Alloy Entertainment recently spoken to TV Editor of the hit CW Network “The Vampire Diaries” Nancy Forner about what’s it like to work on the series, her career, and working on the television series “Buffy The Vampire Slayer.”
TVD: Where do you draw inspiration from in terms of special effects, music mixing, and deciding what makes it onto each episode and what makes it onto the cutting floor?
Nancy Forner: Well, of course for the sad scenes — like when Caroline’s father was dying on “Bringing Out The Dead,” you just pull from your own emotions and then listen to lot of moving songs.
TVD: We loved the music on “Bringing Out The Dead”! Did you have any creative input in that?
Nancy Forner: Well, we have a wonderful music supervisor named Chris Mollere. I called him up and asked, “Could you send me 20 songs that would help in these different scenes?” I sent him the scenes I was referring to and sent me about 20-30 tracks to choose from. I then listened to each, tried them out in the scenes, and picked the one I wanted. Sometimes, I pick my own songs too. But, for that particular episode, he supplied me with a great list.
TVD: You’ve been working as an editor for a while – have you noticed any significant changes in TV trends?
Nancy Forner: It’s definitely growing more complicated but not in a bad way. As as you know on The Vampire Diaries, we have a lot of cutting to finish but we still take time with each scene. We move from one big angle to a very tight angle back to a wide angle. It’s a lot of very beautiful, interesting cutting. Traditionally, old style editing was very formal where you have over the shoulders — you start wide then you go over the shoulder and the camera never moves and there’s nothing very interesting at all about that. It’s like going from a formal Rembrandt painting to Picasso the way we now edit. The editing on The Vampire Diaries, is much more realistic which makes it so exciting — it’s more fractured, less formal.
TVD: Were you a fan of the show before you began editing it and, in general, do you ever watch any episodes you’ve worked on?
Nancy Forner: I have a teenage daughter, so of course I’d seen it a few times. I’ve done editing on other vampire shows before. I’ve also cut a few horror films myself. So yes, I’ve watched. But sadly, I don’t get to watch enough TV because I’m working so much and when I do get home it’s like I can’t watch too much TV after cutting it all day long. You can’t over-saturate yourself otherwise you can’t approach the material with a fresh mindset. You need to come fresh every day to work. So, if you take in too many shows, media, and music you get worn out. At least I do. But I love the show. I LOVE IT!
TVD: It’s such an incredible show! Do you prefer it over Buffy The Vampire Slayer, the other series you used to edit?
Nancy Forner: To be honest, I actually prefer it to Buffy. It’s far more complicated — far more serious and it’s just so beautifully shot. I really loved Buffy but it was a bit silly at times, even though some of its themes were serious. This show has such deep themes that I’m proud that I work on it because I think that it teaches young people or whoever watches it a lot of very valuable things.
TVD: You spend ample hours each week looking at TVD footage and growing familiar with even the most subtle details. Are there any particular themes that stand out you on The Vampire Diaries?
Nancy Forner: There are so many wonderful themes. Well, for starters, the concept of family is an integral aspect of the show and it isn’t just blood family — it’s people that you cherish. For example, the way that Elana takes care of Alaric yet she still loves him and cares for him. And how the two Salvatore brothers, through thick and thin, take care of each other even though they’ve warred with each other throughout the centuries.
TVD: Could you share some juicy details or important themes from your upcoming episode, “1912″?
Nancy Forner: The episode I’m working on right now, “1912,” is all about what it means to be alone and how that translates to different people. I mean, this is a universal theme that anybody at any age can deal with, [namely] being alone and what you have to do in order to avoid solidarity. Moreover, the episode is full of flashbacks — I’d say about 40% of the show takes place in 1912 — and is quite fun. All I can say is that it’s a very, very sexy episode.
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