After starting his career as an editor, Doug Werby transitioned to director as well. He loves when a project combines both of his talents.
Name: Doug Werby
Can you describe what Kaboom does?
Kaboom is a full-creative service production company providing production and post.
What’s your job title?
Director and editor
What does that entail?
Whatever it takes to pull down and execute a project to the highest degree of my ability. It means having a concrete vision from beginning to end and always collaborating with the team. From directing a voiceover session in LA from a remote island off the coast of Croatia to editing at 2am for an east coast 6am delivery. Whatever it takes. I’m an all-in person by nature.
What would surprise people the most about what falls under that title?
That everything I’ve learned in editing I apply to each moment of directing. I started my career as an editor, and it’s about seeing collaborations from different angles and using that to produce creative work efficiently. I believe my strength is in making other peoples ideas better. Shaping the narrative with all the tools and talent available.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
Editing: Cracking open a fresh bin of un-cut dailies in my editing studio when everything is quiet.
Directing: First shot of the first day of shooting.
What’s your least favorite?
Editing: Editing screen captures for app interfaces.
Directing: Late, late-night shoots.
What is your most productive time of day?
After my first cup of coffee at 7:30am til around 11:30am, and then from 8pm to 11pm after a dessert espresso.
If you didn’t have this job, what would you be doing instead?
Origami or pottery, but basically the same thing I already do – shaping things with my hands – but paid commissions are more rarified.
Why did you choose this profession?
It was really the only possible option that made my heart beat faster.
How early did you know this would be your path?
When I was 22 years old. After four years at a liberal arts college, not knowing what the heck to study but always loving film and radio, I made that my focus and, ultimately, my career.
Can you name some recent projects you have worked on?
On the editing front for Kaboom: Campaigns for American Express promoting Wimbledon. This was a “social” project we cut in NYC. It was great fun bringing together celebrity, humor, music, stylized art direction and motion graphics for the small screen.
The Oakland Airport TV edit for Kaboom. This was a throwback to the days of cutting deadpan mockumentary humor. I love this format and working closely with the creatives, we got the most out of the footage. Plus, I love Oakland Airport.
My two personal short films: For the past few years I’ve been parlaying all my skills from the commercial world and applying them to the scripted drama genre. I’ve come up with a series of real-life stories adapted for film that I’m packaging up to present as a whole. The idea would be to create a series of 10 half-hour programs all dealing with kindness. Individually the films have been honored at multiple film festivals.
The first is called No Tricks, based on a gritty, real-life experience of Julio Diaz that unveils a mugging gone good. Two men from different worlds bring change and some unexpected wisdom.
Motorbike Thief tells a real-life incident that happened to Michael Coffin when he discovered a stranger with his stolen bike. So enraged at the sight, he confronts the assailant in no uncertain terms and just when the situation is about to get out of hand, the anger turns empathetic and an unlikely friendship develops.
Do you put on a different hat when cutting a specific genre?
Completely. When editing spots and promotions, I’m trying to tell the most entertaining story in the shortest amount of time while staying focused on a clear message. When editing scripted material, I’m focused on story beats, character development and performance. Performance trumps all.
What is the project you are most proud of?
The work I did as a director with Kaboom for Bank of America via Hill Holiday a few years back for the Special Olympics. Making stars out of unsung heroes and shining a light on how brave these individuals are was a great honor. The films really puts things into perspective and makes you think about what we take for granted.
What do you edit on?
Adobe Premiere Pro is my current weapon of choice, but I would edit on an iPhone, Amiga 500 or a Moviola if need be.
That would be Dope Transitions for Premiere.
Name three pieces of technology you can’t live without?
iPhone, iMac, airplane.
What do you do to destress from it all?
I bike the hills and valleys around the San Francisco Bay Area. I work out as much as possible, and I help my wonderful partner cook and entertain our friends and family. And travel!