Graphic by Sam Lessin.
Modest Proposals

The New Business of Editing

Photo: Graphic by Sam Lessin.

I was having dinner with my good friend and Fin co-founder Andrew Kortina, when we began talking about the nature of good editing.

Kortina pointed out that many good TV series—like “House of Cards,” or “Mad Men,” or even “Game of Thrones”—would be significantly better if they were dramatically edited down. Sometimes removing characters, episodes, or even, occasionally, seasons, would make story lines sharper and more compelling.

But we are moving in the opposite direction. We’ve seen a proliferation of longer content, along with more content, because media companies think longer equals more attention. That means they can sell more ads. And content producers are often paid based on how much they produce. They make more for a 1-hour show than for a 30-minute one.

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