Andor Editor Breaks Down One Way Out
Editor Simon Smith breaks down the iconic “One way out” moment from episode 10 of the hit Star Wars series, Andor, in this extended edition of Cut/daily Notes.
Our full conversation lasted over 90 minutes but I’ve edited together a 12 minute video highlighting five key takeaways from our conversation, including an aspect of the edit that I’ve not seen anyone talk about before, plus Simon’s step by step process for blink removal.
If you’re after even more insights and insider info on the editing of Andor, then enjoy the full 45 minute edit of our conversation which is packed with more details and editorial wisdom.
Both of these are below, with handy chapter markers too.
If you’ve not seen the scene in question, then you can watch it here, below.
Simon Smith is a BAFTA and Primetime Emmy award-winning editor, whose credits include HBO’s Chernobyl, Netflix’s Three Body Problem, Help, Solos, The Third Day and more.
Simon has also won an ACE Eddie for his work on Andor.
5 Insights from Andor Editor Simon Smith
What’s immediately obvious in chatting to editor Simon Smith is that he loves editing. He loves doing it, talking about it and helping others understand it. No wonder we spoke for so long!
My favourite part of our conversation was when we discussed something about the “One way out” chant that no one seems to have noticed, and which I only noticed on paying close attention after numerous viewings of this scene in preparation for our chat.
Also if you’ve seen Simon’s interview for the Editing Podcast, you’ll know he has a penchant for using blink removal to control an actors gaze, smooth over cut points and add a layer of psychological intensity to a scene.
In the video above he goes through his process, step by step.
We also discussed why two pick up shots were essential for this scene, how he denoises all of his dialogue and why he won’t cut without Avid Script Sync.
Here’s everything in the video above:
- 00:00:00 – Intro
- 00:00:27 – Pick Up Shots
- 00:02:44 – Dialogue Denoise
- 00:03:58 – Script Sync
- 00:06:38 – One Way Out Chant
- 00:09:10 – Blink Removal
In-depth Break Down of Andor’s One Way Out
As I mentioned above, Simon and I chatted through this scene in particular and his editorial process in general for about 90 minutes. I’ve whittled that down to what I hope will be an interesting 45 minutes for new and experienced editors a like.
Here’s everything you can look forward to:
- 00:00:00 – Intro
- 00:00:20 – Set up to the scene
- 00:00:46 – One Way Out
- 00:04:02 – Explaining the Rushes
- 00:06:57 – Pick up shots
- 00:09:21 – How to ask for Pickups
- 00:11:36 – The intercut footage
- 00:14:10 – Cutting in Whip Pans
- 00:14:58 – Denoising Dialogue
- 00:16:24 – Temp music
- 00:16:48 – No Temp Music for the Showrunners
- 00:17:35 – Working with Assistant Editors
- 00:18:28 – Sourcing Temp Music
- 00:19:53 – Shaping this scene
- 00:20:59 – Holding back the best shot
- 00:21:53 – Simon’s Editorial Process
- 00:22:56 – Script Sync
- 00:27:26 – Scene Cards Part 1
- 00:28:27 – Scene Cards on Whiteboards
- 00:29:29 – Tracking Progress with Scene Cards
- 00:31:08 – Marathon not a sprint
- 00:32:51 – The One Way Out Chant
- 00:35:29 – Blink Removal Step by Step
- 00:38:44 – Other Post Fixes
- 00:40:08 – Removing blinks increases intensity
- 00:41:16 – All editing is manipulation
- 00:42:48 – Outro
More interviews and Insights from Editor Simon Smith
While the editing in this episode of The Editing Podcast puts my time-constrained videos to shame, it’s a great interview with Simon and one in which he articulates his use of blink removal in his edits, and many other things, along the way. Absolutely worth a watch.
Simon is also interviewed along side fellow Andor editors, Yann Miles ACE and lead editor and series producer John Gilroy, ACE in this episode of Steve Hullfish’s long-running and always excellent Art of The Cut series.
We were given our own episodes to work on. There is something that comes from that. To be trusted.
John is also an editor and knows exactly how we all think. He knows if you give something to someone to be proud of and to own, to some extent, they will work their ass off for you.
There are some shows where it doesn’t feel quite like that. It certainly shows where there’s a lot more collaboration and sharing going on.Simon Smith, Editor