Quick Chat: Butcher editor Jason Painter

By Randi Altman

Remember those “Terry Tate, Office Linebacker” spots for Reebok? One premiered during the 2003 Super Bowl and quickly become the talk of water coolers everywhere. Editor Jason Painter won a Cannes Lion, an AICE Award and a Clio for his work on that campaign. To borrow from another sport, some would call that a hat trick.

Painter also has two Emmy noms for his work on the MTV PSA Train. Not a bad resume for a guy who also counts spots for Apple, Chevy, Pepsi, Twix, Visa, Burger King and many more top-tier brands as part of his reel.

Not long ago Painter left Nomad Editorial, after a five-year stint, for a job at Santa Monica post house Butcher, which has been in growth mode recently. We reached out to Painter about his move and his recent work.

How long ago did you join Butcher?
I’ve been working with Butcher on and off for the past five months. The first job we did together was a four-wall package of spots for Toyota. Their space is fantastic and everyone there is such a pleasure to work with.

Have you edited any projects there since arriving?
Yes, I’ve done a project for Dodge Ram and a two-spot package for State Farm (both are pictured below).

DodgeRAM StateFarm_butcher

Why was Butcher a good choice for you?
I’ve always been a fan of boutique post shops. Butcher has a very “family-like” atmosphere, which drew me to them. Plus, the way their facility is set up allows for content to both begin and finish with very talented artists. I also think the interior of their space kicks ass!

What type of work do you expect to be working on most? Spots?
All genres of visual storytelling, including comedy, long-form, webisodic and automotive.

What are you going to be editing on in terms of a system at Butcher?
Butcher has it all (Avid Media Composer, Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere), so I can base my choice entirely on the project. Since I’m experienced on each of these platforms, it’s nice to have the flexibility to choose.

When did you first start editing? How did you get into the business?
I started out as a PA at a production company 17 years ago. I walked past an edit bay and noticed that the Avid interface looked similar to software I used as a graphic design student in college (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.). The production company allowed me to learn the machine and use it to do directors cuts for directors.

Soon after, I realized I needed to find work as an assistant editor on  commercials so I could learn by working under experienced editors. I got a job as an assistant editor and made my way up to editor within a couple of years. Through hard work and some very long hours, I was able to achieve my goal. I owe so much to all of my past employers, for without them, I would not be where I am today.

Is there a film or show that inspired your path to this career?
Oh gosh, too many to name. I guess if there were one artist/director who inspired me it would be Terry Gilliam.


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