Promoting sex positivity in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
Image Source: Searchlight Pictures.
Making its debut at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, follows retired and widowed teacher Nancy Stokes (two-time Academy Award winner Emma Thompson) as she embarks on a post-marital sexual awakening searching for adventure. She meets sex worker Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack), who draws on his skills and charm, and together they find a surprising human connection.
We went behind the scenes of the entertaining and thought-provoking comedy with editor Bryan Mason. Bryan tells us why he chose to edit in Adobe Premiere Pro, his favorite scene, and the challenges of crafting an exciting story while the characters remain in the same room. Continue reading to hear more about how Good Luck to You, Leo Grande came to life!
How and where did you first learn to edit?
I first came across editing as a teenager. I grew up skateboarding and one summer a group of us hired a camera and filmed ourselves for a couple of weeks. Just before we had to take the camera back, I took the tapes and put together a very rough edit of a skateboarding video, working from the VHS-C camera to a VHS deck, play record, pause, cue, play-record style. It was both infuriating and exhilarating in equal measures.
How do you begin a project/set up your workspace?
I edit standing up, I made the transition to a standing work station about 5 years ago and it really changed things in a great way for me. Once your body is used to it, which can take a couple of weeks, you can finish a 10/12 hour work day and not be physically wrecked. In fact I often finish an edit day mentally taxed for sure but physically fine, which is in stark contrast to my experience with editing sitting down.
Tell us about a favorite scene or moment from this project and why it stands out to you.
There is a dance sequence just before the middle of this film which is a real highlight for me. We meet Nancy, the main character of this film in a really wound up nervous space and the charming character of Leo is constantly trying to put her at ease and find a way to support her relaxing and unwinding. We go from quite a stilted controlled feeling film into a freer feeling sequence where Nancy starts to relax, it’s a lovely scene and was a fun one to achieve.
What were some specific post-production challenges you faced that were unique to your project? How did you go about solving them?
This film is ostensibly a two hander, two people in one room for 80 percent of the narrative, so keeping that interesting and amusing was certainly the biggest challenge in the making of this project for me. Thankfully, Sophie Hyde the director elicited two magnificent performances from our stellar cast. Then, it was a matter of trusting the material in the edit and letting it play out in a way which was true to the intention of the script and honoring the best of what the actors offered.
Image source: Searchlight Pictures.
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 cut this film on Premiere Pro and have been editing with Premiere Pro for 7 years now. I really like the functionality and how easy/intuitive it is to use.
What do you like about Premiere Pro, and/or any of the other tools you used?
I like how customizable the workspace is and keyboard layouts. It really makes setting the interface up in a way that makes sense to you and in a way you want to use it easy.
What’s your hidden gem/favorite workflow tip in Adobe Creative Cloud?
I am not sure how hidden it is, but I really like the match frame function, I use this often.
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?
I take inspiration from so many sources honestly, from photographers, Instagram filmmakers, high end feature films, television series, but the thing which inspires me most is collaboration — finding people who you like working with and who you can share the generation of ideas and solutions to creative problems. I find this an endless source of inspiration.
Share a photo of where you work. What’s your favorite thing about your workspace and why?
We shot this film in the UK in the middle of the COVID lockdowns, and upon return to Australia, the director and I had a 14-day quarantine in a hotel room. We decided to get an editing suite delivered and set up a makeshift work space.
Image source: Bryan Mason.
Image source: Searchlight Pictures.
Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is currently streaming on Hulu.