Kate Sanford and Tim Streeto (‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ editors) on cutting zippy comedy: ‘Editing is very technical, but it’s very emotional’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

“Editing is very technical, but it’s very emotional,” describes Tim Streeto. He and Kate Sanford share editing duties on Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and the pair spill their secrets on how they make the colorful world of 1960 zip along. Watch the exclusive video interview above. 

Sanford agrees with her collaborator’s sentiment about the emotional part of their job. She notes that she takes watching the dailies very seriously because “I have to pay attention to what moves me the first time.” It’s especially necessary in a show as stylized and comedic as “Maisel” for Sanford to ask herself “What do I find real and what do I find grounded?” Streeto chimes in that “there’s a lot of responsibility” to the actors and in showcasing their performances in the best way.

SEE Marin Hinkle interview: ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’

The pair have worked with showrunners Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino on every season of the series. So by Season 3 “we understand the pace they’re looking for,” describes Sanford. That deep understanding allows the editors to help deliver the rapid timing which the series is known for. Still, Sanford adds that “we both put our own feelings, and ourselves, into different moments.” That could mean knowing just the right placement for a pause, a moment to breathe, to make a dramatic element land amid the comedy. The result is a flow that feels natural to the viewer. “You sort of want the audience to arrive at this place where they are breathing in this moment,” says Streeto.

The rhythms of the show grow more complex given the frequent and prominent use of music. In one of the show’s infamous continuous shots, the camera follows a singer as he weaves through bamboo corridors of a tiki bar, past patrons and dancers, before finally landing on Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) and Lenny Bruce (Luke Kirby). “So much of that is timed,” notes Streeto as he describes this added musical difficulty. “It was very minimalist in dialogue, so we were really trying to pump up the sexual attraction between the two of them.”

SEE Luke Kirby interview: ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’

Sanford had a similar challenge while cutting a drag race scene. When a specific song was chosen for that moment, she noticed that the sequence suddenly “had a certain rhythm.” Her job was to meet it. “Music often informs the pace,” she states.

Sanford and Streeto have worked together since a collaboration on “Boardwalk Empire” in 2010. Sanford loves their “supportive relationship” which is devoid of any competitive element. While they generally edit their own episodes (both received individual Emmy nominations for Season 2 of “Maisel”), scheduling necessitated that they co-edit the Season 3 finale, “A Jewish Girl Walks Into the Apollo.” “It was perfect because it was a big one,” admits Streeto. So the prospect of sharing duties didn’t phase the talented pair. “I felt so comfortable handing that over to Tim,” says Sanford of the seamless process. After a fruitful partnership, she thinks that’s the benefit of working with “someone I completely trust.”

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