I started working with Wanda Sykes and Page Hurwitz at Push-it Productions in 2014 editing comedy-based game shows and stand-up comedy. My passion has always been to work in narrative and a few years later, they offered me the opportunity to edit a Netflix multi-camera comedy they were producing along with Savannah Sweet and Naptown Productions starring Wanda, Kim Fields, and Mike Epps, called The Upshaws.
This was a pivotal moment in my career for multiple reasons. It was my first multi-camera sitcom and I was the only editor on the second season of a hit show (except Episode 5, where I share a credit with the talented Russell Griffin). This came with a lot of pressure and growth but also led to my first three Primetime Emmy nominations in 2023: two for The Upshaws and one for History of the World Part II.
The Upshaws: Part 3 | Official Trailer | Netflixyoutu.be
Coming from a background of editing stand-up comedy made my transition to cutting The Upshaws a fluid one. Multi-camera sitcoms are shot on a soundstage with a studio audience and because they have a laugh track, the editorial style is much like stand-up comedy in the sense that the show is cut fat with room for the laughter to play out and time for the characters to take the laughter in. Single Camera comedy, however, is usually edited in a much tighter manner, with jokes layered on top of each other. The editorial style of The Upshaws is a hybrid of the two: we have the element of the studio audience, however, our showrunners prefer that the edits are on the tighter side, which is a different take on this format. I enjoyed the challenge of landing the jokes with the proper takes and reactions while artfully weaving in the laughter.
The other thing that sets the unique format of The Upshaws apart is that the editor is involved in production as well as post. On the pre-shoot day, I will either watch a live feed from my edit bay or go to set and sit with the showrunners, writers, and the director in video village to ensure we get the proper coverage. Then, I have to rush back to edit 7-9 scenes by the next afternoon for playback for the live studio audience, so we can record laughs. This tight turnaround and making sure I’m getting the best content into the cut while landing the jokes are two challenges of editing this show. Just because I have to work fast doesn’t mean I can let the story suffer, as it will be played in front of a live audience which truly tests the effectiveness of the comedy.
History of the World Part 2 | Trailer | Huluyoutu.be
My experience editing The Upshaws led me to my next show, History of the World, Part II. Just as we were wrapping up our season, Wanda asked if I’d be interested in cutting the Mel Brooks sketch comedy series. Of course, I jumped at the chance!
Coming from The Upshaws, where it was generally just me in the edit bay combined with the multi-camera editorial style, was an adjustment as History was quite the opposite. The culture of History of the World was extremely collaborative. We would screen cuts together as an editorial team and debate how to land a joke better, or which scenes would play best in an episode together. Additionally, I had to recalibrate my thinking to the editorial style of single-camera sketch comedy.
On The Upshaws, we almost always stuck to the script and the pace was much slower. However, on History of the World, the actors in the sketches often would deliver a plethora of improv gold, and finding ways to work these moments into the sketches to layer jokes, was not only valued but encouraged.
'History of the Wold, Part II'Credit: Hulu
This mindset also really paved the way for a lot of creative freedom. Oftentimes, we were re-writing jokes in the edit bay which did a lot to elevate the comedy. Also, being that History of the World is sketch comedy, there is a large variety of sketches in each episode about moments in history ranging from The Russian Revolution to Jesus, Sigmund Freud, and Kublai Khan. This created a unique challenge to build episodes that felt well-balanced. We spent many months as a team carefully structuring episodes, trying to position historical subjects, diversity, and types of sketches with longer or shorter sketches.
The most exciting thing for me about working on The Upshaws was that I grew up watching multi-camera sitcoms. They were a household staple for us, and since my family was first-generation Mexican-American on my dad’s side, it was very relatable to see other minority blue-collar families and their struggles told through comedy. Comedy is subjective, so having that relatability really helps me craft the story and punctuate the comedy in the edit bay.
Similarly, I grew up watching everything Mel Brooks and his comedic style has definitely informed my career in the genre. So when Wanda asked me if I was interested in working on History of the World, Part II, it was an extremely humbling moment that I knew would be both incredibly rewarding and challenging. Working on these two projects obviously paid off, as they earned me my first three Primetime Emmy nominations.
My advice to young aspiring filmmakers would be to start creating anything and everything. With the advances in technology, it’s so easy to take your phone or another device and record/edit a story. Once you learn the craft well, enter your work into as many film festivals as possible and network with like-minded individuals.
