Mon, 20 Dec 2021 11:37:21 GMT
Award-winning offline editor Michael ‘Hooli’ Houlahan has joined the Heckler Singapore roster. Hooli has over 25 years experience working with notable brands such as Heineken, McDonald's, Grab, Olay, KFC, Doordash, 711, Latitude, Mazda, Jaguar, Chrysler & Renault
Hooli has worked with global agencies and production companies including Publicis Singapore, Prodigious Singapore, The Secret little Agency Singapore, Speedtrack Jeddah, Sweetshop Shanghai, Finch and Airbag to name a few.
He has also collaborated with renowned Directors including Patrick Hughes/ Finch, Los Perez/ Division, Justin Reardon/ Royal Budapest, Damien Toogood/ MERV, Husein Alicajic/ 13 &Co Craig Melville/ Airbag and Tim Bullock/ Scoundrel.
Hooli> Firstly I just sit down and watch all of the footage so I’m completely across everything and all the options on the table.
I don’t pay too much attention to the supplied scripts and storyboards or even talk to the director and producer initially. I just put together an edit that I think works best. It’s your best opportunity to bring a fresh eye to the project.
At this stage it’s mainly about structure so again I won’t fuss too much about which take I use but more about the sequence structure. Once I find what works best then I’ll back into rushes and fine tune every shot.
The beauty of not being involved in the production process is you don’t take on board any baggage of the process up to that point. That might mean an actor who was difficult on the day doesn’t come across that way in the footage or a shot that was time consuming and difficult to get might just not work.
Hooli> I was lucky enough to start editing at a time when we were still cutting film and there was a really strong Editor/ Editing Assistant Mentorship. You basically sat next to a senior editor all day and watched them work, ask questions and soak it all in. I learnt a lot in those days, watched a lot of films and asked a lot of questions.
Hooli> It’s everything. If you don’t understand the story and its mechanics then you’re flying blind. There’ll be more than one way to get there and by working closely with a good director you’ll find the way and usually with a lot of trial and error.
Hooli> One of my mentors, Mike Reed always said that being a musician was always a bonus as an editor. Vision has a rhythm in the same way music does whether it be dialogue, comedic timing or literally cutting to music. I’ve had a passion for performing music and immersing myself in it my whole life so I definitely think that has been a plus in my career.
Hooli> I worked on a job for Heckler/ Los Perez/ Division recently that pretty much drew on every skill I have. It was a multi layered, scrolling, FX heavy music video basically. Every shot involved multi layered compositing continuously scrolling through frame whilst singing to lyrics.
I had to invent a way to make it happen in the offline process with a large amount of footage on a laptop in a corner of a studio in Bulgaria. We got there in the end!
Hooli> Creating good working relationships with multiple directors really is the key to be a successful editor in this business. One thing I’ve learnt is every director is different and every director has a different way of working so you have to be flexible about that.
There will always be creative differences in the process and if you feel passionate about something you’ve just got to be diplomatic about it and have a good reason for it. You’re not being paid to say yes to everything and everyone but in the end you’ve got to know when to push and when not to and that’s just experience.
Hooli> Well ever since we went from film to digital having not enough footage is rarely a problem!
I do think a lot of the allocated time in the editing process is taken up going through hours of footage and not enough time is left to really perfect the edit. Yes a lot of footage will give you more options and that’s great if have enough time in the schedule to explore them all so somewhere in the middle would be nice!
Hooli> I had a long successful director/ editor relationship with Garth Davis where we produced some really great work. Clarks 24/7 Clarks and Tooheys Tongue. Tooheys were a highlight and took me from being an unknown assistant editor into the big game.
The director Patrick Hughes has always had fun projects to work on. Probably my favourite was The St.Kilda Film Festival Trailer SKFFT . Ridiculously huge and bloody funny. Air New Zealand Summer Wonderland ANZSW was another highlight directed by Craig Melville starring Ronin Keating. Comedy and Music…. two of my favourite things. And last but not least the French Film Festival Opener FFF is a favourite because well it’s funny!
Hooli> Not really. I think we are still making the same content, it’s just going to different places. One thing that has changed is the different formats required for every project ie) 16:9, 9:16, 1:1 etc..
The durations have probably changed a lot too with more emphasis on shorter length versions like 15 and 6 seconders as peoples attention spans continue to dwindle.
Hooli> I really respect the director Martin Scorsese/ editor Thelma Schoonmaker relationship. What a Legacy of work they have. There must just be an unspoken understanding between them to have spanned such a long and successful career together. The Australian editor Jill Bilcock is another favorite. Moulin Rouge was an editing masterpiece.
Hooli> Well hard for me to answer that one as I’ve intentionally specialised in the commercial world my whole career apart from a multitude of music videos.
I do love the commercial side of editing because it is so eclectic. One week I’ll be working on comedy, the next on a FX heavy production, the next a dialogue piece all with different people in different companies, cities and cultures.
Hooli> Yes a lot and not all of it good. I think what I do is try and remember with every project that I’m here to tell a story and create an edit that sings. The rest is beyond my control.
One thing that hasn’t changed is that excitement of sitting down on the first day of a job and getting my teeth into the next project.view more - PeopleHeckler Singapore, Mon, 20 Dec 2021 11:37:21 GMT