Northern Lights Editor John Laskas Edits Red-Lensed Promo For USA Network Original Series "PSYCH"


Last Updated: January 8, 2009 5:03 pm GMT
(New York City, New York--January 8, 2009) USA Creative Director Patrick Trettenero and Producer Jonathan Baylis tapped Northern Lights Editor John Laskas to cut a new promo for the USA original series "PSYCH." Announcing the return of all-new episodes, the RED camera lensed promo features principle characters Shawn (James Roday) and Gus (Dulé Hill) involved in yet another charade.

In "Donut Shop," a suspicious Gus interrogates Shawn about the implications of him eating a powdered jelly-filled donut in the middle of a crime scene. An evasive Shawn explains it's a legal requirement for law enforcement agents to eat donuts. As suspicion heightens, the camera pans to the crime scene: a baker's dozen strewn around a body bag where a forensic investigator carefully places each sugary specimen into a plastic bag for lab tests --- Shawn's powdery snack is evidence from the crime scene! The spot concludes when Shawn realizes his tampering with evidence may have gone too far: the red goop on his donut . . . is not jelly!

"At USA we filter each and every promo through the 'characters welcome' brand lens, with the goal of a spot that is funny, unexpected and character-driven. This cut does just that," says Creative Director Patrick Trettenero. "To maintain strong ratings for PSYCH, as well as our position as the #1 cable network, we have high expectations of our creative partners -- from the writer and director, to the stars of PSYCH, to the producer, editor and mixer -- the bar is set very high to both entertain the viewer and draw them into the show. As always, the process of working with John Laskas and Northern Lights was seamless -- even when the unique workflow of the RED camera was thrown into the equation.

Laskas describes the cuts as performance-inspired: "It's a character-driven promo so we wanted to remain as close to the show's spirit and tone as possible. James Roday and Dule Hill make such a great comic duo; the key was to follow their rhythm and do their performances justice."

USA Producer Jonathan Baylis adds, "John Laskas is a fan of PSYCH, and is in sync with the show's energy. His keen eyes and ears got the best takes and performances. He seamlessly cut them together for the best and funniest version."

Reflecting on the collaboration, Laskas remarks, "Jonathan Baylis facilitated a seamless workflow from stem to stern. His sense of timing is great and he understands comedy. Creative Director Patrick Trettenero was very supportive, allowing us creative liberties during the edit, and always challenging us to uncover the best work possible."

The project also presented an opportunity for Laskas to edit RED footage, an experience he described as "eye-opening, worthwhile and seamless." With the jury still out, Laskas knew there was a circling consensus that the RED workflow was more compatible with Final Cut Pro; however, he found the RED workflow to be equally as compatible using Avid.

"Working with RED footage actually streamlined the entire post process from start to finish. We received the hard drive directly from the production company, and file transfers and conversions were a breeze using REDrushes. That seamless workflow spilled into other facets of post including Smoke, where we finished and colored the spot in true 4:4:4 color space. Considering the spot was shot at night, the onscreen results look amazing."

Airdate: Nov 2008

Client: USA
Title: Psych Donut
Production Company: USA in-house
VP Brand Creative: Jason Holzman
Creative Director: Patrick Trettenero
Producer: Jonathan Baylis
Director: Dan Appel

Editorial Company: Northern Lights/New York, NY
Editor: John Laskas
Smoke Artist: Christopher Harrison
Assistant Editor: George Carty
Producer: Jackie Vendetti

Audio Post: Sound Hound
Audio Engineer: James von Buelow


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