Quick Chat: Butcher’s Teddy Gersten gets funny with Honda

“Selfie” was the word of the year in 2013, and for good reason; those darn things are everywhere. In early April of this year — April Fool’s Day to be exact — Honda decided to have a little bit of fun while promoting its HR-V automobile.

Honda, agency RPA and director Mark Tripp of Bo’s House of Visual Arts teamed up for HR-V Selfie Edition, which features Ashley, who loves her new HR-V because it’s outfitted with cameras that allow for even more selfies.

Santa Monica’s Butcher handled editorial and VFX and finishing for this “mockumentary” of sorts. Editor Teddy Gersten, who loved having a bit of fun on this one, took time out to answer a few of our questions.

Describe some of your favorite editorial techniques you used on this project.
One of things I enjoy most when starting a project is having the ability to approach it from multiple angles. This project in particular gave me the freedom to explore multiple edits and tell a slightly different story with each iteration. It was a great opportunity for me to explore different tones and performances. My goal is always to find the very best way to tell each story and, in the end, make it a piece that draws (and keeps) the viewer’s attention.

Teddy Gersten

Teddy Gersten

What are some challenges you faced perfecting comedic timing in this edit?
One of the challenges I had, while working on this April Fools’ Day project, was defining how far the client and agency were willing to go with the prank. Ultimately, you want to try and fool the viewer into believing they’re watching an ad for a “real” product. After that, it’s all about the comedy.

For this project we had other cuts that we thought were funnier, but we decided to pull back since it felt like it was infringing on the believability. Being able to teeter on the edge between humor and reality is something that I really enjoy trying to figure out in the editing process.

How does Honda HR-V Selfie Edition fit into the range of editorial projects you work on at Butcher? What are some other projects you enjoyed cutting recently?
We get a chance to work on a wide range of projects that vary in both scope and genre. The Honda Selfie project was great for me because it almost fell in the mockumentary category, which is a genre I really love and have fun working on.


One of the projects I’m currently working on is a short film that was produced by Butcher. Written and directed by David Henegar, the project demonstrates the impact of creative editorial in the filmmaking process. We’ve already had an overwhelming amount of interest from film schools across the country.

Since all of the post for this project was handled at Butcher, how did you establish your internal workflow?
The offline editorial was done in Final Cut Pro, which suited the project well considering all of our dailies were delivered in ProRes LT. Any offline motion graphics/animations, including the end photo montage, were created in After Effects and then recreated in our Flame for finish. More work was then done in Photoshop in order to replicate some of the most common Instagram filters.

What was the last selfie you took?
This morning in the shower.

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