Get to know others with the same goals and aspirations. Create together and get noticed. Work hard for low pay at first. If you are truly passionate and put the work in, the jobs and money will follow. Most importantly, don’t have an ego! If your supervisor asks you to bring her coffee, ask her how she likes it. She may well bring you on to the next Star Wars movie.
Angel Gamboa Bryant is a three-time Emmy-nominated television & feature editor with two decades of industry experience. Most recently, she edited the Hulu sketch series History of the World, Part II, starring Mel Brooks, Ike Barinholtz, Wanda Sykes, and Nick Kroll; as well as the Netflix sitcom The Upshaws. In 2023, she was Emmy-nominated for the first time, scoring three Primetime Emmy nominations, including one Emmy nomination for History of the World Part II for Outstanding Picture Editing for Variety Programming, and two Emmy nominations for The Upshaws for Outstanding Picture Editing for Multi-Camera Comedy Series. Angel also has an impressive resume editing stand-up comedy specials for some of today’s most acclaimed comedians, including the Netflix specials: Wanda Sykes: Not Normal; Tiffany Haddish: Black Mitzvah; Ms. Pat: Y’all Wanna Hear Something Crazy, and Stand Out: An LGBTQ+ Celebration, to name just a few.
As a first-generation American, Angel’s multicultural background allows her to bring a unique perspective and skillset to the editing room. Throughout her childhood, Angel spent her summers in Mexico, where she saw people living without the luxuries commonplace throughout America. This experience gave Angel a global mindset and understanding of different cultures and languages. As an expert in editing a subjective genre like comedy, having a diverse perspective has been extremely beneficial to Angel’s work in telling the best story and landing all of the jokes while being culturally mindful.
Angel’s diverse editorial background has shaped her into a uniquely skilled editor who can inject a distinct perspective into the films and TV shows that she works on. Her aspirations for the future are to further establish herself as a trusted editor of scripted TV and feature films and expand into editing different genres such as dark comedy, comedic horror, suspense, and drama.
This holiday season is ramping up to be the perfect moment for filmmakers. Not only do we have some amazing camera equipment to choose from this year, we have also seen some incredible releases from Sennheiser.
From podcast audio tools to on-camera microphones, Sennheiser has taken the next step to ensure content creators, documentaries, and narrative filmmakers have the high-end tools necessary to create fantastic work.
Here are some of our favorite holiday gift ideas to get you professional quality audio, either for the creative in your life or as a gift to yourself.
Sennheiser Profile USB Mic
A good desk mic is worth is weight in gold. Not only is it a great asset in the post-pandemic zoom world, but it's perfect for podcasts where space is at a premium.
The Sennhesier Profile USB Microphone is designed exactly for that. It's a simple plug and play workflow that will get you up and running without worrying about drivers or audio interface units. The on-board controls include gain, mix, and volume, as well as a hand mute button.
With fully featured onboard controls and a rugged metal housing, the Profile USB Microphone Base Set from Sennheiser will elevate your podcasting, gaming, streaming, conferencing, and home recording experience. This all-in-one collection bundles the versatile Profile USB condenser Microphone with a durable metal table stand and a USB-C cable.
While the stand version of the Sennheiser Profile USB Mic is great for the desk, the streaming set includes all the features you need for a studio setup. This is the unit NFS has been using for our podcast for the last few months, and it's been a game changer.
The microphone is the same Profile model but includes a boom arm with integrated cable management. The inclusion of the arm makes the microphone feel like it's defying gravity. Wherever you place the Profile, it'll stay put until you move it yourself.
If you have your own podcast, or maybe just a bit more room on your desk, this is our recommendation. It's been an asset to our team beyond the podcast and deserves a spot in your audio toolkit.
With fully featured onboard controls and a rugged metal housing, the Profile USB Microphone Streaming Set from Sennheiser elevates podcasts, gaming, streaming, conferencing, and home recording experience. This all-in-one collection bundles the versatile Profile USB condenser microphone with a flexible 3-point self-locking boom arm and a USB-C cable.
The Sennheiser EW-DP ME 2 SET is another great tool to have at your disposal. This wireless microphone system includes the ME 2 lavalier and a camera-mountable receiver that uses professional UHF transmission to deliver clean audio no matter how much interference you face.
During our coverage at NAB 2023, Sennheiser was kind enough to loan us this system, but with a handheld 835 mic. The NFS team on the show floor had spent the most of our coverage using a wired mic due to all of the interference, but with the EW-DP 835 SET, our team captured clean audio without any issues. It was like the microphone was wired all along.
