Taylor Joy Mason is an Emmy Award-winning Television and Film Editor based in Los Angeles. She earned her MFA in Editing from The American Film Institute Conservatory in 2012, having worked in scripted television and film for over 13 years – some of which included assisting on the critically acclaimed Dune and Blade Runner 2049. Some of her credits consist of titles such as Pose, Dahmer, Birth/Rebirth and A Black Lady Sketch Show, for which she was a part of the first all-Black team to win a Primetime Emmy and Eddy Award for Outstanding Picture Editing for Variety Programming.
Avid: What did you enjoy the most about working on A Black Lady Sketch Show?
Taylor Joy Mason: I really enjoyed the fact that there was so much freedom to push the envelope on A Black Lady Sketch Show. Our showrunner, Robin Thede, emphasized how important it was for us to put what we thought was the funniest version of a sketch on screen, no holds barred. So I had a lot of fun experimenting with all the ways I could make an audience laugh, typically with cuts that emphasized the most lude or inappropriate takes as my humor is quite dark. Sometimes it passed, and other times it had to be pulled back, but being able to put my stamp on the cut really made the process a fun one.
Avid: Why did you choose to submit this episode for a nomination?
Taylor Joy Mason: I think Ep. 4 - MY LOVE LANGUAGE IS WORDS OF DEFAMATION was submitted for a few different reasons. One reason was that the episode included ‘Fresh to Def’, a sketch that Malinda, Stephanie, and I unanimously favored unbeknownst to one another. There were A' Black Lady Courtroom’ which was a super fan favorite and ‘Gladys and the Knights of the Round Table’ which was one that the network really enjoyed. Every sketch in the episode seemed to leave an impression on the audience for one reason or another, so it just felt right to have 'WORDS OF DEFAMATION represent us for nominations this year.
Avid: How did you find out about the nomination and what was your reaction?
Taylor Joy Mason: I found out about nominations when my agent called me. I happened to be on Avid in the middle of an Evercast session, actually but when I was able to call back to hear the news, I was thrilled. It was short lived because I had to then hang up, get right back to work, and play it cool for the rest of the day until the team on my current project very kindly congratulated me as the news spread. There was so much support and excitement for the announcement. It truly felt like Christmas in the middle of July.
Avid: What tools of Media Composer helped you craft this episode?
Taylor Joy Mason: Any tool that helps me save time is where I gravitate. My most used tool is probably the select tool, which seems quite obvious, but because Avid has expanded its function in the timeline, I’ve been able to turn what used to be one minute of work into one second. Selecting clips based on clip color, speed, visibility, type of media, offline status etc., has been a game changer. The cherry on top has also been the ability to create a separate sequence from any of those particular selections. Another tool that I’ve used on almost every project is script sync. I think most editors can attest to this being a huge time saver, especially as television turnarounds get faster. Script tool expedites the process of auditioning performances for directors, producers and even myself if I need to quickly swap a take. It really helps when a deadline is around the corner.
Avid: How has knowing Media Composer helped your career?
Taylor Joy Mason: Honestly, I don’t know my career without Avid. I first learned how to edit on an Avid and haven’t really looked back. I’ve dabbled in other NLEs when necessary, but I’ve been able to tailor Avid to my needs over the years, and now it’s like driving a car- all muscle memory at this point - so needless to say, I’m very glad that it is still the industry standard.
Avid: Would you recommend editing to someone interested in a career in TV?
Taylor Joy Mason: Editing is a great career, especially if you're a creative, because it’s a craft that allows you to express yourself even when you’re telling someone else’s story. One of the things that attracted me to the art form is the idea that I’d be able to make decisions based on my own instincts, innate rhythm, taste, and connection to other people's experiences. It’s a career that is both in service to others and one’s self and can also be extremely fun. If those things happen to be important to you, it’s a no-brainer if you ask me.