July 27, 2018

The Reality of Editing Unscripted TV: How an Emmy-Winning Editor Crafts 'Life Below Zero'


Navigating the world of unscripted reality television requires creativity, ethics, and sometimes, knowing when to jump ship.


When Matt Mercer hit the streets after college, he was hustling to make his own documentaries. Eventually, with no money and credit cards blowing up, he realized he needed a decent paying gig. A friend offered him a spot as an assistant editor on a reality show.



After working his way up and falling in with what he describes as a “really good group of people at the BBC,” Mercer and the other three editors on Life Below Zero won the Emmy for Outstanding Picture Editing for an Unstructured Reality Program in 2017, and have been again nominated for the award this year. “We like to call ourselves unscripted, because reality is kind of a bad word,” said Mercer to No Film School. “There’s the external connotation of Reality, being shows about people like the Kardashians. We like to think of our show as something that’s doc style.”

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Source: NoFilmSchool

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