After cutting four episodes of “The Morning Show‘s” debut season, Carole Kravetz Aykanian wasn’t able to return to the editing room for the second season. But she was back behind the monitor for the third installment of the hit Apple TV+ series — which just concluded its 10-episode run on Nov. 8 — and excited to dive right back into the world of the topical drama.
“[It was] delicious!” she exclaims during a recent webchat with Gold Derby (watch the full exclusive video interview above). “It’s a show that I’ve really enjoyed working on. Season 1 — it was a very dear season to me, just because of the subject matter, the #MeToo movement; there were some very profound themes that touched me, and the collaboration with everyone was just wonderful… I’m so happy to be back on Season 3. [It was] very exciting to go back into the world and reconnect with the characters I know — and some new ones.”
Kravetz Aykanian edited three episodes of the season, including the premiere, “The Kármán Line.” This opener picks up roughly two years after the events of the Season 2 finale, which chronicle the tipping point of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020. What did this time jump mean for Kravetz Aykanian? Not only did she have to bring viewers up to speed on what the show’s returning characters are up to in 2022, but she also had to introduce some brand-new faces, including new TMS co-host Christine Hunter (Nicole Beharie) and tech billionaire Paul Marks (Jon Hamm).
“Episode 1 of any new season is always a challenge because you have to pick up where you left [off]. But it’s even more of a challenge when you… jump [ahead] so much and so much has happened, and you sort of have to go on with a new story while you establish where everyone is,” Kravetz Aykanian explains. She references multiple cliffhangers on which Season 2 ends — including Cory (Billy Crudup) confessing his love to Bradley (Reese Witherspoon) and Alex (Jennifer Aniston) being in the midst of battling a COVID-19 infection — that the Season 3 opener had to resolve while also moving the story forward. “How do we do that? I mean, it’s a little hard… We worked on it for a long time, trying to figure out the best way to introduce things clearly, but quickly, then, catching up [with our familiar characters].”
Similarly challenging for Kravetz Aykanian was cutting the intense interview between Alex and Paul in the sixth episode, “The Stanford Student,” which she co-edited with Andrew Gust. Amid widespread concerns following the news that Paul is on the cusp of buying UBA, Alex has her own questions about the tech mogul’s potential ownership of the network and proposes to have an on-the-record interview with him on her show, Alex Unfiltered. After Cory rejects her request, Alex presents the idea to Paul himself, who surprisingly agrees to the interview and allows his home in the Hamptons to be used as the venue for it.
What’s the key to cutting such an interview? For Kravetz Aykanian, the first step was to follow her intuition, so that she could get a general feel for the scene. “That first pass is usually the hardest pass, but it’s the pass where you start to learn about what exists, and you sort of try to get your feeling about the scene and sort of make it your own,” she explains. The next step for the editor was to identify key moments therein and understand the climax to which it’s ultimately building. “In this case, there were different moments. There where moments where [Alex] was pushing [Paul]. And then there were moments when you feel, like, ‘Oh my god, she’s got the upper hand!’”
But those aren’t the only factors that determined how she put together the interview between Alex and Paul. “It’s also based on choosing the right performance. Every take is different, so you have to find the magical moments in each performance, in each angle,” Kravetz Aykanian continues. “Sometimes, it’s also the shots. Mimi [Leder, the director of the episode] had shot some interesting back and forth for a certain moment in the discussion that really worked well… So it’s a combination of the performance, the angles, [and] how you build the rhythm — because it’s a very long scene, so you have to find the way that it will evolve… and [always move] forward.”
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