Category Archives: Editor

Sofar so good: Estefania Sequeira on the best-kept secret music movement

Ever wonder what it’s like to be one of the behind-the-scenes people in one of the most behind-the-scenes movements happening today?

Estefania Sequeira happens to be one of those very cool people. For the past few years now, Sequeira, an editor for film and music videos, has helped shape Sofar Sounds, an underground music event that’s spreading at the speed of, well, sound.

Sofar Sounds
      Estefania Sequeira capture the magic of a Sofar Sounds’ event

The movement’s formula is basic, but brilliant. Sofar Sounds brings together a group of people in a small space, for example someone’s backyard, living room or even a desolate barn out in the sticks, where attendees share the similar desire to listen to really, really good live music.

Whether it’s the result of social media and its lack of human contact, the quick and cheap downloadable tracks of our time that leave people craving real raw sound, or all those packed festivals that went on for days and days and days— for music lovers, Sofar Sounds is a grassroots breath of fresh air that offers the close-knit community experience that has been so hard to find in the modern age.

For those who have missed the global phenomenon to date, this isn’t your catchy Groupon gimmick. The story of how Sofar Sounds started is repeated just about every time the name is mentioned. This lends even more to its lore, which goes like this:

Sofar Sounds began in London in 2009, when three friends—Rafe Offer, Rocky Start and Dave Alexander—went to a pub to hear Friendly Fires, a band whose debut album the year before had cast them into success. But when these three music-loving friends got the chance to hear the amazing band—it was in front of an awful crowd.

Recalling that night, Sofar Sounds founder Rafe Offer, who is actually a Chicago native, tells the Wall Street Journal, “Rocky, Dave and I all could not believe that this superb band was playing their hearts out and yet half the room was busy talking about other things, fondling phones or clanging drinks.”

Of the guys, Dave Alexander was, himself, a musician, who invited a few friends over to his London flat to try out some of his new songs. The atmosphere at that event was so markedly different, and better, than the night at the pub that these guys decided to host another one just like it.

It didn’t take long for their idea to take off—and land overseas. One of the first major cities to latch on was San Francisco, where film editor Estefania Sequeira, a life-long music lover who earned her BFA in Motion Pictures and Television, helped firmly implement Sofar Sounds in the US.

Already making music videos, Estefania’s editing skills and knowledge of the area’s music culture made her the perfect person to translate the founders’ idea—which, remember, is meant to introduce good music beautifully.

In a way Estefania Sequeira jumpstarted Sofar Sounds SF using her background in editing to shoot and cut videos of the group’s events, among other things. “I’ve worn many different hats, as I’ve been very involved from the beginning stages,” Sequeira explains. “I was there in San Francisco when it was first starting out. I was the video production supervisor, as well as a videographer and editor. In Vancouver I took more of a leading role and managed the whole event while also being very involved in the video production.”

In addition to the San Francisco and Vancouver, Canada branches, she has also participated in some events in Costa Rica. Definitely a labor of love, Sofar Sounds requires a lot of amazing people to make these secret music events happen. Money has never been a big issue as the events are financed by attendee donations, which pay the production staff, including great talents like Estefania Sequeira, and also covers the cost of the beer, wine, and refreshments served.

Using cell phones and other recording devices is usually discouraged during the gigs, so having someone like Sequeira, a trained videographer and editor, there to record the acts and putting out excellent quality videos of Sofar concerts is incredible. Those videos will be the only chance most people ever get to see these gigs, since the number invited to attend is so low.

However, even though Sofar Sounds’ attendees are hand picked, it’s worth the effort and so much fun to try and gain acceptance. First go onto the Sofar Sounds website and sign up for the newsletter. Pick a city (again, with the popularity there’s bound to be one nearby) and fill out a brief survey. Yes, survey—to determine if you’ll be selected to attend.

The locations are kept secret until hours before. Even the performers’ names are not usually disclosed. For those invited to attend, they arrive and are guaranteed an unforgettable music experience. For those performing, it’s a chance to gain new fans as well as make contacts with other musicians. Sofar is about really cool people, like Estefania Sequeira, who love good music and want to hear it, rather than watch a mass of phone screens float in the darkness of a crowded club.

Sofar Sounds
                                       One of Sofar Sounds’ events in San Francisco shot by Estefania Sequeira

Half-Korean and half-Costa Rican, Estefania describes how the movement is universal at its core. She says, “I think people love how global it is. How you can experience the same event in different parts of the world. Also, both the musicians and the guests relate to the respect for music that Sofar Sounds represents.”

So what once was known as “Songs from a Room” has morphed into Sofar Sounds. And what once was a room in a London flat has grown into a worldwide movement.

Sequeira, who continues to also work full-time on her documentary films and music video projects as well as with the movement, says Sofar should never lose its essence, the closeness to the music and to others.

“People love Sofar Sounds because of how intimate it is and because of the music you’re able to discover through it,” she says. “It will always hold a special place in my heart. It’s a truly special community to be a part of.”

