David Fincher's Motion Picture MANK

Watch: MANK Editor Kirk Baxter, ACE, Discusses Editing the Oscar-Nominated Film

Join Adobe for an exciting discussion with the editorial team from Netflix’s MANK featuring special guests Kirk Baxter, ACE, first assistant editor Ben Insler, and assistant editor Jennifer Chung. The team goes behind-the-scenes of the critically-acclaimed, Oscar nominated film to share their creative editing process and collaborative workflows for in-house VFX. Learn how they crafted a modern-day homage to one of the most celebrated films of all time, and overcame the challenges of a remote workflow using Premiere Pro Productions and After Effects.

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KIRK BAXTER: Kirk Baxter, ACE, has been recognized with Academy Awards for his work on THE SOCIAL NETWORK and THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, an Academy Award nomination for THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON and multiple nominations from the American Cinema Editors. The Australian native is a long-time collaborator of David Fincher, including five of the director’s films and two of his series, MINDHUNTER and HOUSE OF CARDS.

BEN INSLER: Ben Insler currently works as a feature film assistant editor in Los Angeles, most recently on David Fincher’s MANK. He has previously assisted on television series, documentaries, and commercials, as well as edited for television, independent features and numerous shorts.

JENNIFER CHUNG: Jennifer Chung is an assistant editor working in Los Angeles. Originally from the midwest, she graduated with a BFA in Cinema Art + Science from Columbia College Chicago. She works in scripted tv and film, most recently on the “Blindspotting” series and David Fincher’s “MANK”. Along with assisting, she has also edited numerous shorts, music videos and promotional content.

Panel Participants:

  • Moderator: Meagan Keane, Principal Product Marketing Manager for Professional Film & Video at Adobe
  • Panelists
    • Kirk Baxter, ACE, MANK Editor 
    • Ben Insler, MANK First Assistant Editor 
    • Jennifer Chung, MANK Assistant Editor

Kirk Baxter, Editor

  • On how Premiere Pro has evolved since he first used it on Gone Girl in 2014: “The main thing that I notice is that it’s just easier to work amongst multiple projects and it’s faster to open, and upload, everything has become much faster and much simpler in terms of accessing things. In that [Adobe] has really perfected what they’re doing.”
  • On why his team continues to use Premiere Pro: “It’s effective and it’s working and Adobe and the guys on [the Premiere Pro team] have gone out of their way to be helpful partners with us. There’s a lot to be said for that.”
  • On the keystrokes he uses in Premiere Pro: “It speaks to the way [Premiere Pro] is set up, to be able to work in whatever your method is. Everybody seems to have their own method.”
  • On editing remotely in Premiere Pro: “Because I live in a somewhat naive world, or perhaps selfish world, I wasn’t aware of the complexities of what was set up. Therefore, I never fully appreciated how seamlessly [Premiere Pro] worked, because from my perspective and Fincher’s perspective it was seamless.”

Ben Insler, First Assistant Editor

  • “We can address [technical hiccups or set breakdowns] so quickly because of these tools that essentially let us automate what is the very tedious process of getting all the dailies in and aligning them with multicams and getting them all organized…Premiere lets us be very fast with that too, because it will just take this XML and let us shuffle things around quickly.”
  • “This was our first time using Productions [in Premiere Pro]…that was really powerful for us. It let us work a lot more efficiently when it came to things like project size and the number of items in a project and the way that we stayed organized.”

Jennifer Chung, Assistant Editor

  • “One of the things that gives us the flexibility and efficiency within visual effects is using Dynamic Link [between Premiere Pro and After Effects] and that’s a huge part of our workflow because of the volume of the temp work that we’re doing. That allows us to seamlessly go into After Effects and do whatever work we need to do, whether that’s splits or stabilization or rotoscoping or removing any equipment, and then we can jump right back into Premiere and render that and have that in the timeline.”


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