Episode Ninety-Four: Editing Film

November 23, 2011 by  
Filed under episodes

There’s a saying that when you make a movie you actually make three movies by 1) writing the screenplay 2) shooting the movie and 3) editing the film. The editor of a film can serve as one of the primary storytellers of your movie and therefore is a critical role to cast when hiring your crew. Editor Karl Hirsch joins us to talk about workflow, the technical aspects of editing, and collaboration.

Karl Hirsch- Editor

Karl Hirsch is an award-winning picture editor, post-production supervisor, and trailer producer/editor. His boutique post-production company, HirschFilm, opened in 2003.

Karl has worked on films such as For the Love of Money (James Caan, Oded Fehr, Edward Furlong, Delphine Chaneac), Officer Down (Sherilyn Fenn, Casper Van Dien), Fist of the Warrior (Ho-Sung Pak, Peter Greene, Michael Dorn), The Third Wish (Betty White, Jenna Mattison, Armand Assante), Frame of Mind (Chris Noth, Tony LoBianco, Barbara Barrie).  His films have been released by Lionsgate, Echo Bridge Entertainment, Phase-4 Films, Freestyle Media, Lifetime Television, Movieola, FunnyOrDie.com, Mini-Movie Channel, and Warner Brothers Video-On-Demand.

Other editing and post-production credits include Stuart Gordon’s King of the Ants, starring Daniel Baldwin and Kari Wuhrer; Paul Carafotes’ Club Soda, starring James Gandolfini, Joe Mantegna and Louis Gossett Jr.; bio-fuel documentary feature Gashole: Killer Movie, starring Kaley Cuoco and Paul Walker; The Tub, starring Melora Hardin and Dedee Pfeiffer; and HBO Films’ If These Walls Could Talk 2.

Karl has also produced and edited hundreds of trailers, promos and sizzle reels.  Recent work includes Lasse Hallström’s Hachi: A Dog’s Story, starring Richard Gere; 2nd Take, starring Sarah Jones and Tom Everett Scott; theatrical advertisements for the documentary screening series Something to Talk About; Smother (Liv Tyler & Diane Keaton) for Inferno and Variance Films; Jim Isaac’s action/thriller Pig Hunt; and promotional material for The Grammy Awards.  He has also produced sizzle reels for musical acts Il Divo, Bowling For Soup, and Good Charlotte.  Karl was nominated for a Golden Trailer Award in 2002, and was a Telly Award winner in 2008 and 2010.  The short thriller Clown was awarded “Best Editing” by the International Sci-Fi and Horror Film Festival in October 2005.

Karl is also a producer of English dubs of foreign-language features.  Credits include Gen (Turkey), Wolfhound (Russia), and the animated features Goat Story (Czech Republic) and Space Dogs 3D (Russia). Karl’s client roster includes Inferno Entertainment, Epic Pictures, The Recording Academy (The Grammys), Yahoo!, KidZania, Octagon Worldwide, Brainstorm Media, Siegel+Gale, Helio/Virgin Mobile, Future Engine, THINKFilm, VMI Worldwide, and Cutler Enterprises.  He was featured in Paul Osborne’s documentary feature Official Rejection, and in Kim Adelman’s book The Ultimate Filmmaker’s Guide to Making Short Films. He has guest-lectured at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona, Film Independent in Los Angeles, and has spoken on film festival panels in Victoria BC, Austin, and Phoenix.

Karl and his wife Lauren have written three monster movies together, made a short film about hiccups, and are currently producing a series of childrens radio plays.

Film Method Hosts

For more information about the Film Method hosts, please visit the About page.


2 Comments on "Episode Ninety-Four: Editing Film"

  1. Craig Tarry on Mon, 28th Nov 2011 8:33 am 

    This podcast on editing made me think of what’s been happening with on-set digital work-flow, particularly with the RED Camera, and I was wondering if you all had noticed. The possibility of on-set dailies is leading towards on-set editing and for some Indie productions and companies who produce small corporate commercials it is already happening. Editing on-set as shooting is going on is now within reach of the low budget filmmaker.
    At first glance this may seem like a god-send, but it can also kill the objective view point that editors bring to a project. I have heard many top Hollywood editors say they refuse to visit film sets if asked and it’s for good reason that directors take a couple of week off after principal photography before they join the editor to get to work.
    If on-set editing becomes common, I can just see hundreds of filmmakers rushing to meet festival deadlines, throwing their footage together, charging through post and then realizing they couldn’t see the forest for the trees. Hope I’m wrong but there it is…

  2. Karl Hirsch on Tue, 6th Dec 2011 11:06 pm 

    Hi Craig —

    Thanks so much for listening to the podcast. I had a great time, and the girls are terrific.

    To respond to your comment…

    It’s my policy to not visit the set unless I am specifically asked to do so. Typically, there is a lot of energy on the set, special things that happen on the set, which can make people very excited about certain shots or certain takes. Sometimes that energy comes from people being excited about a complicated shot working out, or a challenge met by an actor. But in the cutting room, things are seen differently, much more objectively. I am looking at the shots and performances as they are, my perspective not polluted by the challenges from the set. I suppose this is where the editor might help a production a lot — he/she is seeing things as they really are, and not swept up by the accomplishments and emotions from the set.

    Certainly, on-set editing has its place. Will scenes cut together? What do we have? Is this working at all? Do we need a cutaway? On-set editing can answer that… but only in broad strokes. The on-set editor only has time to throw things together. The fine editing, the real editing, happens off-site.

    Further, if we are talking about low-budget filmmaking, I personally believe that the director, DP and producers should be focused on shooting. If they are spending time in playback, real-time editing, all of that, they are essentially burning production time looking over their shoulder. Their time is far better spent in setting up shots, rehearsing with actors, thinking about what they are going to do as opposed to what they just did… that sort of thing.

    And yes, I have found that if a director walks away from the project for a few weeks after production, allowing the editor to work, the director will be rested and feeling fresher to the material.

    I hope this is helpful!


Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

Soonami Productions