Trends and Insight in association withSynapse Virtual Production

Around The Block with Rooster Post’s Marc Langley

Toronto, Canada
Love brought the British editor to Toronto – but it’s exciting creative scene has stolen his heart

It wouldn’t be too rude to say that Marc Langley has been around the block a bit. These days the eclectic Brit finds himself editing out of Toronto’s esteemed Rooster Post, but his journey has involved a career-beginning stint at one of animation’s forefathers, Wyatt Cattaneo, sometime playing top dog at his own shop before launching the New York office of global editorial company The Whitehouse. LBB’s Addison Capper caught up with Marc to talk editing in different markets, Canadian creative freedom and the lure of love. 

LBB> You’ve worked in the UK, the US and now Canada… Tell us a bit about your journey. Which cities and companies have you worked in and for how long? 

ML> It’s a long journey spanning 35 years, but I’ve only ever have worked for five companies. First up was Wyatt Cattaneo, where I was a runner and then Assistant Animator. I worked on some of the most well known animated commercials of that time. Next up was DGW. I was an assistant before becoming an editor. I really got my feet wet in live action and worked with an amazing bunch of people that I am still friends with now! I then opened The Firm – I wanted to be the boss! And then I hooked up again with my colleagues and friends David Brixton, Rick Lawley and John Smith to head up the then new Whitehouse New York office. Now I’m in Toronto at Rooster Post after moving to the city for the love of a good woman. 

LBB> How long have you been in Toronto?

ML> I’ve been in Toronto nearly four years. I ended up reconnecting with my childhood sweetheart, Vivienne Singer, who I dated when we were 18! I commuted to Toronto for nearly two years thanks to Porter Airlines, but we eventually made the decision that I’d move here. I was very sad to leave New York and the Whitehouse as I have so many good friend and colleagues there.

LBB> In your view, how does the city fare creatively compared to New York and London?

ML> I have to be careful what I say here! I have experienced good and bad creative in all three cities. But Toronto reminds me more of London than New York because of the workflow and budgets. Saying that, I do feel that have a lot of creative freedom here in Toronto. 

LBB> As an editor, what are the biggest differences you’ve found working in Canada, compared with your times in London and New York?

ML> The pros are that I leave at 6pm normally! I’ve also won more awards here, Canadians are very nice people… and I have a beach at the end of my street! One con I can think of is that I would like to be more involved in the audio process. Editors are very rarely invited here.

LBB> What are the best things about working in the Toronto ad industry? 

ML> It’s an evolving industry here and lots of great new talent is emerging from all departments. I hope to be a part of it for many years to come.

LBB> Which pieces of Canadian work you’ve been working on recently have you particularly enjoyed and why?

ML> I’ve been lucky in the short time that I’ve been here in that I’ve been given the opportunity to work on many great projects. I always say that commercials have a purpose – bums in seats and sales, and if you manage to do that we have done our job right I guess!

Molson ‘Beer Fridge’ from Rethink has had huge success, not just in awards but actual beer sales, which is a vicious market.

PanAm ‘Invade’ from FCB was an amazing project to work on for pure scale but it also had a great idea that was executed so well on all levels! It recently won Best of Show in the craft category at the Bessies. I also won Gold for editing! It has also just been shortlisted for Best of Toronto at the 2015 AICE awards on 14 may in LA.

Other Projects I have worked on... VW, Subaru, Lexus, Toronto Jewish Film festival, Coors, TD, Ikea, Hyundai, Canadian Tire, Pepperidge Farm, Manulife, Cadbury, to name but a few!

LBB> How is the role of an editor changing in the digital age?

ML> I have evolved through the industry from being a film editor to what I suppose is a digital editor. And over the years my job has remained the same: to tell a story!

The main difference now is ‘content’ and the huge amount of platforms that are available to show work on. Another big change in the digital world is the amount of footage we work with! Because they can, people shoot so much footage on so many different camera formats – professional, prosumer, iPhone, GoPro, etc., etc., etc. The list is endless. A lot of our time we spend sifting through hours of footage to find that two-second gem. 

Digital also allows the editor to take on a bigger role in sound design and VFX because the tools are much more readily available. I for one always try to widen my knowledge of all the post production stages. I’ve always done sound design and do the rough comps in the offline stage, as I find it helps with the timing of a scene. 

I’ve also thrown a few music tracks together from various loops in my time that have been used.

LBB> Any top tips for ad folk visiting Toronto? Both for work and fun!

ML> In the winter bring a warm coat. Edit at Rooster Post – you won’t regret it! Don’t go see the Leafs (Maple Leafs, hockey team) they suck. It’s a fine town for both work and play.

Toronto has been good to me and thank you Rooster… 

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