Sharing editing secrets with Inside Job editor Molly Yahr

Inside Job Still.

Image source: Netflix.

Lizard people? The moon landing? These are just a few of the conspiracies that Reagan Ridley, a socially awkward genius, and her team work to keep secret in Netflix’s Inside Job.

While we won’t spoil which conspiracies are real and which are fake in this comedic series, we were able to speak with Inside Job’s editor, Molly Yahr, who spilled a few of her editing “secrets” on how to best use Premiere Pro and Audition to bring an animated series to life.

How and where did you first learn to edit?

When I was applying to film school, I needed to submit a short film. I sat down to edit together my piece and looked up after what felt like 5 minutes to find out that 5 hours had passed. I became obsessed with the hypnotic, meditative quality of editing and quickly chose that as my focus at school.

How do you begin a project/set up your workspace?

The first thing I do is make sure I have all my keyboard and workspace presets imported. I am very particular about that! I have pre-made workspaces for picture editing, presenting, retakes, and audio editing. I pretty much always use the same set of bins so I get those set up next and then I'm ready to import media.

Tell us about a favorite scene or moment from this project and why it stands out to you.

In Episode 9, “Mole Hunt”, we have a climactic fight scene in the last act. Even though it's a fast paced scene, in storyboards it felt like it was slowing down the general pace of the episode. I decided to put some temp disco music under the scene and it changed everything. The music drove the scene forward and helped us decide what shots to cut and which to keep. It really indicates the power of how simple editorial changes can bring a whole scene together.

What were some specific post-production challenges you faced that were unique to your project? How did you go about solving them?

We have a very pared down post production staff with only a couple of technical directors (TDs) able to assist with retakes. But, as with every show, we still want our show to come out looking as good as possible. Using effects within Premiere Pro, I was able to assist in the retake process and handle fixing issues in the 2D animation that would be impossible on other projects.

What Adobe tools did you use on this project and why did you originally choose them? Why were they the best choice for this project?

I mainly use Premiere Pro and Audition for this project. I love Premiere Pro for its speed. I can be incredibly nimble and fast with my edits, imports and exports. I'm also personally obsessed with Audition. It works seamlessly with Premiere Pro and allows me to do really specific inter-frame audio edits pre-mix and really customize my audio effects.

What do you like about Premiere Pro, and/or any of the other tools you used?

Speed! The ease at which I can import and export media is essential to a fast-paced TV pipeline. I also like how customizable it is. You can map a million different keyboard shortcuts and use so many different color labels. Using those simple functions, I've been able to very specifically customize Premiere for any unique needs of a new show.

What’s your hidden gem/favorite workflow tip in Adobe Creative Cloud?

The existence of Audition! When I'm editing a piece of dialogue or music that needs some extra attention, I go to “Edit Clip in Adobe Audition”. There it creates a new piece of media stored right next to the original, and I can go ahead and make whatever changes I need to that will then immediately be reflected on my timeline.

What’s the toughest thing you’ve had to face in your career and how did you overcome it? What advice do you have for aspiring filmmakers or content creators?

People don't know what an animation editor is and what we can do, even in the animation community. Spending the first six months getting the showrunner to trust you and showing them how much you can actually accomplish in editorial is the biggest hurdle on any production. I would tell anyone starting out in this field to not be afraid to show off your talent and speak up for yourself. Very rarely will anyone else do that for you.

Share a photo of where you work. What’s your favorite thing about your workspace and why?

While working from home when I needed to increase my workspace, I got this giant tabletop from Ikea, and it has been a life saver. I also love my apple box-turned-footstool. It helps to keep my back from hurting during particularly long edit days.

 Molly Yahr Workspace.

Image Source: Molly Yahr.

Inside Job is now streaming on Netflix.