Made in Frame—Editors of ‘The Bear’ Reveal How the Sausage Is Made

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No matter what industry you’re in, there are some basic ingredients you need for success.

This post was written by Lisa McNamara and originally appeared on Frame.io Insider on Aug. 29, 2022.

You need to be organized and methodical. You need to stay calm under pressure. You need a team around you that you can rely on. And you need the right tools.

As we learn in the hit FX show The Bear, without all those ingredients, chaos ensues. But behind the scenes, the show’s editors not only found the right recipe, but helped serve up one of the summer’s biggest hits.

In this installment of Made in Frame, we were so lucky to catch up with Joanna Naugle and Adam Epstein, ACE, whose combination of talent, teamwork, and tools, created a dish that earned rave reviews.

The place setting

Set (and shot) in Chicago, where show creator Christopher Storer is originally from, The Bear tells the story of Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto, a brilliant chef working at “the world’s best restaurant.” When his brother, who runs the family’s Italian Beef shop in Chicago, dies by suicide, Carmy returns home to take over. There, he finds “The Beef” deeply in debt, with his brother’s best friend trying to hold it together but making a mess out of everything he touches.



Stirring up trouble. Carmy Barzatto (Jeremy Allen White) in ‘The Bear.’Credit: FX

Like Carmy, the viewer is thrust into a chaotic and claustrophobic world, an environment that’s both unfamiliar and unfriendly. Storer, along with co-showrunner Joanna Calo, intentionally immerses us in it, and willingly we stay as the complex relationships unfold with plentiful portions of pathos and humor.

Editor Joanna Naugle, a partner at Senior Post in Brooklyn, had previously collaborated with Storer on the critically acclaimed series, Ramy, now in its third season on Hulu. Naugle’s business partner, Josh Senior, is one of the EPs on The Bear, and when it became clear that they would need a second editor for the series, they called Adam Epstein—an SNL veteran who is, according to Naugle, “one of our favorite people to work with.”



Editor Joanna Naugle

Storer and Naugle had already completed The Bear’s pilot episode during the summer of 2021, which meant that seven episodes were produced from February to June of 2022. Since Naugle had an ongoing relationship with Storer, she cut his episodes while Epstein worked with Calo on the ones she directed.



Editor Adam Epstein, ACE.

The team was distributed geographically, with Storer and Calo in Chicago and LA, and Epstein working from upstate NY. But key to staying organized was cutting on Adobe Premiere Pro, using Productions to stay organized and in sync.

Getting the right cut

Just as chefs have favorite knives, Naugle and Epstein both enjoy working on Premiere Pro—especially for a show like this. Naugle says, “A high majority of our projects at Senior Post are definitely Adobe based.” Epstein, for his part, has been an evangelist for Adobe since his time at SNL, generously sharing his tips and tricks with other editors.



Joanna’s locked timeline for ‘The Bear,’ episode 2.

Each editor had their own assistant, who was responsible for loading the footage onto LucidLink, which enabled them to share assets remotely through the cloud. “I assumed that for the sake of speed we’d end up going to local media at some point,” Epstein says. “But that was never the case, which is pretty amazing. We just stayed completely in the cloud. Having access to everything at all times was really helpful.”

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