Editing The Long Game with James Crouch using Premiere Pro and Frame.io

The Long Game Still.

Image Source: The Long Game Still.

Based on a true story and set in the mid-1950s, The Long Game is a film adaptation of Humberto G. Garcia’s novel “Mustang Miracle”. The film tells the story of five young Mexican-American caddies determined to learn the game of golf during a time when playing on the same course was prohibited for some individuals due to their skin color. Despite having outdated equipment, with the help of their resilient Latino coach, they created their own golf course and practiced tirelessly and mastered their skills to defeat the wealthy all-white teams in the 1957 Texas State High School Golf Championship. The Long Game is an inspiring film that blends action and comedy while depicting the challenges of racism and discrimination the caddies faced on their journey to the championship, highlighting their victory over prejudice, which broke barriers for many Latino PGA Golfers. We spoke with the film editor James Crouch who used Premiere Pro and Frame.io to craft a compelling narrative that sheds light on a troubling period in American history.

The Long Game will premiere at SXSW on March 12, 2023. See below to hear how James brought the film adaptation to the big screen.

How and where did you first learn to edit?

I learned to edit while attending St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas in 2014. I had an instructor, but I learned most technical things on YouTube, then editing theory through books.

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

I have a workspace that has evolved over the years to be the most efficient for me. Once my AE is done I usually watch a string out of dailies on a timeline and start assembling scenes.

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

I think it was building the scene where JB notices the boys in the cafeteria and all hell breaks loose when he chases after them. It was fun combining action and comedy.

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

This project was blessed with having very few problems. The only issues were linking and relinking certain clips that had different audio attached to them, which was not Premiere’s fault. Files were made incorrectly, and we had to work with them until they were fixed. Relinking them was difficult but my talented AE, Max Schirlo, found a way.

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 just used Premiere. It is my favorite tool and over the years I have become quite proficient to where I don’t have to think about technical issues anymore. I can just focus on the creative part of editing.

Do you use Frame.io as part of your workflow? If so, how do you use it and why did you choose it?

Yes, I love Frame.io. I use it mainly for review purposes with the director and producers. Sometimes I would just airplay my latest cut to my TV at night and watch it back.

If you could share one tip about Premiere Pro, what would it be?

Edit on a fast drive. Raid 0. Trust me.

Who is your creative inspiration and why?

Currently, my creative inspiration is Isaac Hagy. He’s an editor who cut most of Atlanta and has crossed over into the feature world. I really enjoy that blend of dry humor and drama.

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?

There have been many hurdles, but I recently just relocated from Austin to Los Angeles looking for my next movie, and that has been quite a transition. My advice to filmmakers would be to not be afraid to fail. Work on anything and everything. And never stop learning.

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

My favorite thing about my workspace is my wide monitor. I love being able to fit a huge timeline on it.

The work space of film editor James Crouch