GA: How long are you on location for each show?
AB: A week to 10 days
GA: How is the show put together? Do you start with a script?
AB: There is no script on the show. I write the script after we edit it. I decide where we go. I make a list of things I'd like to do there. [The crew and I] are very close -- we're like a band. Before we go, we talk about a look for the show, film directors we might want to rip off -- their visual style -- and music. Hopefully, there's some good pre-production and a little bit of research with a local fixer. But ultimately I decide how we tell the story.
As we put it together, I'm either shaping it from the beginning or waiting to see what our incredibly talented editors come up with and then reacting to that....It's like sometimes the bass player starts the song and other times it's the lead guitarist. It's a very collaborative process and I'm involved as much as I want to be.
Some shows, we'll go into the editing room with 80 hours of footage accompanied by lengthy, lengthy notes and basically an outline for the way I see the eventual episode looking. Other times a whole lot of raw footage goes in and I wait and see what a fresh pair of eyes is going to make of something I lived through. I lived it but fresh eyes might see something I didn't see. In any case, I'm going to see successive cuts starting with an assembly, then rough cuts, and other rough cuts -- there's a constant back and forth, moving stuff around and writing...it takes nine weeks to do the post-production on a show.
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