<I>Ripley</I>: Editors Joshua Raymond Lee & David O. Rogers
May 22, 2024

Ripley: Editors Joshua Raymond Lee & David O. Rogers

In Netflix’s Ripley, Andrew Scott plays Tom Ripley, a grifter who’s scraping by in early 1960s New York. Ripley is hired by a wealthy man to travel to Italy to try to convince his son to return home. But his acceptance of the job is the first step into a complex life of deceit, fraud and murder. The limited series drama is based on Patricia Highsmith’s bestselling Tom Ripley novels.

In addition to Andrew Scott, the series features Dakota Fanning as Marge Sherwood and Johnny Flynn as Dickie Greenleaf. Additional cast includes Eliot Sumner, Maurizio Lombardi, Margherita Buy, John Malkovich, Kenneth Lonergan and Ann Cusack. 

All eight episodes were directed and written by Steven Zaillian. The series was edited by Joshua Raymond Lee and David O. Rogers. 

“We were both responsible for shaping the performances, pace and tone of the series with writer/director Steve Zaillian over the course of almost two years of post production,” Lee recalls. “Steve is an uncompromising director, and his collaboration with cinematographer Robert Elswit yielded an embarrassment of riches in terms of style and coverage.” 

According to Lee (pictured, left), the series was very demanding in terms of the director’s expectations from the sound, music and visual effects departments. 

“We began collaborating closely with all of them from the very beginning of post,” Lee notes. “This cultivated a very cohesive sensibility among all members of the post crew.”  

The pair used Avid editing systems to cut the project.

“We were using a pretty old version of Avid,” Lee recalls. “Version 2018 - because production began all the way back in 2021. We did almost all of our temp VFX work in Avid.”

For Lee, the series’ murder scenes were the most interesting and rewarding to cut. 

“Both of those scenes are essentially 30-minute silent films that land by surprise in the middle of the normal flow of the narrative,” he notes. “The tension in editing those scenes was between feeling close enough to Tom emotionally that we were able to follow his every thought, while simultaneously continuing to move the narrative forward so that Tom’s actions could take place in 30 minutes of screen time, rather than the five or six hours that they actually would have taken.” 

Rogers (pictured, right) adds that the two editors really felt like part of the larger collaboration, which included sound, music and VFX.

“Ripley had all of these elements in play all the time, and Steve created an environment that allowed for careful - maybe obsessive - attention to every detail,” Rogers notes. “The incredible cinematography made every scene a pleasure to work on, but I particularly enjoyed putting together the sequence in Episode 3 when Tom gets the letter from Mr. Greenleaf, tries to steal Dickie’s letter and then follows him through the cavernous stairways of Atrani.  This sequence is where everything falls apart for Tom, and we used sound, source music, score and VFX to get it all to land just right. It was a great experience.”