Editing BANKS: A Conversation with Emilie Aubry

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What's This?

Emilie Aubry is an ambitious, 26 year-old video editor based in Paris, who has worked for the likes of Rihanna, Jimmy Edgar and The Shoes. One of her most recent achievements is BANKS‘ striking, instantly iconic “Fuck With Myself” video directed by Philippa Price. The dark pop tune–a lead single on BANKS’ newest full-length, The Altar, featuring “Empire State of Mind” producer Al Shux–is met with a harrowing, gorgeous and slightly disturbing visual interpretation, released this summer.  An example of Emilie’s personal artistic vision can be seen in the video’s 15-second prelude. Between rapid frames that set the tone for the video’s generally creepy vibe, Emilie includes a collage of sound designs that introduce “Fuck With Myself.”

We linked up with video editor Emilie Aubry to ask a few questions about the BANKS visual and the process of music video editing. Read our conversation below.

Indie Current: I’m interested to know how much raw footage you were working with before the video was cut down to 3:22. Was there a lot of film to go through before making those final edits?  

Emilie Aubry: About 7 hours for this specific video, but it can be different depending on the project. It’s not uncommon to have 10, 20 or 30 hours of raw footage for a 3 minute video edit. 

How long does the post-production process for a music video like this normally take? 

A music video edit usually takes around 5 days, then there is the color grading. So usually about a week but certain projects can take a bit longer depending on creative input from directors, producers, etc. After editing, and if there’s a lot of FX, can take months to fully wrap out on a music video.  

BANKS - Fuck With Myself SS 2

Are you given some creative liberties as an editor, or is that often left up to the production company/director? 

Yes totally! More in music video’s than in a commercial to be honest. Directors are all so different, they have the video in their head and they have been working on it for such a long time. Often enough, I’ll have a “I didn’t imagine it this way, that’s cool!” or even a “Nice I was thinking about it too!” moment. This can’t happen unless artistic feelings are mutual… you have to like what the directors do and they have to like what you do.The idea is to take their vision and mold it into something both I and the director/producer are happy with. The vision can be subjective, but with the right team and direction, final edits usually end up being something everyone is proud of. 

BANKS - Fuck

The 15-second intro to “Fuck with Myself” looks as if it’s referencing the contemporary horror genre. Was this something you were thinking about while editing the video? What, if anything, inspired your process with this video?

Haha that’s true and cool but we didn’t think about it like that. I love weird and abstract things and the director happens to loves some unusual funkiness too. The reference the director sent me was a Marylin Manson music video “I Don’t Like The Drugs” and other 90’s grungy vibe videos. The story about the intro is that I made the very first edit by myself, and I didn’t know the director. So I made something pretty basic to test her, I didn’t want to be too crazy. And she didn’t really like it, so I pushed my second edit 100% in a weird direction and proposed this intro to her using footage between the takes, with different speed, blurred shots and the sound made it scary.

I really love to adding sound design in music videos. I am constantly in search of new sounds everywhere. If you listen pretty well there is more than 10 sounds in this intro like wind, ocean, vinyl, boiling water, reverse sound, underwater, etc. One of my favorite things to do is adding sounds that have nothing to do with the frames and all of a sudden you’ve created something totally new. So, that’s why this video became a bit freaky/scary haha. 

BANKS - Fuck With Myself SS

Is there anything interesting you’d like to share about how the video got put together? 

The very cool thing is that Banks and Philippa (the director) became friends on this project so Banks was with us for the edit. She was very happy to be involved and we could directly take out the takes she wasn’t into right then and there!. After the three of us finished up the editing, we sent the edit over to the label. Banks was so pleased with the outcome of the video, in turn the label had no complaints. Labels are constantly attempting to make changes, and it’s rare to see a big artist handle his/her own video like Banks. Working with the artist was an amazing experience because she was super chill and open to different ideas.

Angel E. Fraden

Head Editor | DJ | Amateur Rave Maker | Photographer | aef351@nyu.edu / https://soundcloud.com/angelitofraden/ View all post →