By Randi Altman
This past weekend, PostChat’s Jesse Averna, whose day job is editing Sesame Street, won a fourth consecutive Emmy Award for his work on the iconic show where puppets and humans live together with the goal of teaching children about life, math and the alphabet.
Averna is now cutting his fifth season of the 45-year-old show. He uses a mix of Avid Media Composer and Apple Final Cut 7 for editing, but also spends a large portion of his time in Adobe After Effects as well.
In terms of workflow, Averna says, “Roughly half the year is spent cutting individual segments: celebs, spoofs, street stories, etc. The other half is spent constructing those segments, as well as curated work from our library and others commissioned from outside filmmakers, into our one-hour show for broadcast. This will now include a half-hour version of that show for a later afternoon run.” He will edit both versions.
Averna calls working on Sesame Street a dream job. “The content balances being fun, funny and imaginative with being educational, poignant and relevant. Because it is a legacy, I feel a healthy amount of responsibility to make my involvement with it the very best it can be. Between the writers, performers, producers, directors, research teams and post, there is so much love and attention given to everything Sesame Workshop produces.”
Nothing is ever “just passable,” he reports. “It is always our best, and specifically geared toward our audience. Because of that it really is wonderful to be recognized by my peers with these Emmy wins. It is surreal to be awarded for doing something you love.”
While excited about his multiple wins, Averna is also humbled, acknowledging that editing is a hard thing to judge. “Our craft is meant to be unnoticed,” he says. “That being said, I believe Sesame Street‘s post gets noticed because of the amount of work that goes into a single hour of content. Editing is also crucial to our performances. If a cut doesn’t work, then the illusion can be broken.”
Congrats to Jesse! You can follow him on Twitter @dr0id.