Jim Ulbrich credits some of his editorial style to his mother; or more accurately, the mother in all of us. Ulbrich, who recently joined New York's 89 Editorial, tries to include as much as possible in his spots. His style is to leave his rough cuts long and when the time comes to trim 10 or 15 seconds, he unleashes the mother within to nag and pester until the spot is where it needs to be. "After a day of making rough edits, instead of banging my head against the wall trying to sort out what's not working, I force myself to leave," explains Ulbrich. "Picture Mike Myers doing 'Coffee Talk,' " Ulbrich suggests, then he assumes his best impression of the SNL character. "Do you really think you should be saying that to people? Look at you, you're a mess! You're all verklempt! You know what, I'm going home and I'll tawk to you in the morning."
According to Ulbrich, the next day brings a new perspective. "I hear the mother inside asking, 'Is this necessary for the story?' If it isn't, then goodbye. Once it starts to flow, I know I've found the pulse and I'm ready to show it to the client."
Ulbrich joined 89 Editorial from Day for Night, the in-house editorial department at Berlin Cameron & Partners/Red Cell, New York, where he cut the agency's spots in relative obscurity for three years. But Ulbrich was able to let his work do the talking with "Trash-Talker" and "Care Package" for Coca-Cola; the widely seen "Sumo" for Reebok; and spots like "Kevin Garnett" for the NBA and "Global Presence" for New York Life, which demonstrate his ability to work with complex layering.
"I had never heard of Jim or Day for Night," admits 89 Editorial executive producer Bob Cagliero, "but each year we go through a best reel and I admired the editing on the Coca-Cola spots, which had a cinema verite feel. And so far, the reaction from our clients has been great. I think they see, as I'm starting to see, that he has a tremendous sense of timing for comedy and he has a reel that runs the spectrum from big corporate work to simple, and at times hilarious, dialogue work."