Interview: The ‘Euphoria’ Editing Team on Working with Sam Levinson and Being Confusing in a Good Way

Among the sixteen Emmy nominations earned for the second season of HBO’s Euphoria is a mention for its editing team, which includes Julio C. Perez IV, ACE, Laura Zempel, Nikola Boyanov and Aaron I. Butler, ACE. Each episode presents a new challenge, introducing one character and sticking with them for a good portion of the hour and bringing the show’s many perspectives to life.

Awards Radar had the chance to speak with this Emmy-nominated crew, discussing in particular the episode that earned them this year’s bid, The Theater and It’s Double. Asked about this “head trip” of an episode that was confusing in a good way, Perez responded:

“I love that you mentioned that there’s a way that it’s confusing in a good way, because we often discuss these sorts of ambiguities. Obviously with our tonal intricacy on the show, we’re really interested in hitting ambivalence and ambiguous emotional states. We talk about, is this sense of confusion a pleasant confusion, is it a good confusion or a bad confusion?… To illustrate that further, we talk about this idea of having the right kind of ‘What the fuck?’ Each thing in its context is extremely important, and for instance, if you have an audience, going ‘What the fuck?’ that’s the right kind of what the fuck, versus ‘What the fuck?’ I don’t know if my vocals alone give you the intonation, but basically we’re extremely interested in having the good or right kind of confusion versus the one that is completely befuddling.”

On that play-centered episode and the season finale, Butler expanded:

“Episode 207 and also 208 are two parts of the same whole, and I think when we started editing with this process… we saw that this was going to be a very complex dance between what’s happening on stage, what’s happening in the audience, what’s happening with these double characters, and then also flashing back to real-life moments. Interweaving between the real life and the fantasy. There’s so much emotion and so much story comes from those choices, going off of someone’s face or reaction in the audience and then going to reality, you’re on stage and then we go to a flashback. The order of those matters so much.”

Listen to the full conversation below:

The first two seasons of Euphoria are streaming on HBO Max.


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Written by Abe Friedtanzer

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