mentioned how rewarding it is to get an episode ‘in the can.’
Those extraordinary people involved in editing in the Between the Lines (BtL) universe come from seemingly ordinary backgrounds. Many entered into editing out of necessity or a fascination with manipulating sound. John, an editor for BtL loves to “work with sound to see how far [he] can hear it in the air.” Some editors come from artistic backgrounds, be it theater or music. Universally, editors seem to be fascinated by controlling sound.
Why edit? Robin, another BtL editor, loves listening to bloopers. Volo of BtL “[loves] hearing how the actors put different spins on each reading of their lines.” Volo often laughs at the different ‘takes’ an actor records for a part, or marvels at the emphasis an actor places on certain words. Helping the actors to deliver a quality performance is incredibly satisfying.
That is not to say editing is not without challenges. Trying to filter out hisses, hums and other background noises is high on the editors’ frustration list. Compiling multiple takes from several actors with any one of a thousand different recording systems makes creating a cohesive scene a trial. Also, finding adequate time to dedicate to the project is always difficult. The end result, however, is always the payoff. Bringing together all recorded pieces to create a believable scene is the ultimate goal.
Editors cannot go into the world unaffected by their work on BtL. Each editor comments that this line of work changes how he or she views (or listen to) other works of entertainment. Though not one editor from BtL would criticize another in the editing field, each comments on how their experience (even if limited) leads them to be more aware of how sights and sounds are brought together in movies, television, and other podcasts. Some even study the work of others to become better at what they do. This is fortunate for all of us involved in BtL!
Generally, editors in the BtL universe are not unhappy to work behind the scenes. On their lists of accomplishments, each will point to an effective or emotional podcast or segment of which they are particularly proud. Volo is most proud of writing a “How-to” article about editing that new editors have found helpful. Though they appreciate compliments, often they are the only individuals with knowledge of how much work truly goes into each project.
That leaves only one question. Have you hugged an editor today?