Cindy Mollo Interview: ‘Ozark’ editor
The third season of “Ozark” on Netflix opens with a scene separate from the main narrative of the Byrde family, but which demonstrates the violence capable of their associate Omar Navarro, the drug lord who first appears in this episode after having been mentioned since the pilot. Editor Cindy Mollo reveals at the top of her exclusive interview with Gold Derby (watch the video above) that this scene was surprisingly almost not filmed. She explains, “There were conversations about maybe not doing it and I just kept saying, ‘I think we need it to set up the really dangerous world that they’re working in,’ because when you get into that casino, you’re so thrilled for them that they’ve built this and this is a real world that you need to understand the stakes.” The Mexico-set scene was originally planned to be shot in Los Angeles, but was ultimately shot in Georgia where the show normally films.
Mollo is a four-time Emmy nominee and was nominated last year for the second season. She contends now for the third season premiere titled “Wartime.” Beyond her role with the aforementioned teaser, she justifies this submission for consideration, “I like the first episode because it sets the stage so well.” Mollo also counts the close of the episode her favorite edit of the season. “The episode was always written to end with Ruth pushing Frank Jr. off the top of the Missouri Belle,” she reveals about the scene that ultimately precedes one with Laura Linney‘s Wendy Byrde “turning her back on her past” by breaking into her former house and wreaking havoc. Mollo concludes, “I thought it was great and it was such fun because the episode had ended with a cliffhanger of like ‘Oh my god, look what Ruth just did’ and instead, it was the last chapter of her previous life, like really firmly saying goodbye to it.”
“If something is too long and my mind wanders at all, then the editor hasn’t done their job,” Mollo reveals as a personal philosophy. Relating this to “Ozark” specifically, she refers to her executive producer and lead director Jason Bateman, “He always likes to feel like what we’re doing is making people lean in, like they’re leaning in to get more of the story to figure it our to see what’s going to happen.” She imparts about her line of work, “Don’t show me something that I don’t need to know to process this story and I’m a big fan — I love gorgeous establishing shots or I don’t feel like every moment has to be words, words, words. Visuals are really important, but do they serve the story? I don’t ever want to waste people’s time.”