History is rarely linear, so it’s only fitting that TNT’s six-part historical Western miniseries Into the West operated on its own timeline for editor Sabrina Plisco.“I was asked to do the very first one, but it was actually shot second because of weather and location limitations,” says Plisco. “When I started, the second one was pretty much in a rough assembly so I could see where mine was going to continue.”A telepic veteran of more than 13 years, Plisco says the collaborative process between herself, the other editors and the directors was the best thing about working on the project.“Each piece had a different style,” says Plisco, whose episode was directed by Robert Dornhelm. “He shot the first in the series in a more mystical, magical, lyrical way than the second one, which is more linear.”That first episode spent a lot of time focusing on the Lakota tribe and its way of life. The Lakota scenes were shot with actors speaking the native language, which put an unexpected wrinkle into the editing of those scenes. “I had an English script but I didn’t know where the end of a Lakota sentence was on the script page,” she says. “Lakota is a much slower spoken language than what we’re used to.”Plisco originally was to edit two episodes of the series, but took another assignment during the long hiatus between episodes.Jumping around genres is nothing new to Plisco, who worked on the movie Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow prior to heading West, and since has gone on to work on upcoming family films Charlotte’s Web and Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, but she does enjoy working on period pieces with their epic qualities, wide-angle shots and expansive vistas.She especially liked working on the Lakota buffalo jump scene, which was created completely with visual effects and had a tremendous emotional impact. “They would basically trap and guide a buffalo herd off a cliff so they had the meat and could live for quite a long time,” she says. – Tom McLean2002: Nominated for an ACE Eddie award for best-edited episode from a TV miniseries for Part 2 of Uprising.
Written by Tom McLean