The EW-DP ME 2 SET is the exact same thing, but with a lav mic for added versatility. If you're doing interviews, narrative work, or speaking engagements, this wireless mic system is a must.
Purpose-built for content creators, videographers, and newsgatherers looking for a stress-free wireless experience, the Sennheiser EW-DP ME 2 SET with ME 2 Omnidirectional Lavalier is a camera-mountable, fully digital wireless microphone system that utilizes professional UHF transmission to reliably deliver Sennheiser's pristine, broadcast-quality audio directly to your camera.
The MKE 200 is a perfect on-camera mic for content creators and vloggers, especially if you need to keep your camera package as small as possible. It features a shock mount and a built-in windscreen to get you clean audio in any situation.
One of the biggest pitfalls for vloggers to overcome is getting quality audio. The MKE 200 gives you that while also keeping your profile to a minimum, which is excellent for those moments where you don't want to draw attention to your workflow.
Comprised of everything you need to capture steady video and clear audio on a smartphone for your next vlog, video shoot, or news piece, the Sennheiser MKE 200 Mobile Kit is a comprehensive bundle that features Sennheiser's MKE 200 ultra-compact directional microphone, a Manfrotto PIXI mini tripod, a smartphone clamp, two output cables, and outdoor wind protection.
While the MKE mics are great, sometimes you only have a smartphone. While modern smartphones have excellent video, the audio can be lacking, especially if you're in a noisy location when trying to interview a subject or create a vlog.
The XS Lav is powered by a USB-C connector and provides enough cable length for any close shooting needs. If you're a vlogger, content creator, or streamer working with a smartphone, the XS Lav is a must-have in your kit.
And now that the new iPhone 15 Pro Max is out, with its array of production-level filmmaking features and USB-C port, the XS Lav feels like a perfect companion.
A high-quality setup for recording audio straight to USB-C compatible smartphones, the XS LAV USB-C Mobile Kit from Sennheiser is perfect for smartphone creators. In addition to the XS Lav lapel mic, you get a Manfrotto Pixi tabletop tripod that doubles as handheld grip support for on-the-go selfie shoots.
Everything on this list has been a great asset for content creators and filmmakers off set. But for those who need professional quality audio for a production, the MKE 600 Shotgun Mic is an incredible tool to have.
Whether you clamp it onto a C-Stand or have it attached to a boom pole, the MKE 600 is a high-directional shotgun mic that will capture amazing audio and effectively attenuate noise from the side.
The MKE 600's high sensitivity and low-noise circuitry unlock improved sound quality without extreme gain on noisy camera preamps. With a natural roll-off at 40 Hz and a selectable low-cut filter at 100 Hz, the MKE 600 can deliver clear intelligibility while attenuating low-frequency noise such as rumble. Plus, its frequency response incorporates a gentle rise in treble to enhance speech clarity.
For on-location shooting that might be a bit more damp than you're used to, the MKH 416 should be the tool you have in your kit. This moisture-resistant interference tube microphone captures broadcast-level audio in whatever demanding conditions you may be shooting it. Whether a professional film, TV, or location recording, the MKH 416 is the perfect counterpart to the MKE 600.
The MKH 416 exhibits a hypercardioid polar pattern at low to midrange frequencies and transitions to a lobar pattern in high frequencies, allowing it to attenuate 125 Hz to 2 kHz by approximately 10 dB at the 90° off-axis points. Your dialogue, foley, and sound effects can be recorded with full dynamics and clarity, thanks to the MKH 416-P48U3's wide frequency response, enhanced consonant articulation, and high SPL handling.
Finally, our last recommendation is the HD 280 PRO Monitoring Headphones. The NFS podcast team pairs these with the Profile USB for a perfect match. Not only are you getting great sound quality, but the noise isolation is excellent, and the robust build quality means they'll last through production after production.
The HD 280 Pro Circumaural Closed-Back Monitor Headphones from Sennheiser feature a collapsible design with swiveling earcups and extended low end reproduction with a frequency response of 8 Hz to 25 kHz. Rejection of outside noise is high, rated up to -32 dB. Efficient neodymium magnets contribute toward an extended dynamic range and high output. The thick, padded leatherette earcups and adjustable padded headband allow for a precise and comfortable fit during extended periods of studio recording and mixing.
Whatever your audio needs are, this list will have something you'll need. And with the holidays just around the corner, some of these audio tools are also on sale!
Check out the deals above to get any idea for what the filmmaker in your life needs. Or maybe you're just looking to treat yourself. Either way, getting good audio is the most important thing your project needs. Don't rely on something that won't get the job done.
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