Ted Lasso is the guy we would want coaching us in the editing bay.
Ted Lasso’s two main editors, Melissa McCoy and A.J. Catoline, have an incredibly important job to do. Not only do they have to make the pace of the episode match Ted's wit and the soccer game's excitement, but they also have to know when to hold for emotion. Sure, that sounds like the average day in the life of an editor, but on a show like Ted Lasso, there are so many nuanced beats within the story, and the editing has to be perfect for them to hit.
And it has been.
So how do they do it?
“It’s really finding the perfect pitch of comedy and feeling,” McCoy told Gold Derby in a recent interview.
Catoline added, “It’s a show where comedy and pathos meet and it’s about finding that balance. There’s so much more to Ted, we need to take time with the moments.”
For those under a rock this last year, Ted Lasso is the breakout hit from Apple TV+ that follows an enthusiastic American football coach who heads to England to coach a soccer team—I mean "football club." The character is played by the wonderful Jason Sudeikis, who uses the role to showcase his incredible range.
McCoy said that the editing revolves around Sudeikis and that they are always “paying attention to the nuances of what the characters are doing when they’re responding; how these people are affecting one another. We are conscious about their reaction shots: how Ted is influencing the team and how the team is influencing Ted. They are coming together as a kind of family. We really pay attention to how they are interacting with one another. And try to build that familiar feeling of team life, sports life, office life, and real life. It touches on all those aspects.”
That aspect really shines over the course of season one. The editing here is smart and deliberate. We see a genuinely diverse mix of shot lengths and interesting intercuts. There's also a ton of work done to make sure the sound of the show highlights this journey.
Catoline said, “Soccer, like picture editing, is a game of collaboration. The scene in episode two where the stadium chants ‘wanker’ at Ted was just 10 people on a set chanting. The magic of post mixing made that sound like 10,000 people. Our music editors stepped in and helped us with the score. It’s a massive team going from visual effects to music and sound. We are very grateful to be at the center of that, directing traffic. Passing the ball for sure.”
At the end of the day, a show like this can only survive and become huge because of collaboration. McCoy won an ACE Eddie award for Best Edited Non-Commercial Comedy for the "Make Rebecca Great Again" episode. She said that the success of the series “is from the top down. Jason is super involved and always open to ideas from wherever they come. If it serves the story and characters, he’s all about the Ted Lasso way.”
That kind of take is refreshing to hear. The ethos of that show starts in the writing process and makes its way into the editing before we watch it in our homes. Ted Lasso is truly a unique and special show, and I'm excited to see where the second season takes us.
Let me know what you think in the comments.