Harley Quinn Season 3 Hilariously Illustrates Navigating a Healthy Adult Relationship

Image source: Andy Young.

In Season 3 of the Warner Bros. Animation harley quinn, audiences experience a new side to Harley Quinn as she and her girlfriend, Poison Ivy, try to navigate the ups and downs of a healthy adult relationship. Like any supportive girlfriend, Harley pushes Ivy to revisit her old passion project of ecoterrorism to stop climate change and save the earth. As Ivy strengthens her own plant powers, Harley also sees her own independence and power grow, now that she’s no longer under the thumb of her ex-boyfriend the Joker. harley quinnis a hilarious and vulgar animated series that explores important topics with comedic ease, leading to a highly entertaining spectacle.

Andy Young, editor of harley quinn season 3, shares his experience editing this series, including how exciting and daunting it was to work on an animated project with such well-known iconic characters for the first time. He also dives into his creative workflow using Premiere Pro to edit the series, as well as After Effects, Photoshop and Audition to work with titles, overlays, effects and mixing.

How and where did you first learn to edit?

In college, I spent a lot of time editing anime music videos in Windows Moviemaker (because I was very cool at that age). In high school I started doing sketches with my friends for morning announcements in iMovie, then in film school I used Final Cut 7 a lot, Avid, and of course Premiere Pro, which became my reference.

I originally wanted to be a writer/director, but one day I realized that I was only writing to have something to direct, and I was only directing to have something to edit. After graduation, I cut out the middleman and went on to become a professional film and TV editor (which admittedly didn’t leave me feeling very cool).

Andy Young Full Timeline.

Image source: Andy Young.

How do you start a project/set up your workspace?

I place great emphasis on project organization – my bins are clean and categorized, and my timeline assets are clearly divided into tracks (e.g. keeping Dialogue, Music, and SFX in their own separate groups). This is all about being able to work as fast as possible, but also making sure it’s foolproof for anyone to find what they’re looking for in my project/timeline, whether it’s me or another editor on the team of publication that must take place.

As far as workspace layout goes, I usually keep all my bins, effect windows, and screens on my left monitor, letting the right be just my timeline – or timelines if I want to have my main timeline in up and select a scene below. I frequently use the Maximize/Restore Active Frame hotkey (Shift+~) to make everything I need take control of the screen momentarily, so that screen space is never a problem.

    Andy Young monitors at his workstation.

Image source: Andy Young.

Tell us about a favorite scene or moment from this project and why it stands out for you.

The first scene I edited this season was the town hall debate in episode 301. I come from a long history of live comedy editing, but this was my first big studio job AND my first project animation, so I was intimidated into cutting the large elaborate fight scenes with such iconic characters. Starting with this simple and fun scene took me back to my roots and allowed me to focus on my comedic timing sensibilities as well as follow my instincts about what choices to fight for. In this scene, Cheryl initially had a WAY longer monologue, and there was more dialogue after the ambivalent “I think it went pretty well, what do you think?” of Gordon. I’m really proud of what both versions have done to shape the scene.

What were the specific post-production challenges you faced that were unique to your project? How did you go about solving them?

It took some getting used to the XML workflow – sending jpegs from Storyboard Pro to Premiere Pro and vice versa, as well as keeping the artist’s board changes and editor’s timeline intact. Fortunately, we had amazing assistant production directors like Sari Cooper, Eliza Ross and Danny Trang who were patient, smart and always ready to solve problems on both sides. In my experience so far, the release team on anime projects is surprisingly small, so you rely heavily on talented APMs.

What Adobe tools did you use on this project and why did you choose them initially? Why were they the best choice for this project?

Premiere Pro obviously, and once in a while I’d dive into After Effects, Photoshop, or Audition to tweak something (titles, overlays, effects, mixing, etc.) Animatics by design looks and sounds rougher than the finished product, but I have always firmly believed that the more I can sell a cup, the better the returns we will have. I don’t care how much someone says they “know how to look at a rough”, if you sometimes watch new Roman fonts, no music, and you can barely hear the dialogue, you’re going to see it very objectively more critical and criticize irrelevant things that will be corrected later. Plus, with Dynamic Link, it’s easy to find a creative solution or do something to help the cut play as well as possible.

What do you like about Premiere Pro and/or other tools you’ve used?

In this business, you’re not just hired because you’re good, you’re hired because you’re quick. The keyboard is infinitely customizable, so I can create a wide range of keyboard shortcuts to suit any need for any project. Generally, the less I use my mouse while dragging or clicking on something, the longer I work and the faster I get an export.

I’m also obsessed with color coding assets with labels. The music and special effects each had their own color. Every time there’s a board revision, it gets a new color, and even each character gets their own unique tag color, making it easy to find a scene quickly just by looking at the timeline.

What’s your favorite hidden gem/workflow tip in Adobe Creative Cloud?

He’s a great Charles Breiner (another harley editor) taught me. Once you’ve grouped your audio tracks, create two submix tracks, one for Dialogue and one for SFX/Music. Next, open Audio Track Mixer and assign your individual tracks to their respective subtrack. This makes it much easier to quickly solo or mute an entire group of audio instead of doing each one individually, and we’re even adding a compressor with 10dB gain to the dialogue submix so that all lines be clear.

Who is your creative inspiration and why?

My wife Laura. She’s not only smarter and more creative than me, she’s also a passionate, heavily invested audience member and tough critic who’s more brutally honest than any journalist or studio executive I’ve met. . If I can get her to laugh at a joke, connect with a character, or refrain from checking her phone during a scene, then I know it will work.

What is the most difficult thing you have had to face in your career and how did you overcome it? What advice do you have for budding filmmakers or content creators?

“Ahaaah… it’s time to rewind.”

In 2018, I put together a video called YouTube Rewind 2018 which is, to date, the most hated video on the platform. At the time, I thought I would never work again, but once you bomb that globally and come out the other side, you kind of feel invincible. It also encouraged me to actively leave the world of brand editing and pursue my dream of working full-time in film and television.

The biggest obstacle I see budding filmmakers have is the fear of failure and rejection, which in this business is simply unavoidable. So I like to say to them, “Call me when 20 million people say they hate something you worked on. And even if that happens? Keep working anyway.

Andy Young, editor

Andy Young at his workstation.  Photo credit: Cailey Follet.

Image source: Cailey Follet.

Share a photo of your workplace. What do you like best about your workspace and why?

I can literally see the famous Warner Bros water tower from my house, but due to COVID I edited all of my episodes from my room in Burbank about five minutes away. The Autonomous.AI standing desk was a staple for a simple and sturdy ergonomic workstation, and Elgato Stream Deck makes it easy to customize macros and keyboard shortcuts and get them ready for any program. Also plenty of floor space for my cat Wilma who is very good at being a cat.

I have many framed posters and awards from past projects on the walls, but my favorite is a signed sheet of Motion City Soundtrack paper with one of my favorite lyrics: “They say what doesn’t kill us makes us who we are.” A strong mantra to keep in mind when this business gets tough.

Warner Bros. harley quinn Season 3 is now streaming on HBO Max.

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