Robert Martinez interview: ‘Lucy and Desi’ editor
“My confidence for this being the right time and the right crew to do this came when Amy Poehler was brought on as director,” admits TV editor Robert Martinez about his work on the Amazon Prime documentary “Lucy and Desi.” “I knew that me as a male editor profiling one of the most, if not the most, famous comedic actors of all time was a little unnerving. Knowing that Amy was there to confirm any stuff that I thought or call out any possible blind spots that I might have was reassuring.” We talked to Martinez as part of our “Meet the Experts” TV editors panel. Watch our exclusive video interview above.
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“Lucy and Desi” explores the unlikely partnership and enduring legacy of one of the most prolific power couples in entertainment history. The documentary shows the rise of comedian icon Lucille Ball, her relationship with Desi Arnaz, and how their groundbreaking sitcom “I Love Lucy” forever changed Hollywood, cementing her legacy long after her death in 1989.
“History tends to make these people two dimensional,” the editor says. “It makes them these icons or legends. Those words get thrown around frivolously, but we wanted to know the people. Show the more intimate angle of who these people were and the effect that they had on each other.” Martinez continues to explain how they retrieved some of their archival footage, noting, “We had a great relationship with the Lucy and Desi estate, primarily dealing with their daughter, Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill, who is just an amazing person and a very open collaborator. The first thing that catches your eye are the home videos because there is no guard up.”
One major revelation the filmmakers stumbled upon during production was audio tapes recorded by Lucy herself. “Our producer pointed up to a shelf and said, ‘What’s that box?’ and they were like, ‘I don’t know, it’s these tapes,'” Martinez explains. “It ended up being a big reason why this project feels so intimate. Once we digitized those and got to listen to them it gave us the opportunity to tell the story in their own words.”
Martinez was an Emmy and American Cinema Editors nominee for “The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart.” His career has also included “Mole Man,” “The Apollo” and “Pavarotti.”