Job: Video editor
Hebrew name: Sarah Gabriella
Currently living in: Gowanus, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Alma maters: Swampscott High School ’09, Ithaca College ’13
Favorite food: Kimchi
Favorite music: I’m really into one K-pop girl group called Twice
Favorite movie: “The Thing”
Favorite TV show: “The Venture Bros.” on Adult Swim
Favorite book: “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel
Favorite travel destination: Japan
Favorite North Shore spot: Kell’s Kreme, Swampscott
Favorite Jewish holiday: Passover
Favorite Jewish person not in your family: Bernie Sanders
What is your Jewish background?
Both of my parents are Jewish, and I was raised in a pretty Conservative Jewish household. We lit Shabbat candles every Friday, I went to Hebrew school, to Jewish summer camp, kept kosher. Now that I’m living on my own, I don’t keep kosher or go to services as much as my mom would like me to do, but I am Jewish, and I have a mezuzah hanging on my doorpost. It keeps me grounded – I think it’s a cool thing to have a Jewish historical background, to draw from.
How did you get into video editing?
In college, I was learning television production. So my background was in all sorts of different areas of entertainment. I learned how to write a script properly, I learned live direction, I learned what it was like to work in a control room and go to Camera 1, Camera 2, networking skills in production. So when I graduated I had an idea that I wanted to do some behind-the-scenes work in entertainment, but I wasn’t exactly sure what, and I was working as a production assistant, which is pretty common – everyone starts out getting coffee – and I was getting more and more work. I found that I had a passion for creating on the level of video editing, and as time went on I refined that skill, I took a class at the Harvard Extension School to galvanize all that knowledge. I really fell in love with it, and ever since then, I’ve been working in a professional capacity as a video editor.
What are you doing now?
In January, I wrapped up my time with Refinery29, which is an online news magazine for young professional women. Right before the pandemic, I was supposed to start a job at another production company doing some editing work for a reality show, but that was canceled. To step back a bit, when you think of how movies are made, there’s definitely steps to it. First, you got to get a whole bunch of people together to make whatever content they’re making. After it’s made, it’s reviewed by the producers, and then the very last thing that happens to the medium before it goes on air or on the Internet is it goes to me or someone in post-production. So I am the very last step, pandemic or not. I’m the person who assembles the media and makes it pretty. So with my job, and I’ve talked to other editors about this, it’s definitely like we have one sense of, OK, work is not going to come back for a while on a steady basis, because people can’t assemble to put on big-scale productions. Things are all bottlenecked up in production right now, so it’s going to be a while before people like me are able to edit on a more regular basis. I’m able to get by, but the days are definitely longer than they were before – money is just a part of it, it’s sort of the whole atmosphere of uncertainty.
So what are you working on now?
During the pandemic I got into Twitch streaming, which was originally a website for people who play games who share their gameplay with other people who are into that hobby and chat with them. But after the pandemic, some friends of mine were using it as almost a local television network, like public access. They would watch videos, react to their friends, and I realized ‘Oh, I can use this as broadcast software,’ and I started posting a movie night Monday nights on my channel at the beginning of the pandemic, and I’m almost at 300 followers now, and I have about 30 people tuning in every Monday night to watch a movie and hang out, and later in the week I play video games on the channel. We watch samurai movies and movies starring Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune, who Western audiences know from “Rashomon” and the 1980 mini-series, “Shogun.” He was a very prolific actor and I love him – he’s my favorite actor of all time.
How would you describe your personal editing style?
I’m still sort of finding my style. I do very well in series or content that has established style already, but when I’m working, I find that I really like a lot of color, I like a lot of snappy dialogue, I don’t like a lot of dead air, so I would rather work with a scripted show than with reality, with people ‘umming’ and ‘uhhing’ and looking off-camera.