Editing Alchemist Andrew Coutts

 Renowned film director David Fincher (Gone Girl, The Social Network, Zodiac) said in an article published by Den of Geek,“The best editors are alchemists. They’re equal parts poet and blacksmith. They can forge something – they make pieces go together that should never work. They can take footage that was intended for one thing, and use it to illuminate a whole new idea in a sequence that you maybe never conceived.” We couldn’t agree more.

Andrew Coutts
Editor Andrew Coutts

A film editor is a vital force in bringing the stories audiences see on the screen to life. Not only are they responsible for selecting the right shots and sequences out of hundreds, and sometimes, thousands of hours of footage, but they also decide the timing and pace of the story that unfolds before us.

Continually executing the aforementioned in a way that is seamless and virtually unnoticeable by the audience, the work of Canadian editor Andrew Coutts procures him a place among the world’s best editors. An alchemist in his own right, some of Coutts’ film work as an editor includes Saw V, Saw VI, Saw 3D: The Final Chapter, The Day, Nurse 3D, Altergeist, The Man Who Loved Flowers, Sequence, Anguish, Blood Sucking Bastards, Grizzly, 10:17, and the series Sleepy Hollow, The Line, Hungry, and more.

Andrew Coutts was the editor of the horror film Saw VI, the sixth installment of the seven-part Saw franchise. The film, which grossed an impressive $68,233,629 at the box office internationally, was nominated for two Most Memorable Mutilation Awards at the Scream Awards in 2010 for “The Pound of Flesh Trap” and “The Needle Trap” scenes.

“I had a lot of fun cutting the traps on the saw films, since they tend to be pretty visually intense and you can try some pretty fun techniques in editing as part of the scenes, jump cuts, flash frames, using off-speed camera ramps,” recalled Coutts.

Visually intense is a light description of the traps in Saw VI, they were down right horrifying, but after all that is the point. The way Coutts combines jarring sound effects and swift cuts during the film’s traumatic torture scenes effectively heighten the intensity to the point of making your heart feel like it might just jump out of your chest. The opening pound of flesh scene where Jigsaw’s most recent victims, Simone and Eddie, race the clock to see who will cut of the most flesh in order to survive is so frightening that I actually had to close my eyes at a point, and even then, the fluctuation and rapidity of the sound effects intermixed with the actors’ screams was enough to keep me squirming in my seat.

Coutts, who has been working as an editor for over 15 years, is above all passionate about bringing stories to life and he views editing as a powerful means for evoking reactions in his audience. “Whether it’s a tension filled horror scene where through editing and pacing we’ve built suspense and shock the audience with a scare moment, or putting together poignant performances from the actors that resonates emotionally with the audience, or a heart pounding action scene that is an exciting thrill ride, it’s all of these moments in editing that I love,” said Coutts.

Coutts also served as the lead editor on the final film in the Saw franchise, Saw 3D: The Final Chapter. The film grossed $136,150,434 at the box office internationally and was nominated for another Most Memorable Mutilation Award at the Scream Awards, this time for the “Reverse Bear Trap” scene, as well as an award in the horror movie category at the Teen Choice Awards. Once again Coutts used his exceptional eye as an editor to create a terrifying sequence of shots that was further intensified by the 3D element in the film.

“One of the biggest challenges on this film was finding a way to introduce 3D on both a creative and technical level into the already strongly stylistic Saw world. Shooting and editing a film in 3d brings certain requirements for brighter lighting and slower cutting than the Saw films typically had,” explained Coutts. “Working with the director and cinematographer we had to find a way to push the limits of 3D as far as we could to bring it as close in line as we could with the previous films looks.”

Putting his unparalleled talents as a horror editor on display, there is no doubt about it, Andrew Coutts nailed the mark on both Saw VI and Saw 3D: The Final Chapter, and we can not wait to see what he has in store for us next.

Editor Vladimir Boboshin Proves that Passion Fuels Success

Vladimir Boboshin
             Film and Commercial Editor Vladimir Boboshin

Originally from Moscow, Russia, film and commercial editor Vladimir Boboshin has taken the film and advertising industries by storm with his unparalleled ability to create captivating stories from raw footage.

“Editing film, regardless of the genre and form, is very much like assembling a jigsaw puzzle, with one major difference: you don’t have a reference picture. You find pieces that match together and then find their neighbors and so on,” explains Vladimir. “I like to see how the story shapes up out of the chaos.”

Vladimir Boboshim is supremely talented; anyone who can make an Ikea commercial touch audiences on an emotional level deserves some serious attention and praise, thankfully the numerous awards his productions have received speak for themselves. In an industry where behind the scenes contributors rarely get the attention they deserve, Vladimir Boboshin has managed to make a name for himself as one of the advertising industry’s most sought after editors.

Some of his editing work in the commercial world includes Coca-Cola’s “Olympics,” “Exam,” “Christmas,” “Open Up for Happiness” and “Rucheyok,” Canon’s “Stolen”, “Handover” and “Breach,” 20 commercials for Ikea, 11 commercials for Nestle, four commercials for Road Safety Russia, one of which entitled “Belt” received the Grand Prix Award at the Meribel Ad Festival and the Gold Award at the Road Safety Film Awards, and many more. Vladimir also worked as the editor of the Russian comedy series Univer, where he edited 99 episodes, and the show Nasha Russia, where he edited 74 episodes. He was also the editor for the promo-trailers for the films Silent Souls, High Security Vacation, and The Practice of Beauty.

