NEW YORK CITY — Sofia Kerpan of Modern Post (https://modernpost.com) recently won the 2023 MTV Video Music Award (VMA) for “Best Editing” for her work on Olivia Rodrigo’s Vampire music video. Directed by Petra Collins, with additional editing by David Checel, Vampire was released in June and has already garnered over 55M views on YouTube.
In the video, Rodrigo is found singing in a moonlit forest. After a flicker of sparks, it’s revealed that she is actually on stage at an awards show, where the set breaks down around her. Now bloodied, the singer continues to perform to the surprise of the audience, with the tempo quickening until she storm out of the venue.
The nomination is not Kerpan’s first in the category, as she was previously recognized with an MTV VMA nomination for “Best Editing” for her work on Lizzo’s Good as Hell.
Kerpan has worked with director Petra Collins in the past, and reunited once again for Vampire.
“She brought me along on this one,” recalls the editor. “It was exciting that it was the first single on Olivia's new project, and I loved Petra's concept, which used horror elements. I thought it spoke to some of the anxieties an artist might have when following up a big debut and feeling beholden to an industry.”
Kerpan cut the video using Adobe Premiere and says the project was filled with challenges, including having to work with changing tempos, emotions and genres over the course of the song.
“That called for different approaches to the editing throughout,” she explains. “The video was co-edited by David Checel, and found itself between the two of us, which is funny considering the song is sort of two people as well. It starts off as a slow ballad and then switches to a pop rock song. Mirroring that, the concept relies on a fake-out effect, so the challenge was to make sure the audience didn't expect what was coming. It's supposed to feel like a standard performance video in the beginning, and then there's a violent switch, the music cuts out and we discover Olivia is performing at an awards show ceremony. Things become very chaotic after that. "