‘Loki’ Editors on Bringing the TVA to Life | The Rough Cut

by Ankit Verma | Jul 20, 2021

The God of Mischief has got himself into a bit of pickle after unknowingly causing the sacred timeline to branch out into a multiversal frenzy. The Rough Cut host, Matt Feury interviews a trio of Loki editors, Paul Zucker, ACE, Emma McCleave, and Callum Ross on their experience working on the hit Marvel show, which just wrapped up its Season 1 finale.

Read More: ‘Black Widow’ Editors on Marvel’s First Feature-Length Film in Two Years

Listen to the full interview 👇

The Rough Cut is also available on:

Key conversations

Editing a pilot that isn’t a pilot

ZUCKER: This wasn’t a pilot in the classic sense that we’re starting cold. Almost any Marvel project to a degree, we’re all stepping into a continuum. It’s already in progress in a way. In some ways that’s like a sequel, right? I had something to reference. So, in terms of Tom’s performance, it is very important to know this was a 2012 version of Loki, not Ragnarok Loki. So knowing that, familiarizing myself with what that performance felt like in Avengers informed the performance choices I made in episode one. And then as far as having material available to me from other MCU films. Yeah, we all have that.

Kate Herron’s workload

ZUCKER: I mean, it was inhuman what she [Kate Herron] had to carry. Six hours of material, all in various stages. I mean, at times, she’s writing the scripts in pre-production, production and post-production all at the same time, which is not that uncommon in television. But to have the scope of this show, the budget of this show, the visual effects shot count of this show, in one director’s hands is pretty uncommon. So her time is so highly scheduled, and was sliced into half hour increments.

Feature Length V Episodic

FEURY: What’s your take on Loki being more of a six part feature than an episodic series?

MCCLEAVE: I definitely agree with that. I definitely feel that it’s very much a six-part feature. Iit didn’t feel that different, to be honest, to the features. The visual effects are the same, the expectations were the same, the quality of what we were receiving in the cutting room is the same whether that be cinematography, costumes, makeup, lighting, production design—all of it was the same.

Miss Minute’s Animated TVA Intro

ZUCKER: That was an interesting one, because it was scripted. Obviously, that script changed up until the last minute, it was written and rewritten as we figured out what the exposition needed to be and how we wanted to say it. A lot of pressure on that one, because we were laying out some rules for the multiverse that are going to be, you know, relevant for the next how many films and TV shows?

Kate knew she wanted to do a cartoon there. But beyond that, there wasn’t a lot of direction. There was no art for that, as I recall. Beyond the cartoon and some tonal notes about keeping it in the mid 50s/60s vibe of the TVA, we’re kind of on our own. So together with my assistants, we created that out of stock footage. We created that out of Disney live action short films from the mid 50s. Ames office films from the early 60s, UPA cartoons, cobbled together for a couple other sources that we found. And it was temped with things like Bernard Herman scores that feature the theremin from The Day the Earth Stood Still. And sound effects and scratch tracks recorded by assistants. Ultimately, that became the blueprint, though, for what you see in the episode, which was hand-drawn animation.

*Portions of the key conversations have been edited for length and clarity. 

🎙 The Rough Cut Podcast

The Rough Cut is sponsored by MASV, the fastest way to send and receive massive video files. Send uncompressed dailies, locked pictures, DCPs, and more with MASV. Sign up today and receive 100 GB free towards your next transfer.

Need to Send Large Files?

Create a free MASV account to get started

The Suicide Squad Editors on Constantly Being Surprised by James Gunn | The Rough Cut

From the hilariously deranged mind of James Gunn comes the new (and improved) The Suicide Squad—a zany and unpredictable anti-hero adventure that...

Social Media Video Specs for Filmmakers

Say you’ve just finished a short film or put together an edit from your recent vacation. It’s only natural that you'll upload the video to social...

Framing Britney Spears Editors on Documentary Storytelling | The Rough Cut

As the legal battle between Britney Spears and her conservatorship rages on, and the #FreeBritney movement grows stronger, its clear that The New...

Digital Imaging Technician (DIT): The Unsung On-Set Heroes

Keith Putnam is a video production professional who has spent the past several years as a Digital Imaging Technician (DIT) and second unit Director...

TIFF 2021: An Interview with Adam Schoales, Video Producer at Toronto International Film Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world; attracting thousands of attendees every...

‘Loki’ Editors on Bringing the TVA to Life | The Rough Cut

The God of Mischief has got himself into a bit of pickle after unknowingly causing the sacred timeline to branch out into a multiversal frenzy. The...

‘Black Widow’ Editors on Marvel’s First Feature-Length Film in Two Years | The Rough Cut

What better way to kickstart the appetite for cinema with a new entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe? After being shelved for a year due to the...

360 Video: Understanding Immersive Videos in 2021

360 video is a recording that include views from every direction, all shot at the same time, using a rig of multiple cameras or an omnidirectional camera.

‘In the Heights’ Editor, Myron Kerstein on Finding Balance when Cutting a Musical | The Rough Cut

In the Heights is not your traditional Hollywood musical. Song and dance aren’t so much a ‘musical number’ as they are a state of being for the...

What to Consider When Managing Submissions for Your Film Festival

Film festivals provide a captive audience unlike anything most independent filmmakers have experienced, with the winners elevating their profile...