Streaming: Apple TV+'s <I>Shining Girls</I>
Issue: May/June 2022

Streaming: Apple TV+'s Shining Girls

Apple TV+’s metaphysical thriller Shining Girls stars Emmy Award-winning actress Elisabeth Moss ( The Handmaid’s Tale, Mad Men), who also serves as executive producer. Years after a brutal attack left her in a constantly shifting reality, Moss’s Kirby Mazrachi character learns that a recent murder is linked to her assault. She teams with veteran reporter Dan Velazquez to understand her ever-changing present and confront her past.

Produced by MRC Television, the show’s first two episodes were directed by Emmy winner Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad). Silka Luisa adapted the show for television and serves showrunner on the series. Apple TV+ initially released three episodes, followed by a new one every Friday for a season total of eight.

Jessica Hernández

Editor Jessica Hernández, ACE, says the time-bending nature of Shining Girls made editing the finale a fun and unique challenge. 

“The time shifts that run through the series intensify dramatically in the final episode, so it was important for the edit to reflect that intensity while keeping the story focused for the audience,” Hernández explains. “I was able to work entirely from home with the help of remote technologies, like Evercast and a trusty Avid system.”

Hugo Diaz 

Hugo Diaz also worked as an editor on the series.

“Even though the shifting reality posed a fun and creative challenge, our main focus and energy was put towards nailing the emotional reality of the characters in every scene,” recalls Diaz. “Our goal is that connection with the characters becomes the beacon through the multilayered puzzle that is Shining Girls.” 
Nick Forshager (pictured, left) served as supervising sound editor on Shining Girls and says one of the show’s biggest sound challenges is helping the audience understand the time shifts that Kirby experiences throughout the series.

 “Time shifts are these moments when Kirby’s timeline has changed, but the environment she is in has not,” Forshager explains. “Only she is aware that she is no longer in the time frame that she had been in. The producer wanted a sound that was repetitive yet subtle to help the audience know that something has changed. We tried many different elements, but everything seemed forced. It was important to have something that was organic and not too synthetic. Later on in the series, Kirby finds out that this old house has become the portal that shifts the time. The producers wanted the house to have this energy and vibration when you are in it that made you sense the power behind it. We created the elements for the house from these low metal vibrations recordings and these low subharmonic rumbles. I used a granular FX plug-in called Portal by Output to stretch and warp the sound to fit the presence of the house. Then we decided to try some of those elements for the time shifts. The tone of those elements was right, but the shape wasn’t working with the motion or the movements of the time shifts. Whooshes and jet-bys that we had used in earlier versions of time shifts had the right shape, so I sampled them in Envy by Cargo Cult and then morphed them with the new house elements to create the time shifts. This helped give the time shifts sounds continuity with the sounds of the house. It is subtle, but its repetitiveness helps the audience understand that Kirby was experiencing a change.”

For more on Shining Girls, check out our interview with showrunner Silka Luisa.