While Vladimir has developed an effective style in editing commercials for advertisers whose main goal is to sell their products, he is not pigeonholed in his talents, something proven by the vast spectrum of his work. He has managed to create a portfolio of work that is both impressive and diverse, something he partially attributes to the fact that he is from another country.

“I’m bilingual and I‘ve worked with so many different people from all over the world, so over the course of my career I’ve learned to see and understand different visual styles and work ethics,” says Vladimir. “Many Hollywood editors haven’t been exposed to the same variety of international approaches as I have, because here in the US the work is more channeled. You get pigeonholed into a category – like car editor or comedy editor – and then most of your work only comes from those areas.”

As the post-production supervisor of the multi-award winning film Franz + Polina, Vladimir was in charge of overseeing the work of an entire team of editors, a feat he accomplished with ease. The film received three awards at the Avanca Film Festival, the Gold FIPA Award at Biarritz International Festival of Audiovisual Programming, the Golden Frog at Camerimage, the Magnolia Award at the Shanghai International TV Festival, among others.

The ability to successfully manage an entire team of professional editors comes down to more than just being technically astute in the field, it requires a certain type of personality. Being a talented editor by no means equates to being a people person with strong communication skills, but Vladimir is one editor who does happen to have these traits.

He explains, “The most definitive experience I got from large-scale projects was the importance of communication and soft control. With so many creative egos involved arguments are inevitable and my role oftentimes was to channel the argument into a positive flow so the parties involved come to an agreement and everyone is satisfied in the end.”

One aspect of Vladimir Boboshin’s journey as an editor that is incredibly unique is the fact that he didn’t undergo any formal education in order to break into the industry. However, that is not to say that he hasn’t spent years training himself in the tools of the trade, and when it comes to working as an editor in the film industry one must be a master of these tools.

“I never had any formal training or mentoring before I become an editor. All of my studies were on the job in the heat of the moment and there was no one to help,” admits Vladimir. “As for film language, one can learn as much as he is willing to, I think this sphere of knowledge depends on the person. I believe that the real way to hone one’s craft in the industry happens on the job, bit by bit.”

And that is just how Vladimir did it, bit by bit he managed to learn and master the same tools that took most other editors several years to figure out. Vladimir is proof that when a person’s passion is what fuels them to achieve their goals, obstacles begin to seem less daunting and instead become exciting challenges and a means to improve.

French Film Wizard Emeric Le Bars!

Emeric Le Bars
Editor Emeric Le Bars

Although they are never seen on screen, film editors select every single shot the audience sees, a role that holds the power to make or break a project. Something of a film wizard, Emeric Le Bars is among the best European editors working in the entertainment industry today.

Originally from France, Emeric Le Bars has been honing his skills as a professional film editor for more than a decade. The talented young editor has continued to expand on his already impressive repertoire of work since moving to the United States a few years ago.

Le Bars is currently working on a feature film entitled Perception of Art, directed by German filmmaker Roana Wullinger (Moonflower, Rain Day, Brown Bag, Second Date?, Soul Bird). Set for release in February 2015, Perception of Art is a dramatic comedy about a spoiled yet struggling Italian painter who receives an opportunity to bring his art into the spotlight, but to his dismay, the opportunity requires him to collaborate with a cleaning lady. In addition to his work as lead editor on Perception of Art, Le Bars is also working as a colorist for the filmLe Bars explains, “In the film two worlds clash together and the entertainment value is impeccable.”

Emeric Le Bars first met director Roana Wullinger at Smile TV, where he is employed as an editor. Two incredibly talented individuals, Le Bars and Wullinger intend to continue collaborating after the release of the film. They have already started the groundwork for their next project, a documentary that focuses on the lives of children in the Middle East, and Le Bars says, “We want to keep working together for as long as we can!”

While working as an editor for Smile TV, Le Bars has lent his creative talents to more than 15 interstitials for PBS SoCal and 2 segments through the series LAaRT, which highlights the Los Angeles art scene and airs on PBS Southern California. Proving his incredible diversity in the industry, Le Bars served as chief editor and director of photography on an episode of LAaRT entitled “Homeless Karaoke.” He describes the episode like this, “After a day of quietly asking for change, this diverse group of people comes in from the street to hear and be heard.” At a venue that enables the homeless population of Skid Row to lift themselves up through music and companionship, Le Bars admits, “The talent will surprise you!”

Over the years Le Bars has displayed his passion and talent for editing in numerous projects, and he continues to give life to the footage he edits on a daily basis. “I love creating a story from nothing, sharing emotion and feeling,” remarks Le Bars. “There are thousands of ways to edit one video and you choose the one you want. You decide how you want to tell the story and what feelings you want to share.”

In this way, Le Bars accurately describes just how important someone in his position is to the production process, and we look forward to seeing what he creates next.