It’s true that many filmmakers start out as editors. Industry practitioners recognize that it’s in the editing room that film and TV shows are really made. We’ve all heard the phrase: “That scene was left on the editing room floor.” Well, the editor simply felt that the project did not need that particular scene or set of shots to advance the narrative.
Duane Fogwell, the well-known Australian editor, has left a great deal of scenes on the editing room floor. He’s even had to leave some of the scenes that he personally shot himself on that legendary floor. Why? Because a choice had to be made: is that scene necessary in the overall narrative arc? Editors are faced with critical decisions like this every day. If the producer or director disagrees with the cut, then editors like Duane are expected to give a reason why – or how – the narrative could be improved.
There is a great deal of leeway in being an editor but professionals like Duane know how to present information to network executives. Given the right information and material a seasoned network executive may lock the scene after a few screenings – but, in the more likely scenario – there will be several screenings and it’s up to Duane to convince them why he chose certain shots over others, based on his vast knowledge and experience, before the episode is locked.
That experience did not occur overnight. Duane has over two decades of editing under his belt, along with countless awards for writing, directing and editing. He first established himself as a professional editor in Australia, where he worked on shows such as MasterChef, My Kitchen Rules and Australia’s Got Talent, and later in Hollywood where he has worked on Battlebots, Hyperdrive, Ultimate Beastmaster (3 seasons), Boyband, American Grit, Lip Sync Battle, What the Fit, Cyrus vs. Cyrus, and Dancing With The Stars, to name a few. Since his move to the U.S. Duane has worked for major networks like Fox, Nat Geo, YouTube, VH1, Bravo, ABC, and Netflix. Now as a Lead Editor, major U.S. networks such as Netflix trust him to get the job done on schedule and within budget, while managing to output high-quality and creative narratives.