March is Women’s History Month, and in this blog series, Avid celebrates some of today’s most talented women editors in film and television. Each week, we’ll explore the careers of female editors who have shaped modern culture with their work. In our first installment, learn how comedy editor Ryan Case makes laugh-out-loud hits with her comedic timing.
Ryan Case is one of those “weird people that knew what they wanted to do when (she) was really young.” From an early age, she made her own movies by editing stories with two connected VCRs. Today, she’s the editor behind the Emmy-award-winning comedy, Modern Family.
Case knows it’s essential “to be funny, and have a really good sense of humor to edit comedy. Because you’re constantly having to make small and large decisions about what is funny.” For Case, knowing what’s funny is all about timing. Having an eye for the beats. Setting the pace. And stopping to let jokes land.
With powerful editing tools that deliver precise visual feedback, Avid Media Composer is integral to Case’s work. Pushing and pulling at a scene. Previewing creative ideas. They all happen faster with Media Composer. And with add-on options like ScriptSync, it’s the perfect tool for working on scripted TV shows that produce hours of footage from multiple cameras.
“It’s really easy to do an asymmetrical edit… You can play with different timings. You can tighten a joke, or give it air really effortlessly… I don’t think that exists as efficiently in other systems,” she says.
From cutting on VHS tapes, Ryan honed her skills and relentlessly pursued telling funny stories through film. Eventually her talent and tenacity landed her a role editing the pilot for Modern Family. Working on the show, Case earned an Emmy Award for editing, and helped the show garner an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series in each of its first five seasons.
Ryan’s career continues to grow. She helped edit the pilot for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and has directed for The Mindy Project. It’s clear that Case has brought some of today’s best comedy television to life. For her, it’s about having a keen eye, the best tools, and just being true to the moment.
“I think comedy editing should be unnoticeable—it shouldn’t be in your face or too stylized. It’s more about feeling natural and feeling comfortable.”
Learn more about Ryan Case and her work on Modern Family here.
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