What does it mean to be a complete editor? Well, to Victor Jory, it means being “one part musician, one part painter, and one part construction worker.”
As the Head of Editorial at The Mill L.A., Victor has built his career on this recipe. There’s a constant tension between collaboration, creative expression, and the ever-looming timeline, but he seems to have a healthy perspective on balancing all three. Through his work with the iconic studio, he’s helped shape countless visions for clients of all kinds. All of this while managing one of the best editorial teams in the world. Victor also edited the Emmy-nominated Title Sequence for True Detective. The Mill and Antibody collaborated with Nic Pizzolatto to create the opening title sequence for the long-awaited third season of HBO’s series.
We had the chance to talk to Victor about building an editorial career, the fastest way to improve your skills, and his more-than-reputable family tree (seriously, his grandfather was in Gone with the Wind.).
Here’s our conversation with The Mill’s Victor Jory on the art and craft of editing:
Filmsupply: Is there a specific movie cut that inspired you to be an editor?
Victor Jory: That’s a great question. When I was very young I saw a Paul Newman movie called The Hustler. He plays this pool shark named Fast Eddie and it’s his dream to be the best pool player in the world. There are successes and failures, but he eventually finds his way. Midway through the film there is a scene at a bar where a character played by George C. Scott is chatting with Fast Eddie. In that scene there is a cut and, frankly, it’s just a bad cut. It’s not a good cut. For some reason, it stood out to me then and it stands out to me now. It made me watch the movie again and again. At 11 years old, I was fascinated by what I considered a mistake. I just wanted to understand why it didn’t work, and why they left it in.
Speaking of your childhood, you had quite the artistic upbringing.
I come from a family of creative people. My grandfather was an old movie actor. I grew up watching all of his stuff and my dad always had his movie posters on the wall. My grandmother was in the movies, too, and was lesser known. But, she was considered a better actor in many regards. Then, my father went into the theater and became one of the country’s top artistic directors. He produced something like 2,000 plays for the American stage and has published something like 80 plays himself.
So, I grew up in a house where you just made stuff. No one was called an artist. You just made stuff. I got really into painting and music and eventually made my way into film school.
Why did you land on editorial work, specifically?
I think it’s because it requires a lot of everything and I like a challenge. You have to know storytelling, understand cameras, lensing, blocking, and performance. When you’re blocking out a full CGI spot, you have to understand a wide swath of everything. The buck does not stop with me, but I’m part of a creative process to develop a story and see it through to the high standards that The Mill has set for almost 30 years now. I use all of those disciplines everyday.
Check out the full article here.