Bill Turro Q&A: ‘Orange is the New Black’ editor
Editor Bill Turro reaped his third career Emmy nomination for cutting the second episode of the freshman laffer "Orange is the New Black." In "Tit Punch," which we flash back to Galina "Red" Reznikov's (Kate Mulgrew) life before she was thrown behind bars. He was previously nominated for his work on Jenji Kohan's other hit comedy series "Weeds" in 2007 and 2008.
In our recent webcam chat, Turro, taking a break from editing an episode of the hit show's third season, explained that editing is all about the art of visual storytelling or "film grammar" as he calls it. "I always say that editing is constantly chasing the story. I’m always wanting to put the viewer in a place where they’re watching the story. Just tracking the emotion, the tension, the meaning."
For Turro, "editing is rhythm. It’s rhythm of speech, as well as imagery. It’s almost musical, [as] you have to hit the right notes, meaning the right expressions, from the right performer at the right moment to tell the story. And it’s making a composition out of expressions, and the direction of gaze."
He regards his entry as a continuation of the pilot (which he also edited). It was his favorite because it introduced many of the characters and gave viewers their first real insight into Red. He was most interested in showing her vulnerability. "Her flashbacks are always bumping up against the Red in the present, who seems full of steel, and who is cool and in control. She’s got her dominion in the kitchen and she’s got her acolytes that work for her. And what is really nice to see in the flashbacks is to see a vulnerable person. She’s someone who was bullied, and now that she’s in prison, she’s decided that ‘I’m never going to be bullied again’."
"Tit Punch" was also close to Turro’s heart for much more personal reasons. "My mother passed away a week and a half before I cut this episode. I was grieving the entire time that I was working on this. And I feel, when I watch it, that she was with me. This episode is very special to me because when you’re editing, you’re alone in a room, but I don’t feel like I was on this particular one. "
The other Best Comedy Single-Camera Picture Editing nominees are his fellow "Orange is the New Black" editors Shannon Mitchell ("Tall Men with Feelings") and Michael S. Stern ("Can't Fix Crazy"), as well as "Modern Family" editor Ryan Case ("Las Vegas") and "Portlandia" editors Bill Benz & Daniel Gray Longino ("Getting Away").