Terilyn A. Shropshire and Michelle Tesoro Interview: ‘When They See Us’ editors
Editor Terilyn A. Shropshire felt “a huge responsibility” working on “When They See Us.” In piecing together the first episode of Ava DuVernay‘s limited series the veteran cutter had to “introduce an audience to these men” who were more than just the name the media gave them: the Central Park Five. “These are living human beings who endured insurmountable types of atrocities as young boys, and you thought about them every day” that “you were coming into the cutting room.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Shropshire and fellow editor Michelle Tesoro above.
“When They See Us” tells the tragic true story of Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise, known at the time as the Central Park Five, and since redubbed the Exonerated Five. In 1989 the five teenagers were wrongly convicted of raping a white jogger in New York City and spent years in prison and as registered sex offenders before the actual perpetrator came forward, causing their sentences to be vacated in 2002.
Tesoro edited the third episode, which follows their time in prison and then the efforts of McCray, Richardson, Salaam and Santana to reacclimate to society while Wise was still behind bars. “Even though you think that you’ve served your time, there are these extra things that you have to deal with,” she explains, and being an ex-convict makes all of that more difficult, whether it’s finding a job or returning to your family. “I think it’s really important that people don’t forget” that it’s not something you just “get over.”
Shropshire earned an Emmy nomination for her work on the 2002 Academy Awards telecast and won an ACE Eddie Award for the TV movie “Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story” (2005). She has also edited such films as “Eve’s Bayou” (1997), “Talk to Me” (2007) and “Beyond the Lights” (2014), as well as the television shows “Quantico,” “Shots Fired” and “Cloak and Dagger.”
Tesoro has lent her talents to such shows as “In Treatment,” “House of Cards,” “The Newsroom” and “Godless,” as well as the films “Shot Caller” (2017) and “On the Basis of Sex” (2018).