Stephane Dumonceau, Mad River/New York

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This year Mad River's Stephane Dumonceau returned to Wieden + Kennedy/NY and ESPN's continuing "Without Sports" campaign, cutting the 2004 flagship spot "Makeshift," a follow-up to last year's anthem "Coach," which he also edited. While "Coach" was dialog-driven, "Makeshift," directed by Mark Romanek, is a musically-charged crazy quilt of outdoor scenes of kids playing sports, the visuals bouncing off a percussive, "Stomp"-reminiscent tune. Dumonceau accompanied Romanek to Tennessee, where the director shot 11 hours of footage in run-and-gun style. "Usually I don't think an editor should be on the shoot because you can get tainted by the production process," he says, "but given the amount of film we were shooting, it was vital I was there. I got a head start looking at everything and knew what I was going in for." Back in the edit bay, judicious scene selection was key to ensuring the schmaltz-free tone the agency was going for. "We wanted it to be nostalgic, but we really didn't want these kids to be cute. We wanted it to seem raw and rough." Dumonceau started with a paper edit, "where I put scenes on post-its, similar to the way it's done in a lot of feature films," he notes. "The script was very loose and left a lot of room for improvisation, so I devised a three-act structure. First is the set-up, kids setting up their various makeshift things, next is the playing and interaction, the third act is more conclusive, where you definitely feel like we're coming to the end of the journey." Dumonceau chose Junkman's "Abracadabra" as the musical counterpart. "That one to me said 'makeshift,'" he explains. "The spot is about kids using whatever they can to play sports, and the track was the same way because the artist didn't use any traditional musical instruments." The track's beats served as an informal guide. "We hit the important moments but we were definitely not a slave to the music. Mark and I didn't want to be so literal by cutting on every beat. Often I would cut to the beat but then purposely throw it off a few frames. I just went with what felt best."
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