“The final rewrite is in the editing room,” says Maryann Brandon (left), who has been working with Abrams since the early days of Alias. “It’s both the least glamorous part of the business and the most intensive.” Brandon and her colleague, Mary Jo Markey (right), begin editing the day after shooting begins. “We go through the script and divide it up,” explains Markey, who first collaborated with Abrams on Felicity (“I edited the first episode he directed”). “J.J. leaves it up to us who does what. We put it together how we feel is best and then, after he finishes shooting, he comes in.
A lot of directors want to see a scene put together exactly the way it’s scripted. J.J. does not have a problem with you moving the scene around, dropping a phrase or whatever if you think it’ll make it better. In fact, he expects you to take a point
of view on a scene.” “We have a lot of input,” agrees Brandon. “Although, ultimately, we’re serving what J.J. wants to say. And, by the way, the writers will come in the editing room with us as well. So we all work together, which is the beauty of Bad Robot. It really is a team all coming together to support J.J. and his vision.”