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Behind the Title: Northern Lights editor Chris Carson

NAME: Chris Carson

COMPANY: New York-based Northern Lights (@nlpedit)

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
My feeling as an editor, and clients have told me they feel the same way, is that it’s pretty nice to walk downstairs and chat with the director, colorist or sound designer, even before a job starts. Northern Lights (which includes Bodega, SuperExploder and Mr. Wonderful) handles everything – concepts and strategy, shooting, editing, graphics, music composition. All the parts can work together or separately depending on the job.

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
Every day is a little different. It could be digging through footage, creating Foley sound effects or brainstorming with clients.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
Each moment matters — one tiny change in a video can impact everything else. And sometimes perfecting the last 10 frames can take as long as putting the rest of a five-minute piece together.

WHAT TOOLS DO YOU USE?
Avid Media Composer and Adobe After Effects.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
Finding a solution that no one else thought was possible. Editing is like figuring out a puzzle – arranging all the disparate images and sounds into something that makes sense. But beyond that, the video has to feel fresh, unique, simultaneously satisfying and challenging to the viewer.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
Sitting still for so long. I think I need to get one of those standing desks.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
It depends on the weather. I work in a room with big windows opening onto NYC and sometimes the light can really be inspiring.

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
I would be writing music.

HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
Not until after college… I had the opportunity to get involved with some friends’ short films.

Mazda

CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU’VE WORKED ON?
I recently cut some co-branded spots for Mazda and NBC Universal (pictured, right). Right now I’m working on a spot for Nair, and web content for Chevron.

WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
Last year I was able to edit projects for several non-profits, including Trickle Up, which helps people in extreme poverty to build their own lives back up. It’s satisfying to get involved in things like that.

DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK?
Yes, whenever I’m at a stage that doesn’t require monitoring audio, such as designing graphics. Right now I’m into a band called Tera Melos.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
Usually the bike ride home gets rid of all the stress. If not, playing drums or wrestling with my four-year-old son will do the trick.

One thought on “Behind the Title: Northern Lights editor Chris Carson

  1. Peter Brown

    Hello Chris.
    I would like to say that your sensitivities as an editor are admirable. I would love to see more of your work and perhaps offer additional resources for your productions.

    Cheers!

    Peter

    Reply

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