Emmys: <I>Only Murders In The Building</I> editor JoAnne Yarrow
August 1, 2022

Emmys: Only Murders In The Building editor JoAnne Yarrow

Editor JoAnne Yarrow (Twitter: jojo_row) is nominated for an Emmy for her work on Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building. The “Fan Fiction” episode is recognized in the “Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Comedy Series” category.

Yarrow (pictured, left) moved to Los Angeles immediately after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin and knew that she wanted to concentrate on editing. She initially spent four years as a post PA, and later became an assistant before ultimately joining the union. 

“I started in features, and it was where my heart was,” she recalls, “but it was television that allowed me to jump into the editing chair. I’m forever grateful to John Ridley for giving me that rare opportunity, and I continue to work with him today.”

Her agent at Eastern Talent let her know that Only Murders In The Building was looking for another editor, so she met with writer/director John Hoffman, EP Jess Rosenthal and EP/director Jamie Babbit a few days later. 

“I felt my conversation with them went well,” she says. “John knew I didn’t have much comedy experience, but he trusted me when I said I had a command of the full range of human emotion. I was over the moon to get this job!”

Unlike her past work, she collaborated with the show's composer — Siddhartha Khosla — very early in the process. 

“This meant getting the cut in decent shape quickly so that I could send it to him and discuss what the scene needed. By the time our directors saw the cut, bespoke music was already incorporated. Starting the process in our editor’s cut really catapulted you into the creative, collaborative process, and I loved it.”

The editing team used Amulet and ClearView for their remote workflow, and Yarrow describes it as a seamless experience. 

“Technicolor set us up, and it was a dream remote setup.”

Yarrow’s work on Episode 5 — “Twist” — presented a different challenge. The majority of the episode takes place in two cars — one with Charles (Steve Martin) and Oliver (Martin Short), the other with Mabel (Selena Gomez) and Oscar (Aaron Dominguez). 

“Because we shot the bulk of the episode on green screen, I had to make the driving plates correspond to the story,” she explains. “Every time we moved scenes around, it meant switching out all the plates. Olivia Latz, my assistant, had to take on being a full-time VFX assistant in addition to the demands of her regular assisting job. Then, as the structure was finessed, it was up to us to switch the plates. This isn’t a big deal under normal circumstances, but we were playing massively with structure a few times a week at one point. It made us very nimble!”

As for the Emmy nomination, Yarrow says her emotions range from shocked to humble and grateful. 

“It means a lot to have your peers respect your work. I am a huge fan of the shows in this category, which makes it even more meaningful to share this nomination with this talented group of editors.”