With every new project film editor Barbara Landi takes on, she gets an adrenaline rush from the beginning of her creative process. Editing, she can attest, is an essential part of making one’s favorite movie or television show. An editor can edit the same 200 hours of footage and tell five completely different stories. Editing is a powerful tool. It is the key to finding the voice of a story and reeling an audience in. It is an immensely creative art, and with Landi’s background as a fine artist, it gives her a chance to explore that artistry and experiment with her craft. She doesn’t consider herself a technical wizard in any sense despite sitting behind a computer all day. Instead, she considers herself as someone that creates a mood, and that is what she loves about what she does.
Throughout her esteemed career, Landi has shown the world just why she is such a celebrated editor. She can take sensitive material and allow it to shine in an artistic manner, evident with her work on the award-winning film McCrorey Rd. and HBO’s acclaimed docuseries Equal. She knows her way around a documentary and real-life footage, which audiences around the globe have witnessed through her work on Gypsy Sisters, Married at First Sight, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, and so many more.
“Documentaries are my passion and the reason I wanted to be a film editor. Editing a documentary, even if the subject or theme is something I knew about before, creates an opportunity to learn so much more,” said Landi.
It is her strong handle on documentaries and reality style series that makes Landi so sought-after, and why she was approached a few years ago by E! Online to come up with a new style for their wildly popular series Botched, which was already well established and had millions of viewers per season. When someone has cosmetic surgery, it doesn’t always turn out as planned. So, what happens when a procedure is botched? If they’re on this reality programme, they head to renowned plastic surgeons who try to reverse damages from the original procedure.
“Working on a show that has been on the air for that long is always a challenge, as you need to keep it feeling new and exciting, despite the format staying the same. This show has a quick turn around and a lot of footage to go through. Even though it’s a format show, it always requires a very detailed approach for each patient. Every person has their unique reason for having to go through surgery and some of them have lived with deformities all their lives until they come on this show. It’s very rewarding knowing they have a better life because of this show,” said Landi.
When Executive Producer Sarah Kane was looking for an editor to give new life to this beloved show, she immediately reached out to Landi, who is known for her speed and skill in editing transitions, as well as her experience editing promos and trailers, required in fast, music-driven approach. Landi came up with new transition ideas and how to stylize and animate pictures in a new way to give the show a fresh look, resulting in increased interest in a show that had been on the air for many years already.
“What I love about Barbara is her experience as a Promo/Trailer editor and her strong storytelling background from all the feature documentaries. Not many editors can bring these two very distinct talents to the table. Although I have not worked with Barbara on Promo and Trailer projects, it’s important for an editor to have this talent because if she is able to capture a viewer’s attention in these formats which usually run for about a minute or less, than the editor will not have a difficult time cutting footage to make a 60-90 minute movie or 30-45-minute episode for a show,” Kane described. “Promos and trailers are highly important to any upcoming series and movies because it gives potential audiences a glimpse of a bigger project. If the promos or trailers are not done in a creative manner by an expert editor, television shows wouldn’t have any monthly viewers or daily viewers per episode, and movie tickets would drastically decline. We showrunners and filmmakers in general, rely on editors to put images together in such a way that will attract viewers to keep watching our produced work.”
Landi has been working on Botched for several years now, with her most recent episode airing in May of this year. She brought new life to the project, and is extremely proud of her work showcasing people going through such a major life event.
There is no doubt that Landi will continue to be a force in the industry for many years to come. She has a lot on the go at the moment, with an already decorated resume. For those looking to follow her footsteps in editing, she encourages you to be versatile and determined, just as she is.
“Get ready for a lot of hours of work. It isn’t easy. Try to edit for as many industries as possible. Do not get boxed into one. I think I am the editor I am today because I edited everything early on in my career, the good, the bad and the ugly. Lots of corporate videos, lots of indie pictures, lots of music videos, trailers and commercials. I can do it all because I edited it all. Some editors can only do one genre, but by knowing how to edit for different genres, you will have so much more to offer,” she concluded.