“Sometimes the Craziest Feedback Leads to Some Really Great Ideas in the Editing Room”: Editor Eleanor Infante on Late Night

Filmmaker Magazine | 2/4/2019 | Filmmaker Staff
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by Filmmaker Staff

One of the biggest acquisitions at this year’s Sundance, Nisha Ganatra’s Late Night tracks Molly (Mindy Kaling, who wrote the screenplay), a new staff writer on a long-running late night show hosted by Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson). The film was purchased by Amazon for $13 million. Via email, its editor, Eleanor Infante, spoke to her work on the film, the latest in a long collaboration with director Ganatra.

Filmmaker - How - Editor - Film - Factors

Filmmaker: How and why did you wind up being the editor of your film? What were the factors and attributes that led to your being hired for this job?

Infante: Nisha Ganatra and I first worked together on “Beholder” for the TV series Future States about nine years ago. Ever since, we’ve worked together a on a variety of projects in different formats, from web series to commercials to TV shows and, now, Late Night.

Filmmaker - Terms - Film - Assembly - Cut

Filmmaker: In terms of advancing your film from its earliest assembly to your final cut, what were goals as an editor? What elements of the film did you want to enhance, or preserve, or tease out or totally reshape?

Infante: I felt it was really important to try to balance the various types of comedy without sacrificing the real emotional story at the center of the film. Sometimes, because of that, some great dramatic moments in the film needed to be cut down to keep this tricky balance between comedy and drama, and vice versa with the comedy. So many times a moment played really well by itself but would lean too much toward comedy or drama in the cut. It was truly a balancing act.

Filmmaker - Goals - Techniques - Processes - Feedback

Filmmaker: How did you achieve these goals? What types of editing techniques, or processes, or feedback screenings allowed this work to occur?

Infante: During filming Nisha was watching rough assemblies, which allowed us together...
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