AUGUST 17, 2023

AJ Catoline

A.J. Catoline, ACE speaks with Avid.

A.J. Catoline, ACE, is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and USC's Master of Professional Writing Program. He serves as a Board Member of the Motion Picture Editors Guild (IATSE) and is a frequent contributor to Cinemontage Magazine about members of the Guild and their work in the post-production industry. He is a picture editor working in Los Angeles, recently on "Ted Lasso'' for Apple TV+, and won an Emmy for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy in 2021. He has also been nominated for the American Cinema Editors Eddie Awards. His other television credits include "Brockmire" for IFC, "Speechless" for ABC, and "Black Jesus" for Adult Swim. He is a native of Cape Cod, Massachusetts and, when not in the cutting room, loves to be out in nature fishing and downhill skiing. He also serves as a volunteer with his local West Hollywood chapter of the Human Rights Campaign.

Avid: What did you enjoy the most about working on Ted Lasso?

A.J. Catoline: I love how so many people have been personally touched by the show, and the message of Believe. I've enjoyed reading posts on social media and messages from so many fans who have reached out in appreciation, who shared how the show inspired their personal life, or that of loved ones. They told me the show made them both laugh and cry with love. I tell them it is the same for me. I'm not embarrassed to admit I also often cried editing the show! Jason Sudeikis always said that Ted Lasso is a vibe more than a TV show, and I am so privileged to be part of the story-telling process from the editing room.

Avid: Why did you choose to submit this episode for a nomination?

A.J. Catoline: Episode 311 "Mom City" has everything that a good Ted Lasso episode should have - comedy, action, drama and a lot of emotion and heart. The football game sequence was massive and we had to incorporate all the elements together - the pitch, the coaches dugout, the owner’s box, the fans, the pub, Jamie’s mom and also Nate watching on TV. We had to keep this intense action sequence flowing and paced to keep the story moving.

And a shout out to our sound team. They make the crowd at the games sound so real. We added some recorded chants of the Man City fans for authenticity.

Our composer Tom Howe wrote a track he recorded with Sam Ryder “Better to Have Fought & Lost.” This was something he wrote hoping it could go somewhere in season 3. When I tried placing it after the “Thank You/Fuck You” scene with Ted and his mom, it perfectly captured the emotional feeling and took us through to the final scene of the show. Sometimes when you place a piece of music it just works magic!

Avid: How did you find out about the nomination and what was your reaction?

A.J. Catoline: It is not lost on me how extraordinary it is to be nominated “3 for 3” for all 3 seasons of Ted Lasso. Before I worked on this show I never dreamed that I would be nominated for an Emmy, and then to win one for Season 1 was a fabulous experience that I will never forget. I am forever grateful to have been a part of the AFC Richmond family and this wild wonderful ride of a TV series.

This year I promoted my assistant editor Alex Szabo to co-editor for 311 “Mom City.” I am happy that we can share the nomination, and along with Melissa McCoy and Francesca Castro nominated for 312, we can go to the Emmys as a full editorial team. We have all been on the show together since season 1, and we call ourselves the “OG Crew.”

Avid: What tools of Media Composer helped you craft this episode?

A.J. Catoline: I love so many tools of Avid Media Composer that really help in the edit. Of course script sync is huge, especially in comedy, so we can see the differences of nuance on individual lines. Cheers to Fluid Morph! This is so helpful to pace up cuts and invisibly remove pauses.

This year we had so much football action, and shots that came in "slo-mo" at 96fps. When cutting action sports sequences you need to quickly see how you can manipulate a real-time to slow-motion effect. Avid's Timewarp/Trim To Fill tools are excellent and we can make quick adjustments in the motion effect editor tool. Conversely there were shots we needed to slow down for dramatic effect, or to extend a look from a character. Adding timewarp and promoting the effect to fluid motion made this all seamless.

Avid: How has knowing Media Composer helped your career?

A.J. Catoline: Avid is a wonderful tool for story tellers. I’ve used it for so many years it has become an extension of my thought process so I can quickly execute ideas I have in the editorial process.

Avid: What advice would you give to a young editor hoping to break into the business?

A.J. Catoline: I always tell younger editors to stay focused on telling stories. Figure out what genre you like to cut and go after it. Get your hands on anything you can cut, even if you volunteer to help an independent filmmaker, or a director/producer trying to pitch an idea or prove a concept for a show. Or even if there are worthy non-fiction stories that need to be told, they all will need a good editor. The more you diversify your talents and skills the more you will show a producer/director that you are passionate for the job. Seek out mentors and ask questions. Stay connected to the editing community. It is a great career. The edit room is the convergence of all the creative energy to come together in the end and make the film or show. It's the so-called "Final Rewrite" and the editor's chair is the best seat in the house!

A.J. Catoline’s Media Composer timeline for Ted Lasso.
A.J. Catoline’s Media Composer timeline for Ted Lasso.

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