From highly popular animated comedy Big Mouth comes the spinoff Human Resources, season one of which is currently streaming on Netflix. The COVID pandemic has given way to more animated content uniquely suited to a time when many live action productions have been delayed. The series follows Lovebugs, Hormone Monsters and a parade of other creatures as they juggle romance, workplace drama and their human clients' needs.
Editor Felipe Salazar, who received an ACE Eddie Award nomination for his work on Big Mouth, used Adobe Premiere Pro to edit the hilarious spinoff.
PH: Hi Felipe! How long have you been working as an editor? Were you always interested in this career path?
Felipe Salazar: I started my editing career in 2003 while I was attending film school. I was fortunate to find a job in the automotive industry editing car commercials and training videos. Here I learned how to professionally use all the software and hardware that was available at that time. After graduation, I made the change from the automotive industry to animation. I have always loved editing, but actually debated being a camera operator. I love cameras and optics.
PH: Who would you say are some of your professional influences?
Felipe Salazar: The Star Trek universe has influenced me the most. That world covers so many genres, from sci-fi, action, drama, or even period pieces. The options for story telling are endless. Another big influence was Tom Savini. When I was young, I was fascinated by his make-up effects book, it is what made me want to work in "showbiz." I should add that I love all forms of storytelling, this includes comic books and video games.
PH: When it comes to choosing projects to work on, is there a specific approach or criteria you use?
Felipe Salazar: I have to be into the product that we are making. There is nothing worse than working on a project that you cannot relate to. I've been fortunate to work on amazing shows with amazing people. That always comes before a bigger payday if that option is there.
PH: Congrats on your success (and ACE Eddie Award nomination!) on Big Mouth! How excited were you to hear about a spin-off?
Felipe Salazar: Thank you, it was great to have animation represented! I was excited when the spin-off was announced. It's a great world that we have created, the plot of the show is relatable to so many people. Just like the audience, I too wanted to see this world where the Hormone Monsters come from. The show is great!
PH: Can you talk about your creative approach to editing the spin-off Human Resources?
Felipe Salazar: To be honest the creative approach didn't change much. It's the same universe as Big Mouth, so it felt like we were all continuing the same journey. What did change was the Covid lockdown. We had to move to working remotely. That definitely changed the entire pipeline. Even getting recorded dialogue from the actors was difficult at this time. We were working with low quality audio that we later replaced with properly recorded audio. We had to be creative with these changes as we had already animated to the lower quality temporary audio. We made it work well!
PH: How would you describe your editing technique? And how has that evolved over the years (and projects you've worked on)?
Felipe Salazar: I don't second guess myself, I make my editing decisions and move on. I use my gut instinct. If something feels wrong, it probably is. Over time I learned to pick my battles. What note or decision will actually help the project the most, while still moving forward. Somebody else has a job to do after my editing portion is complete. The post production pipeline continues with color correction, mixing, etc.
PH: What was it like using Adobe Premiere Pro? How does it help you achieve exactly what you're looking to accomplish?
Felipe Salazar: I like using Adobe Premiere Pro, it's stable and easy to work with. We use it from start to finish. We can share the projects with other editors flawlessly. It also works great with third party applications such as Magic Bullet Looks and Sapphire. We also use custom scripts for labeling, and exporting files needed in our pipeline.
PH: Did you encounter any challenges? How did you resolve those?
Felipe Salazar: When the pandemic lockdown hit, we were in the middle of a season. We had to figure out how to make this work from home. We figured out a file sharing system that was safe and stable. We also found an application called Evercast. This allowed us to stream live edit sessions with directors and executives watching on the other end. We could hit notes or make changes live on the fly.
PH: Care to share any upcoming projects you're working on?
Felipe Salazar: Big Mouth season 6 and 7 are in the works, as well as Human Resources season 2. I'm excited to continue working on this project and see how all the stories evolve!