JANUARY 22, 2024

Avid at Sundance 2024 Recap

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Watch festival filmmakers share their process

Sundance 2024 screenings may be over, but you can still catch some cool back story interviews of the festival’s film editors, directors, and composers. We’ve got our own Sundance 2024 recap.

Avid’s Matt Feury and Michael Krulik were on-site at Sundance where they spoke to filmmakers about their creative process, how they got their film gigs, and workflow tips. The videos are relaxed, down-to-earth, man-on-the-street style conversations full of great inside info and can be found on Avid’s YouTube channel .

Avid has been a long-time supporter of Sundance filmmakers, the editing process, and supporting creators. In fact, Avid technology is integral to the making of many of the films showcased at Sundance which used Media Composer to bring their stories to the screen. These include Girls State, The American Society of Magical Negroes, In the Summers, Your Monster, and Ponyboi, among others.

“Going to Sundance is always a great experience for Avid because not only does it afford us the opportunity to talk to editors about why, and the ways in which they use Media Composer to tackle these unique projects, but also to celebrate them and the achievement of being accepted into what is the most prestigious indie film event in the world,” says Feury, who leads the interviews with warmth and humor.

Feury and Krulik conducted the interviews out on the scenic streets of Park City, handing out hundreds of Avid’s trademark purple beanies, which came in handy for festival goers navigating the snowy weather. Editor Adam Dicterow who worked on In the Summers, a semi-autobiographical drama, models an Avid beanie in his interview. Dicterow describes the film as a “jigsaw puzzle” that had to be pieced together because of the multiple summers it covers.

“We did ScriptSync, which was really, really always helpful. I trained under Anne McCabe and she instilled that in me, I did a lot of that prep manually, or automatic, doing a lot of scripting. So that was super important,” Dicterow says. “I love working with Avid in general, it’s a very dynamic platform and software. We do a lot in special effects in Avid as well.”

Working on Me,We , an FX TV pilot, Editor Ben Callahan was located in Minneapolis while the film was being shot in Chicago. The footage went from Chicago to Los Angeles with Callahan remotely accessing a system on-premises at the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia post-production house.

“AVID bins allow me to do that pyramid style footage setup. I can have script up, I can have my bins up, I can have my whole timeline,” Callahan says. “Avid’s very important to me, because it allows the cleanest, most efficient way from my thought process to execution. Because I've got all my keystrokes perfect. I like a blank Apple keyboard just because I've honed in my shortcuts over 15 years. And Avid allows me to do that.”

Daysha Broadway , ACE, editor of Your Monster, shared her tools of choice for the making of the romantic comedy-horror film, including ScriptSync, 3D warp, and extend edit.

“I have my tool set that I use all the time. Extend edit is my friend, and 3D warp, which I think all editors use all the time, so much so that we forget that we use it all the time, so we don't talk about it but 3D warp I feel like I use all day every day,” Broadway comments. “ScriptSync, especially when I'm doing something that has a lot of musical performances because there's so many takes and angles of just one song. Creating super groups in Avid is really helpful for musical performances.”

Your Monster Composer Tim Williams, whose studio is based in Pro Tools, first creates demos for film producers. Once those demos are approved, Williams says his process is streamlined.

“I just do mix downs into stems, it goes off to the studio, we record it with an orchestra, live musicians, we record drums, guitars, all that kind of stuff, it's all in the same session, it's the session that I start with and the session I end with. And then it goes to these amazing mixers who make it sound fantastic,” Williams says. “But it's such a streamlined process, I don't have to jump back and forth between different DAWS. And there's so many features in Pro Tools that make my life really easy like consolidation and bouncing to audio.”

For the documentary, War Game, the crew was scattered in multiple locations in California and New York. Editor Jeff Gilbert was in Los Angeles and producers were bicoastal. Gilbert’s Assistant Editor Connor Hall built a server to network the team together.

“The server allowed everybody access to jump in and look at dailies if they wanted or just upload cuts easily,” Gilbert says. “I always love Avid. I prefer Avid.”

Joseph Krings, ACE, has worked on nine films that have screened at Sundance over the years. His most recent is the biopic, Winner, edited using Media Composer.

“Avid was my first love. I've flirted with other systems, but I always come back because it's the most comfortable,” Krings remarks. “The functionality is really great. I have a lot of fun with the effects in there. Whether it's fluid moving things or doing crazy comps and tracking motion and all of that stuff and using animate. It's kind of fun to play with all that, but the real winner of everything when it comes to AVID is trimming, asymmetrical trimming.”

In Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story, the film jumps back and forth between past and present, before and after Reeve’s devastating accident which created storytelling challenges for Editor Otto Burnham.

“ScriptSync is like the best thing in the world because although you kind of mentally log and you have transcripts, all these little things you find and you can apply as many markers and different ways of labeling as you possibly can,” Burnham says. “Sometimes you just need a word or even a subject matter and the power of that tool bailed me out so many times. I love it. It's brilliant.”

Many more editors, directors, and composers were interviewed during Sundance. The videos bring out the passion the filmmakers have for their craft, Krulik comments, calling editors “unsung heroes.”

“Editing is an invisible art,” Krulik explains. “These people put their blood, sweat, heart and soul into these films. You never know what you’re going to actually get until you’re in the editing room seeing it all come together.”

Check out our Sundance 2024 recap. Explore Avid’s suite of editing tools. Join our community of innovative filmmakers.

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